State of California

Department of Industrial Relations

 

P. O. Box 420603
San Francisco,  CA  94142

Sacramento - Office of the Director

916-324-4163

 

1999
LEGISLATIVE SUMMARY

Stephen J. Smith

Director


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

AB 60           Knox                   99-134                Overtime                                                                                 

AB 109         Knox                   99-164                Employment: Sick Leave                                                          

AB 302         Floyd                  99-220                Public Works: Prevailing Wage                                                

AB 470         Wildman              Vetoed                Public Works: Design Build Contracts                                      

AB 555         Reyes                  99-556                Farm Labor Vehicles                                                               

AB 574         Hertzberg            99-972                Public Contracts: Responsible Bidder                                       

AB 613         Wildman              99-299                Employment: JESF and TIPP Programs                                   

AB 633         Steinberg             99-554                Labor violations: Garment Manufacturing                                  
AB 884         Kuehl                  99-626                Talent Agencies and Artist’s Managers                                     
AB 1019       Strickland            99-195                Minors: Volunteer Construction Services                                  

AB 1395       Correa                99-302                Public Works: Prevailing Wages                                               

AB 1652       Steinberg             Vetoed                Labor: Violations                                                                     
AB 1689
      Floyd                  99-692                Employment: Wage Claims                                                      

 

SB 16           Burton                 99-030                Public Works: Prevailing Wage                                                
SB 56           Solis                    99-340                Employment: Time Off to Appear in Court                               

SB 172         Escutia                Vetoed                Employees: Inspection of Personnel Records                            

SB 319          Burton                99-306                JESF on the Underground Economy: Citations                         
SB 460         Hayden               Vetoed                Employee Wages                                                                     
SB 651         Burton                 99-190                Registered Pharmacists                                                            

 

Workers’ Compensation

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

AB 224            Knox                99-270                Workers’ Compensation: Peace Officers: Disability               

AB 279            Wayne             99-553                Workers’ Compensation: Failure to Pay Compensation         

AB 435            Corbett            99-766                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Records: Disclosure         

AB 539            Papan               99-595                Workers’ Compensation: Cancer                                          

AB 775            Calderon          99-124                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Care                                

AB 1252          Wildman           99-977                Workers’ Compensation: Podiatrists                                     

AB 1309          Scott                99-721                Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Self-Insurers                  

AB 1343          Floyd               Vetoed                Workers’ Compensation: Subsequent Injury                          

AB 1387          Florez               99-970                Public Employee Disability Benefits                                       


Workers’ Compensation                 

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

SB 77           Murray                99-358                Workers’ Compensation: Death Benefits: Limitations                
SB 320         Solis                    Vetoed                Workers’ Compensation: Staffing of Courts                             
SB 717         Peace                  99-746                Workers’ Compensation Admin Revolving Fund                      

SB 887         Ortiz                    Vetoed                Foster Care                                             

 

Occupational Safety and Health

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject

                    

 

AB 850         Torlakson            99-585                Permanent Amusement Rides Inspection Program

AB 1127       Steinberg             99-615                Employee Safety: Violations                                                     

AB 1655       Hertzberg            99-469                Occupational Safety & Health Standards: Variances                 

 

SB 508         Ortiz                    Vetoed                State Property: Safety & Health Standards                               

 

Miscellaneous

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

AB 184         Davis                   99-366                Employment: Hazardous Material Safety Data Filing                 

AB 442         Cedillo                Vetoed                State Funds Prohibited for Union Discouragement                    

AB 921         Keeley                99-903                Apprenticeship Programs                                                         

AB 931         Calderon             99-781                Electricians: Apprenticeship Standards                                     

AB 1234       Shelley                99-393                State Bodies: Open meetings: Violations                                   

 

SB 1065       Bowen                Vetoed                Public Records: Electronic Format                                           

 

 

Effective Date of Legislation is January 1, 2000

(Unless Otherwise Specified)


 

Wages, Hours and Working Conditions

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject

 

 

AB 60           Knox                  99-134                Overtime

 

While this bill establishes a statutory framework for daily overtime compensation, the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) is authorized to take further action in several areas encompassed by this legislation.  Among its many provisions this bill: 

 

1.   Requires the payment of daily overtime compensation at a rate of one and one half times the regular rate of pay after eight hours of daily work and 40 hours of weekly work; at a rate of twice the regular rate of pay after 12 hours of daily work and after eight hours of work on the seventh day of any workweek.

