Employment Law Alert

By:  Leiann Laiks, Esq

It’s that time of year for California employers to review and update their employment and HR policies.

Be sure these changes aren’t just made in your company’s employee handbook but that your HR/management teams are aware of the laws and their impact.

Here is a summary of the employment law changes effective in 2024:

  • Employee Non-Compete Agreements Deadline: February 14, 2024
    Employers must notify both current and former employees who were employed after January 1, 2022, who were parties to an unlawful non-compete agreement no later than February 14, 2024. New law makes non-compete agreements unenforceable regardless of where and when the contract was signed. Employers cannot even try to enforce non-competes even if signed outside of California or employment was outside of California.
  • Minimum Wage Increase for Fast Food Workers:  Effective April 1, 2024, fast food workers minimum wage increases to $20/hour.
  • Minimum Wage Increase for Health Care Workers:  Effective June 1, 2024, health care workers, including employees and independent contractors, minimum wage increases in a range from $18 to $25/hour, with all healthcare facilities reaching $25/hour by June 1, 2028.
  • Mandatory Workplace Violence and Prevention Plan & Training: Effective July 1, 2024, Injury Illness Prevention Programs need to include a workplace violence prevention plan which cover elements such as maintenance of a violent incident log, training on workplace violence hazards, procedures to respond to reports of workplace violence and prohibit retaliation.
  • Cannabis Use: Last year, AB 2188 was passed and goes into effect January 1, 2024 which makes it illegal for employers to discriminate against people in hiring or employment terms because of their off-the-job cannabis use or if a drug test shows they have non-psychoactive cannabis substances in their body.
    This year SB700 was passed which prohibits employers from discriminating against job applicants just because they used cannabis in the past, as long as this information comes from their criminal history.
  • CA Paid Sick Leave: Employers must increase the amount of sick leave provided to California employees from three days/24 hours to five days/40 hours. The law also increases the use limits each year to five days/40 hours and increases accrual and carryover cap to 10 days/80 hours.
    Employers may adopt or keep other types of accrual schedules (other than 1:30), but the schedule must result in an employee having at least 24 hours of accrued sick leave or paid time off by the 120th calendar day of employment and 40 hours by the 200th calendar day of employment.
  • Reproductive Loss Leave: CA now requires employers with at least five employees to provide employees who have worked at least 30 days with up to five days of reproductive loss leave. It is unlawful for a covered employer to refuse to grant a covered employee five days of leave following a reproductive loss.

Lastly, I recently read about Ethena, a company who repurposed their office budget and is reimbursing employees up to $100 per month to hang out with their co-workers. Read more here at HR Brew.

Every business is different so feel free to reach out to discuss your businesses’ particular employment and HR needs.


All blogs on this site are for educational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice or opinion, and should not be applied to your situation, or any specific situation, without consultation with counsel. Strategy Law, LLP does not provide any legal advice concerning any matter discussed in a blog except upon formal engagement including, without limitation, execution of Strategy Law, LLP’s formal legal services agreement, and with respect to specific factual situations.  No blog constitutes a guaranty, warranty, or prediction regarding the result of any legal matter discussed in the blog or any representation.