Two Costly New Laws to Open the New Year for Small Businesses

Date: November 17, 2020

Podcast: Another already in effect will add to more regulatory compliance headaches

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Nov. 17, 2020—The state’s leading small-business association today publicly shared a part of its educational campaign to forewarn its members and other Main Street entrepreneurs about two new laws awaiting them come the first of the year, and to remind them of another already in effect.

“I wish we could tell small businesses that fewer regulations and lower taxes were coming their way starting January 1,” said John Kabateck, California state director for NFIB, “but not even a pandemic could throw our State Legislature off course from their mad drive to create more burdens.”

The three current and soon-to-take effect laws are discussed in detail in a half-hour podcast featuring renowned labor and employment law attorney Ben Ebbink, a partner in the Sacramento firm of Fisher & Phillips, LLP. The current and coming new laws under review are:

  • the changes made to the California Family Rights Act made by Senate Bill 1383, which, among other things, dropped the employee threshold for complying with from 50 to five or more employees. Furthermore, the new leave time provisions can be taken in segments, including a whole day, and the new law severely crimps the flexibility of employers to work with their employees. Yes, it’s unpaid leave, but benefits must still be paid, and the job must be there for a returning employee
  • the new notification requirements for exposure to COVID brought about by Assembly Bill 685. Ebbink and NFIB California’s chief legislative advocate Kevin Pedrotti talk about what triggers an obligation to notify employees and if the information is public
  • and what legislative changes Senate Bill 1159, already in effect, made to the governor’s executive order making all COVID cases, for those working outside the home, workers’ compensation cases? What is a conclusive presumption vs. a rebuttable presumption? Will workers’ compensation premiums go up for small-business owners? “Essentially what this [new law] is doing, if you take a step back, is it’s shifting the medical costs of the COVID crisis onto the backs of the workers’ compensation system,” said Ebbink.

Previous NFIB California podcasts have discussed extending the state’s sales tax to services, Proposition 15, the political landscape in the state, and the lessons learned from the first round of Paycheck Protection Program loans and if there will be a second round. Click here to find them all in one place.

Contact: John Kabateck, California State Director, [email protected],
or Tony Malandra, Senior Media Manager, [email protected]

Keep up with the latest on California small-business at or by following NFIB on Twitter @NFIB_CA or on Facebook @NFIB.CA.


For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today. For more information, please visit

921 11th St. Ste. 400
Sacramento, CA 95814
Twitter: @NFIB_CA
Facebook: @NFIB.CA


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