New 2022 California Labor & Employment Laws: An Overview

You Have Rights As A Worker. I Will Help Protect Them.
Denis ZilberbergFebruary 16, 2022Employment Law

With California Governor Gavin Newsom signing a hefty amount of new bills that will affect workplace and labor laws in 2022, we thought it was important for you to be in the know about some of the more significant changes.

In addition to the various state employment laws that went into effect on January 1, 2022, the minimum wage has increased and COVID-19 regulations are ever-changing.

Our team of legal professionals here at The Kaufman Law Firm always keeps up to date with the latest in labor laws, news, and updates to offer our clients the best representation when they need it most.

What to Know About Some of California’s New Labor Laws

We cannot dive into the details of all of the state legislation that has been passed for 2022, but here are a few major labor laws we think you should especially know about that protects your rights on the job:

  • Senate Bill (SB) 62, or the Garment Worker Protection Act, makes California, with the highest concentration of garment-industry workers in the United States, the first state to require hourly wages for garment workers. It also makes garment brands and retailers liable for wage theft and illegal pay practices.
  • Assembly Bill (AB) 701 will help regulate and control quotas in warehouses with 100 or more employees to help reduce workplace injuries. Now, employees cannot be fired for not meeting unsafe quota levels. This is the country’s first law, intended to be aimed at Amazon, that makes companies disclose productivity requirements.
  • SB 606 was signed to empower the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health when enforcing two categories of violations: enterprise-wide violations and egregious violations. The bill creates a rebuttable presumption, which means that if Cal/OSHA finds that an employer with multiple worksites has committed a non-compliant policy or has evidence of a pattern of unsafe procedures, it is considered an “enterprise-wide” violation.

What to Know About Changes in Wages

Because of SB 3, the minimum wage in California was increased at the beginning of 2022 across all industries to $15 an hour for those businesses with 26 or more employees and to $14 an hour for those with 25 or fewer workers. The annual salary for exempt employees in the state has a minimum of $62,400 and $58,240, respectively.

This is a result of the law signed by the state’s former governor in 2016, which required incremental raises in the minimum wage at the beginning of each year until 2023.

In addition to the minimum wage update, “learners,” or those employees working in a job without any previous similar or related experience in their occupation, may be paid at 85 percent of the minimum wage during the first 160 hours of their employment.

What to Know About New Workplace COVID-19 Requirements

COVID-19-related regulations and obligations required by employers are continually updated by the federal government, so it is necessary to frequently check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and on the California state level for the most current mandates.

How to Protect Yourself with California’s New Labor Laws

If you think that your employer is in breach of any of these new labor laws for 2022, schedule a consultation with us to discuss how to protect your rights. The Kaufman Law Firm has successfully represented employees for more than 25 years.


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