 

2.   Authorizes the IWC to establish procedures for employee alternative workweek elections.

 

3.   Nullifies alternative workweek schedules adopted pursuant to five wage orders amended effective January 1, 1998 (1 - Manufacturing industry; 4 - Professional, technical, clerical, mechanical and similar occupations; 5 - Public housekeeping industry; 7 - Mercantile industry; 9 - Transportation industry) except as provided.  Reinstates the above orders as established in specified prior versions of those orders.  Those reinstated orders will remain in effect, pending action by the IWC.

 

4.   Permits employers in the health care industry to retain until July 1, 2000, an alternative workweek schedule with workdays up to 12 hours without overtime compensation, provided such schedules were approved by employee elections pursuant to the provisions of wage orders 4 or 5 that were in effect prior to 1998.

 

5.   Provides that if an employee is voluntarily working an alternative workweek schedule providing for a regular schedule of not more than 10 hours work in a workday in effect on July 1, 1999, an employee may continue to work such an alternative workweek schedule without payment of daily overtime compensation if the employer approves a written request of the employee to work that schedule.

 

6.   Establishes that within a workweek, an employee may, based on a specific written request, with the consent of an employer, take time off for a personal obligation, and then make up the lost time on other days within the same workweek without payment of daily overtime compensation for the extra hours worked on the makeup day(s).

 

7.   Authorizes the IWC to adopt wage orders consistent with this bill without convening wage boards.

 

8.   Authorizes the IWC to exempt "administrative, executive, or professional employees" from overtime pay requirements, provided that these employees meet specified wage and duty requirements.  Requires the IWC to conduct a review of the duties that meet the test of this exemption.

 

9.   Authorizes the IWC to review, retain or eliminate any exemptions from any hours of work provisions in a valid work order in effect prior to 1997.

 

10. Exempts from overtime pay requirements employees who are covered by a collective bargaining agreement which meets specified criteria.

 

11. Effective July 1, 2000, sunsets specific statutory provisions governing wages, hours and working conditions in the ski industry, commercial fishing industry, health care industry, and for stable employees in the horseracing industry.  Authorizes the IWC, prior to July 1, 2000, to conduct a review, following which the IWC may adopt regulations regarding overtime in these industries.  Also requires the IWC to review wage and hours issues with respect to licensed pharmacists and outside salespersons.

 

12. Requires the IWC to study the extent to which alternative workweeks are employed in California, the costs and benefits of such workweeks to employees and employers and report the results of the study to the Legislature not later than July 1, 2001.

 

 

AB 109         Knox                  99-164                Employment: Sick Leave

 

This bill would require employers who provide sick leave to allow employees to use accrued and available sick leave in an amount not less than what would be accrued in six months of employment to take care of an ill child, parent, or spouse and would bar employers from taking discriminatory actions against employees who use or attempt to use sick leave for this reason.  The bill prescribes specific remedies for employees who experience discrimination in employment for this reason.

 

AB 302         Floyd                  99-220                Public Works: Prevailing Wage

 

This bill adds local governmental agencies within the requirement to pay prevailing wages on public works projects for the removal of refuse from the construction site.

 

AB 555         Reyes                99-556                Farm Labor Vehicles

 

This bill requires the Labor Commissioner to provide the California Highway Patrol (CHP) with a list of all registered farm labor vehicles on a quarterly basis, extends the inspection liability for farm labor vehicles to vehicle owners and farm labor contractors, and increases fines for violations of inspection requirements for farm labor vehicles.  The bill also requires the CHP, in cooperation with local farm bureaus, to educate farmers and farm labor contractors regarding certification requirements.  Finally, the bill provides that the willful violation of the provisions relative to the operation of a vehicle that is operated as a farm labor vehicle would be a misdemeanor.

