California labor and employment law update – Get ready for 2021

BY Benjamin J. Kim

As we approach year end, please be sure your organization is ready for the changes taking effect in California in 2021.

Here are some specific developments you should keep in mind as you prepare for the next 12 months:


  • Cal/OSHA's 21-page COVID-19 emergency regulation became effective on November 30; review the regulation and begin revising policies and procedures accordingly.   
  • If an employer imposes any requirement or restriction on how non-exempt employees should use their "non-working time," it is still considered compensable hours and must be paid at least minimum wage; revisit these policies and practices to determine whether they place "off-the-clock" control over employee activities that may require compensation.

New Laws

  • AB 685 goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2021 and has strict requirements for notifying employees, their authorized representatives, and subcontracted employees of workplace exposures; includes requirements to notify public health when there is an outbreak.
  • Employers with 100 or more employees should be aware of the new pay data reporting requirement as the deadline for the first submission to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing approaches.


  • If an employer is targeted for organizing by a union, employer must tread carefully to ensure compliance with NLRB law and election rules.
  • All employers (not just unionized workplaces) must understand how NLRB decisions might impact the scrutiny of employment policies.

Please reach out to me, your Nixon Peabody Labor & Employment attorney, or any of the presenters with questions or if you would like to obtain any of the service offering client tools (i.e., COVID-19 policy tool kit, form policy which complies with the amended California Family Rights Act or the return to work flowchart) mentioned in the recording below.

California Labor & Employment Law Update presenters:

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Benjamin J. Kim


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