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Several new laws to affect both big and small Northstate businesses

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RED BLUFF, Calif. - Tehama County wants local businesses to be prepared for several new laws that go into effect January 1, 2018.

In total Governor Brown signed more than 800 bills into law this year including Assembly Bills 168 and 1008. Both deal with the hiring process and make changes to what can be asked on an application.

Since the bills were signed crews at Express Employment Professionals in Red Bluff have been busy making changes. Owner, Lisa Hansen, said these new laws will effect everyone from the smallest mom and pop shop to the larger retail stores.

"Year after year, it's becoming harder and harder for California employers to stay in business," said Hansen.

Under AB 1008 employers can no longer ask for criminal history, nor can they run a background check before making an offer. That offer can be contingent on those results.

"Adjust our application process whether it's just the paper applications as well as our online applications. Which I'm sure every employer in California is going to have to adjust what we've been doing all of these years," said Hansen.

She adds, "So there is lots of little nuances and changes within the law that employers are going to have to deal with."

AB 168 prohibits employers from asking for an applicants prior salary and using those numbers to determine pay for a position.

Joe Vine, owner of the Copy Center in Red Bluff said he disagreed with the criminal background check but said salary would not be an issue for him.

"I'm kind of on the thought if you value an employee and you think they're going to be coming in, that it would be helpful you pay them the wage that will get them in your shop," said Vine.

Other new laws include changes to minimum wage, the new parental leave act, new immigration laws and new harassment prevention training requirements. 

Because of the large number affecting local businesses the Red Bluff Chamber of Commerce is offering a seminar to bring everyone up to speed on the changes.

President and CEO Dave Gowan said the seminar will be held January 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Hampton Inn and Suites. It's free for the first two people per business and open to all employers throughout the Northstate.

"We just want people to know and to be aware and to be able to move forward with confidence in their business and what they have to do for their employees," said Gowan.

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