 

AB 574         Hertzberg          99-972                Public Contracts: Responsible Bidder

 

This bill codifies existing court language defining the term “responsible bidder” for the purposes of specified provisions of the Public Contract Code.  It authorizes, but does not mandate, a public entity to require bidders on public works contracts to complete and submit a standardized questionnaire and financial statement that would be used to rate all bidders by objective criteria.

 

Among its provisions, this bill requires the Department of Industrial Relations, in concert with other agencies or interested parties, to develop and draft a model for a standardized questionnaire that may be used by awarding agencies, and to develop guidelines for rating bidders.

 

AB 613         Wildman            99-299                Employment:  JESF and TIPP Programs

 

This bill requires the janitorial and building maintenance industry to be included in the enforcement actions conducted under the Joint Enforcement Strike Force (JESF) and the Targeted Industries Partnership Program (TIPP) of the Department of Industrial Relations.  This mandate will become effective for TIPP during fiscal year 1999-2000; and during the 2000-2001 fiscal year for JESF.

 

AB 633         Steinberg           99-554                Labor Violations: Garment Manufacturing

 

This bill makes extensive changes to the garment manufacturing laws and amends the manufacturer registration and wage collection process.  Among its many provisions, the bill addresses several areas of concern as follows:

 

1.   Joint Liability:  Makes all manufacturers liable for the guaranteed wages, including civil penalties, of the entity with whom they have contracted to make garments.  A wage guarantee may be limited on a proportional share basis in cases where the work of two or more persons is performed at the same worksite.

 

2.   Right of Private Action:  Establishes due process procedures for filing wage and overtime claims, appeal actions, and court enforcement.  Grants a right of private action to employees to recover wages and overtime payments due from a manufacturer who has contracted with an unregistered manufacturer.

 

3.   Registration Fees:  Increases the initial registration fee from $150 to $250 and permits the Labor Commissioner to increase future fees, including renewal fees, based on the manufacturer's annual volume, but not to exceed $1,000 for contractors and $2,500 for all other applicants.  Also increases the amount of special wage account fees from $25 to $75 to make whole aggrieved employees.

 

4.   Confiscation:  Authorizes the Labor Commissioner to confiscate garments from garment manufacturers if all wages due and owing have not been paid to employees performing garment manufacturing during a period of 180 days prior to an investigation by DLSE.

 

5.   Asset Lien:  Provides that an employee shall have a lien upon the assets of his or her employer for any sum for services performed in garment manufacturing and that the lien shall have priority over most other claims.

 

6.   Successor Employer:  Provides that a successor employer engaged in the business of garment manufacturing is liable for the unpaid wages of the preceding employer if the successor meets any of the following criteria:

 

      a.   Uses substantially the same facility or workforce to produce its products.

      b.   Shares in ownership or control of the predecessor employer.

      c.   Has in its employ a manager that controlled the wages, hours, and working conditions of the predecessor's employees.

      d.   Is an immediate family member of any person that had financial or operational interest of the predecessor employer.

 

 

AB 884         Kuehl                 99-626                Talent Agencies and Artist’s Managers

 

This bill regulates advance-fee talent services, including the contents of contracts with artists, and the posting of a surety bond.  Among its provisions, this bill:

 

1.   Defines, among other things, the terms “advance fee” and “advance-fee talent service.”

 

2.   Establishes requirements governing advance-fee talent services, including the requirements that:

      a.   Agreements between an artist and an advance-fee talent service be executed by written contract.

      b.   Talent services file a $10,000 bond or deposit with the Labor Commissioner.

 

3.   Provides that violations of this act be classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or a maximum of one year in jail.

 

AB 1019       Strickland          99-195                Minors: Volunteer Construction Services

 

This bill would require the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to review existing state and federal restrictions on participation of minor volunteers in construction projects and to report its findings to the Legislature by April 1, 2000.

 

AB 1395       Correa               99-302                Public Works: Prevailing Wages

 

This bill requires the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement to protect the confidentiality of any employee who reports a violation regarding public works projects.

 

AB 1689       Floyd                  99-692                Employment: Wage Claims

 

This bill amends Labor Code §96 to authorize the Labor Commissioner to accept claims for lost wages resulting from the demotion, suspension, or discharge of an employee for lawful conduct outside of working hours.

