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Legislation effective January 1, 2008

Following is a brief description of some of the labor laws that were enacted during 2007. Unless otherwise noted, all laws become effective on January 1, 2008.

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:

2007

AB 632 SB 319 SB 812 SB 869 SB 929


Discrimination

AB 632 - Chapter 07-683

Subject: Health care facilities: whistleblower protections

Author: Salas

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1278.5 of the Health and Safety Code

Summary: This bill would prohibit a health facility from discriminating or retaliating against any patient, employee, a member of the facility's medical staff, or any other health care worker of the facility because that person (1) has presented a grievance, complaint, or report to an entity or agency responsible for accrediting or evaluating the facility or to any other governmental entity; or (2) has initiated, participated, or cooperated in an investigation or administrative proceeding related to the quality of care, services, or conditions at the facility, as provided.

This bill would provide that an employee who has been discriminated against in employment in violation of those provisions shall be entitled to reinstatement, reimbursement for lost wages and work benefits caused by the acts of the employer, or to any remedy deemed warranted by the court pursuant to those provisions, or to any applicable provisions of statutory or common law, as specified. The bill would also entitle a health care worker who has been discriminated against, in violation of those provisions, and who prevails in court, to reimbursement for lost income and any legal costs associated with pursuing the case, or to any remedy deemed warranted by the court pursuant to those provisions, or any other applicable statutory or common law.

[Provides employee protections from discharge and discrimination on the basis that the employee has exercised any rights afforded the employee (Labor Code Section 98.6).

Provides employee protection from retaliation for disclosing specified information to government or law enforcement agencies (Labor Code Section 1102.5).

Provides employees the ability to recover penalties for violation of the Labor Code through civil actions as specified (Labor Code Section 2699 et seq). ]

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Public Works

SB 929 - Chapter 07-482

Subject: Prevailing Wage Allocations and Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry

Author: Cogdill

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1773.9 of the Labor Code, as it relates to prevailing wage allocations, and Section 515.5 of the Labor Code as it relates to Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry

Summary: As it relates to Prevailing Wage Allocations: This bill authorizes contractors and subcontractors, whenever the director's prevailing wage determination contains a predetermined change but does not specify how the change will be allocated between hourly wages and employer payments for benefits, to allocate payments equal to that change to either hourly wages or benefits for a specified time period, as provided. This bill also provides that, if the allocation of a predetermined change is subsequently altered by the parties pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement that was the basis of the prevailing wage determination, a contractor or subcontractor may allocate payments of not less than the amount of the definite and predetermined change in accordance with either the originally published allocation or the allocation as altered in the collective bargaining agreement.

As it relates to Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry: Existing law exempts a professional employee in the computer software field from the overtime compensation requirement if the employee is primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative, the employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than $41, and the employee meets other requirements. This bill decreases the hourly rate of pay requirement for this exemption to not less than $36.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 319 - Chapter 07-296

Subject: Employment of minors: agricultural packing plants.

Author: Wiggins (co-authors Berg and Evans)

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1393.5 of the Labor Code

Summary: : Revises the provisions of Labor Code section 1393.5 which authorizes the Labor Commissioner to grant an exemption to employers operating agricultural packing plants for employment of minors during peak packing season as to the number of hours a minor may be allowed to work as it relates to Lake County by limiting the employer exemption that may be issued by the Labor Commissioner to the employment of minors, 16 or 17 years of age, who reside in Lake County, and only on days when school is not in session, for up to 10 hours a day, as well as for more than 48 hours but not more than 60 hours in a week, upon prior written approval of the Lake County Office of Education. The bill would delete a requirement that a minor be enrolled in school in Lake County for the exemption to apply.

This bill would extend the operation of the Lake County provisions until January 1, 2012.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 812 - Chapter 07-480

Subject: Applicability of Wage Order 4 for Pharmacists in the Mercantile Industry

Author: Correa

Sections Affected: Adds Section 1186.5 to the Labor Code

Summary: : This bill provides that pharmacists engaged in the practice of pharmacy who are employed in the mercantile industry, pursuant to Wage Order 7, shall be permitted to adopt alternative workweek schedules allowed by Wage Order 4, including alternative workweeks that can be adopted by employees working in the health care industry without the payment of overtime by the employer.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 869 - Chapter 07-662

Subject: Authorizes Funds from the Workers' Compensation Revolving Fund to be appropriated to fund the unlawfully uninsured programs

Author: Riddley-Thomas

Sections Affected: Amends Sections 62.5 and 90.3 of the Labor Code, and amends Section 1095 of the Unemployment Insurance Code, relating to workers' compensation

Summary: Existing law requires the Labor Commissioner to establish and maintain a workers' compensation insurance coverage program for targeting employers in industries with the highest incidence of unlawfully uninsured employers and annually report to the Legislature concerning the effectiveness of the program. This bill revises these provisions to require the program to systematically identify unlawfully uninsured employers and authorizes the Labor Commissioner to prioritize targets for the program in consideration of available resources. The bill revises the reporting requirements to, among other things, require the report to be posted on the Labor Commissioner's Web site.

This bill authorizes funds in the Workers' Compensation Administration Revolving Fund to be used for the enforcement of the insurance coverage program maintained by the Labor Commissioner.

This bill requires the Director of the Employment Development Department to permit the use of any information in his or her possession to the extent necessary to enable the Labor Commissioner of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the Department of Industrial Relations to identify unlawfully uninsured employers.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 929 - Chapter 07-482

Subject: Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry and Prevailing Wage Allocations

Author: Cogdill

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1773.9 of the Labor Code, as it relates to prevailing wage allocations, and Section 515.5 of the Labor Code as it relates to Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry

Summary: As it relates to Hourly Rate for Employees in the Computer Software Industry: Existing law exempts a professional employee in the computer software field from the overtime compensation requirement if the employee is primarily engaged in work that is intellectual or creative, the employee's hourly rate of pay is not less than $41, and the employee meets other requirements. This bill decreases the hourly rate of pay requirement for this exemption to not less than $36.

As it relates to Prevailing Wage Allocations: This bill authorizes contractors and subcontractors, whenever the director's prevailing wage determination contains a predetermined change but does not specify how the change will be allocated between hourly wages and employer payments for benefits, to allocate payments equal to that change to either hourly wages or benefits for a specified time period, as provided. This bill also provides that, if the allocation of a predetermined change is subsequently altered by the parties pursuant to the collective bargaining agreement that was the basis of the prevailing wage determination, a contractor or subcontractor may allocate payments of not less than the amount of the definite and predetermined change in accordance with either the originally published allocation or the allocation as altered in the collective bargaining agreement.

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