New Employee Protections for California Employees in 2024

Legal ImageCalifornia continues to lead the nation in protecting employees. Here is a quick summary of a few laws effective 2024 that bolster legal protections for California employees.




Arbitration Appeal Delays (SB 365)

  • The new law will allow a worker or consumer’s case to move forward even if a company files an appeal, instead of putting their case on hold. 
  • This protects workers and consumers from the delay tactics corporations use when a trial court rules that a forced arbitration agreement is invalid.

Protecting Survivors from Weaponized Defamation Lawsuits (AB 933)

  • The new law protects survivors of sexual assault, harassment, and discrimination from defamation lawsuits by clarifying that statements made in good faith about their experience are a form of protected speech.
  • The new law provides relief to survivors in the form of reasonable attorneys’ fees and damages for successfully defending themselves against meritless defamation lawsuits. 
  • See Colby Law Firm’s page on Discrimination for more.

Protecting Workers Who Use Cannabis (AB 2188 & SB 700)

  • The new law makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate or penalize an employee based on the person’s use of cannabis off the job and away from the workplace.
  • The new law also makes it illegal for an employer to ask a job applicant if they’ve used cannabis.

Increased Paid Sick Leave (SB 616)

  • The new law increases paid sick time benefits for all full and part-time California workers from three days to a minimum of five paid sick days a year.
  • Both hourly and salaried employees qualify.
  • See Colby Law Firm’s page on Time Off Work for more.

Higher Minimum Wage (California Labor Code § 1182.12 & AB 1228 & SB 525)

  • A law passed in 2016 ties minimum wage increase to inflation and thus requires California’s minimum wage to increase to $16 per hour on January 1, 2024.
  • The new law increases the minimum wage for fast food workers to $20 an hour starting in April 2024.
  • The new law raises the minimum wage of health care workers to $23 an hour by June of 2024. The law applies to nursing assistants, medical technicians and janitorial workers.
  • See Colby Law Firm’s page on Wage and Hour for more.


Current or former employees with questions about their own situation should contact Colby Law Firm.