CAPS Strike Hardship Fund Update. The CAPS Member Benefits Committee has recently disbursed the first round of CAPS Strike Hardship Fund checks. As described in the CAPS Strike Hardship Fund, applications to the Hardship Fund must be received within 60 days following the Job Action, which is January 16, 2024. Fund distribution is prioritized by reviewing each application against a rubric. You will be notified via mail if your application is approved. All approved applicants will receive notification on or before January 31, 2024, if they are to receive any distribution of the hardship funds.
Reproductive Loss Leave. Effective January 1, 2024, Senate Bill 848 (Chapter 724, Statutes 2023) added section 12945.6 to the Government Code. In summary, pursuant to this section, all state employees who have been employed for at least 30 days, are entitled up to a maximum of five days of reproductive loss leave for a reproductive loss event. A reproductive loss event means the day or, for a multiple-day event, the final day of a failed adoption, failed surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or an unsuccessful assisted reproduction. Leave under this statute is unpaid, unless there is an existing policy that requires paid leave. Reproductive loss leave is a separate and distinct right from any other right under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and the Family Medical Leave Act. Employers must maintain the confidentiality of any employee requesting reproductive loss leave. Read in more detail about this new leave here.
New Off-the-Clock Cannabis Use Protections for Workers. New for 2024, effective January 1, two laws went into effect in California, protecting worker’s rights with regard to cannabis use when off-the-clock. One, SB 700, prevents an employer from discriminating against an employee because of their use of cannabis off-the-clock, or from asking about a prospective employee’s prior use of cannabis on an application. The second law, AB 2188, is similar, but allows the California Civil Rights Department to investigate and prosecute violations of this act. There are exceptions to both laws. First, employers can still perform pre-hire drug screenings and choose not to hire someone on the basis of the presence of cannabis metabolites, and employers in the building and construction trades and anyone requiring a federal background clearance for their job are exempt from this law.
Federal Mileage Increase for 2024. Effective January 1, 2024, the personal vehicle mileage reimbursement rate for all state employees is 67 cents per mile. The relocation/moving mileage reimbursement rate for all current state employees and new hires to state service is 21 cents per mile. You can view the related HR Manual Policy here: 2202 – Mileage Reimbursement.