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

January 9, 2020 by

This post is the third part of our six-part series summarizing significant legislative changes in labor and employment law for 2020. Today we are addressing developments in family leave and accommodation law. Our coming posts will address health and safety, anti-discrimination/harassment law, and public sector developments.

FAMILY LEAVE AND ACCOMMODATION

SB 83 – Paid Family Leave: Extension of benefit from six to eight weeks

This bill allows workers paying into the State Disability Insurance (SDI) program to claim up to eight weeks in Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits, up from the current six weeks, starting July 1, 2020. The PFL program provides wage replacement to workers who take time off from work for an ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, sibling, or domestic partner, or to bond with a child within one year of birth or adoption. A worker eligible for PFL benefits under SB 83 may claim up to eight weeks of family leave within a twelve-month period.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB83

SB 142 – Workplace Accommodation: Lactation Room

California has had a general “lactation accommodation” law on the books since 2002, requiring employers to provide reasonable break time and a location for employees to express breast milk. Now, California has taken things one significant step further and joined San Francisco by adopting a detailed list of requirements employers must oversee when it comes to lactation accommodations. For example, SB 142 specifies that the break time shall be provided “each time such employee has need to express milk.” The new law repeats that a lactation room shall not be a bathroom, and shall be in close proximity to the employee’s work area, but adds the requirement that the room must be shielded from view and free from intrusion while the employee is lactating. The new law also provides that a lactation room must, for example, contain a place to sit; and have access to electricity or alternative devices needed to operate an electric or battery-powered breast pump.SB 142 also provides that employer must provide access to a sink with running water and a refrigerator suitable for storing milk (or another cooling device) in close proximity to the employee’s workplace. The bill authorizes employers with fewer than 50 employees to seek an exemption from the requirements of these provisions if the employer demonstrates that the lactation requirements pose an undue hardship by causing the employer significant difficulty or expense.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200SB142

AB 1223 – Protected Leave: Expansion of Organ Donor Leave

Existing law requires a private employer to permit an employee to take a leave of absence with pay, not exceeding 30 business days in a one-year period, for the purpose of organ donation, and requires a public employer to permit a public employee to take a similar paid leave of absence for organ donation, if the employee has exhausted all available sick leave. AB 122e expands organ-donor leave by requiring a private or public employer to grant an employee an additional unpaid leave of absence, not exceeding 30 business days in a one-year period, for the purpose of organ donation (public employees, again, must first exhaust all available sick leave). This bill also prohibits life or disability insurance policies from declining or limiting a person’s coverage based on their status as a living organ donor.

Read the text of the bill here:
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201920200AB1223

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.