The 2013 California legislative session is in full swing and with it there is a spate of new bills amending and adding to the labyrinth that is California labor and employment law. It is too early to know which bills will survive and pass the Senate and Assembly by the September 13, 2013 deadline. Nonetheless, we have summarized below the bills introduced in the California Assembly that are moving through the process and seem most likely to pass one or both chambers this year.
- Assembly Bill (A.B.) No. 10 amends the minimum wage laws to introduce an incremental increase over the next three years from the current $8.00 per hour to $9.25 by 2016. Starting in 2017 the minimum wage would adjust each year to maintain employees’ purchasing power.
- A.B. No. 35 claims to clarify existing law regarding employment performed by a person who holds a favorable decision granting deferred action under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Such persons would be eligible for unemployment compensation, to the extent that they otherwise would qualify.
- A.B. No. 326 amends California’s occupational safety and health reporting requirements. Employers currently must make complete reports of every occupational injury or illness incident. The new law would require every employer to make an immediate report of any hospitalization or fatality incident that occurs within 30 days of a work-related incident, even if the hospitalization or fatality occurred after the report of work-related incident.
- A.B. No. 332 requires employers engaged in the production of adult films to adopt safety and sexual health procedures on the filming set to protect employees from exposure to blood and other potentially infectious material. Specific requirements include offering hepatitis B vaccinations, requiring the use of condoms during the filming of specified sexual acts, and ensuring proper disposal of contaminated sharp devices.
- A.B. No. 442 expands the penalty and restitution provisions of the Labor Code relating to violations of the statutes and administrative orders regarding the payment of wages. Employers cited for violations could be subject to payments of additional liquidated damages to employees.