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A number of employment-related bills were signed into law by the Governor of California that are likely to require significant modifications to current protocols and practices to ensure compliance. This means business owners and their HR teams will need to invest time and energy into understanding the new rules and regulations. Here is an overview of some of the major employment laws that are going into effect in 2021.

Expanded Leave Under the California Family Rights Act

One of the most significant pieces of legislation that will impact virtually all employers is SB 1383.  This new law broadened the applicability of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to include any employer with at least five employees. SB 1383 also expanded the list of reasons for taking family or medical leave. For example, employees are now able to take leave to care for siblings, grandparents and grandchildren.

The new law is a bit murky since it is unclear whether employees that use the expanded leave benefit under the CFRA can also take leave under federal Family Medical and Leave Act. This issue will need to be clarified since it could mean an employee would have the legal right to take a protracted amount of leave and expose your business to legal liability.

New Pay Data Reporting Requirements

SB 973 is a new law setting forth the requirement that all California employers with 100 or more employees to create and transmit a particularized pay data report. Employers will then be required to submit this pay data report annually.

The new administrative report, which is aimed by improving pay equity, must include the following data points:

  • Number of employees by race
  • Number of employees by ethnicity
  • Number of employees by gender
  • The job categories and pay band data for each category of employee

New Diversity Requirements for Boards of Directors of Publicly Held Companies

AB-979 was signed into law and requires all boards of directors of public held domestic corporations or foreign corporation with their principal place of business in California to have at least one non-white board member by the end of 2021. In addition, by the end of 2022, any boards of directors comprised of between five and eight members will need to have at least two members who are from “underrepresented” groups. A corporation that has a Board of Directors comprised of nine or more members must have at least three directors who are from underrepresented communities. AB-979 builds on prior legislation signed into law in 2019 that implemented new requirements for greater female representation on Boards of Directors in California.

Have Questions? Consult with an Experienced Business Lawyer in Los Angeles Today

If you are starting a new business, or currently have a successful business, in California and need to navigate the complexities of these new rules and regulations, take action by contacting a leading business lawyer in Los Angeles-Afshin Hakim of The Hakim Law Group. Our legal team is comprised of professional, trusted and reputable business attorneys who are ready and able to assist you get your business on the right track. For further information or to schedule a consultation please contact HLG at 310.993.2203 or visit to learn more.