Bill Introduction -- Labor & Employment

AB 10 (Alejo): This bill would increase the minimum wage, as of January 1, 2012, to not less than $8.50 per hour.

AB 51 (Yamada): This bill would state that it is the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation to define "payroll card" and that would impose restrictions on the use of those cards by an employer to pay his or her employees' wages.

AB 196 (Carter): This bill would authorize an employer to deposit an employee' s wages or advance on wages in an industrial bank or a trust company.  In addition, this bill would permit an employer to transfer an employee's wages or advance on wages to a card issued by a specified financial institution, if the employee voluntarily authorizes the transfer and the card can be used to access funds at an automated teller machine in California, provided the employee is entitled to at least one pay card transaction without charge per pay period.  The bill would also refer to a savings association instead of a savings and loan association. This bill would authorize the employer to provide the accurate itemized statement electronically, provided that the electronic statement contains all required information and the employer provides the employee with electronic access in a confidential setting during normal business hours to print the statement.

AB 197 (Monning): Under existing law, in a court action to recover wages unpaid in violation of the minimum wage set by the Industrial Welfare Commission within the Department of Industrial Relations, the court may award liquidated damages to an employee equal to the amount of wages unlawfully unpaid, plus interest.  This bill would increase the amount of liquidated damages that may be awarded to an employee to twice the amount of the wages unlawfully unpaid, plus interest.

AB 231 (M. Perez): This bill would rename the Enterprise Zone Act as the California Economic and Community Development Zone Act.  This bill would delete the provisions governing Manufacturing Enhancement Areas and targeted tax areas, and make various revisions in the requirements for designating and administering enterprise zones and LAMBRAs, and G-TEDA collectively.

AB 232 (M. Perez): The Enterprise Zone Act provides that its purpose is to stimulate business and industrial growth in the depressed areas of the state by relaxing regulatory controls that impede private investment.  This bill would delete that purpose and instead provide that the purpose of the act is to help stabilize local communities, alleviate poverty, and enhance the state's economic prosperity through the implementation of public and privately funded programs and services that stimulate business and industrial growth in the depressed areas of the state.

AB 267 (Swanson): This bill would make void and unenforceable as against public policy any provision in an employment contract that requires an employee, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, to use a forum other than California, or to agree to a choice of law other than California law, to resolve any dispute with an employer regarding employment-related issues that arise in California, and would make related changes.

AB 273 (Valadao): Existing law requires the Department of Finance to adopt and update, as necessary, instructions for inclusion in the State Administrative Manual that prescribe the methods that any agency shall use in making certain determinations relating to the impact of proposed regulations.  Existing law also authorizes the department to review any estimate prepared pursuant to these provisions for content.  This bill would additionally require the department to adopt and update instructions for inclusion in the State Administrative Manual that prescribe the methods that any agency shall use in making certain determinations, estimates, statements, and findings relating to the economic and cost impacts of a regulation on businesses and private individuals.  The bill would require, instead of authorize, the department to review these determinations, estimates, statements, and findings for content.  This bill would require the department, if it determines that an agency's determinations, estimates, statements, or findings are erroneous or otherwise inconsistent with the prescribed guidelines, criteria, or formats, to submit its determinations to the agency in the form of public comment to be considered by the agency.

AB 274 (Garrick): Existing law requires the Employment Development Department to provide notice of the filing of an unemployment claim to the claimant' s last employing unit, and requires the employing unit to submit, within 10 days after the mailing of the notice, any facts that may affect the claimant's eligibility for benefits, as specified.  This bill would extend the time in which the employing unit is required to submit those facts to 30 days and would make conforming changes to other related provisions.

AB 325 (Lowenthal): Existing law provides employees with the right to take time off work without discharge or discrimination for a number of reasons.  This bill would add the right to inquire about, request, and take time off for bereavement leave.  The provisions of the bill would not apply to an employee who is covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement that provides for bereavement leave and other specified working conditions.

AB 400 (Ma): This bill would provide that an employee who works in California for 7 or more days in a calendar year is entitled to paid sick days, as defined, which shall be accrued at a rate of no less than one hour for every 30 hours worked.  An employee would be entitled to use accrued sick days beginning on the 90th calendar day of employment.  The bill would require employers to provide paid sick days, upon the request of the employee, for diagnosis, care, or treatment of health conditions of the employee or an employee's family member, or for leave related to domestic violence or sexual assault.  An employer would be prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who requests paid sick days.  The bill would require employers to satisfy specified posting and notice and recordkeeping requirements.

