Have Employees Working In California? Some 2013 Changes In California Law You Need To Know About

Those who examine employment laws throughout the various states often remark that California is in a class by itself as a state with some of the most employee-centric rules in the country. Adding to that reputation are a couple of new laws that just went into effect in 2013. An employer need not have physical operations in California in order to be subject to its employment laws – any individual who is working for you in California, even if that is out of his home, can seek the protections of California laws.

One legal change that took effect in California at the beginning of 2013 impacts employers who pay certain employees using commissions. Under the new law, any contract of employment that includes commissions for services to be rendered in California must be in writing and must specifically set forth the method by which the commissions will be computed and paid. The employer must give the employee a signed copy of the contract and must obtain a signed receipt for the contract from the employee. Any change to the commission plan must also be presented to the employee in writing and signed off on before it becomes effective.

Another legal change is the minimum wage law for two cities in California. Effective Jan 1, 2013, San Francisco’s minimum wage increased from $10.24 to $10.55 per hour. Additionally, San Jose approved a $10.00 per hour minimum wage, which will take effect 90 days after the November election results are certified, likely in February or March of 2013.

Several other states also increased their state-wide minimum wage as of January 1, 2013, including Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. If you have employees in any of those states, you need to confirm that your hourly wages have been updated. Although the federal minimum wage remains $7.25, where it differs from a state or local minimum wage, the higher wage must be paid.