REPRESENTING UNIONS & EMPLOYEES SINCE 1936
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2020 Legislative Summary Employment Law, Part I

January 2, 2020 by , , , , and

GENERAL EMPLOYMENT

AB 5 – Worker status: Employee vs. Independent Contractor.

This bill codifies the California Supreme Court decision in the Dynamex case and expands its application to California’s employment laws. For purposes of the provisions of the Labor Code, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission, a person providing labor or services for remuneration is considered an employee rather than an independent contractor unless the hiring entity demonstrates that (a) the person is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work; (b) the person performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and (c) the person is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB5

AB 170 – Worker status: Exemption for newspaper distributor

This bill exempts a newspaper distributor working under contract with a newspaper publisher and a newspaper carrier working under a contract, from the independent contractor/employee Dynamex test codified in AB 5.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB170

AB 51 – Employment Agreements: Ban on arbitration provisions

This bill prohibits employers from requiring applicants or employees to waive any right under the Fair Employment and Housing Act and the California Labor Code as a condition of employment. Practically speaking, this law bans retaliation against employees or applicants who refuse to sign mandatory arbitration agreements in order to be employed.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB51

AB 749 – Settlement Agreements: “No Rehire” provision prohibited

This bill prohibits “no rehire” agreements frequently found in agreements to settle employment disputes. In so doing, the legislature recognized that these provisions negatively impact employees complaining of workplace harassment and other violations. “No rehire” provisions in settlement agreements entered into on or after January 1, 2020, will be unenforceable.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB749

SB 112 – Work Authorization: Discouraging employers from re-verifying eligibility

Labor Code section 1019.2 prohibits a public or private employer from re-verifying the employment eligibility of a current employee in a manner not required by federal law. In 2018, a federal court determined that this section violated the Supremacy Clause. In response, this bill contains a declaration that the State has an interest in ensuring that employers do not discriminate against employees based on immigration status and limiting unnecessary reverifications will prevent employees from being discriminated. This bill explains that employers have an obligation under federal law to not employ unauthorized workers, which the State does not interfere with, but federal law does not impose an obligation on employers to engage in continuing reverification. The bill also adds a section to explain that Labor Code section 1019.2 is not intended to interfere with employer’s obligations under federal law.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB112

AB 1554 – Flexible spending account: Notice to employees

Existing law requires an employer to notify employees of certain information relating to employment and benefits. This bill adds a requirement that employers notify any employees who participate in a flexible spending account – including a dependent care flexible spending account, a health flexible spending account, or adoption assistance flexible spending account – of any deadline to withdraw funds before the end of the plan year. Notice must be provided in two different forms, of which only one may be electronic.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1554


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.