AB 465 (Berryhill): This bill would, on and after July 1, 2012, provide for the regulation of gardening or landscape maintenance services, as defined.  The bill would require a local jurisdiction to obtain from an applicant for issuance or renewal of a business license who provides gardening or landscape maintenance services, (1) documentation that he or she has workers' compensation coverage or is exempt from those coverage requirements and proof of current licensure as a contractor issued by the Contractors' State License Board, or (2) a signed acknowledgment of the consequences of performing the duties of a contractor without a license. The bill would impose a civil penalty, as specified, on an applicant who provides false information with respect to an application, and would authorize certain persons to obtain an injunction under specified circumstances.

AB 469 (Swanson): Spot bill relative to civil penalties and wages.

AB 514 (Hernandez): Spot bill relative to labor commissioner.

AB 524 (Garrick): Spot bill relative to unemployment insurance.

AB 553 (Monning): This bill would declare the findings of the Legislature regarding the rights of workers to be protected from exposure to hazardous substances and toxic materials in the workplace.

AB 554 (Atkins): This bill would require the California Workforce Investment Board and each local board to ensure that programs and services funded by the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 and directed to apprenticeable occupations, including preapprenticeship training, are conducted in coordination with one or more apprenticeship programs approved by the Division of Apprenticeship Standards for the occupation and geographic area.  The bill would also require the California Workforce Investment Board and each local board to develop a policy of fostering collaboration between community colleges and approved apprenticeship programs in the geographic area to provide preapprenticeship training, apprenticeship training, and continuing education in apprenticeable occupations through the approved apprenticeship programs.

AB 558 (Portantino): This bill would, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2011, and before January 1, 2013, waive that penalty tax for any early distribution, of up to $25,000 per taxable year, on individuals who have either exhausted or are ineligible for unemployment insurance benefits.

AB 592 (Lara): Existing law, the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for an employer, as defined, to refuse to grant a request by an eligible employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period (1) to bond with a child who was born to, adopted by, or placed for foster care with, the employee, (2) to care for the employee's parent, spouse, or child who has a serious health condition, as defined, or (3) because the employee is suffering from a serious health condition rendering him or her unable to perform the functions of the job. This bill would also make it an unlawful employment practice for an employer to interfere with, or restrain the exercise or attempted exercise of, any right provided to an employee under the above provisions.

AB 692 (Hall): Existing law authorizes the State Personnel Board to hold hearings and make investigations concerning matters relating to the administration of the civil service.  These provisions require, among other things, that a hearing or investigation be commenced within a reasonable time after the filing of the petition whenever a hearing or investigation is conducted in regard to an appeal by an employee.  This bill would revise that provision to require that employee termination cases take priority over all other cases that were initiated within the previous 6 months.

AB 766(Monning): This bill would provide that nothing in the Labor Code shall limit the authority of the Attorney General or the district attorney of any county to prosecute civil or criminal actions for violations of that code, or to enforce the provisions of that code, without specific direction from the Director of Industrial Relations.

AB 804 (Yamada): This bill would expand the scope of the family temporary disability program to include time off to care for a seriously ill grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law, as defined.  bill would make conforming and clarifying changes in provisions relating to family temporary disability compensation.

AB 830 (Olsen): This bill would permit an individual nonexempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow an employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional hours in a workday.  The bill would require the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the Department of Industrial Relations to enforce this provision and adopt regulations.

AB 836 (Galgiani): Spot bill relative to employment.

AB 872 (Jones): Spot bill relative to employment and compensation.

AB 889 (Ammiano): This bill would specially regulate the wages, hours, and working conditions of domestic work employees, as defined.  Specifically, this bill would, among other things, provide a private right of action for a domestic work employee when those regulations are violated by his or her employer; provide an overtime compensation rate for domestic work employees; require annual pay increases, paid vacation, and paid sick days for domestic work employees; and require that a domestic work employer provide written notice of termination 21 days in advance.

