Hot List – What’s Happening in the California Legislature 5/15-5/19

Fisher Phillips
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Our weekly California Legislature “hot list” provides you with a preview of the bills that are up (as well as other important legislative action) the following week.

Assembly Floor (the following bills are eligible to be taken up at any time):

AB 46 (Cooper) – Gender Pay Inequality – Provides that the California Equal Pay Act applies to both public and private employers.

AB 168 (Eggman) – Salary History Information – Prohibits an employer from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment.  This bill also requires an employer, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant for employment.  Previous legislative efforts in this regard have not been successful.

AB 402 (Thurmond) – OSHA: Plume – Requires Cal/OSHA to convene an advisory committee to develop a regulation requiring health facilities to evacuate or remove surgical “plume” through the use of a plume scavenging system.  This bill is similar to AB 2272 from last year, which was vetoed by Governor Brown.

AB 500 (Gomez) – Employee Codes of Conduct – Requires a school that maintains a section on employee interactions with pupils in its employee code of conduct to provide a copy to parents and guardians of pupils and post in on the school’s website.

AB 568 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – School and Community College Employees: Paid Maternity Leave – Requires a school district or community college district to provide at least 6 weeks of paid pregnancy or related leave.

AB 889 (Stone) – “Secret” Settlements – Prohibits “secret” settlements and protective orders in specified cases involving the existence of a danger to the public health or safety.  Amendments were made to this bill that appear to clarify that it does not apply to employment claims.  However, business groups are still opposed because the standard required to obtain a protective order (such as to protect trade secrets) is too high and based only upon an allegation of a claim. 

AB 978 (Limón) – OSHA IIPPs – This bill requires employers, upon written request, to provide a copy of the written injury and illness prevention program (required under existing law) to an employee or authorized representative.  This bill is similar to AB 2895 from last year, which was not taken up on the Senate floor.

AB 1565 (Thurmond) – Overtime Salary Threshold – Provides that an executive, administrative or professional employee is exempt from overtime if they earn a monthly salary equivalent to $3,956 or twice the state minimum wage, whichever is higher.  As discussed here, this bill is a labor-supported response to the apparent demise (thus far) of the Obama Department of Labor effort to increase the salary threshold required for the overtime exemptions under federal law.

AB 1700 (Cooper) – Cannabis: OSHA Training – Requires applicants for a state cannabis license that do not have a collective bargaining agreement with a union to provide a statement that applicant employs (or will employ within one year of receiving a license) an employee who has successfully completed an OSHA 30-hour general industry course. 

Senate Floor (the following bills are eligible to be taken up at any time):

SB 33 (Dodd) – Arbitration Agreements – Provides that arbitration shall not be compelled when the petitioner is a financial institution and when the relationship with the consumer was created fraudulently or by unlawfully using the consumer’s personal identifying information.

SB 772 (Leyva) – Cal/OSHA Regulations – Existing state law requires an in-depth economic assessment (known as the Standardized Regulatory Impact Assessment – SRIA) of any regulation estimated to cost employers over $50 million.  This bill would exempt Cal/OSHA regulations from that requirement.  The author of this bill sponsored legislation last year (SB 1167) to require the adoption of an indoor heat illness standard.  She indicates that this bill is intended to help expedite the adoption of that regulation and argues that the SRIA requirement is duplicative and can lead to unnecessary delay. 

Senate Appropriations Committee – May 15, 2017 (Monday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 4203

SB 49 (Jackson) – California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017 – Among other things, this bill prohibits a state agency from amending or revising rules or regulations in a manner that is less stringent of workers’ rights than standards established pursuant to federal law in existence as of January 1, 2016. 

SB 219 (Wiener) – LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights – This bill would prohibit skilled nursing facilities, intermediate care facilities, and residential care facilities from taking specified actions based on a resident’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or HIV status, including refusing to use a resident’s preferred name or pronoun.

SB 225 (Stern) - Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Revises a specified human trafficking notice that certain establishments are required to post to include the ability to text certain hotlines, and makes other minor changes.

SB 258 (Lara) – Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 – This bill would require manufacturers of “cleaning products” to disclose chemical ingredients and other information.  However, the bill also impacts employers by requiring them to identify cleaning products and list the ingredients of products by labeling any container used in the workplace into which a cleaning product is transferred.

SB 306 (Hertzberg) – Retaliation – This bill dramatically revises retaliation claim procedures, and reflects language similar to that which has been proposed by Governor Jerry Brown in a budget trailer bill.  Among other things, this bill authorizes the Labor Commissioner to petition the court for injunctive relief (such as reinstating the employee) before completing an investigation and determining whether a violation has occurred.  The bill also requires the employer to pay attorneys’ fees and costs if the Labor Commissioner prevails in an enforcement action. 

Assembly Appropriations Committee – May 17, 2017 (Wednesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 4202

AB 450 (Chiu) – Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions – This bill puts California employers right in the middle of the national immigration debate by (1) requiring them to demand warrants and subpoenas from ICE prior to immigration worksite enforcement actions, and (2) requiring them to notify the Labor Commissioner prior to such actions (including I-9 self-audits), who in turn is authorized to conduct a wall-to-wall audit.  Read more about this bill here.

AB 676 (Limón) – Child Care and Development: OSHA Training – Requires early educators (as defined) to attend a one-time, two-hour training on OSHA risks specific to the child care profession.

AB 708 (Quirk-Silva) – OSHA: Responding Agency Notifications – Revises notice provisions that require specified first responders to notify Cal/OSHA after accidents involving specified injuries or death.

AB 912 (Obernolte) – California Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act – Requires state agencies to assist small businesses in complying with the law.  This bill also requires state agencies to provide for the reduction of civil penalties for small businesses under appropriate circumstances.

AB 1008 (McCarty) – “Ban the Box” – This bill would enact a statewide version of the “ban the box” ordinance recently adopted in Los Angeles.  Among other things, the bill prohibits employers from asking about or considering conviction history of an applicant until a conditional offer of employment has been made, and requires employers to provide certain information to applicants and allow for a 10-day opportunity for the applicant to submit evidence of mitigation or rehabilitation.

AB 1080 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Public Contracts: Bid Preferences: Employee Health Care Expenditures – Requires state agencies awarding public works and other specified contracts (including package delivery, custodial services, landscaping and parking attendants) to provide a 10 percent bid preference to a bidder or subcontractor that provided “credible health care coverage” during the 12 months preceding submission of the bid.

AB 1461 (Thurmond) – Food Delivery Enterprises – This bill, for purposes of existing law related to mandated food handler cards, defines a “food facility” to include a business organized for profit to receive food orders and fulfill those orders, if the employee works with unpackaged food.  This bill is aimed at food delivery services (such as Blue Apron).  It is sponsored by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union, and appears aimed at innovative food delivery enterprises that labor groups perceive as a threat to traditional grocery stores.

AB 1503 (Aguiar-Curry) – Farm Labor Contractors – Ensures that provisions of law related to farm labor contractor registration do not apply to the existing California Farm Academy Apprenticeship Program.

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