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New Employment Laws – 2015

AB 2074

  • Increases the amount of liquidated damages that an employee may obtain in a minimum wage violation lawsuit.
  • Clarifies that a claim for liquidated damages can be brought any time within 3 years of the violation, which now allows employees to recover 3 years of interest on the unpaid wages instead of 1.
  • Applies retrospectively to civil actions commencing on or after January 1, 1992.

AB 2074

  • Increases the amount of liquidated damages that an employee may obtain in a minimum wage violation lawsuit.
  • Clarifies that a claim for liquidated damages can be brought any time within 3 years of the violation, which now allows employees to recover 3 years of interest on the unpaid wages instead of 1.
  • Applies retrospectively to civil actions commencing on or after January 1, 1992.

AB 1897

  • Joint employer liability for wage and hour violations of temporary labor providers.Does not apply to public agencies.

Minimum Wage

  • $9 / hour effective July 1,2014
  • $10 / hour effective January 1,2016


  • $12.25 / hour

San Francisco:

  • $15 / hour by 2018 with phased in increases


AB 1443

Extends discrimination and harassment provisions of Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to unpaid interns. •Applies to the selection, termination, training, or other terms or treatment of the unpaid intern.

AB 1660

  • Expands the definition of national origin discrimination to include discrimination based on possession of certain licenses.
  • Vehicle Code offers special drivers licenses to individuals who cannot submit satisfactory proof of their authorized presence in the U.S. but can show proof of California citizenship and meet other requirements.
  • Prohibits employers from requiring applicants to have a drivers license unless the license is required by law or is required for the particular position.
  • Driver’s information obtained by employers is exempt from the California Public Records Act.

AB 1792
  • Prohibits:
  • Discharging, discrimination or retaliating against any employee who enrolls in a public assistance program.
  • Refusing to hire because a person is enrolled in a public assistance program.
  • Disclosing to any one that the employee receives or is applying for public benefits, unless otherwise permitted by state or federal law to do so.
  • Sunsets January 1, 2020

AB 2288
  • Authorizes treble damages for workers who are discriminated against due to complaints filed alleging employment law violations while the employee was a minor.
  • Statute of limitations is tolled until the minor reaches age of majority.
  • Certain violations involving minors aged 12 or younger are subject to civil penalty of $25,000-$50,000.

AB 2053
  • Expands Government Code §12950.1 mandated employer sexual harassment training to include “abusive conduct” aka “bullying” training for managers and supervisors.
  • “Abusive conduct” is that which is:
  • By an employer or employee
  • In the workplace
  • With malice
  • Reasonable person would find hostile, offensive, and unrelated to legitimate business interest
  • Single acts don’t count unless especially severe. Examples of abusive conduct:
  • Derogatory remarks
  • Insults, epithets
  • Threatening, intimidating, humiliating comments
  • Gratuitous sabotaging or undermining of a person’s work performance.

AB 1650
  • Expands “Ban the Box” legislation that went into effect July 2014 which prohibits state or local agencies from requesting information regarding most criminal convictions until applicants meet the minimum qualifications for the position.
  • The law applies to any party submitting a competitive bid for a state contract involving onsite construction related services. The bidding party must certify that they will not ask applicants for onsite construction-related employment to disclose information concerning conviction history at the time of the initial employment action.
  • Exception for workers obtained from a hiring hall pursuant to a bona fide CBA.
  • Does not apply if there is a conflicting state or federal law requiring background check.


AB 2751
  • Clarifies unfair immigrations-related practice law that went into effect January 1, 2014.
  • Specifies that the $10,000 civil penalty for retaliation under Labor Code § 98.6 is to be awarded to the employee suffering from retaliation
  • Adds “threatening to file or filing a false report or complaint with any state or federal agency” as an unfair immigration-related practice.
  • Expands the prohibition on employers discharging, discrimination, retaliating or taking adverse action against an employee because the employee updates or attempts to update personal information based on a lawful change of name, social security number or federal employment authorization document.


AB 1522
  • Effective July 1, 2015.
  • Provides minimum sick leave requirements for employees who work 30 or more days per year.
  • Does not interfere with employer practices that are more generous to employees.

Certain unionized employees with MOUs covering:
  • Wages, hours of work, and working conditions
  • Paid sick leave or paid time off that can be used for sick time
  • Final and binding arbitration
  • Regular rate of pay not less than 30% more that the state minimum wage rate
  • Certain employees who work on aircrafts
  • IHSS Workers

2 options for calculating sick leave:
  • Accrual:
    • 1 hour of leave for every 30 hours worked
    • Leave may be used after 90 days of employment
  • Lump Sum:
    • Employee must be given an up-front lump-sum of 3 sick days (24 hours)
    • Leave is available for use at the beginning of year
    • Applies regardless of the number of hours worked
    • Accrued days carry over annually.

Permitted caps:
  • Usage may be capped at 24 hours (3 days) per year
  • Total accrual may be capped at 48 hours (6 days)

  • Employees are not entitled to be paid for accrued and unused leave
  • Previously accrued and unused paid sick leave must be reinstated for employees who are rehired within 12 months of separation

Required notice to employees

AB 2536
  • Labor Code § 230.3 currently prohibits an employer from discharging or discriminating against an employee for taking time off to perform emergency duty as a volunteer firefighter, reserve peace officer or emergency rescue person.
  • This law expands the definition of “emergency rescue personnel” to include members of disaster medical response entities sponsored or requested by the State.
  • Does not apply if the employee’s absence would hinder public safety or emergency medical services.
  • Health care provider employees must notify employer:
  • At time he/she becomes designated “emergency rescue personnel”; and
  • When he/she is notified that he/she will be deployed.


AB 326
  • Currently, all serious workplace injuries or deaths must be immediately reported by telephone or telegraph to the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health.
  • Amends law to remove the reference to telegraph and to permit reports by e-mail.

AB 1634
  • Prohibits California Division of Occupational Safety and Health from modifying civil penalties for abatement for serious violations of Cal-OSHA unless the employer has:
  • Abated the violation at the time of the initial inspection; or
  • Abated the violation at the time of subsequent inspection prior to the issuance of a citation; or
  • Within 10 working days after the date fixed for abatement, submitted a signed statement under penalty of perjury and supporting evidence showing that the violation has been abated.


SB 1034
  • Aligns State’s health coverage waiting period requirements with the Affordable Care Act.
  • Prohibits a healthcare service plan from imposing a separate waiting or affiliation period in addition to any waiting period imposed by an employer.
  • Requires employers to notify an employee of consequences of failing to enroll during open enrollment period.


AB 1726
  • Bans mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements governing hate crimes in contracts for goods and services.
  • Potential for employment discrimination or retaliation claims to be treated as hate crimes.
  • Probable FAA preemption.


PEPRA Update
  • PERS approved a regulation approving 99 types of supplemental pay for inclusion in benefit calculation.
  • Includes temporary upgrade pay.
  • Conflicts with anti-spiking provisions of PEPRA.
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