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Preparing Your Business for Changing California Employee Notifications Under SB 657

AB 657

As many employers know, California law has numerous requirements for employers to physically post information for workers, including information about wages, leaves, prohibitions against workplace discrimination and harassment, workplace injuries, unemployment and disability insurance, safety laws and regulations, and whistleblower protections, to name a few. As many industries moved to remote work in 2020, employers questioned the effectiveness of posting requirements when workers were no longer physically in the workplace.

This past summer, California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law that will enable employers to provide telecommuting employees with these mandatory notices by electronic mail, in addition to the required posting at the workplace. The new law – Senate Bill 657 – allows that an employer is required to post information physically in any instance, but they may also distribute that information to employees by email with the document or documents attached.

Specifically, SB 657 adds a new Labor Code section (Section 1207) to allow employers to distribute any mandatory notices by email with the document or documents attached. However, this email distribution to telecommuting employees does not relieve employers of their obligation to continue physically posting required posters in the workplace.

With many California employees working at home during COVID and continuing to work from home post-COVID, the new law clarifies that employers do not have to require telecommuting employees to physically post copies of these notices in their offices at home. The timing of the new law shows California’s awareness of the challenges employees, employers, and human resource professionals face in applying laws in a changing workplace environment.

The new notice requirements go into effect on January 1, 2022.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Devin Mikulka.

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