4 California Bills Employers Should be Aware of

This year, the state of California has introduced several bills that could significantly impact the workplace. From bills affecting the hiring process to the rules around granting employee leaves of absence, below is the legislation in progress that employers need to be aware of:

Prior Conviction History

AB 1008 would make it unlawful for an employer to ask questions or inquire into an applicant’s conviction history until that applicant has received a conditional offer. Additionally, the bill would require an employer who intends to deny an applicant a position of employment solely or in part because of the applicant’s prior conviction of a crime to make an individualized assessment of whether the applicant’s conviction history has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job, and to consider certain topics when making that assessment.

As of September 5, 2017, the bill has passed both houses and should soon move onto the governor’s desk for a final decision.

Opportunity to Work

A.B. 5 would create the Opportunity to Work Act which would require employers with at least 10 employees to first offer additional hours of work to an existing nonexempt staff before hiring additional employees or contractors.

This bill has not made much progress since May when the committee decided to postpone the appropriations committee hearing. The bill, however, remains active with potential to keep moving forward.

Pay Equity

A.B. 168 would ban employers from asking job applicants about their salary history. The bill would apply to all employers, including state and local governments. Additionally, the bill would require an employer, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant for employment.

Although this bill hasn’t had much movement since July 8, 2017, it has passed both houses and is awaiting a third hearing from the Senate.

Parental Leave

Under S.B. 63, employers with 20-49 employees within a 75-mile radius would have to provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. Eligibility for this leave would apply to female and male employees who have completed at least 12 months and 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12 month period. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes the leave. An existing law currently applies to businesses with 50 or more workers.

This bill has also passed both houses and awaits a third reading before it’s passed onto the governor for a final decision.

PAYDAY will continue to monitor the progress of these bills as they progress through the legislation process.

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