 

SB 16           Burton                99-030                Public Works: Prevailing Wage

 

This bill establishes in the Labor Code the method of determining prevailing wages on public works projects to be based on a modal rate.  The bill reverses the regulatory change previously made to change the methodology from the modal rate to a modified weighted average. 

 

SB 56           Solis                   99-340                Employment: Time Off to Appear in Court

 

This bill allows victims of domestic violence to take time off of work to appear in court to obtain a civil restraining order or other legal protection necessary to ensure their health and safety.  It further prohibits discharge or other discriminatory acts against an employee for such court related activities and authorizes an employee to bring a civil suit against an employer who commits such discriminatory acts.  It allows courts the discretion to award reasonable attorney’s fees and costs to employees who prevail in such cases.

 

SB 319         Burton                99-306                JESF on the Underground Economy: Citations

 

This bill extends the sunset provision of the multi-agency Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy from January 1, 2000 to January 1, 2006.

 

SB 651         Burton                99-190                Registered Pharmacists

 

This bill provides that a person employed in the practice of pharmacy is not exempt from coverage under any provision of the wage orders of the Industrial Welfare Commission, unless he or she individually meets the criteria established for exemption as executive or administrative employees.


 

 

Wages, Hours and Working Conditions - Vetoed

 

Bill

Number        Author                Subject

 

AB 470         Wildman            Public Works:  Design Build Contracts

 

This bill would have authorized school districts to enter into design-build contracts for projects funded under the state school facilities funding program.  Among its provisions, the bill would have required the Superintendent of Public Instruction, in cooperation with the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, to develop a standard questionnaire in order to pre-qualify design-build entities.

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“I am supportive of the design-build process in concept.  However, I cannot support this bill because it prohibits the withholding of retention proceeds by school districts using design-build contracts necessary to protect taxpayers if the contractor does not fulfill his responsibilities under the contract.  This provision would put public funds at risk, and for that reason I cannot support this bill.”

 

AB 1652       Steinberg           Labor: Violations

 

This bill would have revised the enforcement procedures of wage and hour laws before the Labor Commissioner and the courts.  Among its provisions, the bill addressed the following issues:

 

1.   Appeals.  Required an employer who appeals a decision of the Labor Commissioner to a court for review to post a surety bond or deposit in the amount of the award with the court of jurisdiction.  Upon completion of the appeal process, if the employer failed to pay the amount due, an additional award would have been due the employee in the amount of the award.

 

2.   Wage Collection by Labor Commissioner.  Required the Labor Commissioner, when acting on behalf of a judgment creditor, to make reasonable collection efforts, including the filing of liens on personal property.

 

 

3.   Insufficient Funds: Waiting Time Penalties.  Applied to all employers a provision of current law applying only to the building and construction industry that imposes up to 30 days waiting time penalties where wages are paid with a check for which payment is refused due to insufficient funds.  Deleted the current provision that

the penalties do not apply if the violation was unintentional.  Granted an employee a right of private court action to seek recovery of wages due.

 

4.   Retention and Reporting of Payroll Records.  For employees working on a piece rate, required that an employer retain records and report to the employee the number of piecework units earned and the applicable piece rate.  Established a civil penalty of $50 for an initial violation and $100 for subsequent violations, and permitted an employee to file a right of private action as an option to filing with the Labor Commissioner.

 

 

5.   Rest and Meal Periods.  Provided that no employer shall require any employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by an applicable IWC Order.  Violators would have been subject to a $50 civil penalty and an amount twice the hourly rate of pay, or piece work pay, of the full meal or rest period.  In addition to filing with the Labor Commissioner, the employee would have had the option of filing a civil court action to enforce this provision, and the award of attorney fees and costs.

 

 

6.   Posting of Violation Notices.  Required employers found in violation of wage laws to post a workplace notice issued by the Labor Commissioner for not less than 60 days, describing the nature of the violation and related information.  Failure to post a notice subjects an employer to a $500 civil penalty for each instance of refusal.

 

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“This legislation, while laudable in its intent, duplicates many existing enforcement efforts and contains excessive penalties.

