BTB Annual Legislative Round-up (2 of 4)
December 13, 2017 by Peter McEntee, Sarah Kanter and Christopher Hammer
Wage and Hour Laws
AB 1066 – Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions of Agricultural Workers
Historically, California has excluded agricultural workers from many important employee protections. This law removes the exemption for agricultural employees regarding hours, meal breaks, and other working conditions, including specified wage requirements. It creates a schedule that phases in overtime requirements for agricultural workers over the course of 4 years, from 2019 to 2022. Beginning January 1, 2022, the bill requires any work performed by a person, employed in an agricultural occupation, in excess of 12 hours in one day to be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the employee’s regular rate of pay. The bill allows employers with 25 or fewer employees an additional 3 years to comply with the phasing in of these overtime requirements.
SB 1015 – Preserving Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
In 2013, the California legislature passed the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, which provided overtime compensation to domestic workers. The original bill had a sunset provision of January 1, 2017. SB 1015 deletes the repeal date, preserving overtime protections for domestic workers.
AB 1701– General Contractor Joint Liability
Makes general contractors liable for any unpaid wage, fringe or other benefit payment or contribution, including interest owed to the subcontractor’s employees.
AB 2899 – Employer Bond Requirement to Challenge Labor Commissioner’s Ruling
Under existing law, an employer that violates the state or local minimum wage law is subject to a civil penalty, restitution of wages, liquidated damages payable to the employee, and any applicable specified penalties. Existing law provides requirements under which an employer against whom a citation has been issued can request a hearing to contest the proposed assessment of a civil penalty via a writ of mandate with the appropriate superior court. This bill requires a person seeking a writ of mandate contesting the Labor Commissioner’s ruling to post a bond with the Labor Commissioner in an amount equal to the unpaid wages assessed under the citation, excluding penalties, that the bond be issued in favor of the unpaid employees. The proceeds of the bond, sufficient to cover the amount owed to the employees, would be forfeited to the employee if the employer fails to pay the amounts owed within 10 days from the conclusion of the proceedings.
AB 2230 – Overtime for Private School Teachers
Revises the overtime exemption for primary and secondary teachers in private schools. As of July 1 2017, teachers in private schools must be paid overtime for wage worked over 8 in a day and 40 in a week unless they are paid a salary more than the lowest salary offered by any school district or 70% of the lowest schedule salary offered by the school district or county in which the private primary or secondary school is located.
AB 2025 – Basic Labor Law Training for Personal Care Workers
AB 2025 will impose new educational requirements on barbers, cosmetologists, estheticians, manicurists, electrologists, and apprentices, requiring them as a condition of licensure, to be aware of basic labor laws.
SB 96 – Stronger DLSE Enforcement Mechanisms
Makes several important changes to California’s employment laws including:
- Extending the time the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) has to investigate a retaliation complaint from 60 days to a year, and the time for employers to comply with the DLSE’s determination on a retaliation complaint from 10 days to 30 days.
- Requiring employers to pay for the DLSE’s legal costs when the DLSE prevails in an action to enforce its decisions in retaliation complaint investigations.
- Permitting workers in certain industries – car wash, farm labor and garment manufacturing–to recover unpaid wages and other damages for labor violations from existing state special funds, and allows the DLSE to recover those wage and damages from the offending employer to reimburse the state special fund.
- Imposing higher registration fees and stiffer penalties on contractors and subcontractors on public works programs. Contractors and subcontractors failing to register may now face penalties up to $100 per day, up to $8,000 total, and an injunction to stop work, all enforceable by the Labor Commissioner.
- Increasing civil penalties substantially for violations of the health and safety regulation. Maximum penalties for non-serious, notice-posting and record-keeping requirements rises from $7,000 to $ 12,471; maximum penalties for willful or repeat violations increases from $70,000 to $124,709. Penalties will now be indexed annually to keep up with inflation.
AB 199 − Private Residential Projects Built on Private Property
Updates the Labor Code to require that private residential projects built on private property, paid for in whole or in part out of public funds, and built pursuant to an agreement with a successor agency to a redevelopment agency to meet pubic works requirements, including the payment of prevailing wages.
AB 1066 – Tree Removal Work
Adds tree removal work to the definition of public works to ensure those workers get paid prevailing wage.
AB 2105 – Healthcare “Earn and Learn” Programs
This new law promotes “earn and learn” programs, which combine applied learning in a workplace setting with paid wage, which allows workers and students to gain work experience in the healthcare field they are preparing to enter.
AB 1069 – Local Deregulation of Taxi Services
This bill changes local regulations of taxi services. Prior to enactment, taxi drivers were required to secure permits in each city in which they operated. Under this bill, drivers will only need to secure permits from the city or county where they are “substantially located.” Drivers with a permit from a county, or at least one city within the county, will be able to provide services anywhere in that county. The goal of this legislation is to reduce the number of permits required for taxi drivers to operate in different cities within the same county. Cities and counties will still continue to regulate taxi drivers, as opposed to app-based Transportation Network Companies, which are regulated at the state level through the Public Utilities Commission.
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.