The final legislative deadlines for the Senate and Assembly are fast approaching before bills are submitted to the governor for review and approval. There have been several hundred legislative bills introduced in 2018 but the following five, if enacted, will directly impact employers in California.
AB-2841 Sick leave: accrual and use
California currently requires employers to provide at least 24 hours (three days) of paid sick leave to employees. This proposed bill would increase the amount of paid sick leave days to 40 hours (five days) of paid sick leave.
AB-2613 Failure to pay wages: penalties
The bill proposes to make employers and their officers personally liable for an additional penalty of $200 per employee, per pay period for wages that are not paid on time. The bill makes it clear that these proposed penalties “are in addition to, and entirely independent and apart from, any other damages or penalties provided for under this code”.
AB-2069 Medicinal cannabis: employment discrimination
This proposed bill would make it unlawful for an employer to discriminate against a person if the discrimination is based upon the person’s status as a qualified patient or person with an identification card entitled to the protections of the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 or the use of cannabis for medical purposes. The bill makes the medical use of marijuana a protected disability under state law: “When used to treat a known physical or mental disability or known medical condition, the medical use of cannabis by a qualified patient or person with an identification card, as those terms are defined in Section 11362.7 of the Health and Safety Code, shall be subject to reasonable accommodation, including the use of the interactive process.”
AB-3080 Employment discrimination: enforcement
AB 3080 would prohibit employers from entering into contracts that do not allow the employee from disclosing “an instance of sexual harassment that the employee “suffers, witnesses, or discovers in the workplace.”
The bill also prohibits the use of mandatory arbitration agreements in the workplace. Many employers are utilizing arbitration agreements as a quicker and less costly method of resolving workplace disputes. The bill, in its current form, would still allow the use of voluntary arbitration agreements.
SB-1284 Employers: annual report: pay data
SB 1284 would require employers with 100 or more employees to submit a pay data report to the Department of Industrial Relations. The report would need to include information such as the number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex listed by their job categories, and the number of employees “whose annual earnings fall within each of the pay bands used by the United State Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Occupation Employment Statistics survey.”
If approved by both houses, these bills will end up on the Jerry Brown’s desk for final review. As Brown approves or vetoes these bills throughout September, more updates will become available on the fate of these bills.