 

Existing law already provides penalties against employers who issue bad checks for payment of wages.  Additionally, requiring employers who engage in a pattern of violating wage and hour laws to post a declaration that there will be no further violations is unworkable and meaningless.  This legislation, as drafted, is overly broad.”

 

SB 172         Escutia               Employees: Inspection of Personnel Records

 

This bill would have deleted current language in Labor Code §1198.5 that exempts public employers from the requirement to permit employees to inspect their personnel files.  In addition, this bill provided that employees would have suffered no loss of pay for time taken away from work to conduct such inspections during usual business hours.  It further specified the procedures whereby an employee may have requested correction and/or deletion of material in the file that was, in the employee’s belief, inaccurate, irrelevant, untimely or incomplete.

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“The bill is flawed in several respects.  First, it is vague and ambiguous.  Currently, there are no established requirements regarding the content of personnel files, nor is there even a legal requirement for employers to maintain such files.  So, it is unclear what exact files would come within the purview of SB 172.

 

Second, assuming there is a personnel file with negative material, this bill would allow removal of that material after two years and places some burdens on the employer to purge files after two years.  This could make it difficult to establish the existence of adequate cause for a disciplinary action should it become necessary at a later date.

 

Third, allowing an employee to inspect his or her file at any time during business hours, with no loss of compensation, would be quite disruptive to the workplace environment.  Employers should be allowed to establish rules of access.”

 

SB 460         Hayden              Employee Wages

 

This bill would have created a rebuttable presumption against an employer that an employee’s claim of hours worked is valid in an action for nonpayment of wages if the employer has either failed to keep payroll records or to issue itemized wage deduction statements as required by law. 

 

The bill would also have required the Labor Commissioner to convene a task force to determine if any public funds were expended for the procurement or purchase of textiles or apparel used by state or local government that were produced in sweatshops, as defined.  The Labor Commissioner would have been required to submit a report of findings to the Legislature by September 1, 2000, and to make a preliminary report no later than May 1, 2000.

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“Existing law already provides a remedy for those individuals who claim nonpayment of wages for hours worked.  While it may improve the chances of an employee winning a claim for unpaid wages, this bill could have a significant adverse impact on small businesses that would not have the resources necessary to legally rebut such a claim.

 

In addition, rather than issuing a report on the possible expenditure of public funds in the procurement of unlawfully manufactured textiles or apparel, the State can better protect employees by increasing enforcement resources, and tightening licensing standards.”

 



Workers’ Compensation

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject

 

 

AB 224         Knox                  99-270                Workers’ Compensation: Peace Officers: Disability

 

This bill provides that peace officers employed on a regular, full-time basis by Los Angeles County who are injured on the job will be eligible to a leave of absence of up to one year with full pay in lieu of workers' compensation temporary disability payments. 

 

AB 279         Wayne               99-553                Workers’ Compensation: Failure to Pay Compensation

 

This bill increases the penalties for an employer who fails to provide workers' compensation insurance from a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in the county jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000, to a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in a county jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

 

AB 435         Corbett              99-766                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Records: Disclosure

 

This bill limits the existing provision in the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.  It prohibits the disclosure of medical information relative to a patient being infected with HIV without the prior authorization of the patient unless the patient is an injured worker claiming to have been infected with HIV through the course of employment.  It further provides that an insurer shall not disclose to an employer, any medical information about an employee who has filed a workers' compensation claim, except if the diagnosis of the injury for which workers' compensation is claimed would affect the employer's premium, or the medical information is necessary for the employer to have in order for the employer to modify the employee's work duties.

 

AB 539         Papan                 99-595                Workers’ Compensation: Cancer

 

This bill eliminates the requirement to demonstrate a link between a carcinogen and the disabling cancer for certain active firefighting members and peace officers before the cancer is presumed to be a compensable industrial injury.  It also includes leukemia within the definition of "injury" presumed to be a compensable industrial injury developed or manifested by this same specified employee classification, and

 

The bill provides that these provisions are to be applied to claims for benefits filed or pending on or after

January 1, 1997.

 

AB 775         Calderon            99-124                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Care

 

This bill requires that a workers' compensation insurer, third party administrator or other entity that requires a treating physician to obtain either utilization review or prior authorization shall ensure the availability of those services from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Pacific coast time of each normal business day.

