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Human resource tools and information whenyou need them

The 2012 Legislative year was a busy one in California. The outcome from all that activity has been new laws that will impact most employers within the state.

This is not an exhaustive list. There were just too many new laws to include here. We selected those we thought you would be most interested in seeing.

Key 2012 California Employment Legislation

CATEGORY BILL # & AUTHOR SUMMARY
Compensation AB 1744 Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) Effective 7/1/2013 – Requires some specific information on pay check statement (stub). The itemized statement must include identification of any employer who is a temporary services employer, the rate of pay and the total hours worked for each assignment. Also requires inclusion of the employer name, the physical address of the main office, the mailing address if different from the physical address of the main office, and the telephone number of the legal entity for whom the employee will perform work. The Labor Commissioner may also require additional information to be printed on the statement.
AB 2675 Swanson (D - Oakland) Effective 1/1/2013 – Requires all commission payment agreements with employees to be in writing and to specify the method by which the commissions shall be computed and paid. This bill would exempt from this requirement temporary, variable incentive payments that increase, but do not decrease, payment under the written contract.
Discrimination AB 1450 Allen (D - Santa Rosa) Effective 1/1/2013 – Prohibits an employer or recruiting agency from placing an employment advertisement saying current employment is a requirement for consideration. It is now unacceptable to deny unemployed individuals consideration for employment.
AB 1964 Yamada (D - Vacaville) Effective 1/1/2013 – Includes a religious dress practice or religious grooming practice as a belief or observance covered by the protections against religious discrimination. Prohibits segregating such individuals from the public or other employees.
AB 2386 Allen (D - Santa Rosa) Effective 1/1/2013 – Adds to the definition of “sex” in the Fair Employment and Housing Act, breastfeeding or medical conditions related to breastfeeding.
AB 1186 Steinberg (D - Sacramento) Reduces statutory damages for employers in issues of access to public facilities. Intended to address abuse of litigation over structural access issues.
Domestic Work Employees AB 889 Ammiano (D - San Francisco) Effective 1/1/2014 – Requires the Department of Industrial Relations and Industrial Welfare Commission to adopt regulations governing the working conditions of “domestic work employees.” Will likely require modification of IWC Wage Order 15.
Employment AB 1844 Campos (D - San Jose) Effective 1/1/2013 – Prohibits an employer from requiring an employee or applicant to disclose a username or password so the employer can access the individual’s social media accounts. Prohibits discipline or retaliation against employee or applicant for refusing to provide access to personal social media accounts.
Farm Labor AB 1675 Bonilla (D - Concord) Effective 1/1/2013 – Existing law requires farm labor contractors to be licensed by the Labor Commissioner and to comply with specified employment laws applicable to farm labor contractors. A person who violates farm labor contractor requirements is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by specified fines or imprisonment in the county jail for not more than 6 months, or both. This bill provides that the civil penalties increase as the number of citations for violations increase.
AB 2346 Butler (D - El Segundo) Effective 1/1/2013 – Prescribes specific duties on employers to reduce the risk of heat illness among agricultural employees, including the adopted heat illness prevention regulatory requirements.
Garnishment AB 1775 Wieckowski (D - Fremont) Effective 7/1/2013 – Increases the amount of weekly earnings that are exempt from wage garnishment from 30 times the federal minimum wage to 40 times the federal minimum wage.
Prevailing Wage SB 1370 Berryhill (R - Modesto) Requires the Director of Industrial Relations to post on its website a list of every California code section and the language of those sections that relate to the prevailing wage rate requirements for workers employed on a public works project.
Recordkeeping AB 2674 Swanson (D - Oakland) Effective 1/1/2013 – Provides that both current and former employees have inspection rights related to personnel files. It outlines procedures for inspecting or copying personnel files and requires employers to develop a form that will be made available upon verbal request to employees’ supervisor or employer’s representative. It also provides that an employer is not required to comply with more than 50 requests for a copy of employee records in one calendar month.
SB 1255 Wright (D - Los Angeles) Effective 1/1/2013 – Provides that an employee who does not receive a statement with each paycheck showing details specified in the law may recover actual damages or an aggregate penalty of $4,000 and award of costs and reasonable attoeney’s fees.
SB 1099 Wright (D - Los Angeles) Effective 1/1/2013 – Creates a predictable and easy-to-track implementation schedule for new regulations and provides language of new regulations online for easier free access.
Staffing AB 1855 Torres (D - Pomona) Effective 1/1/2013 – Extends current requirements and penalties to warehouse contractors. Prohibits a person or entity from entering into a contract for labor or services with specified types of contractors if the person knows or should know that the contract does not include sufficient funds to allow the contractor to comply with all applicable laws.
Unemployment Insurance AB 1794 Williams (D - Santa Barbara) Effective 1/1/2013 – Existing law prohibits disclosure of employee information related to Unemployment Insurance. This bill will be effective until 1/1/2019 and authorizes the Employment Development Department (EDD) to provide the specified new employee information to the Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy, the Contractors’ State License Board, and the State Compensation Insurance Fund. It expands the crime of knowingly and wrongfully accessing, using, or disclosing specified information.
SB 691 Lieu (D - Torrance) Effective 1/1/2013 – Makes unauthorized disclosure of employee information a misdemeanor. Expands the definition of "authorized governmental agency."
Wage & Hour AB 2103 Ammiano (D - San Francisco) Effective 1/1/2013 – Provides that the payment of a fixed salary to a nonexempt employee shall be deemed to provide compensation only for the employee’s regular, nonovertime hours, notwithstanding any private agreement to the contrary.
Workers' Compensation SB 863 De Leon (D - Los Angeles) Effective 1/1/2013 – Prohibits interested parties from referring a person for services related to workers’ compensation provided by someone with whom the referrer has a financial interest. Civil penalties go up to $15,000 for each offense.
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