Workplace Whirlwind

May 9, 2016 11:23 pm

Workplace Whirlwind: Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Family Leave Changes

The employment landscape is rapidly changing!  Sierra HR Partners is here to ensure you stay informed. This newsletter includes a few recent legislative developments that may impact your workforce.

CA Minimum Wage Increase

Minimum Wage Increase and Paid Family Leave Changes Starting in January 2017 California’s minimum wage will begin increasing to $15/hr. by 2022 as reflected in the following table. Employers with 25 or fewer employees will have one additional year to reach the $15/hr. mark with increases beginning January 2018. You should also note that an increase in minimum wage translates to a new minimum salary requirement for exempt status.

Increase Date

New Rate

New Salary Threshold

January 1, 2017 $10.50 $43,680
January 1, 2018 $11.00 $45,760
January 1, 2019 $12.00 $49,920
January 1, 2020 $13.00 $54,080
January 1, 2021 $14.00 $58,240
January 1, 2022 $15.00 $62,400

Paid Family Leave Changes

Effective January 2017 employees will no longer need to serve a seven-day, non-payable waiting period before receiving partial wage replacement benefits. Plus, the wage replacement rate will increase from current 55% to up to 70% dependent upon earnings.

Paid Family Leave is part of California’s temporary disability insurance program administered by EDD. It provides employees with up to six weeks of partial wage replacement benefits when on an approved leave of absence to bond with a new child or to care for a family member with a serious medical condition.

Updated Policy Prohibiting Unlawful Discrimination and Harassment As a follow-up to last month’s newsletter discussing the significant changes to California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) regulations on 4/1, Sierra HR Partners now has an updated standalone policy for your use. Contact one of our consultants for details.

Did you know?

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently published its first FMLA guide for employers. This publication follows an employee guide published a few years ago that is quite informative. According to the DOL the employer guide “provides essential information about the FMLA, including information about employers’ obligations under the law and the options available to employers in administering leave under the FMLA.”


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is a federal law that provides eligible employees of covered employers with unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons. Please note that if your employee’s leave also runs concurrently with CFRA (California’s medical leave) then you will need to also reference those state-specific regulations.

Sierra HR Partners is available to answer your questions on regulatory leaves of absences.

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