California Employment Law Bills Update for Spring 2017
Modern Relics

A variety of new California employment law bills have been sprouting up this spring despite the February deadline to introduce bills in the California Legislature. Because California employment legislation is constantly changing, it’s important for employees to know what may soon impact them in the workplace. Here are five workplace-related bills that we think employees need to keep their eyes on.

5 New California Employment Law Bills to Watch

1) SB 63 – Expanded Parental Leave

California Senate Bill 63 proposes the New Parent Leave Act. If passed, this bill would require California companies who employ 20-49 people to offer workers unpaid, baby-bonding leave to new parents. The leave would be job-protected and allow more California workers who pay into the current paid family leave program to also take leave. Currently, companies who employ 50 or more workers in a 75-mile radius are required to provide parental leave to those eligible for up to 12 weeks in the first year after a birth of a baby or adoption of a child.

2) AB 1556 – Pregnancy Disability Discrimination

California Assembly Bill 1556 would amend provisions of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) related to pregnancy discrimination and leave. AB 1556 would replace the terms, “female employee” and “female person” with terms that are gender-neutral. This will help ensure that gender non-conforming, transgender and nonbinary people are reflected in pregnancy disability protections. The bill is sponsored by Equality California.

3) AB 450 – Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions

California Assembly Bill 450 is a direct response to the Trump administration’s immigration enforcement activities. While past California immigration bills supplemented federal laws, AB 450 stands alone. If passed, the bill would require employers to demand warrants and subpoenas from ICE prior to immigration worksite enforcement actions. The Labor Commissioner would also need to be notified prior to these actions. Wall-to-wall audits looking for violations of the law would then have to be conducted by the Labor Commissioner. If employers don’t comply with the law, they would face penalties between $10,000 and $25,000 per violation.

4) AB 1099 – Tips

California Assembly Bill 1099, or the California 1099 Self-Organizing Act, was first introduced in February, but there are recent amendments that now limit the bill to certain employers: hotels, car washes, licensed barber shops, salons, massage establishments, restaurants, and “gig employers” such as Uber and Lyft. If passed, the bill would require employers who allow patrons to pay for services via credit or debit card to also accept card payments of gratuity which would be payable no later than the next regular payday.

5) AB 1209: Gender Pay Differentials

California Assembly Bill 1209, or the Gender Pay Gap Transparency Act, would require California employers with 250 or more employees to report salary data by gender and classification to the Secretary of State. The annually-updated data would then be published online for the public to access. Similar laws have been passed in the UK, Austria, Sweden, and Belgium.

Contact a Los Angeles Employment Attorney

If your employer is subjecting you to employment discrimination or harassment, California employment laws may be able to protect you. Contact our expert Los Angeles employment attorneys at Hennig Ruiz for a free consultation today.