On October 14, Governor Brown signed AB 1008 to prohibit most public and private employers with five or more employees from asking applicants about criminal conviction histories until after a conditional offer of employment has been made. The new law will become effective January 1, 2018.
It’s difficult to glean much from a veto message. However, in vetoing a recent California bill meant to regulate certain aspects of the “innovation” economy, Governor Jerry Brown used some pointed language that some in the innovation or gig economy are viewing favorably as a signal of possible broader support by the Governor.
California joins other states and municipalities in banning inquiries into salary history of applicants. AB 168 prohibits employers from seeking salary history information or relying on the salary history information regarding applicants for employment. AB 168 goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
SB 63 requires employers with between 20 and 49 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child. The signing of SB 63 follows previous unsuccessful efforts to extend job-protected leave to smaller employers not covered by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the California Family Rights Act. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2018.
Over the last several years, the level of employer complaints about PAGA has reached a deafening crescendo. For some time now, employers have expressed deep concern about abusive litigation tactics and “extortionate” PAGA claims over very minor violations. Unfortunately, these concerns have largely fallen on deaf ears in Sacramento, with only incremental changes to the law.
On October 5, Governor Brown signed AB 450, which will go into effect on January 1, 2018. Among other things, AB 450 prohibits employers from voluntary consenting to ICE access to the worksite without a judicial warrant, requires employers to provide their workers with notice of certain immigration enforcement actions, and imposes new statutory penalties for violations of the law.
Senate Bill 306, among other things, allows an employee or the Labor Commissioner to obtain a preliminary injunction (ordering the employee to be reinstated pending their retaliation claim) upon a mere showing of “reasonable cause” that a violation of the law occurred. SB 306 goes into effect on January 1, 2018.