Changes to Be Aware of in 2019

With a new year comes new laws and regulations for nearly all realms of life, including employment. We’ve compiled a list of some of the ones you should definitely be aware of whether you are the employer or an employee.


Minimum Wages & Salary Increase

Federally, wages are required to start at $7.25 per hour. Minimum wage for Federal contract workers will increase to $10.60 an hour and to $7.40 an hour for tipped employees working on federal covered contracts. In the state of California, the minimum wage for employers with 25 employees or less jumps from $10.50 to $11.00 an hour. Employers with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum of $12.00 an hour. The minimum salary increases to $49,920. Lastly, for those in San Diego, minimum wage has increased $11.50 to $12.00 an hour.

Employee Training

A new law related to sexual harrasment mandates that employers with at least 5 employees go through one-hour training for non-supervisory employees and two for supervisors every two years. Employers are also liable for harassment by non-employees if the employer knew about the conduct and failed to take action.


Women in the Workplace

Positive changes for women in the workplace appear in 2019. Employers must provide a private area other than the restroom for nursing mothers according to the Lactation Accommodation guidelines. Another law that supports women in the workplace is the Gender Representation on Boards of Directors law.


“The California requirement for publicly held corporations to place at least one female director on its board by Dec. 31, 2019, is an impactful change,” said Brenda Gilchrist, co-founder of Santa Rosa-based consulting firm The HR Matrix LLC. “I believe this requirement is a great opportunity for companies.”

Interview Questioning

Previously, employers were prohibited from asking questions about or making decision based on expunged or sealed records. This year, however, employers may ask for further clarification.