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January 22, 2016 by

This legislative session Governor Brown again signed into law several new labor and employment statutes.  Many of the new laws this year expand enforcement tools and strengthen existing protections for employees in areas including leave and disability rights, pay equity, wage and hour protections, and prevailing wage and public works.  In this series of seven articles, we have summarized the new state laws by category.

AB 987 – Religious and Disability Discrimination Clarification

AB 987 creates a legislative fix for a California appellate court decision that held an employer does not commit unlawful retaliation when it fires an employee for requesting a reasonable accommodation of their religion or disability.  That decision effectively eliminated legal remedies for workers who asked their Employer to accommodate their disability or religion and who were fired as a result.  California employees have always had the right to request these accommodations but state law will now clarify that asking for an accommodation due to religion or disability is a protected activity, and workers who do so have a right to be free from retaliation.

SB 703 – Public Contracts and Gender Identity Discrimination

This new law prohibits any state agency from entering into contracts for the acquisition of goods and services of $100,000 or more with a contractor that discriminates between employees on the basis of gender identity in the provision of benefits.  For instance, the state may not enter into contract with a contractor that fails to offer transgender employees the same health care coverage and befits offer to other employees.

The material on this website is provided by Beeson, Tayer & Bodine for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented. Some of the articles are updated periodically, and are marked with the date of the last update. Again, readers should consult with their own legal counsel for the most current information and to obtain professional advice before acting on any of the information presented.