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Legislation effective January 1, 2004

Following is a brief description of some of the labor laws that were enacted during 2003. Unless otherwise noted, all laws become effective on January 1, 2004.

To find legislation by topic, click the following links:

To find legislation by topic, click the following links:

Discrimination

Public Works

Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions


To find legislation by bill number, click the following links:

2003

AB 98 AB 276 AB 330 AB 852 AB 1418 AB 1688 SB 158 SB 478 SB 796 SB 966
AB 223 AB 324 AB 807 AB 1132 AB 1506 SB 2 SB 210 SB 777 SB 868  

Discrimination

SB 777 - Chapter 03-484

Subject: Whistleblowers

Author: Escutia

Sections Affected: An act to amend Sections 1102.5 and 1106 of, and to add Sections 1102.6, 1102.7, 1102.8, and 1102.9 to, the Labor Code, relating to whistleblowers.

Summary: This bill provides additional "whistleblower" protections for refusal to perform unlawful conduct and for an employee's acts on a previous job. This bill requires the State Attorney General to maintain a whistleblower hotline for corporate crime and regulatory misconduct and to refer calls to the appropriate investigative or regulatory agency.

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Public Works

AB 324 - Chapter 03-834

Subject: Public works: labor compliance programs

Author: Diaz

Sections Affected: An act to amend Sections 1771.5 and 1771.7 of the Labor Code, relating to public works.

Summary: This bill codifies current state regulations requiring a labor compliance program (LCP) be approved by the Director of Industrial Relations, modifies the formula that provides reimbursement for costs associated with LCP's, and removes the requirement that grant amounts be made on a per pupil basis.

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Public Works

AB 807 - Chapter 03-839

Subject: Public works: prevailing wage

Author: Leno

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 1773.1 of the Labor Code, relating to public works.

Summary: This bill provides that an employer may only credit pension or other contributions against their prevailing wage obligations when the employer makes such contributions on no less than a quarterly basis.

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Public Works

AB 852 - Chapter 03-343

Subject: Prevailing rate of per diem wages: determinations

Author: Lieber

Sections Affected: An act to add Section 1773.11 to the Labor Code, relating to prevailing wages.

Summary: This bill establishes a mechanism for the determination of prevailing wage rates on non-public works projects in which a public and private entity voluntarily agree by contract that the employees will receive prevailing wage.

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Public Works

AB 1506 - Chapter 03-851

Subject: Public works: projects funded by bonds

Author: Negrete-McLeod

Sections Affected: An act to add Section 1771.9 to the Labor Code, relating to public works.

Summary: This bill requires a labor compliance program (LCP) for a public works project financed in any part with funds made available by the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century (Act), if passed by the voters in November 2004. This bill would also provide that the Department of Industrial Relations' and the Labor and Workforce Development Agency's public works services are to be supported as costs of a state agency with responsibility for administration of the bond program, or costs of construction, as provided.

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Public Works

SB 868 - Chapter 03-905

Subject: Prevailing wages

Author: Dunn

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 1773.1 of the Labor Code, relating to public works.

Summary: This bill revises the definition of per diem wages to include worker protection and assistance programs or committees, and industry advancement and collective bargaining administrative fees.

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Public Works

SB 966 - Chapter 03-804

Subject: Public works and prevailing wages: contractors' costs

Author: Alarcon

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 1726 of, and to add Section 1781 to, the Labor Code, relating to prevailing wages.

Summary: This bill authorizes a contractor to bring an action in a court of competent jurisdiction to recover from an awarding body specified labor costs, penalties, and legal fess if certain conditions are met.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 98 - Chapter 03-327

Subject: Employment: meals and rest periods

Author: Koretz

Sections Affected: An act to add Section 512.5 to the Labor Code, relating to Employment

Summary: This bill clarifies the IWC's existing authority to adopt or amend the wage order pertaining to commercial motor vehicle operation to exempt employees covered by valid collective bargaining agreements from provisions of the wage order relating to meal and rest periods.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 223 - Chapter 03-93

Subject: Employment

Author: Diaz

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 98.2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill specifies that the party that unsuccessfully appeals the administrative decision of the Labor Commissioner to a trial court may be assessed the costs and reasonable attorney's fees connected with that appeal.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 276 - Chapter 03-329

Subject: Penalties for Labor Code violations

Author: Koretz

Sections Affected: An act to amend Sections 210, 225.5, 226, 605, 752, 1021, 1021.5, and 1197.1 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill increases the amounts of monetary penalties for a variety of labor law violations and provides that 12.5% of the penalty amounts collected be directed to a fund within the Labor and Workforce Development Agency to be used for the purpose of educating employers about state labor laws.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 330 - Chapter 03-207

Subject: Working Conditions

Author: Parra

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 512 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill exempts certain employees from the meal period requirement in the wholesale baking industry who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement that contain specified terms for meal period and breaks.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1132 - Chapter 03-214

Subject: Employment

Author: Koretz

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 2664 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill amends the statute governing the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement's confiscation and appeal procedures for articles illegally manufactured in a home in violation of the Industrial Homework Act and associated regulations. Specifically, this bill prohibits confiscated materials from being sold, permits their expeditious destruction when the action is uncontested, and provides that a person may appeal the confiscation in an administrative process provided by the Labor Commissioner.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1418 - Chapter 03-849

Subject: Labor: violations

Author: Laird

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 27 of the Business and Professions Code, and to amend Sections 1741 and 1775 of the Labor Code, relating to labor.

