March 2018 California HR Regulatory Updates

on March 28, 2018


Updated on 9.28.18

California Drug Testing Law Updates

California is one of nine states plus Washington D.C. that has legalized marijuana for recreational use. California’s Proposition 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act, went into effect January 1, 2018. Nonetheless, California employers are still permitted to ban marijuana use in the workplace.

While employers are generally not allowed to perform random drug testing on employees in California, they can drug test in these circumstances:

  • As part of pre-employment screening
  • As part of a physical examination
  • Under reasonable suspicion
  • During post-accident testing
  • In rare cases, as part of random testing for employees working in a highly regulated industry or a position critical to public safety or the protection of life, property, or national security

You are also still permitted to have:

  • A zero-tolerance drug policy
  • Job descriptions of safety-sensitive positions include a no drug clause
  • No smoking policies, including tobacco and cannabis, in your workplace


California Immigrant Worker Protection Act

California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) attempted to prevent employers from letting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents access worksites without proper authorization to do so. However, a federal district court has since blocked much of AB 450 for the foreseeable future.

Right now, only one AB 450 provision is still in place:

  • Employers must notify employees and their labor unions before and after Form I-9-related inspections. Specifically, employers must inform all employees within 72 hours of receiving a Notice of Inspection and provide written inspection results back to employees within 72 hours of the completed inspection.

For now, California employers must allow ICE agents to enter the premises without a warrant or subpoena and allow them to access employee records.


California Pay Stub Reminders

Under California compensation laws, employers must provide certain details on employees’ pay stubs. Employers that are not in compliance are already facing stiff fines in 2018, ranging from $50 for the first violation to upwards of $4,000 per employee.

Ensure these 10 items are on your pay statements:

  • Gross wages earned
  • Total hours worked (unless employee is exempt from overtime)
  • Number of piece-rate units earned, if applicable.
  • All deductions
  • Net wages earned
  • Pay period beginning and end dates
  • Employee’s name and only the last four digits of his or her Social Security Number
  • Employer’s legal name and address
  • All applicable hourly rates for the pay period and the number of hours worked at each rate
  • Number of sick days an employee has available


California’s Salary History Ban

Under Section 432.3 of California’s Labor Code, employers can’t ask job applicants about their salary histories. This law has been in effect since January 2018. However, in July 2018, it was amended under AB 2282 in an attempt to clarify things for employers. You also won’t want to miss KPA’s FAQs: California Salary History Ban.


  • An applicant is defined as an individual seeking employment with an employer and is not considered a current employee.
  • If applicants request a “pay scale” for a position, employers need to provide a salary or hourly wage range. The pay scale doesn’t have to include bonuses or equity ranges.
  • Applicants can make a “reasonable request” for a pay scale after he/she completed an initial interview.
  • Even though employers can’t ask applicants for salary history information, employers can ask applicants what their salary expectations are for a position.
  • Employers may only use one of these factors to justify a disparity in pay: 1) a seniority system, 2) a merit system, 3) a system that measures earnings by quantity or quality of production, or 4) a bona fide factor other than race or ethnicity, such as education, training, or experience.
  • Basing a pay disparity on someone’s prior salary isn’t allowed.

For any questions on California human resources law updates, contact KPA today!

Jill Schaefer

Jill Schaefer

Jill is the Content and Community Manager here at KPA. She helps us break down complex regulations into why they matter and what they mean for clients. In short, make compliance easier and help employers do the right things.

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Jill SchaeferMarch 2018 California HR Regulatory Updates

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