Employment Bills Awaiting the Governor’s Signature

by Sep 27, 2017Fall 2017 Newsletters

Kim Silvers, SPHR- CA, SHRM-SCP

As the triple digit temperatures fade in Sacramento, the state legislature wraps up its bills for the Governor’s signature or veto. We watch the employment related bills closely throughout the year and call our state Senator and Assemblymember’s offices to weigh in on the contents. Here are a few bills that are particularly concerning to us. The summaries are from the Legislative Counsel’s Digest sans any personal or professional remarks/kvetching from yours truly. (Just the facts, ma’am.) We’ll keep you posted on the outcome.

AB 168 (Salary Information) This bill would prohibit an employer from relying on the salary history information of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer an applicant employment or what salary to offer an applicant. The bill also would prohibit an employer from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment and would require an employer, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant for employment. The bill would not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information and would not prohibit an employer from considering or relying on that voluntarily disclosed salary history information in determining salary, as specified.

AB 450 (Immigration Worksite Enforcement Actions) This bill would impose various requirements on public and private employers with regard to federal immigration agency immigration worksite enforcement actions. Except as otherwise required by federal law, the bill would prohibit an employer or other person acting on the employer’s behalf from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless the agent provides a judicial warrant, except as specified. Except as required by federal law, the bill would prohibit an employer or other person acting on the employer’s behalf from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or court order, subject to a specified exception. …Penalties for failure to satisfy the prohibitions described above of $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.

AB 1008 (Ban the Box) This bill would repeal the prohibition on a state or local agency from asking an applicant for employment to disclose information regarding a criminal conviction. The bill would, instead, provide it is an unlawful employment practice under FEHA for an employer with 5 or more employees to include on any application for employment any question that seeks the disclosure of an applicant’s conviction history, to inquire into or consider the conviction history of an applicant until that applicant has received a conditional offer, and, when conducting a conviction history background check, to consider, distribute, or disseminate information related to specified prior arrests, diversions, and convictions.
This bill would also require an employer who intends to deny an applicant a position of employment solely or in part because of the applicant’s conviction history 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. The bill would require an employer who makes a preliminary decision to deny employment based on that individualized assessment to provide the applicant written notification of the decision.

AB 568 (School Districts/Community Colleges Paid Maternity Leave) This bill would require the governing board of a school district, the governing body of a charter school, and the governing board of a community college district to provide at least 6 weeks of a leave of absence with full pay for a certificated employee, or an academic employee, of the district or charter school who is required to be absent from duties because of pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, and recovery therefrom.

AB 1701 (Labor Related Liabilities for Original Contractor)  This bill would, for all contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, require a direct contractor, as defined, making or taking a contract in the state for the erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other work, to assume, and be liable for, specified debt owed to a wage claimant that is incurred by a subcontractor, at any tier, acting under, by, or for the direct contractor for the wage claimant’s performance of labor included in the subject of the original contract.

SB 63 (Parental Leave Rights for Smaller Employers) This bill would prohibit an employer, as defined, from refusing to allow an employee with more than 12 months of service with the employer, who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, and who works at a worksite in which the employer employs at least 20 employees within 75 miles, to take 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. 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 this leave.