California Employers: 2022 labor laws

labor laws 2022

California Employers: 2022 is right around the corner!

Here is a summary of important things to know for California employers (see below for two updates regarding New York City and Georgia as well):

  • California minimum wage is increasing to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2022, for employers with 26 or more employees. The minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase to $14.00 per hour on January 1, 2022.  There may be additional local minimum wage ordinances that affect your business. Non-CA Employers, please be aware of minimum wages in your respective cities/states as well.
    • Action Items: Audit your pay records to ensure all employees receive appropriate increases and also test your exempt employee classifications to ensure your exempt employees continue to meet the salary thresholds of $58,240 for employers with 25 or fewer employees and $62,400 for employers with 26 or more employees.
  • Wage and hour claims are on the rise. Beginning January 1, 2022, the California Labor Commissioner is allowed to place liens on real property to recover penalties owed for violations of the labor code.
    • Action Items: We recommend an annual audit of your wage and hour and miscellaneous HR practices, particularly due to COVID-19, policies and practices surrounding vaccinations, and the evolution of the remote workforce. We also recommend auditing your meal and rest break records and practices to ensure compliance by employees/managers and utilization of applicable attestation forms. Additionally, now is a good time to ensure you have the applicable wage orders posted where employees can easily access them. This is a requirement that is often overlooked by employers.
  • 2022 State and Federal Labor Law posters are available for purchase and must be posted at designated worksites. Remote workforce employees must be issued labor law posters at their worksites/home offices.
    • Action Items: CA 2022 labor law posters are available at Cal Chamber or other reputable vendors. We recommend Cal Chamber as they provided updates as they become available. Also ensure having applicable Remote Work Policies and procedures and signed Work Agreements for your Remote Workforce.  Please contact your consultant regarding electronic labor posters and appropriate policies and agreements.
  • Wage Theft: Effective January 1, 2022, intentional theft of wages, including non-payment of gratuities and bonuses by a California employer in an amount greater than $950 from one employee or $2350 from two or more employees in 12 month period is punishable as grand theft.  Independent contractors are also covered for the purposes of this criminal offense.
    • Action Items: Audit your wage and hour practices and ensure timely payment of all wages including gratuities and bonuses. Also ensure true-up of all overtime pay based on bonuses and other factors which impact the overtime rate.
  • Production Quotas: Effective January 1, 2022, warehouse distribution center employers in California must provide written descriptions of quotas for employees upon hire.  It also prohibits quotas that would prevent employees from complying with meal or rest periods or health and safety laws.  

In other State news:

  • Monday December 6, 2021 – New York City: Effective December 27, 2021, all private sector employees in New York City must be vaccinated in order to work in person.
  • Tuesday, December 7, 2021: a Georgia federal judge issued a nationwide injunction blocking the vaccine mandate that had been issued by the Biden administration for federal contractors.  This will impact employers across the U.S. Stay tuned for more updates on this subject.

We are continuing to closely monitor the status of OSHA and Cal/OSHA vaccine mandates as well as other federal and state-specific changes. Please continue to check our blog page for the most current updates or to catch up on our previous posts.

Our team at CA HR Services/Nationwide HR Services is here to assist with reviewing and updating your policies, practices and documents in light of these changes.

For more information call 858.683.6612 or email at