Your Guide to 2017 Local, State, and Federal Compliance Updates

In an effort to fulfill GGRA’s mission of empowering the restaurant community, we want to be sure you are aware of the policy changes, compliance updates, and important deadlines around the corner. Please read through these updates and email Samantha with any questions or for additional information. We would like to thank the Miller Law Group for their support and assistance with this compliance update.

California’s Overtime Threshold Increase

Although President Obama’s Executive action that would have raised the salary requirements for exempt employees to $47,476/year was blocked, there will still be in increase come January 1, 2017. Because the overtime threshold is twice the minimum wage, it will increase with California’s minimum wage going to $10.50/hour. The new salary threshold for an employee to be exempt is $43,680/year. Additionally, please note that the block at the federal level is only temporary, so there may still be another increase. More information available here.

SAN FRANCISCO: IMPORTANT DATES & DEADLINES

2017 MINIMUM WAGE INCREASES (STATE & LOCAL)

For a complete list of Bay Area increases, click here to see the chart from Miller Law Group. Below you will find the increases along with updated postings in both English and Spanish.

California Minimum Wage increases to $10.50 on January 1, 2017.

January 1, 2017

July 1, 2017

  • Emeryville: 1 – 55 employees $14.00; 56+ employees $15.20 (posters not yet available)
  • San Jose: $12.00 (posters not yet available)
  • San Francisco: $14.00 (posters not yet available)

October 1, 2017

SAN FRANCISCO’S PAID PARENTAL LEAVE ORDINANCE

San Francisco’s Paid Parental Leave Ordinance goes into effect January 1, 2017 for employers with 50 or more employees. (If you have between 35 and 49 employees you must comply beginning July 1, 2017, and if you have between 20 and 34 employees you must comply beginning January 1, 2018.) Employees currently receive 55% of their salary through California’s Paid Family Leave program for up to 6 weeks of child bonding time. This legislation requires an employer to pay the remaining 45% of an employee’s salary (does not include tips) for up to 6 weeks of this child bonding time. To qualify, employees must work for and employer for 180 days, at least 8 hrs/week. The City should be releasing final rules in the coming weeks. For more information click here.

SAN FRANCISCO HEALTH CARE SECURITY ORDINANCE

There are several changes to the SF Healthcare Security Ordinance coming on January 1, 2017 that you should be aware of. First of all, new expenditure rates are as follows:

    • Large Business Rate (100 or more employees): $2.64 / hour
    • Medium Business Rate (20-99 employees): $1.76 / hour

Remember, you must post the new 2017 notice, which can be downloaded here. Additionally, remember that beginning in 2017, 100% of healthcare expenditures are irrevocable, meaning that they cannot at any time be recovered by or returned to the employer.

Additional changes have been made to San Francisco’s City Option in that they have launched the SF Covered MRA. If you have made contributions to the City Option for employees since October 1 of this year, your employees now need to enroll in the City Option. See the notice here. You may recall earlier this year when we reported the City’s update that their MRAs with no claims or employer deposits in 24 months or more would now be considered inactive and would be closed. Funds in closed MRAs are no longer be available to employees and now revert to the San Francisco Department of Public Health for public health programs.

BAY AREA MUNICIPAL SICK LEAVE UPDATES

While California’s sick leave law went into effect in the middle of last year, several Bay Area localities have their own ordinances to follow as well. San Francisco, Oakland, and Emeryville have all had sick laws on the books. Berkeley’s new sick leave law will go into effect on October 1, 2017 with the minimum wage increase. You can see a comparative chart of Bay Area sick leave laws provided by Miller Law Group here.

There are several changes to San Francisco’s ordinance that aligns it with the State (you should have been following these practices since July 1, 2015). The changes include:

  • Sick leave accrual beginning at the commencement of employment.
  • Sick leave can be used beginning the 90th day of employment.
  • Rehired employees can reinstate accrued sick leave if they are rehired within one year of the date of separation.
  • Employees can use sick leave if they have been victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking

CALIFORNIA’S UPDATED MENU LABELING REQUIREMENTS

The FDA is imposing new menu labeling requirements beginning May 5, 2017. The California Department of Public Health, however, decided to begin enforcement (without violations) on December 1, 2016. The requirement to post the number of calories in a menu item applies to businesses with more than 20 locations operating under the same name, regardless of the type of ownership of the locations, and offering for sale substantially the same menu items. More information is available here.

CALIFORNIA’S ALL GENDER RESTROOM REGULATIONS

San Francisco implemented All Gender Restroom legislation earlier this year, and beginning March 1, 2017, it will be required across the State. The law requires all single-occupancy restrooms in any business establishment, place of public accommodation, or government agency to be identified as “all gender” and be universally accessible. The law does not require you fix any infrastructure or plumbing but that you simply change the sign to make it clear all genders can use the restroom. See some sample signs and instructions from San Francisco here.

CALIFORNIA’S WAGE EQUALITY ACT OF 2016

Governor Brown passed a further extension of last year’s Fair Pay Act, extending unequal pay to cover race and ethnicity. This means that employers must not pay employees a wage rate less than the rate paid to employees of a different race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. This law is in conjunction with another restriction on salary history, in which an individual’s prior salary cannot, by itself, justify a wage differential. Both laws are effective January 1, 2017.

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