 

It also provides that if a billing or a portion of a billing for medical treatment by an employer or employer-selected physician is contested, denied or considered incomplete, the physician shall be notified within thirty days after receipt of the billing by the employer.  In the case of a report that is considered incomplete, the notice that is to be sent to the physician is to identify all the additional information required to make a decision on the billing.

 

AB 1252       Wildman            99-977                Workers’ Compensation: Podiatrists

 

This bill expands the make-up of the Industrial Medical Council to a total of 20 members by adding a doctor of podiatric medicine appointed by the Speaker of the Assembly, an acupuncturist appointed by the Senate Rules Committee, and two additional doctors of medicine appointed by the Governor.

 

In addition, the biennial renewal fee for a certificate to practice podiatric medicine would be increased from $800 to $900 effective January 1, 2002.

 
AB 1309       Scott                   99-721                Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Self-Insurers

 

This bill allows self-insured public employers to discharge workers' compensation obligations by purchasing a special excess workers' compensation policy.

 

AB 1387       Florez                 99-970                Public Employee Disability Benefits

 

This bill provides that probation officers, as specified, who are injured on the job will be eligible to a leave of absence of up to one year with full pay in lieu of workers' compensation temporary disability payments. 
 
SB 77           Murray              99-358                Workers’ Compensation: Death Benefits: Limitations

 

This bill, the Cliff Ojala Death Benefits Act, provides that in the case of death of a health care worker (as defined), or a public safety employee (as specified) from an HIV-related disease, proceedings for collection of workers' compensation death benefits must be initiated one year from the date of death, provided that:

 

1.   The worker filed a timely claim and the claim had not been finally determined to be noncompensable.

 

2.   The employer provided or had been ordered to provide compensation or medical care for the injury

prior to the date of death.

 

3.   A report of the injury or exposure had been made to the employer or to a governmental agency

authorized to administer industrial injury claims within one year of the date of the injury.

 

SB 717         Peace                 99-746                Workers’ Compensation Administration Revolving Fund

 

This bill reinstates the funding mechanism for the Division of Workers' Compensation Administration Revolving Fund.

 



 

Workers’ Compensation - Vetoed

 

Bill

Number        Author                Subject

 
AB 1343       Floyd                  Workers’ Compensation: Subsequent Injury

 

This bill would have required the Worker's Compensation Appeals Board to commute attorney's fees from the end of the payment process to the beginning of the process for awards in subsequent injury cases issued on or after January 1, 2000.

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“This bill would result, in most cases, in the attorney being paid long before the applicant ever received any funds.  Thus, applicants who need the additional compensation which has been awarded to them for their work related injury or illness would have to wait until their attorney has been paid before receiving their benefits.  In some cases, where the applicant dies before sufficient benefits accrue to allow for payment of an attorney's fee, the applicant would receive no benefits while the attorney would already have received his or her fee. 

 

Placing the priority in workers' compensation cases on payment of attorneys' fees before payments to inured workers is neither a rational nor appropriate expenditure of public funds.”
 
SB 320         Solis                   Workers’ Compensation: Staffing of Courts

 

This bill would have increased workers' compensation benefits and made changes in the administration of the workers' compensation system.

 

Governor’s veto message:

 

“SB 320, while seeking to increase benefits for injured workers, fails to meet the test of moderation.  While I recognize that some benefits for injured workers have fallen behind the cost of living in recent years, SB 320 increases benefits far beyond what I believe California employers can absorb without negatively impacting the economy.”

 

SB 887         Ortiz                   Foster Care

 

This bill would have modified the regulation of foster care group homes and established a fraud investigation bureau.  Among other things, it would have required the Division of Workers' Compensation (DWC) to provide information regarding group home licensees to assist auditors and investigators in identifying fraud.  The information was to be limited to, and DWC was prohibited from providing more than, the information specifically requested and associated with the alleged fraud of the group home licensee.

 

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“While I am supportive of establishing and maintaining appropriate oversight with respect to group home programs, this bill would require significant additional resources to accommodate the increased workload associated with the group home audit provisions.  It is more appropriate to review these program changes and associated costs as part of the annual budget process.”


