California Workplace Law Blog

Insight & Commentary on California Workplace Law Issues & Developments

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On September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1947, which extends the period to file a discrimination or retaliation complaint to one year with the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) or better known as the Labor Commissioner. Before the passage of this legislation, employees alleging they had been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law enforced by the California Labor Commissioner were required to file a complaint with…
Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2399 on September 30, 2020, which extended the definitions for Paid Family Leave under Sections 3302 and 3307 of the Unemployment Insurance Code to include additional coverage for active military members and their families.  The existing state Paid Family Leave program provided wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off to care for a seriously ill family member or bond with a minor child within one year of birth…
In a continued effort to reduce gender and racial pay gaps, on September 30, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law Senate Bill 973, which creates massive pay reporting requirements for employers.  In 2021, certain California employers will be required to submit annual information on its employees’ pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity to the state’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH).  A similar bill was introduced last year (following the…
On September 30, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 979, which requires publicly held corporations headquartered in California to diversify their boards of directors with directors from “underrepresented communities” by December 31, 2021. This bill is similar to Senate Bill 826, signed into law in 2018, which required publicly held corporations headquartered in California to include women on their boards. AB 979 defines “director from an underrepresented community” as “an individual who self-identifies…
California law already prohibits employers from taking certain employment actions against an employee for refusing to work in some circumstances where there is a real or apparent safety hazard to the employee or other employees. On September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2568, which extends that protection to include domestic work employees or employees that perform household services for an individual, such as cleaning, household maintenance, cooking, laundry, ironing, provide care for…
On September 29, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2537, which significantly expands upon employers’ existing baseline obligations for providing a safe and healthful work environment.  The new bill creates specific requirements regarding general acute care hospitals’ distribution and supply of personal protective equipment (PPE).  Its purpose is to protect healthcare workers from COVID-19. Before the passage of this legislation, California broadly required that employers provide safe and healthful places of employment and to…
On September 29, 2020, the Governor signed Assembly Bill 1963 which amends Section 11165.7 of the Penal Code, relating to mandated reporters of child abuse. The existing law, the Child Abuse, and Neglect Reporting Act, requires a mandated reporter, as defined, to report whenever they, in their professional capacity or within the scope of their employment, have knowledge of or observed a child whom the mandated reporter knows or reasonably suspects has been the victim…
On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1731 (“AB 1731”), which creates an alternative process for employers to submit and be approved for work-sharing plan programs. Previously some employees would be eligible for unemployment benefits if they were working less than their usual weekly hours and their employer was participating in a work-sharing plan that met specified requirements and was approved by the Director of Employment Development. Employers were required to submit to…
On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 1384, which (1) expands the California Labor Commissioner’s representation to arbitrations for claimants who cannot afford counsel, (2) requires employers to serve petitions to compel arbitration on the Labor Commissioner, and (3) allows the Labor Commissioner to represent claimants in proceedings to determine whether arbitration agreements are enforceable. SB 1384 modifies Labor Code section 98.4, which previously provided only that the Labor Commissioner could represent…
On September 28, 2020, Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 2017, which revises Labor Code § 233 (also known as the “Kin Care” law) to provide that an employee has the right to designate sick leave as for kin care; or for the employee’s own health condition or for obtaining relief if the employee is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. As such, employers should revise sick leave policies to ensure that…