Hot List – What’s Happening in the California Legislature 6/26-6/30

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 568 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – School and Community College: Paid Maternity Leave – Passed the Senate Education Committee (4-1); now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

SB 63 (Jackson) – New Parent Leave – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-1); now moves to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

SB 201 (Skinner) – Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) – Passed the Assembly Higher Education Committee (9-3); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 219 (Wiener) – LGBT Long-Term Care Facility Resident’s Bill of Rights – Passed the Assembly Aging Committee (5-0); now moves to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

SB 225 (Stern) - Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee (11-0); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 285 (Atkins) – Public Employers: Union Organizing – Passed the Assembly PERSS Committee (5-1); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

SB 295 (Monning) – Farm Labor Contractors – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.

SB 306 (Hertzberg) – Retaliation – Passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee (8-2); now moves to the Assembly Labor Committee.

SB 548 (Atkins) – PERB: Expedited Petitions – Passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee (8-2); now moves to the Assembly Labor Committee.

SB 772 (Leyva) – Cal/OSHA Regulations – Passed the Assembly Labor Committee (5-2); now moves to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

Senate B&P Committee – June 26, 2017 (Monday) – 12:00 p.m. – Room 3191

AB 1700 (Cooper) – Cannabis: OSHA Training – Requires applicants for a state cannabis license 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 Public Employment Committee – June 26, 2017 (Monday) – 2:00 p.m. – Room 2040

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

Assembly Judiciary Committee – June 27, 2017 (Tuesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 437

SB 33 (Dodd) – Arbitration Agreements - Provides that arbitration is not compelled when the court determines that a petitioner is a financial institution that seeks to apply a written agreement to arbitrate, contained in a contract consented to by a consumer, to a purported contractual relationship with that consumer created fraudulently by the petitioner without the consumer’s consent and by unlawfully using the consumer’s personal identifying information.

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.

Assembly Environmental Quality Committee – June 27, 2017 (Tuesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 444

SB 49 (De León) – California Environmental, Public Health, and Workers Defense Act of 2017 – Among other things, this bill prohibits a state agency that implements specified federal laws from amending or revising its rules and regulations in a manner that is less stringent in its protection of workers’ rights or worker safety than standards established by federal law in existence as of January 1, 2016.

Senate Judiciary Committee – June 27, 2017 (Tuesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 112

AB 260 (Santiago) – Human Trafficking – This bill adds hotels, motels, bed and breakfast inns, and similar transient lodging establishments, other than personal residences, to the list of businesses and other establishments that are required to post information about human trafficking on their premises.

Assembly Appropriations Committee – June 28, 2017 (Wednesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 4202

SB 201 (Skinner) – Higher Education Employer-Employee Relations Act (HEERA) – Grants collective bargaining rights to students employed as research assistants (RAs) at the University of California, the California State University, and the Hastings College of Law. 

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 of 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 Labor Committee – June 28, 2017 (Wednesday) – 9:30 a.m. – Room 2040

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.  In addition, existing law requires a worker, among other requirements, to have completed, within the prior 2 calendar years, at least 20 hours of approved advanced safety training for workers at high hazard facilities to qualify as a “skilled journeyperson” for purposes of performing this work.  This bill would instead require a worker to have completed, within the prior 4 calendar years, at least 20 hours of this approved advanced safety training.

AB 199 (Chu) – Public Works: Residential Projects – Defines “public works” for prevailing wage law purposes to include private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with successors to redevelopment agencies.  As introduced, this bill would have applied prevailing wage requirements to almost all private residential construction.  After intense opposition, the bill has been amended to its current form, but this bill should continue to be watched closely.

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, and makes special accommodations for air ambulances.  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 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 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 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 581 (McCarty) – Apprentices – Imposes certain recordkeeping requirements on apprenticeship programs that receive specified grant funds from the California Apprenticeship Council.  If the program is found to be using grant funds for purposes other than training apprentices, the program shall be ineligible to receive future grants and their registration may be rescinded.

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 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 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 respond.

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 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.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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