 

Occupational Safety and Health

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject

 

 

AB 850         Torlakson          99-585                Permanent Amusement Rides Safety Inspection Program

 

This bill establishes the Permanent Amusement Ride Safety Inspection Program for the permitting and inspection of permanent amusement rides by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) within the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR).  Among its provisions the bill:

 

1.   Requires annual inspection by DOSH as specified and a written declaration by a qualified inspector, who has been approved by DIR, that a ride meets established safety standards.

 

2.   Permits DOSH to fix and collect fees for the actual cost of the program.

 

3.   Requires ride owners to maintain liability insurance, or the equivalent, as specified.

 

4.   Requires permanent amusement ride operators to ensure that employees are trained in the safe operation and maintenance of rides, pursuant to specified standards.

 

5.   Permits DOSH to shut down an unsafe ride until the condition is corrected.

 

6.   Requires the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt rules and regulations for the safe installation, repair, maintenance, use, operation, and inspection of permanent amusement rides.

 

7.   Requires the operator to keep specified records regarding accidents which cause injury and specifies that if a fatality or serious injury is caused by the failure, malfunction, or operation of an amusement ride, the equipment or conditions that caused the accident shall be preserved for the purpose of investigation by the division.

 

8.   Requires operators to notify the state immediately by telephone of any accident resulting in death or serious injury to the patron.  This notification will trigger an investigation by DOSH.

 

9.   Provides for fines and penalties for violations.

 

10. Specifies that the provisions related to annual inspections do not apply to permanent amusement rides that are located within a county or other political subdivision of the state that, as of April 1, 1998, has adopted the provision of the 1994 Uniform Building Code providing for the routine inspection of such rides.

 

AB 1127       Steinberg           99-615                Employee Safety: Violations

 

This bill provides omnibus reform of the Cal-OSHA program relating to civil and criminal penalties and enforcement procedures.  The purpose of this bill is to increase the civil and criminal penalties for violations of statutes and regulations regarding worker safety and makes related changes to Labor Code provisions regarding worker health and safety.  Among its many provisions, the bill:

 

1.   Extends the time period for filing discrimination complaints to the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement from 30 days to six months following the occurrence of the violation.

 

2.   Makes statutes and regulations enforceable by the Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) admissible in personal injury and wrongful death actions so that litigants in these actions could use these provisions as standards for determining negligence. 

 

3.   Expands the circumstances under which DOSH is subject to existing statutory deadlines to investigate complaints of unsafe working conditions, and requires DOSH to prioritize its responses to complaints so that it responds first to complaints for which time is of the essence.

 

4.   Codifies current regulations allowing DOSH to cite multiple employers at unsafe worksites, where multiple employers were responsible for the unsafe conditions.

 

5.   Increases the criminal penalties for some misdemeanor violations of occupational safety and health standards to one year with a maximum fine of $15,000, unless the defendant is a corporation or limited liability company, in which case the maximum fine would be $150,000.00.

 

 

6.   Classifies as a "public offense" any willful occupational safety and health violation causing death or prolonged impairment, and increases the criminal sanctions for these crimes as follows:

 

      a.   For a first offense the term of imprisonment is increased from a maximum of six months to a maximum of three years.  The fine is increased from a maximum of $70,000 to a maximum of $250,000 if the defendant is a person, and to a maximum of 1,500,000 if the defendant is a corporation or limited liability company.

 

      b.   Defines a new penalty for a violation of Labor Code §6425 occurring within seven years of an earlier violation of Labor Code §6423.  This penalty consists of a term of imprisonment of up to three years or a fine up to an $250,000, or both.  If the defendant is a corporation or limited liability company the penalty will be a fine in the range of $500,000 to $2,500,000.

 

      c.   Defines a penalty for a second violation of Labor Code §6425 coming within seven years of the first violation.  This penalty will be a prison term of up to four years and a fine of up to $250,000, or both.  If the defendant is a corporation or limited liability company the fine would be in the range of $1,000,000 to $3,500,000.

 

Note:  The bill also provides that the definition of “willful” as applied to occupational safety and health crimes would be the same as the definition used in the Penal Code.

