Employers, corporations and contractors should be aware of these important pieces of legislation and take a deeper dive to know how the laws will affect your business. Human resources, corporate boards and construction companies should investigate updating policy and procedures and implement practices to incorporate and comply with newly passed legal requirements. It's also essential for citizens to be aware of their legal rights.
Employment Law/Labor Law
- SB 1343 - Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements. This new law requires employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and one every 2 years thereafter.
- SB 820 - Settlement agreements: confidentiality. This law makes void any provision that prevents a party from disclosing information regarding sexual assault, sexual harassment and workplace harassment or discrimination based on sex. This law affects confidentiality agreements for civil or administrative complaints. Agreements entered into before January 1, 2019 are not affected by this law.
- AB 3109 - Contracts: waiver of right of petition or free speech. SB 820 affects civil and administrative sexual claims, AB 3109 makes void and unenforceable any provision in a contract or settlement agreement that prevents a party to the contract from testifying about criminal conduct or sexual harassment in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding.
- AB 1976 - Lactation Accommodation. This new law makes changes to existing lactation accommodation law. The existing law requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a location other than a toilet stall to be used for lactation. The new location should be a permanent location but that it can be a temporary location if
(1) the employer is unable to provide a permanent location due to operational, financial, or space limitations;
(2) the temporary location is private and free from intrusion while being used for lactation purposes; and
(3) the temporary location is not used for other purposes while being used for lactation.
- AB 2587 - Disability Compensation: Paid Family Leave. This law alters how employees receive. Paid Family Leave. This new law prohibits employers from requiring employees to apply vacation time to the waiting period for the accumulation of Paid Family Leave. There is otherwise no change and an employer is still permitted to require an employee to take up to two weeks of vacation.
- AB 2610 - Meal Periods - Commercial Drivers. This new law authorizes a commercial driver employed by a motor carrier to commence the meal period after the California state-mandated six hours of work under the following conditions:
- The driver is transporting nutrients and byproducts from a licensed commercial feed manufacturer to a customer located in a remote rural location; and
- The regular rate of pay of the driver is no less than one and one-half times the state minimum wage and the driver receives overtime compensation in accordance with specific provisions of existing law. Note: "Remote rural location" is not defined.
- SB 1252 - Wages: Records: Inspection and Copying. This new law requires that employers provide employees the right to "receive a copy" of employment records and not just the right to "inspect or copy records."
- SB 1412 - Applicants for employment: criminal history. This bill provides narrow exceptions where an employer may conduct background checks for employees. Specifically, employers, public agencies, private individuals, and corporations may ask employees or applicants about an arrest when they were out on bail or on their own recognizance pending trial. Employers may further ask applicants about convictions that would legally prohibit the applicant from holding the sought position, if the employer would be legally prohibited from hiring the applicant due to that particular conviction, or if the applicant would be required to possess or use a firearm during the course of the applicant's employment. This law also defines "particular conviction" and "conviction".
- SB 826 - Corporations: Boards of Directors. This new law requires public companies whose executive offices are located in California to have a set number of women on its board of directors. This law only applies to publicly held corporations.
- SB 721 - Hill. Building standards: decks and balconies: inspection. This law requires an inspection of decks and balconies for buildings with 3 or more multi-family dwelling units. This law also requires subsequent inspections every 6 years. The law requires that if the inspection reveals conditions that pose an immediate hazard to the safety of the occupants, the safety report is delivered to the owner of the building within 15 days and emergency repairs be undertaken.
- SB 1465 - Construction Defect Settlement Reporting to Contractors' State License Board (CSLB). This law requires construction defect settlements, involving multifamily rental residential structures, of $1 million or more, to the Contractors State License Board. The contractor must notify the CSLB within 90 days of the date that the contractor has received knowledge of the final judgment. The law requires insurers to report final settlements reached by insurers to the CSLB within 30 days.
Comprehensive information and detail on all recently passed legislation can be found here: California Legislative Information