The California Legislature is halfway through the session, and to no surprise, lawmakers are considering several employment-related bills. Of course, nothing is final before Governor Newsom’s signature, but now is a good time to assess what the future may hold.
Below is a very brief summary of several pending bills on our “watch” list. Remember, the Legislature frequently amends bills as they move through the process, so the text of the bills listed below may change.
AB 1949: Just like a cat with nine lives, bereavement leave is back. Again. AB 1949 requires public and private employers with five or more employees to provide up to five days of unpaid bereavement leave. Employees must complete the leave within three months of the covered family member’s death, and the employee may use accrued time off during the leave. (Of course, if the employer offers paid bereavement leave, then the time off will remain paid.)
AB 2188: AB 2188 would make it unlawful for an employer to refuse to hire an applicant, or terminate or “penalize” an employee for using cannabis off the job or testing positive for “nonpsychoactive cannabis metabolites.” If history is any indication, this bill is unlikely to pass, but it is one to watch.
AB 2448: If adopted, this bill would add a new workplace posting and training requirement addressing customer harassment, even if perpetrated by a third party who is not “affiliated” with the business. This new requirement would apply to businesses with 100 or more employees.
SB 1044: Under this bill, employers could not retaliate against an employee who refuses to report to work or leaves work due to a “state of emergency.” (Yes, Cal/OSHA already provides this protection.)
SB 1162: This bill would add pay data reporting requirements to employers with 100 or more employees that hire labor through contractors. In addition, it would require employers with 15 or more employees to include a “pay scale” in every job posting, and maintain records of each employee’s job description and wage rate “history” for the duration of employment plus three years.
SB 1262: This bill is in response to a 2021 California Court of Appeal decision prohibiting court record searches using an individual’s date of birth or driver’s license number. Because of the decision, background check companies currently must physically obtain background information from the courts, which significantly slows the process. SB 1262 imposes new court indexing requirements that will allow employers quickly to obtain criminal background information.
We will continue to keep you up-to-date on Legislative developments. Be sure to join us for our 22nd annual Employment Law Update later this year. Check out our training webpage for dates and details!