Several bills could affect California employees: part two

Last week we discussed the ever-changing employment law landscape and how dynamic laws can be confusing for employers and employees alike. Keeping abreast of the latest developments in the state legislature can help workers and their bosses avoid unpleasant surprises down the road when they take a certain action only to learn that the rules have changed.

We also talked about two proposed bills in the California legislature, one that could affect wage and hour disputes and one that would raise the state's minimum wage and provide for future increases as well. Currently, several other employment law bills are making their way through the legislative process.

One of them addresses employee privacy on social media, which has been a major issue in recent years. Many employees would likely appreciate being able to go home at the end of a long workday and post updates on Facebook without worrying about an employer reading their profile or even their private messages.

Starting this year, a law went into effect prohibiting employers from asking for an employee or applicant's username or password for social media accounts. Now lawmakers are considering a bill that would clarify that law's scope, ensuring that it applies to both public and private employers. If passed, all employees could breathe a sigh of relief knowing that their social media information is safe.

The legislature is also considering a bill to establish a self-employment assistance program. This would help people become self-employed by providing a weekly allowance equivalent to state unemployment benefits.

Source: The Monterey Herald, "New bills affecting California labor law," Sara Boyns, March 21, 2013

To learn more about employee rights in California, please visit our website.

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