New Employment Laws on the Horizon in California
Topics: New Laws & Legislation
In the final week of California's 2010-2011 legislative session, a number of employment bills have been passed by the legislature and have been signed by Governor Brown or await his signature:
AB 240 (Liquidated Damages): This bill, which has now been signed into law, permits an employee to recover liquidated damages of twice the amount of wages improperly withheld plus interest in proceedings before the Labor Commissioner involving claims for underpayment of minimum wage.
SB 559 (Genetic Information Discrimination): This bill, which has now been signed into law, prohibits discrimination in employment (among other areas) on the basis of genetic characteristics. This is California's version of the recently enacted federal law known as GINA (the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act).
AB 267 (Forum Selection Clauses): This bill has been passed by the legislature but not yet signed into law by Governor Brown. If signed, it will prohibit forum selection or choice of law clauses in employment contracts or similar documents where an employee would be required to agree to a forum or law of a state other than California for resolution of disputes arising in California. Agreement to such clauses will not be permitted to be required as a condition of employment. However, an employee will be able to agree to such a clause if not a condition of employment and if independent consideration is provided to the employee.
AB 325 (Bereavement Leave): This bill is still being considered by the legislature in the final days of session. If passed, it will require employers to provide up to 3 days of unpaid bereavement leave to employees upon the death of specified family members.
AB 22 (Use of Credit Reports): This bill is still being considered by the legislature in the final days of session. If passed, the bill will prohibit the use of credit reports for employment purposes, except in limited circumstances.
AB 1396 (Commissioned Employees): This bill has been passed by the legislature and presented to the Governor for signature. This bill will require that all employers who have employees performing services in California involving pay on a commission basis put the commission agreement in a writing that sets forth how commissions will be computed and paid. This requirement would go into effect January 1, 2013.
SB 931 (Payroll Cards): This bill is still being considered by the legislature in the final days of session. If passed, it will change the requirements employers must comply with for payment of wages using payroll cards.
We will keep you posted with further developments and details regarding these bills. You can access the text of these bills at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov.