Hot List – What’s Happening in the California Legislature 5/8-5/12

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 – Hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee postponed by the committee.  This bill has reportedly been made into a “two-year” bill (meaning it will not move forward in 2017 but may be eligible for further action in January 2018).

AB 55 (Thurmond) – Refineries­ – Passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee (11-4); now moves to the Assembly floor.

AB 281 (Salas) – PAGA – Hearing canceled at the request of the author.

AB 326 (Salas) – Barbering and Cosmetology: Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Training – Passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee (16-0); now moves to the Assembly floor.

AB 353 (Voepel) – Veterans’ Preference – Hiring Policy – Placed on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file.

AB 387 (Thurmond) – Minimum Wage: Health Professionals: Interns – Placed on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file.

AB 581 (McCarty) – Apprentices – Placed on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file.

AB 831 (Patterson) – Tax Credits: Compliance – Placed on the Assembly Appropriations suspense file.

AB 889 (Stone) – “Secret” Settlements –Passed the Assembly Privacy & Consumer Protection Committee (6-3); now moved to the Assembly floor.

AB 1008 (McCarty) – “Ban the Box” – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1162 (Bocanegra) – Electrical Contractors – Passed the Assembly floor (75-0); now moves to the Senate.

AB 1425 (Kalra) – Apprentices – Passed the Assembly Appropriations Committee (11-5); now moves to the Assembly floor.

AB 1461 (Thurmond) – Food Delivery Enterprises – Hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee canceled at the request of the author.

AB 1556 (Stone) – Pregnancy Disability Discrimination – Passed the Assembly floor (62-5); now moves to the Senate.

AB 1701 (Thurmond) – Labor-Related Liabilities: Original Contractor – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (6-1); now moves to the Assembly floor.

SB 158 (Monning) – Commercial Driver’s License: Education – Passed the Senate floor (36-0); now moves to the Assembly.

SB 270 (Atkins) – Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Placed on the Senate Appropriations suspense file.

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

AB 55 (Thurmond) – Refineries­ – Existing law requires operators of refineries, when contracting out for construction and related work, to use a “skilled and trained workforce,” as defined.  However, that requirement does not apply to contracts awarded before January 1, 2014.  This bill requires a refinery operator who claims that exemption to file a copy of the contract with the administering agency.  A redacted copy of the contract would be a public record, available for inspection by the public.

AB 326 (Salas) – Barbering and Cosmetology: Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Training – Requires the State Board of Barbering and Cosmetology to require an applicant for a license to take a one-hour training on domestic violence and sexual assault awareness.

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 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 1425 (Kalra) – Apprentices – Requires contractors to provide specified contract information to the apprenticeship committee for each applicable craft or trade in the area of the public works project within 10 days of the execution of a contact (or not later than the first day work begins).  This bill also provides that a contractor or subcontractor that knowingly commits four or more apprenticeship violations in a three-year period shall be ineligible to bid on a public works contract for one year.

AB 1701 (Thurmond) – Labor-Related Liabilities: Original Contractor – This bill, sponsored by the California Conference of Carpenters, would make a general contractor on a construction project liable for wages or fringe benefits not paid by a subcontractor at any tier of the project.  The bill would also provide for a civil action to enforce this liability.

Senate Judiciary Committee – May 9, 2017 (Tuesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 112

SB 491 (Bradford) – Civil Rights: Discrimination: Enforcement – This bill requires DFEH to form an advisory group to, by December 31, 2018, determine the feasibility of authorizing local government entities to enforce FEHA.  If the advisory committee determines that it is feasible, it shall develop an implementation plan and proposed legislation, and present them to the Legislature.

Assembly Education Committee – May 10, 2017 (Wednesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 4202

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.

Assembly Appropriations Committee – May 10, 2017 (Wednesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 4202

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 263 (Rodriguez) – Emergency Medical Services Workers “Bill of Rights” – Requires an employer that provides EMS services to authorize and permit its employees to take rest periods, and to provide meal periods.  Recent amendments provide that an employer may require employees to monitor pagers, radios, or similar equipment during such breaks.  This bill also requires the Emergency Medical Services Authority annually to post specified information regarding violent incidents involving EMS providers in the performance of their duties.

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 1080 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Public Contracts: Bid Preferences: Employee Health Care Expenditures – Requires state agencies awarding public works contracts to provide a 2 percent bid preference to a bidder or subcontractor that provided “credible health care coverage” during the 12 months preceding submission of the bid.

AB 1099 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Tips: Gig Economy – This bill requires an employer who allows a patron to pay for services by debit or credit card to also accept a debit or credit card for payment of gratuity, payable not later than the next regular payday.  Recent amendments limit the bill to the following employers: hotels, car washes, licensed barbershops and salons (including nail salons), massage establishments, restaurants, and “gig employers” that use online platforms to connect customers with services.  It is also likely that this bill will be used as a vehicle for broader proposals related to the “gig” economy, such as the author’s unsuccessful AB 1727 from last year, which would have allowed gig economy workers to organize. This bill is definitely one to watch.

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Gender Pay Differentials – Requires employers with 250 or more employees to collect specified information on gender pay differentials.  The information must be published on a public website, submitted to the Secretary of State, and updated annually.

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 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.

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