As the calendar flips to 2024, it's a good time to make sure you're up to date with the new laws, regulations, court cases and agency actions — many of which will affect California employers’ day-to-day operations and policies. These updates are organized by topic below to help you understand your responsibilities and learn how they will impact your business. They also have links to their respective Law Library pages to give you more details.

Also, check the Local Ordinances and Required Posters and Pamphlets pages to make sure you are compliant.

Note: The links below will either take you directly to the topic content or to the page that contains that content. Look for flags on content pages to find laws, actions and regulations that are new for 2024. You may need to scroll down to find them.

Recruiting and Hiring

  • The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision invalidating a California law banning mandatory arbitration agreements, finding that California’s law is preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act because the threat of criminal and civil penalties in the state law is intended to have a deterrent effect on mandatory arbitration agreements — even though an agreement would still be enforceable. See Application for Employment.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, trial court proceedings are no longer automatically stayed during a pending appeal of an order dismissing or denying a petition to compel arbitration. See Application for Employment.

Exempt and Nonexempt

Verifying Eligibility to Work

  • The current version of Form I-9 - Employment Eligibility Verification is revision number 08/01/23. See Completing the Form I-9.
  • The Department of Homeland Security created an alternative examination procedure that allows qualified employers who are enrolled in E-Verify to verify Form I-9 documents electronically through a live video call. See Completing the Form I-9.

Types of Workers

  • A Court of Appeal reversed a lower court’s ruling, finding Proposition 22 largely constitutional, with the exception of the proposition’s restrictive amendment provisions that limited the Legislature’s authority to pass related but distinct laws. See Independent Contractor.

Background Checks and Testing

  • The Civil Rights Department revised its criminal history regulations in 2023 to further elaborate on certain requirements related to assessing applicants with criminal history, considering evidence of rehabilitation and mitigating circumstances, response deadlines, and other important issues. See Restrictions on Obtaining Criminal History

Personnel Records and Privacy

  • Effective January 1, 2024, California law was amended to codify existing California case law holding noncompete agreements void absent an exception, making it unlawful to include a noncompete clause in an employment contract or require an employee to enter a noncompete agreement that does not satisfy specified exceptions. See Restrictions on Obtaining Criminal History.

Drugs, Alcohol and Smoking in the Workplace

  • Beginning January 1, 2024, California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or job applicant based on the person's use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace, which will impact pre-employment testing practices. See NWhen Drug Testing May Be Permitted.

Wage and Hour Law

  • Effective January 1, 2024, in addition to the Labor Commissioner, many provisions of the Labor Code may be enforced by “public prosecutors” under a new alternative enforcement law. See Wage and Hour Enforcement and Penalties.
  • The California Supreme Court ruled in 2023 that even when an employee's individual Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) claims are subject to arbitration, the employee maintains standing to pursue representative (i.e., non-individual) PAGA claims in court, departing from the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling. See Wage and Hour Enforcement and Penalties.

Wages, Salaries and Other Compensation

  • California’s minimum wage is now $16 per hour for all employers, regardless of size, with the exception of certain fast-food restaurants and health care facilities. See Minimum Wage.
  • California created new minimum wage rates and schedules for certain fast-food chain restaurants and health care facilities that will be higher than the state's general minimum wage rate described above. See Minimum Wage.
  • The Social Security wage base limit increased for 2024. See Standard Deductions: Taxes.
  • The meal and lodging credits employers may take against minimum wage increased when the new minimum wage became effective on January 1, 2024. See Meals and Lodging.
  • A recent court case held that although government COVID-19 mandates required remote work arrangements, employers are still responsible for reimbursements of business expenses that occurred during that time. See Expense Reimbursement.
  • A Court of Appeal recently ruled that if the employer has a good faith belief that it is complying with wage and hour laws, it may preclude a finding of a “knowing and intentional” failure to comply with wage statement requirements. See Form of Wage Payment.
  • The minimum wage rate on certain federal contracts increased. See Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific Industries.
  • A new law sets in motion new standards for the fast-food industry. See Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific Industries..
  • A new law will begin raising the minimum wage for covered health care facility workers beginning June 1, 2024. See Wage and Hour Requirements for Specific Industries..

Hours of Work and Recording Time Worked

  • Labor Code section 512.2 provides an exception to the meal break requirement for airline cabin crew employees that meet certain conditions. See Meal and Rest Break Exceptions.


