Need-to-Know CA Employment Laws Starting in 2022

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed several new CA employment laws, set to take effect on January 1, 2022. The amendments are quite extensive, ranging from altered emotional support requirements and updated COVID-19 workplace measures to new non-disclosure considerations which further protect employees. Read on for an idea of how CA employment laws will be changing in the coming months. 


Assembly Bill 468 – Stricter Requirements for Emotional Support Dogs


This law, which is aimed to reduce fraudulent emotional support dogs, provides stricter requirements on health care providers when providing individuals with documentation. Specifically, the following standards will need to be met before a health care provider can issue an individual with documentation for emotional support dogs:


  1. The provider must possess a valid and active emotional support license;
  2. The provider must be licensed to provide such documentation;
  3. The provider must establish a client-provider relationship at least 30 days prior to submission of emotional support dog documentation;
  4. The provider must complete a clinical evaluation of the person regarding whether they need an emotional support dog;
  5. The provider must give either verbal or written notice to the applicant informing them that fraudulent representation as a dog owner or trainer of a service dog is a misdemeanor.


Assembly Bill 654 – COVID-19 Exposure Notification 

AB 654, which already went into effect on October 5, 2021, mandates employers to notify all employees who were in the same proximity as a COVID-19 positive employee during an infectious period, rather than only those employees who “may have” been exposed. It also modifies the time frame employers have to report a COVID-19 outbreak to local public health agencies. While employers formerly had 48 hours to report an outbreak, AB 654 changes that timeframe to “within 48 hours or one business day, whichever is later.” 


Updated NDA & Confidential Settlement Agreement Laws

Among the most notable recent amendments to the CA employment laws is the extent to which Code of Civil Procedure Section 1001 protects workplace harassment. Currently, the law prohibits non-disclosure provisions regarding claims of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination based on sex. Starting January 1, 2022, Section 1001 will also prohibit workplace harassment and discrimination that are not based on sex. Further amendments concerning non-disclosure and confidential settlement agreements have been made to start in January 2022, such as additional limits on NDAs for both current and past employees. 


Governor Gavin Newsom signed a handful of other new CA employment laws this past October, including amendments concerning arbitration, discrimination and retaliation, record keeping, leave laws, unfair competition, and wages; regulations pertaining to workplace safety and Cal/OSHA enforcement abilities were also scheduled to go into effect at the start of 2022.


Contact Gokal Law

Have you faced any of these unfortunate situations with a past or current employer? Contact Jibit Cinar of Cepkinian-Cinar Law.

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