New California laws cover broad areas of employment

SACRAMENTO — The California Chamber of Commerce issued an updated list of new laws that will impact California employers. 

The list, which appears below, includes recent changes to the pregnancy disability regulations and the disability discrimination and accommodation regulations.  Other significant changes for 2013 include anti-discrimination protections, employee access to personnel records and employer access to personal social media accounts.  Some changes relate specifically to certain industries including farm labor contractors and temporary services employers. 

Unless specified, the following list of new legislation went into effect Jan. 1.  The entire list is available at  

Religion and Reasonable Accommodation

AB 1964 clarifies that Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) discrimination protections and reasonable accommodation requirements cover religious dress practices and religious grooming practices. It also specifies that segregating an individual from other employees or the public is not a reasonable accommodation of religious beliefs or observances.

Sex Discrimination and Breastfeeding

AB 2386 changes the definition of “sex” under FEHA for purposes of discrimination protections to include breastfeeding and related medical conditions.

Social Media and Personal Passwords

CalChamber-supported AB 1844 prohibits employers from requiring or requesting employees or job applicants to provide user names or passwords for personal social media accounts and from requesting an employee or applicant to divulge personal social media. There are limited exceptions, including an exception relating to employer investigations.

Inspection of Personnel Records

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