Hot List – What’s Happening in the California Legislature 4/24-4/28

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.

Recap of Legislative Bill Activity Last Week – The following bills were acted upon this past week:

AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – “Opportunity to Work Act – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 46 (Cooper) – Gender Pay Inequality – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 168 (Eggman) – Salary History Information – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 238 (Steinorth) – Medical Cannabis: Distributors: Employment – The labor-related provisions were amended out of this bill.

AB 263 (Rodriguez) – Emergency Medical Services Workers “Bill of Rights” – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (6-1); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 353 (Voepel) – Veterans’ Preference – Hiring Policy – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-0); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 442 (Frazier) – OSHA Liability: Small Businesses and Microbusinesses – Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

AB 450 (Chiu) – Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions - Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

AB 543 (Chen) – Employment: Resident Apartment Manager Wages – Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

AB 581 (McCarty) – Apprentices – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-1); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 708 (Quirk-Silva) – OSHA: Responding Agency Notifications – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (7-0); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 817 (Flora) – Emergency Medical Services: Rest or Recovery Periods – Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

AB 1099 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Tips: Gig Economy – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1174 (Harper) – Right to Work – Failed passage in the Assembly Labor Committee (1-5).

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Gender Pay Differentials – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1425 (Kalra) – Apprentices – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1461 (Thurmond) – Food Delivery Enterprises – Passed the Assembly Health Committee (10-3); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1503 (Aguiar-Curry) – Farm Labor Contractors – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (7-0); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1548 (Fong) – Cal/OSHA Penalties – Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

AB 1556 (Stone) – Pregnancy Disability Discrimination – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (6-1); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1565 (Thurmond) – Overtime Salary Threshold – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 158 (Monning) – Commercial Driver’s License: Education – Hearing postponed until April 24, 2017.

SB 219 (Wiener) – LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights – Hearing postponed until April 25, 2017.

SB 225 (Stern) - Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (7-0); now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 270 (Atkins) – Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (7-0); now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 306 (Hertzberg) – Retaliation – Passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (5-1); now moves to the Senate Labor Committee.

SB 490 (Bradford) – Hair Salons: Commission Wages – Passed the Senate Appropriations Committee pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8 (negligible state costs); now moves to the Senate floor.

SB 621 (Bradford) – Overtime Compensation – Private School Teachers – Passed the Senate Appropriations Committee pursuant to Senate Rule 28.8 (negligible state costs); now moves to the Senate floor.

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

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.

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

SB 418 (Hernandez) – Public Works: “De Minimis” – Existing law provides that if public subsidies on a private development are “de minimis,” the project shall not thereby be subject to state prevailing wage requirements.  However, the law does not specifically define “de minimis.”  This bill would define “de minimis” to mean if it is both less than $275,000 and less than 2 percent of the total project cost.  Three previous legislative efforts in this regard have been attempted, but all were vetoed by Governor Brown.

SB 490 (Bradford) – Hair Salons: Commission Wages – This bill is brought in response to AB 1513 regarding piece rate wages and concerns that have been expressed by the salon industry.  This bill provides that wages paid to licensed employees, when paid as a percentage or a flat sum portion paid to the employer by the client, constitute “commissions,” provided that the employee is paid a regular hourly rate at least two times the state minimum wage.

SB 621 (Bradford) – Overtime Compensation – Private School Teachers – This bill is a follow-up to AB 2230 (Chu) from last year, which established a new earnings standard for designating private school teachers as exempt employees (de-coupled from the “twice the state minimum wage” standard).  This bill simply clarifies an ambiguity in the law by specifying a proportional salary applicable to part-time teachers.

Senate Appropriations Committee – April 24, 2017 (Monday) – 10:00 a.m. – Room 4203

SB 63 (Jackson) – New Parent Leave – This bill would provide up to 12 weeks of job-protected family leave to bond with a new child for employees that work for employers with 20 or more employees (as opposed to CFRA, which applies to employers with 50 or more employees).  This bill is similar to the author’s SB 654, which was vetoed last year by Governor Brown.  Notably, that bill only provided for six weeks of job-protected leave, whereas SB 63 would authorize up to 12 weeks.

SB 158 (Monning) – Commercial Driver’s License: Education - This bill would require DMV to adopt regulations related to entry-level driver training requirements for commercial drivers, including minimum hours of behind-the-wheel training (30 hours for a class A license, 15 hours for a class B license).

SB 295 (Monning) – Farm Labor Contractors – This bill provides that violations of specified sexual harassment training requirements applicable to farm labor contractors are violations of the Labor Code and subject to citation by the Labor Commissioner.  The bill also requires that sexual harassment training for each agricultural employee be in a language understood by that employee.

Senate PERS Committee – April 24, 2017 (Monday) – 1:00 p.m. (Room 2040)

SB 603 (Glazer) – BART Strikes – Following up on an issue that was central to this election campaign in 2015, Senator Glazer has introduced this bill to prohibit BART from entering into an agreement that would limit its ability to prepare for a work stoppage or operate during a work stoppage.

SB 604 (Glazer) – BART Strikes – As a companion to the previous measure, this bill would prohibit BART employees from engaging in a strike or work stoppage if BART had maintained all the provisions of an expired contract, and that contract contained a no strike provision.

Assembly Judiciary Committee – April 25, 2017 (Tuesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 437

AB 569 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Discrimination: Reproductive Health – Prohibits employers from taking adverse employment action against an employee based on his or her reproductive health decisions, including the use of any drug, device, or medical service related to reproductive health by the employee or a dependent.  This bill also prohibits employers from requiring workers to sign a code of conduct or similar document that purports to deny an employee the right to make his or her own reproductive health care decisions.

AB 1102 (Rodriguez) – Health Facilities: Whistleblower Protections – This bill prohibits discrimination and retaliation against employees of health facilities for refusing an assignment or a change in assignment on the basis that it would violate existing nurse-to-patient staffing ratios.

Senate Judiciary Committee – April 25, 2017 (Tuesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 112

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.

Senate Labor Committee – April 26, 2017 (Wednesday) – 9:30 a.m. – Room 2040

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.

SB 524 (Vidak) – Good Faith Defense – This bill would permit an employer to raise as an affirmative defense that, at the time of an alleged violation, the employer was acting in good faith, had sought, relied upon, and conformed with a published opinion letter or enforcement policy of the DLSE, and had provided true and correct information to the DLSE in seeking the opinion letter or enforcement policy. The bill would require any person who asserts the affirmative defense to post a bond, as specified.  Similar proposals have previously been tried but have not advanced past the first policy committee.

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.

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