  • A recent court ruling found that employers can calculate non-discretionary percentage bonuses using the federal Fair Labor Standards Act calculation method rather than the method described in the Department of Labor Standards Enforcement Manual. See Calculating Overtime.
  • Agricultural employers under Wage Order 14 have been subject to phased in overtime changes over recent years depending on the employer size. See Overtime Exceptions for Specific Industries.

Unemployment Insurance

  • Effective January 1, 2024, you may provide materials related to benefit rights and claims via email in PDF, JPEG, or other digital image file type format, if the employee affirmatively — and in writing, by email or by some form of electronic acknowledgment — opts into receipt of electronic statements or materials. See Employer's Tax Obligations.

Health and Retirement Benefits

  • Minimum annual deductibles for Health Savings Accounts (HSA) for those who have high-deductible health plans (HDHP) are set for 2024. See Health Savings Accounts.
  • For 2024, if you have self-only HDHP coverage, you can contribute up to $3,850. If you have family HDHP coverage, you can contribute up to $7,750. See Health Savings Accounts.

Pregnancy Disability Leave

  • A recent court decision notes that requests for reasonable accommodation need not excuse an employee from performing the essential functions of their position. See Providing Reasonable Accommodation and Transfer.
  • Federal law requires employers with at least 15 employees to make reasonable accommodations for limitations related to a qualifying employee’s or job applicant’s pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, unless they can demonstrate the accommodation would impose an undue hardship. See See Providing Reasonable Accommodation and Transfer.

Paid Sick Leave

  • Effective January 1, 2024, California significantly expanded paid sick leave (PSL), increasing the minimum amount of PSL employers are required to provide. See Paid Sick Leave (PSL).
  • California’s expanded PSL law also changed the requirements for pre-existing employer policies to satisfy the law. See Calculating Leave - Employer Options.
  • California’s expanded PSL law also increased the cap on accrued leave from 48 hours to 80 hours, or six days to 10 days. See Calculating Leave - Employer Options.
  • A recent court decision now allows employees to bring a PAGA claim against their employer for violations of the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act, also known as paid sick leave. See Penalties for Non-Compliance.

Miscellaneous Time Off

  • California requires private employers with five or more employees, and all public employers, to provide reproductive loss leave to eligible employees with qualifying events. See Reproductive Loss Leave.

Violence in the Workplace

  • A new law that takes effect on July 1, 2024, enacts general industry workplace violence prevention requirements that mandates almost all California employers to develop a workplace violence prevention plan, train employees and maintain a log of violent incidents. See  California Workplace Violence Prevention Standards.
  • Effective January 1, 2025, employers will be able to seek a restraining order on behalf of an employee who has suffered “harassment,” an employee may remain anonymous on the restraining order petition for their safety, and their collective bargaining representative may also seek workplace violence restraining orders on their members’ behalf. See  “Obtain Restraining Orders” in Responding to Workplace Violence.

Workers’ Compensation

  • The sunset on the exemption from the ABC test for manicurists and subcontractors in the construction trucking industry was extended to January 1, 2025. See Independent Contractor and Workers’ Compensation.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, the COVID-19 presumptions in Labor Code sections 3212.86, 3212.87 and 3212.88 are expired. See COVID-19 and Workplace Injuries.
  • A bill passed in 2023 extended the presumption of psychiatric injury, specifically post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), that exists for firefighters and first responders who allege that they’ve suffered PTSD in connection with their work from January 1, 2025, to January 1, 2029. See Stress-Related Injuries Overview.
  • Special COVID-19 posting and notice requirements are no longer required as of January 1, 2024. See COVID-19 Notice Requirements.
  • The maximum weekly temporary disability payment for 2024 is $1,619.15, while the minimum is $242.86. See Benefits During Workers’ Compensation.
  • Bills effective January 1, 2024, have modified insurer fraud reporting, allowed the California Department of Insurance or county district attorneys to meet with insurers or self-insured employers to discuss insurance fraud, and amended multiple Insurance Code sections. See Penalties for Workers’ Compensation Fraud.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, it is unlawful for employers to discriminate in hiring, firing or setting conditions of employment based on cannabis use off the job and away from the workplace. See Employee Protection from Discrimination Overview.