Summary: This bill sets minimum mandatory monetary penalties for contractors or subcontractors that fail to pay prevailing wage rates on public works projects. The bill also requires the Contractors State License Board (CSLB) to post on its website information provided by the Labor Commissioner on willful or deliberate Labor Code violations committed by CSLB licensees in the course of licensed activities.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1688 - Chapter 03-825

Subject: Car Washes

Author: Goldberg

Sections Affected: An act to add and repeal Part 8.5 (commencing with Section 2050) of Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to car washes

Summary: The bill requires employers of car washers to register with the Labor Commissioner and pay a $300 registration fee. This bill regulates the industry of car washing and polishing by providing specific record-keeping requirements that employers of car washers must implement with regard to car washer wages, hours, and working conditions. Provisions in the bill expire on January 1, 2007.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 2 - Chapter 03-673

Subject: Health care coverage

Author: Burton

Sections Affected: An act to amend Section 6254 of the Government Code, to add Article 3.11 (commencing with Section 1357.20) to Chapter 2.2 of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, to add Section 12693.55 to, and to add Chapter 8.1 (commencing with Section 10760) to Part 2 of Division 2 of, the Insurance Code, to add Part 8.7 (commencing with Section 2120) to Division 2 of the Labor Code, to amend Section 131 of, and to add Section 976.7 to, the Unemployment Insurance Code, and to amend Section 14124.91 of, and to add Sections 14105.981, 14124.915, and 14124.916 to, the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to health care coverage, and making an appropriation therefor.

Summary: This bill enacts the Health Insurance Act of 2003 to provide health coverage to specified individuals who do not receive job-based coverage and who work for large and medium employers, as defined. This bill imposes a fee on employers who do not provide the defined benefits and make available a credit against that fee for employers who do provide coverage.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 158 - Chapter 03-103

Subject: Displaced Public Transit Employees

Author: Alarcon

Sections Affected: An act to add Chapter 4.6 (commencing with Section 1070) to Part 3 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill establishes a bidding preference for public transit service contractors and subcontractors who agree to retain, for a period of at least 90 days, certain employees who were employed to perform essentially the same services by the previous contractor or subcontractor. This bill provides that if a successor contractor or subcontractor determines that fewer employees are needed than under the prior contract, qualified employees shall be retained by seniority within the job classification.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 210 - Chapter 03-667

Subject: Minors: artistic employment contracts

Author: Burton

Sections Affected: An act to amend Sections 6750, 6752, and 6753 of the Family Code, and to add Section 1308.9 to the Labor Code, relating to minors.

Summary: This bill amends existing law applicable to employment contracts of unemancipated minors who provide artistic or creative services or sports performances. Chief among the requirements of the Coogan Law is the requirement for 15% of a minor's earnings under such a contract to be set-aside in a special trust or savings account (Coogan Trust Account). This bill provides that the entertainment work permit required for all child entertainers and issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement will become void after 10 days if the trustee's statement a Coogan Trust Account has been established is not attached.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 478 - Chapter 03-630

Subject: Victims of crime: work absences for judicial proceedings

Author: Dunn

Sections Affected: An act to add Section 230.2 to the Labor Code, relating to Employment.

Summary: This bill requires that an employer allow an employee who is a victim of a crime, as defined, or certain persons who are related to a crime victim, to be absent from work in order to attend judicial proceedings related to the crime. It prohibits an employer from discharging or in any manner discriminating against an employee, because the employee is absent from work, and would authorize the employee to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. Lastly, this bill encourages district attorneys and victim/witness offices to make information regarding this bill available for distribution at their offices.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 796 - Chapter 03-906

Subject: Employment

Author: Dunn

Sections Affected: An act to add Part 13 (commencing with Section 2698) to Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: This bill enacts the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 for enforcement of the Labor Code and states that aggrieved employees would be allowed to bring civil actions to recover penalties for any alleged violation of the Labor Code that the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) does not take action on. Any penalties collected would be distributed amongst the General Fund (50%), LWDA (25%), and the aggrieved employee (25%). This bill would not affect exclusive remedy under workers' compensation.

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