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New laws for 2014: Minimum wage and stalking protection among laws in Calif.

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Many new laws for 2014 will go into effect after December ends. A number of states have their own laws outlined and are ready to be enforced. Not all new laws happen at the first of the year, however. Some actually begin around July.

According to a Dec. 2 report in The Business Journal, California's Fresno and Clovis area listed a number of new laws for 2014 that will go into effect around the state and within their communities.

What are some new 2014 laws? One of the most talked about ones going into effect is a hike in the the state's minimum wage from $8 per hour to $9 per hour beginning on July 1, 2014. It rises from $9 to $10 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2016.

An increase on penalties for citations from the Labor Commissioner for not paying minimum wage to additionally include payments of liquidated damages to the employee. This new 2014 California law is AB442.

SB 770 will allow employees to have up to six weeks of state disability insurance to care for not only an ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to build a relationship with an adopted or foster child. The Paid Family Leave program now includes time off to care for a "seriously ill grandparent, grandchildren, siblings, and in-laws." This law goes into effect July 1, 2014.

Crime victims will have a leave of absence to appear in court under SB 288. This applies only to specific crimes. They include "solicitation for murder and vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated."

Protection for victims of stalking and domestic violence fall under SB 400. It grants time off for "treatment, court appearances, and safety planning for employers with more than 24 employees." This new law of 2014 also bans retaliation or discrimination of victims. It mandates accommodations that are reasonable, such as safety measures.

AB 11 requires Employers must allow employees to take as many as 14 days off per calendar year for reserve peace officers and emergency responders can receive training. Prior to this 2014 law, only volunteer firefighters were allowed 14 days off per calendar year.

Another new 2014 law protecting employees is SB 496. It prevents "employers, supervisors, or an employee who may investigate an alleged violation" from retaliating against employees who report violations of local laws.

AB 263 is designed to protect employees from employers engaging in “unfair immigration-related practices” when "an employee claims rights protected under the state labor code." This means prohibiting employers from "threatening to contact immigration authorities if an employee complains about being paid less than minimum wage or other violations."

Backing up AB263 even more is SB 666. It grants the state authority to pull an employer’s business license for reporting -- or threatening to report -- "immigration violations in response to complaints made by employees regarding employment issues." Attorneys are affected by this as well. They could face disbarment for "threatening or reporting witnesses or other parties involved in a lawsuit for the same issues."

Under AB 1387, car washes that employ non-union workers must “post a $15,000 bond for the benefit of the state to compensate employees damaged by the employer’s nonpayment of wages."

Be sure to learn more about your state's new laws for 2014, as well as federal laws before the new year begins.



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