Super Lawyers - Badge
US News Best Law Firms 2023
Millon Dollar Advocates
Multimillon Dollar Advocates
America's Top 100
10 Best Attorneys
Top 100 Labor and Employment Lawyer
The American Society of Legal Advocates
10 Best Labor Attorney 2024
ABA - Badge
Elite Lawyer 2023
OCTLA - Badge
Orange County Bar Association
Best Lawyers 2024 James Hardin
The State Bar of California
Super Lawyers
OC Metro Magazine 2014
Lawyers of Distinction 2024
Best Lawyers Hardin Law Group

Understanding California’s New Employment Laws in 2024

Hardin Law Group

California employment laws are constantly changing. The California legislature has enacted several new laws that will go into effect this year. Below is a guide to the most important changes in California employment law that you need to know.

2024 Developments in California Employment Law

First, California has expanded its paid sick leave laws. Paid sick leave allows employees to take time off to care for themselves or a loved one. Under SB 616, employers must allow employees to accrue at least 80 hours of paid sick leave or grant 40 hours annually. The law raises the minimum number of hours employers in the state must provide. Employers were required to expand their paid sick leave allotments starting on January 1, 2024. If your employer includes sick leave in your paid time off, the employer does not need to provide additional paid sick leave, but the paid time off must meet the same minimum requirements.

Effective January 1, 2024, the state has also raised its minimum wage to $16.00 per hour. Employers must also provide a minimum of 30 minutes for meal breaks. Additionally, workers who fall under certain occupational exceptions must receive twice the minimum wage, totaling $66,650 per year. If you work in computer software, you may fall within the Computer Software overtime exemption, which requires employers to pay a minimum of $55.58 per hour.

Additionally, SB 699 and AB 1076 clarify the state’s ban on non-compete agreements, which prevent employees of one employer from engaging in lawful business with a competitor company. First, SB 699 clarifies that non-compete agreements are unenforceable in California regardless of when, where, or whether the employee signed it, even if it was signed outside of California. If an employer attempts to coerce an employee into signing an agreement, even without intent to enforce it, the employer may be sued. Second, AB 1076 requires a broad construction of the ban on non-compete agreements unless one of the narrow exceptions applies.

Another significant change is an amendment to California’s existing laws that govern retaliation suits against an employer. The previous law assigned the burden of proof to the employee to show the employer retaliated against them. Under SB 497, the burden of proof in retaliation cases shifts to the employer if it fires or otherwise retaliates against the employee up to 90 days after for engaging in protected activity. The employer can still rebut the presumption of retaliation by showing the employee was fired or reprimanded for a legitimate reason. If the employer retaliates against the employee, the new law requires the employer to pay up to $10,000 in civil penalties per employee.

In addition to these new laws, the California legislature has also enacted laws requiring paid leave for reproductive loss such as miscarriage or failed adoption; banning discrimination or retaliation for the off-duty use of cannabis; and requiring employers to adopt a Workplace Violence Prevention Program and maintain a record of every incident of violence in the workplace.

Speak with an Experienced Los Angeles Employment Attorney for More Information

California’s new employment laws may affect your legal claim against an employer. If you have questions about the impact of these laws on your rights or your suit against an employer, contact our team at Hardin Law Group today to learn whether you can take legal action.

See What Our Clients Are Saying

I worked with James Hardin on a case against a former employer. He listened to my complaints, outlined the potential case, and went right to work contacting them and...

Kandice L. Manhattan

My family had an employment law issue and needed some assistance and advice. We did not engage the firm to represent us, just help us out and see if it needed to go that...

Matt H. Manhattan

James is an incredibly intelligent and hardworking attorney. After presenting him with a difficult case, I am more than satisfied at the settlement that was reached. He...

Arpee O. Manhattan


Free Consultation 310.606.2122

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form