AB 923 (Fong): This bill would, beginning January 1, 2014, create the Lifelong Learning Accounts Initiative Program, for the purpose of providing grants to employers and employees to be used to establish individual lifelong learning accounts, as defined, for the deposit of funds to be used by those employees and employers for purposes related to lifelong education and training.  The bill would require the department to establish a grant program and implement and administer the program, as specified.  The bill would establish in the State Treasury a Lifelong Learning Program Fund to receive contributions to be used in the program.  The bill would require the department to prepare and submit a report to specified legislative fiscal and policy committees, evaluating the effectiveness of the program, as prescribed.  The bill would provide that its provisions shall only be implemented if the Director of Finance makes a written determination that there are sufficient funds from sources other than the General Fund available for that purpose.

AB 975 (Ma): This bill would prohibit a person or entity from providing, advertising for, or otherwise holding itself out as providing, professional employer services in the state, unless that person or entity is registered as a professional employer organization with the department.  The bill would require the director to prescribe rules establishing the method for professional employer organizations to report quarterly wages and contributions to the director for worksite employees, as specified.

AB 1115 (Lara): This bill would authorize individuals who are eligible to receive training services under federal law to have the opportunity to select any of the eligible training providers from any of the local areas in the state.  The bill would require the California Workforce Investment Board to establish a procedure for use by local workforce investment boards in determining the eligibility of a provider of training services, as prescribed, in accordance with various requirements.

AB 1136 (Swanson): This bill would require an employer to have a zero lift/safe patient handling policy for patient care units, and to provide trained lift teams or staff trained in safe lifting techniques in each general acute care hospital.  The policy would require the replacement of manual lifting and transferring of patients with powered patient transfer devices, lifting devices, or lift teams.

AB 1179 (Mansoor): Under existing law it is unlawful for an employer to withhold or deduct any amount from an employee's wages except when authorized to do so by federal or state law or when expressly authorized by the employee, or a collective bargaining or wage agreement.  This bill would provide that nothing in these provisions or other law authorizes an employer to deduct from the wages, earnings, or compensation of an employee any union dues, fees, assessments, or other charges to be used by an organization for political activities.

AB 1396 (Committee on Labor & Employment): Existing statutory law, which has been held invalid by existing case law, requires an employer who has no permanent and fixed place of business in the state and who enters into a contract of employment involving commissions as a method of payment with an employee for services to be rendered within the state to put the contract in writing and to set forth the method by which the commissions are required to be computed and paid.  An employer who does not comply with those requirements is liable to the employee in a civil action for triple damages.  This bill would, by January 1, 2013, make this contract requirement applicable to all employers entering into a contract of employment involving commissions as a method of payment with an employee for services to be rendered in the state.

AB 1397 (Committee on Labor & Employment): Spot bill relative to employment and working hours.

AB 1399 (Committee on Labor & Employment): This bill would require an employer to maintain personnel records for a specified period of time and to provide a current or former employee, or his or her representative, an opportunity to inspect and make copies of those records within a specified period of time.  In addition, in the event an employer violates these provisions, the bill would permit a current or former employee or the Labor Commissioner to recover a penalty of $750 from the employer, and would further permit a current or former employee to obtain injunctive relief and attorney's fees.

SB 144 (Wyland): Spot bill relative to employment and meal periods.

SB 156 (Emmerson): The Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law authorize various credits against the taxes imposed by those laws, including a credit for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2009, in the amount of $3,000 for each full-time employee hired by a qualified employer.  Those laws define "qualified employer" as a taxpayer that employed 20 or fewer employees as of the last day of the preceding taxable year.  This bill would, under both laws, for taxable years beginning on or after January 1, 2012, expand the definition of "qualified employer" to mean a taxpayer that employed 50 or fewer employees as of the last day of the preceding taxable year.

SB 157 (Anderson): The Personal Income Tax Law and the Corporation Tax Law, in modified conformity with federal income tax laws, allows a deduction for losses sustained during the taxable year and not compensated for by insurance or otherwise.  Those state laws conform to specified revenue rulings and revenue procedures of the Internal Revenue Service regarding treatment of losses due to investment arrangements discovered to be criminally fraudulent, except that, among other things, net operating loss carrybacks and carryforwards are not allowed.  This bill would provide a safe harbor for determining the year in which those losses attributable to criminal fraud occurred, as described in a specified revenue procedure of the Internal Revenue Service, and would allow a net operating loss carryover or carryback of any resulting deduction from the losses in conformity with federal income tax law.  This bill contains other related provisions.

