Labor Relations

Labor Relations legislation of importance enacted into law included SB 1211 (Romero) requiring the Employment Development Department (EDD) to determine an individual has been overpaid unemployment insurance benefits of those benefits are based on employment income from serving as an elected official; SB 1254 (Leno) allowing the Contractors State License Board to issue a stop work order when a contractor fails to provide adequate workers’ compensation coverage for employees; SB 1304 (DeSaulnier) requiring private employees to permit employees to take paid leaves of absence, similar to those currently available to public employees; AB 569 (Emmerson) exempting employees in certain industries from meal period laws if the employees are covered by a collective bargaining agreement; AB 1696 (Berryhill) extending workers’ compensation death benefits until the youngest child reaches age 19 if the parent served in a specified public position and was killed on duty; AB 2055 (De La Torre) allowing a person who imminently will be in a registered domestic partnership to become eligible to receive unemployment insurance benefits; AB 2058 (Block) allowing unemployed workers receiving unemployment benefits to continue their coverage while enrolled in job training or education courses to develop skills necessary for the state’s changing work environment; AB 2188 (Bradford) allowing disability insurance benefits to be paid through direct deposit and debit card; AB 2364 (Nava) permitting EDD to award unemployment insurance benefits to workers who leave their jobs to protect family members from domestic violence; and AB 2433 (Ruskin) allowing EDD to share employment tax information to assist in the administration of tax programs; and AB 2774 (Swanson) establishing rebuttable presumption as to when an employer commits a serious violation of the provision requiring an employer to provide employees with a safe workplace.

Vetoed Labor Relations legislation included SB 145 (DeSaulnier) which would have prohibited documentation on the basis of specified protected classes for purposes of apportioning permanent disability; SB 903 (Wright) which would have extended the statutes of limitation period from one year to three years for collection actions brought by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; SB 1121 (Florez) which would have deleted the overtime pay and meal periods exemptions for agricultural workers; SB 1230 (DeSaulnier) which would have required employers to post information related to human trafficking, including the phone number to two toll-free, anti-human trafficking hotlines that provide services in support of the elimination of human trafficking; SB 1370 (Ducheny) which would have required that all employees who are paid by commission are provided with a written contract on the terms and conditions of employment; SB 1397 (Corbett) which would have streamlined auditing requirements and limited duplicative organizational membership on the California Apprenticeship Council; SB 1472 (Leno) which would have required EDD to develop and implement an outreach plan to inform employers in California of the Shared Work program; SB 1474 (Steinberg) which would have required the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to certify a labor organization for purposes of collective bargaining if a representation election has been set aside for employer misconduct, as specified; AB 482 (Mendoza) which would have prohibited the use of consumer audit reports for employment purposes, except as specified; AB 677 (Solorio) which would have provided that specified work related to renewable energy generation be considered “public works” for purposes of prevailing wage law; AB 933 (Fong) which would have required physicians in the workers’ compensation system who conduct utilization reviews to be licensed in California; AB 1881 (Monning) which would have increased the amount of liquidated damages that may be awarded to an employee to twice the amount of the wages unlawfully unpaid, plus interest; AB 2032 (Davis) which would have levied a fee to fund the administration of permits for minors in the entertainment industry, as well as to fund enforcement of working conditions for minors in the entertainment industry; AB 2187 (Arambula) which would have increased criminal penalties for willful failure to pay wages; AB 2340 (Monning) which would have given employees in California the right to take three days of unpaid time off in the event of the death of certain relatives; AB 2468 (De Leon) which would have authorized an employer to use the designation “Breast-Feeding Mother-Friendly Workplace” in their promotional materials if the employer submits its workplace breast-feeding policy to the Labor Commissioner; AB 2490 (Jones) which would have regulated agreements concerning dispute resolution, other than settlement agreements resolving particular disputes, made between an employer and a workers’ compensation insurer by requiring choice of law and forum selection provisions providing for California law, as specified; AB 2726 (Lowenthal) which would have allowed apprenticeship programs approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards to be counted as job placement and would have directed the state and local Workforce Investment Boards to ensure that programs and services funded by the California Workforce Investment Act work in coordination with apprenticeship programs; and AB 2770 (Monning) which would have established a pilot program to investigate employment and payment practices within the swimming pool and spa construction industries underground economy.