4 October 20226 minute read

UPDATE: Governor Newsom signs several significant employment measures

In a recent Employment Alert, we flagged seven employment-related bills that had been passed by the California Legislature and were awaiting action by Governor Gavin Newson by September 30, 2022 – the Governor’s deadline to sign or veto legislation sent to his desk during the 2022 legislative session.

The Governor has now signed each of those bills into law, creating significant new obligations for California employers.  Prudent employers will act promptly to ensure compliance.

1.  SB 1162 - pay data reporting and pay scale disclosure

As previously reported, SB 1162 expands California’s existing pay transparency and data reporting requirements.  California employers are already required to provide job applicants with the pay scale for the position upon request.  Effective January 1, 2023, all California employers will also be required, upon request, to provide employees with the pay scale for their current position. Employers with 15 or more employees will also required to include the pay scale for a position in any job posting.  Additionally, employers with 100 or more employees will be required to include median and mean “hourly rates” for each combination of race, ethnicity and sex within each job category in their annual pay data reports to the State of California.  Violation of the new pay scale provision or posting requirements can result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000. 

2.  AB 152 – COVID-19 supplemental sick leave extension

As anticipated, with the enactment of AB 152, California’s COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave (CSPSL) has been extended to December 31, 2022.  AB 152 does not increase the total amount of leave employees may take and does not change the qualifying reasons for leave, but employees will now have until December 31, 2022 to use their remaining balance of CSPSL, if any.  For additional information about AB 152, please see our earlier alert.

3.  AB 1949 – bereavement leave

Many employers voluntarily offer paid or unpaid bereavement leave to employees upon the death of a family member.  With the enactment of AB 1949, California will require all employers with five or more employees to grant employees up to five days of such leave upon the death of a spouse or a child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner or parent-in-law. In the absence of a pre-existing policy providing for paid leave, leave may be unpaid.  However, employers will be required to allow concurrent use of other forms of paid leave, if available, including paid sick leave. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2023. Covered employers are encouraged to update their leave policies and employee handbooks to reflect compliance with the new leave entitlement.

4.  AB 2188 – off-the-job cannabis use protections 

Effective January 1, 2024, employers will not be permitted to discriminate against job applicants or take adverse action against employees for their use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace. AB 2188 specifically bars employers from considering the results of drug screenings that indicate the presence of “non-psychoactive” cannabis metabolites in a person’s urine, hair, blood or bodily fluids, because they do not indicate whether a person is currently impaired.

5.  AB 2693 – COVID-19 exposure notice requirements

AB 2693 extends the requirement that employers notify employees of a potential exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.  Effective January 1, 2023, and until January 1, 2024, employers will be permitted to satisfy the notification requirement by posting a notice where notices to employees about workplace rules or regulations are customarily posted. The notice, which must remain posted for 15 days, should indicate the dates on which an employee with a confirmed case of COVID-19 was at the worksite within the infectious period and the location of the exposure.  AB 2693 also removes the existing requirement to notify the local public health agency within 48 hours of a COVID-19 “outbreak” at the workplace. 

6.  AB 1041 – use of CFRA and paid sick leave for care of a “designated person”

With the enactment of AB 1041, eligible employees will be permitted to take paid sick leave under the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 or leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to care for a “designated person,” defined as any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship. Employees will be permitted to identify a designated person at the time leave is requested, but employers are authorized to limit an employee to 1 designated person per 12-month period. The new law takes effect on January 1, 2023. Covered employers are encouraged to update their leave policies and employee handbooks to reflect compliance with the new leave entitlement.

7.  SB 1044 – emergency conditions

Effective January 1, 2023, California employers are prohibited in the event of an “emergency condition” from taking or threatening adverse action against any employee for leaving or refusing to report to a workplace if the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace is unsafe. The law will also prohibit employers from preventing employees from accessing their cell phones or other mobile devices for seeking emergency assistance, evaluating safety conditions or communicating with others to confirm their safety.


The law defines “emergency condition” as the existence of either (a) “conditions of disaster or extreme peril to the safety of persons or property at the workplace or worksite caused by natural forces or a criminal act,” or (b) an “order to evacuate a workplace, a worksite, a worker’s home, or the school of a worker’s child due to natural disaster or a criminal act.”  The bill specifically provides, however, that an emergency condition does not include a health pandemic.


For further information about these significant new laws, please see our prior Employment Alert.  You may also contact the authors, your DLA Piper relationship attorney or the DLA Piper Employment group.