Employment Discrimination

  • A California Court of Appeal found that although a religious school employee may engage in some religious teachings while performing their job duties, it may not be enough to exempt the religious school from employment discrimination laws. See Religion.
  • A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision clarified that under Title VII, undue hardship means the religious accommodation would result in “substantial increased costs in relation to the conduct of its particular business.” See Religion.
  • A recent Ninth Circuit decision shows how failing to engage in a good faith, interactive process to explore any and all possible reasonable accommodations exposes employers to liability as much as firing a person due to their religious beliefs. See Religion.
  • Beginning January 1, 2024, the FEHA prohibits employers from discriminating against an employee or job applicant based on the person's use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace. See Marijuana/Cannabis Use.
  • Contracting businesses performing employment-related work for an employer can be held directly liable for FEHA violations under a 2023 California Supreme Court decision. See Supervisor and Third-Party Liability for Discrimination and Retaliation.
  • The California Supreme Court recently held that an employee is also protected under California’s whistleblower law even when the employee reports information already known by the employer or a government agency. See Whistleblower Protection.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, California government agencies and courts will presume that an employer retaliated against an employee if the employer took an adverse action within 90 days of the employee’s protected activity. See Proving Retaliations.


  • In a recent case, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that employees may be able to support a hostile work environment claim by presenting evidence of regular exposure to violent, misogynistic music — even when the music’s message isn’t directed to a particular individual but is broadly offensive to both men and women. See Hostile Environment Harassment.
  • A California appellate court recently ruled that a supervisor’s lewd, late-night texts to a subordinate employee were unrelated to work and did not trigger strict liability for the employer. See Liability for Sexual Harassment.

Layoffs and Plant Closings

  • A law applying to supermarket or other grocery retail stores was expanded to apply to a distribution center owned and operated by a grocery establishment and used primarily to distribute goods to or from its owned stores, regardless of its square footage. See Displaced Worker.
  • Effective January 1, 2024, aggrieved employees or employee representatives may bring actions in court for violating requirements of the law applying to supermarket or other grocery retail stores, which can result in the award of hiring and reinstatement rights, front pay or back pay for each day the violations continue, value of benefits the employee would have received, punitive damages and attorney's fees. See Displaced Worker.
  • California created what is commonly referred to as a “right of recall” for certain employees that were laid-off due to COVID-19. Originally set to expire at the end of 2024, the law was extended another year to December 31, 2025. Additionally, revisions to the law added a COVID-19 related presumption, meaning that a covered employee separated from employment due to lack of business, reduction in force or other economic nondiscplinary reason is presumed to be separated due to a COVID-19-related reason unless the employer establishes otherwise. As such, employers should ensure they document all reasons for separations and reductions in force not related to COVID-19 in order to rebut the statutory presumption.See Displaced Worker.

Labor Relations in Private Employment

  • On September 6, 2022, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) submitted a proposed rule to return to the Browning-Ferris standard, and on October 26, 2023, it issued its final rule for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), returning to a modified version of Browning-Ferris effective December 26, 2023. See Covered Employers.
  • In June 2023, the NLRB overruled Super Shuttle and returned to the 2014 FedEx II standard in The Atlanta Opera, Inc. decision. See Excluded Employees.
  • In 2023, the Board expanded the test for determining concerted activity and returned to a fact-sensitive “totality of the circumstances” approach, as well as overruled a 2020 decision related to abusive conduct and reinstated several prior “setting-specific” tests used to determine when an employee’s outburst is protected by the NLRA. See Protected Concerted Activity in Union and Non-Union Workplaces Overview.
  • On August 2, 2023, the NLRB overruled the Boeing decision and adopted the new Stericycle standard for analyzing employee handbook rules and policies. See Employee Handbook and Employment Policies, Balancing of Protected Rights and Employer Justifications and Overly Broad Confidentiality Provisions.
  • On June 1, 2023, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the NLRA doesn’t preempt an employer’s state law claim that a union intentionally destroyed the employer’s property during a strike. See Misconduct of Strikers.
  • On August 25, 2023, the NLRB announced a new framework in Cemex Construction Materials Pacific for when employers must recognize a union without an election. See Representation and Election Process Overview.
  • In January 2023, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that three challenged provisions of the expedited election rules (2019 final rule) were improperly enacted without appropriate notice and comment, and then in August 2023, the NLRB adopted a final rule largely reversing the amendments made by the Board's 2019 election rule. See Representation and Election Process Overview.
  • In 2023, the Board issued two decisions regarding the statutory duty of employers to bargain with unions prior to changing terms and conditions of work. See Violating an Employer’s Duty to Bargain.