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BTB Annual Legislative Round-up (3 of 4)

December 20, 2017 by


Whistleblower Protections

SB 306Injunctive Relief for Unlawful Retaliation

Existing law protects workers from retaliation for reporting their employer’s improper or illegal actions. This bill allows the Labor Commissioner or the employee to seek a temporary injunction reinstating him or her to work while the retaliation claim is processed.


Immigrant Protections

AB 450 – State Protections against Federal Immigration Raids in the Workplace

Imposes various requirements on public and private employers with regard to federal immigration agency worksite enforcement actions. Except as otherwise required by federal law, the bill prohibits an employer from: providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless the agent provides a judicial warrant; providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or court order; and reverifying the employment eligibility of a current employee at a time or in a manner not required by specified federal law. The bill, except as required by federal law, requires an employer to: provide a current employee notice of an inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving the federal notice of inspection; and upon reasonable request, to provide an affected employee a copy of the notice of inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms.

AB 699Sanctuary Schools

This bill prohibits school officials, except as required by state or federal law or as required to administer a state or federally supported educational program, from collecting information or documents regarding citizenship or immigration status of pupils or their family members. It requires the superintendent of a school district to report to the respective governing board or body of the local educational agency in a timely manner any requests for information or access to a school site by an officer or employee of a law enforcement agency for the purpose of enforcing the immigration laws in a manner that ensures the confidentiality and privacy of any potentially identifying information.


Worker Leave & Disability Laws

SB 63 – Protected Baby-bonding Leave

This bill extends the protections of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to include baby-bonding leave for employees of medium-sized employers, those with 20 or more employees. Previously, baby-bonding leave only applied to employers with 50 or more employees. CFRA allows an employee to take up to 12 weeks of parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. The Employer must maintain the employee’s health insurance coverage while taking an approved CFRA leave.

SB 728 Sick Leave Benefits for State Employee Veterans

Under the California Wounded Warriors Transitional Leave Act, state employees hired after January 1, 2016, who are military veterans with a service-connected disability rated at 30% or greater can receive an additional sick leave credit of 96 hours for the purpose of medical or mental health treatment related to the disability. SB 728 extends the same sick leave credits to veterans of the National Guard or Reserves with service-connected disability rated at 30% or greater.

SB 731Sick Leave Benefits for Public School Employee Veterans

Similar to SB 728, this bill expands leave for public school employees who are veterans with service-connected disabilities rated at least 30% to include veterans of the National Guard and Reserves. Under the changes, veterans of the Armed Forces, Guard, or Reserves who are certificated public school employees will be entitled to a 10-day leave of absence for medical treatment for their service connected disability, and veterans who are either certificated or classified employees will be entitled to a 12-day leave of absence.


Worker Health & Safety

AB 978 – Disclosure of Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

Under California’s workplace health and safety law, employers are required to establish and document an injury prevention program (IPP). AB 978 requires an employer to provide a copy of its IPP to current employees as soon as practicable, but no later than 10 business days from the date the employee requests it. The employer must provide the copy of the IPP free of charge, although the employer may take reasonable steps to verify the identity of a current employee and designate the person to whom a request is made.

AB 55 − Improving Refinery Safety and Employment Opportunities

After a serious chemical release and fire at Chevron’s Richmond oil refinery in August 2012, the Legislature took action to improve refinery safety for workers and those living around the refinery. Legislation passed that made it a requirement for contracted and subcontracted work to be performed by skilled and trained workers. This new law requires refineries that claim an exemption to skilled and trained workforce requirements to file with the administering agency a complete copy of the contract. Furthermore, this legislation extends the timeframe under which a worker must meet specified training hours to be classified as a skilled journeyperson from 20 hours in the prior two years, to 20 hours in the prior three years.

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.