Supporting California's Workforce

The Legislature is fighting hard to protect California’s workers by keeping them safe and securing their benefits. In 2020, Members passed legislation to provide paid medical leave to workers who contract COVID-19, as well as providing support by passing bills to assist the thousands on unemployment. New rules also require protective gear for frontline workers and update workplace safety requirements. The backbone of California’s economy is our workforce and the State Assembly continues to prioritize its needs.

AB 5 (Gonzalez) codifies the decision of the California Supreme Court in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles (2018) that presumes a worker is an employee unless a hiring entity satisfies a three-factor test, and exempts from the test certain professions and business to business relationships. Signed by the Governor.

AB 9 (Reyes) extends the filing period with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) for complaints of unlawful employment practices to three years but prohibits the revival of lapsed claims. Signed by the Governor.

AB 51 (Gonzalez) prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to waive any right, forum, or procedure for a violation of any provision of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) or the Labor Code as a condition of employment, continued employment or the receipt of any employment-related benefit. This bill also prohibits an employer from threatening, retaliating, or discriminating against an employee for refusing to consent to such a waiver. Signed by the Governor.

AB 378 (Limon) provides that family childcare providers have the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of a provider organization of their own choosing for the purpose of representing them and bargaining on matters related to the terms and conditions of their employment. Signed by the Governor.

AB 673 (Carrillo) provides that penalties for late payment of wages shall be recovered by the Labor Commissioner (LC), payable to the affected employee, as a civil penalty or by the employee as a statutory penalty in a hearing pursuant to the LC's authority under the Labor Code. The affected employee may also enforce civil penalties for late payment of wages through the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) but cannot also recover statutory penalties for the same violation. Signed by the Governor.

SB 142 (Wiener) imposes new building and employer requirements for ensuring access to adequate lactation space. Signed by the Governor.

SB 698 (Leyva) provides that all wages earned by employees of the University of California (UC) must be paid on a regular payday. Signed by the Governor.

AB 685 (Reyes) requires employers to provide written notice and instructions to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 at their worksite and enhances the Division of Occupational Safety and Health’s ability to enforce health and safety standards to prevent workplace exposure to and spread of COVID-19. Signed by the Governor.

AB 1947 (Kalra) extends the time that workers have to file a claim with the California Labor Commissioner if their employer retaliates against them for exercising their workplace rights under the Labor Code. This bill also authorizes an attorneys’ fee award to a worker who prevails on a whistleblower claim. Signed by the Governor.

AB 2043 (R. Rivas) directs the Division of Occupational Safety and Health to disseminate information on best practices regarding COVID-19 infection prevention to agricultural employees by conducting a targeted outreach campaign in conjunction with community and employee organizations. Signed by the Governor.

AB 2257 (Gonzalez) recasts and clarifies the business-to-business, referral agency, and professional services exemption to the 3-part ABC test for employment status and exempts additional occupations and business relationships. Signed by the Governor.

AB 2537 (Rodriguez) requires an employer, as defined, to maintain, beginning April 1, 2021, a stockpile of protective equipment for specified workers in an amount equal to three months of normal consumption. Signed by the Governor.

AB 3075 (Gonzalez) requires specified business entities to include an attestation in required business filings signed by the filers that no filer has an outstanding final judgment issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for a violation of a wage order or the labor code. Establishes liability related to wages, penalties, and damages owed pursuant to a final judgment for successors. Signed by the Governor.

AB 3216 (Kalra) provides a right of recall and retention rights for workers who have been laid off due to a state of emergency and who work in a hotel, private club, event center, airport, or provide building services to office, retail or other commercial buildings. Signed by the Governor.

SB 275 (Pan) requires the Department of Public Health and the Office of Emergency Services to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile, and requires certain health care employers, including hospitals and skilled nursing facilities (SNFs), to maintain an inventory of PPE at least sufficient for 45 days of surge consumption, effective on January 1, 2023, or one year after regulations are adopted defining 45 days of surge consumption, whichever is later. Signed by the Governor.

SB 1102 (Monning) provides that an employer's written notice to employees at the time of hire shall include health and safety information regarding states of emergency or disaster declarations and in the case of H-2A employees, requires that the notice include a comprehensive description of their rights under federal and state law. Signed by the Governor.

SB 1257 (Durazo) starting in 2022, removes the household domestic service exemption from California's Occupational Safety and Health Act to cover most domestic workers except those workers who are publicly funded unless they are subject to specified general industry safety orders. Signed by the Governor.

SB 1383 (Jackson) expands the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to allow employees working for employers of 5 or more employees to use unpaid job protected leave to care for a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition. Signed by the Governor.