SB 299 (Evans): This bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes that leave.

SB 316 (Emmerson): Existing law prohibits, subject to certain exceptions, an employer from requiring an employee to work more than 5 hours per day without providing a meal period and, notwithstanding that provision, authorizes the Industrial Welfare Commission to adopt a working condition order permitting a meal period to commence after 6 hours of work if the order is consistent with the health and welfare of affected employees.  This bill would add employees employed in the transportation industry, as defined, to the list of employees exempt from the above provisions.

SB 319 (Wyland): Existing law prohibits, with specified exceptions, an employer from requiring any employee to work during a meal or rest period mandated by an applicable order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.  Existing law requires, with specified exceptions, employers to provide meal and rest periods to employees during work periods of specified duration.  This bill would exempt from these provisions an employee in the transportation industry whose work places him or her inside an armored car in shifts during a workday.

SB 367 (Dutton): This bill would permit an individual nonexempt employee employed by an employer with 25 or less employees to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow the employer to implement this schedule without any obligation to pay overtime compensation.  The bill would require the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the Department of Industrial Relations to enforce this provision and adopt regulations.

SB 378 (Dutton): This bill would provide that an alternative workweek schedule adopted pursuant to those provisions may include a regularly scheduled alternative workweek that authorizes work by the affected employees for more than 10 hours a day, as long as the employees are paid at the appropriate overtime rate set forth in those provisions.  The bill would provide a definition of "regularly scheduled."  The bill further would exempt from those provisions employers with 5 or fewer employees, but would permit such employers and their employees to voluntarily enter into a revocable written agreement setting forth an alternative workweek schedule that allows an employee to work up to 10 hours a day, 40 hours a week, without the payment of overtime wages, with the requirement to pay a prescribed rate of overtime pay for excess hours and days.

SB 389 (Dutton): This bill would revise the statutory requirements for the provision of meal periods to specify that the requirements apply only to employees subject to the meal period provisions of an order of the IWC.  The statutory requirements for providing the meal periods would be revised to specify that a meal period based on working more than 5 hours in a workday is required to be provided before the employee completes 6 hours of work, unless the existing waiver provision is invoked.  The waiver provision for the 2nd meal period would be changed to provide an exception for different provisions within specified IWC wage orders, and to permit the employer and employee to agree to waive either the first or the 2nd meal period if the employee otherwise is entitled to 2 meal periods.  The bill also would specify conditions under which on-duty meal periods are permitted.  The meal period provisions of a valid collective bargaining agreement would be required to be implemented for covered employees rather than the statutory requirements.

SB 459 (Corbett): This bill would prohibit willful misclassification, as defined, of employees as independent contractors.  The bill would authorize the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to assess specified civil penalties from persons or employers violating the bill.  This bill contains other related provisions and other existing laws.

SB 651 (Leno): This bill would declare the intent of the Legislature to enact legislation that would eliminate statutory differences between marriage and domestic partnerships to implement the holding of a specified California Supreme Court case, which made a narrow distinction between marriage and domestic partnerships based on the use of the term "marriage" only.

SB 757 (Lieu): This bill would provide that any health care service plan contract, health insurance policy, or any other insurance policy that is issued to or intended to cover any person residing in this state shall be deemed to provide coverage for registered domestic partners that is equal to the coverage provided to a spouse.  The bill would require that every health care service plan contract, health insurance policy, or any other insurance policy that is issued to or intended to cover any person residing in this state shall comply with all nondiscrimination requirements set forth in state law.

SB 883 (Correa): The Department of Labor Standards Enforcement is generally charged with enforcing employment statutes and regulations, either in administrative actions or through litigation.  An employer may face administrative sanctions, civil fines and penalties, and criminal penalties for violations of employment statutes or regulations.  This bill would permit an employer to raise as an affirmative defense that, at the time of an alleged violation, the employer was acting in good faith and in compliance with or reliance upon an applicable employment statute or regulation.

SB 902 (Calderon): Spot bill relative to corporations.