Skip to Content

National Federation of Business highlights new California labor laws set to take effect January 1

Official Seal of the State of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – With the beginning of a new year, legislation signed into law during this past year is set to take effect and the National Federation of Businesses highlighted some new laws making a notable impact on small business compliance.

“California small business owners are no different from their counterparts elsewhere in the nation in struggling to find qualified employees and in dealing with inflation,” explains John Kabateck, California state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.

The following bills take effect on Jan. 1, 2024:

  • SB 848: This law amends California's Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it unlawful for an employer to deny a request by an eligible employee to take up to five days of reproductive loss leave. Loss events include a miscarriage, failed adoptions and surrogacy, stillbirth, or unsuccessfully assisted reproduction. Leave must be taken within a three-month window after the loss.
  • SB 616: This law increases paid sick leave from three to five days. More specifically, it extends paid sick day requirements within the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 and now includes employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement as well as expanding the accrual thresholds for paid sick leave up to 80 hours or ten days.
  • SB 700: This law amends the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it unlawful for an employer to request information from an applicant about their prior use of cannabis (the scientific name/taxonomic classification for marijuana). An exemption on asking for this information is made regarding an applicant's criminal history.
  • AB 2188: While this legislation was passed last year, it takes effect this year and makes it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person while hiring, terminating, or changing any term/condition of employment, or otherwise penalize a person if the discrimination is based on a person's cannabis use off the clock and away from the workplace. The California Civil Rights Department is empowered to investigate and prosecute complaints alleging these new unlawful practices. Certain employer activities are still exempt under this law including preemployment drug screenings, or employer-required drug screenings that found the person to have non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites in their hair or bodily fluids. The law also exempts screening those in the building and construction trades as well as those requiring a federal background investigation or clearance and does not preempt state or federal laws requiring testing for controlled substances as a condition of employment, a condition to receive federal funds nor federal licensing-related benefits, as well as entering into a federal contract.
Article Topic Follows: California
California Fair Employment and Housing Act
labor laws
National Federation of Business

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Andrew Gillies

Andrew is a Digital Content Producer and Assignment Desk Assistant for News Channel 3-12. For more about Andrew, click here.


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content