Navigating Recent Changes in California Employment Law

Keeping up with the dynamic terrain of employment law is essential, particularly for employees who want to understand their rights. This couldn’t be more true in California, a state known for pioneering progressive employment legislation. This guide will enlighten you about the latest trends in California employment law and wrongful termination and highlight why consulting with an employment lawyer may be beneficial.

Broadening of Employee Rights and Protections

California has always championed the rights of workers, and the introduction of new legislation has further advanced this cause. One such important development is the Senate Bill 1383 (SB-1383), which took effect from January 1, 2021. This bill has widened the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), extending family and medical leave rights to those working in companies with as few as five employees. This significant change can impact a vast number of employees, providing them with new, enhanced protections.

Employee vs. Independent Contractor Status

A crucial trend in California employment law involves how workers are classified. Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5), effective from January 2020, brought about a new “ABC test” to differentiate between independent contractors and employees. However, the passing of Proposition 22 in November 2020 allows app-based transportation and delivery companies to continue treating drivers as independent contractors. This constantly changing area of law can directly impact your employment status and associated rights, making legal advice increasingly valuable.

Rising Incidence of Wrongful Termination Lawsuits

There’s been an uptick in wrongful termination lawsuits in California in recent years. If you’ve been fired due to discriminatory reasons, retaliation, or a violation of public policy, you may have a case for wrongful termination. The increasing number of these lawsuits is indicative of employees becoming more aware of their rights and the legal protections available to them.

High-profile cases like the recent Google wrongful termination lawsuit have drawn attention to the issue of wrongful termination. Instances like these underscore the importance of knowing your rights as an employee and seeking legal counsel if you believe you’ve been wrongfully terminated.

COVID-19 and Its Impact on Employee Rights

The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated significant changes to employment laws. New protections have been introduced to safeguard employees unable to work due to COVID-19 related circumstances. Such changes demonstrate California’s commitment to adapting its employment laws to protect workers during unprecedented situations.

Final Thoughts

Staying updated with the latest changes in employment law is crucial in understanding and safeguarding your rights as an employee. However, laws can be complex, and that’s why consulting an employment lawyer can be incredibly helpful. An experienced lawyer can provide advice tailored to your situation, helping you navigate the intricacies of employment law.

As the landscape of California employment law continues to evolve, it becomes increasingly important for employees to stay informed and advocate for their rights. Remember, knowledge is power, and professional legal guidance can provide the support you need in the ever-changing world of employment law.


  1. Senate Bill 1383 – California Legislative Information
  2. Assembly Bill 5 – California Legislative Information
  3. Proposition 22 – Official Voter Information Guide
  4. Wrongful Termination – California Department of Industrial Relations
  5. Google Wrongful Termination Lawsuit – Bloomberg
  6. COVID-19 and Employee Rights – California Department of Industrial Relations