Top 9 California Employment Updates for 2023

What Your Business Needs to Know About These Top 9 Changes That will affect your business

1. One Employee

If you’ve got one employee, there’s something you must see…

AB 1041 made a notable change to the current Paid Sick Leave law:  All employers must add designated persons to the list of eligible persons the employee may take leave to care for.  This is in addition to a spouse, registered domestic partners, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, and sibling.

A designated person is defined as “a person identified by the employee at the time the employee requests paid sick days”.  However, an employer may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.

2. California Family Rights Act (CFRA)

The phrase might seem familiar, but today’s a different leave…

California Family Rights Act (CFRA) will also now include time off to care for a designated person.  But in this case, designated person will be defined as “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship”.

Similar to Paid Sick Leave, employees may identify their designated person at the time of requesting leave and employers may implement a limit of one designated person per 12-month period.

Employers may continue to require documentation by healthcare provider indicating the employee as the person caring for the family member or designated person.

3. Bereavement Leave

With at least 5 employees, there’s a new leave policy…

And it’s called Bereavement Leave.  What was once a voluntary policy is now a mandatory policy.  Employers must offer 5 unpaid days of leave in the event of the death of an employee’s family member;  spouse, registered domestic partner, child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, or sibling.

Companies may offer any number of paid days under this policy, but the difference of unpaid days must be available – still allowing staff a total of 5 days.  Employees can elect to apply paid Sick Leave and vacation/PTO.

Employers may require employees to provide documentation; to have worked for the company for at least 30 days, and for Bereavement Leave to be used within 3 months of the death, days do not have to be used consecutively.

4. Emergency condition

Now this one is for everyone in case of an Emergency…

Prohibits an employer, in the event of an emergency condition, from taking or threatening adverse action against an employee for the refusal to report to or leave the workplace because the employee has “reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe.”

“Emergency condition” is defined as either:

  • Conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act.
  • An order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home or the school of a worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act.

“Emergency condition” does not include a health pandemic.

5. Wage Transparency

Now, when posting any job ad, you must have pay transparency…

Specifically employees with 15+ employees:

Pay scale must be included in any job posting.

Employers are to maintain records of job titles and wage history for the duration of employment plus three years.

Upon request, employers must provide the pay scale to an employee for their current position held.

6. 100+ Employees

With 100 employees, this next one isn’t new, but it’ll require more information from you…

California already requires private employers with 100 or more employees (with at least one employee in California) to annually submit a pay data report classified by race, sex, and ethnicity.

The new law imposes more detailed requirements, including:

  • A specialized report, which must include the median and mean hourly rate for each combination of race, ethnicity and sex within various job categories
  • A separate pay data report for employees hired through labor contractors

The new law will also impose a civil penalty of up to $100 per employee for an employer’s failure to file the report and up to $200 per employee for an employer’s subsequent failure to file the report.

7. Language

This one’s from Cal/OSHA, not a gift you’d want to see…

Employers which receive citations must post a new employee notification (prepared by Cal/OSHA) containing specific information in the related statute.

Additionally, the notice must be posted in the top 7-non English languages in an effort to close the language gap.

This is in addition to the currently required notice which must be posted at or near each place a violation occurred.


COVID is a topic that we’ve become accustomed to, albeit dreadfully.  There are a few things you must see:

All employers, regardless of size, have navigated the requirement of distributing written notices to staff in the event of a positive COVID case.

Here are the changes you should take note of:

  • Employers no longer have to give notice to the local public health agency in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.
  • An employer can either provide written notification or prominently display a notice in all places where notices to employees concerning workplace rules or regulations are customarily posted and requires the notice to remain posted for 15 days.
  • Requires an employer to keep a log of all the dates the notice was posted, and requires the employer to allow the Labor Commissioner to access those records.
  • Extends these provisions until January 1, 2024. Previously set to expire on January 1, 2023.

9. Discrimination

Discrimination will land you on the naughty list, especially if for reasons such as these…

As you know from harassment prevention training, it is unlawful to discriminate against any employee or applicant based on specific protections.  We’re adding two new protections to the existing list:

  • Reproductive health decision-making. Includes the decision to use or access a particular drug, device, product, or medical service for reproductive health.
  • Use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace. (2024)

Give People Rock HR a call if you have any questions about California Employment Updates in 2023 and much more. We’re located in Folsom, CA, and service clients throughout California for HR Services and HR Consulting. If you’re looking for any HR Services and/or HR Consulting, give us a call. We’re always around to help.