 

7.   Increases the maximum civil penalty for serious violations from $7,000 to $25,000.

 

8.   Lengthens the period during which DOSH must preserve records of its investigations and citations from three to seven years.

 

9.   Increases from $7,000 per day to $15,000 per day the maximum penalty assessable for a failure-to-abate violation; and imposes criminal sanctions for filing a false report of abatement, in the form of imprisonment in a county jail for a term of up to one year and a fine of up to $30,000, or both, and for a corporation or limited liability company, a fine of up to $300,000.

 

10. Redefines what constitutes a serious violation in a manner that would significantly expand the types of violations classifiable as serious, and in so doing, increases the amounts of penalties assessable for such violations.

 

AB 1655       Hertzberg          99-469                Occupational Safety & Health Standards: Variances

 

This bill requires the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to report to the Legislature by April 1, 2000, on the nature and extent of investigations conducted by the Board pursuant to the procedure for granting a variance from a safety and health standard or order.  The bill deletes the January 1, 2000 sunset date of the authorization to levy and collect assessments from employers for the Cal-OSHA Targeted Inspection and Consultation Fund.


 

Occupational Safety and Health - Vetoed

 

Bill                                         

Number        Author                Subject

 

 

SB 508         Ortiz                   State Property:  Safety & Health Standards

 

This bill would have required the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board to adopt a standard to protect community health care workers from violence while performing their duties.

 

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“Available data on violence against health care workers relate to those workers in hospitals and psychiatric facilities.  There is no direct evidence that violence against home health care workers is on the rise.  Additionally, this bill would potentially increase costs to employers and be duplicative of the existing requirements for the development of injury and illness preventive programs under existing law.”


 

Miscellaneous

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject

 

 

AB 184         Davis                 99-366                Employment: Hazardous Material Safety Data Filing

 

This bill authorizes Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) preparers to submit MSDSs to the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) electronically and would require DIR to implement an enabling system for such filing by January 1, 2002.  It also requires DIR to evaluate the use and effectiveness of the electronic format on the preparers of the MSDS and the affected employers and employees. 

 

AB 921         Keeley               99-903                Apprenticeship Programs

 

This bill changes the composition of the California Apprenticeship Council, revises related apprenticeship standards for apprentices and programs, and requires periodic audits of existing programs.  Among its provisions this bill:

 

1.   Clarifies existing law concerning employment of apprentices on public works, and adds a provision allowing public agencies to request information from contractors about the expected and actual employment of apprentices on public works projects.  The bill also adds a provision for grants to apprenticeship programs for training from monies collected by the California Apprenticeship Council (CAC).

 

2.   Increases the penalty from $50 to $100 per day for noncompliance with requirements concerning apprenticeship on public works; adds a $300 per day penalty for repeat violations within three years; adds a debarment process; provides that where a subcontractor violates these provisions, a general contractor is not liable for the subcontractor’s actions unless the general had knowledge of the violations, or failed for follow certain requirements.  The debarment or civil penalties are reviewed by the Director of the Department of Industrial Relations, with a subsequent review by Superior Court, eliminating the current review by the CAC after the Director’s decision.

 

3.   Changes the make up of the CAC slightly by requiring that employee representatives on the CAC be from organizations that sponsor apprenticeship programs.

 

 

4.   Provides that the Division of Apprenticeship Standards shall audit all apprenticeship programs during each five-year period commencing January 1, 2000, to ensure compliance with state apprenticeship standards, including affirmative action programs.  Failure to correct audit deficiencies within a reasonable time shall be grounds for withdrawing state approval.

 

5.   Provides that except in certain circumstances in the building trades a new program cannot be approved where there is an existing program.

 

6.   Requires meaningful representation of apprentices in the management of apprenticeship programs.

 

7.   Requires that apprentices only be employed as apprentices by employers who are party to the apprentice agreement.

 

AB 931         Calderon            99-781                Electricians: Apprenticeship Standards

 

This bill requires the Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) by January 1, 2001, to establish and validate minimum standards for the competency and training of electricians through a system of testing and certification, regardless of union or non-union affiliation, and to establish the necessary fees for the program.  It also requires DAS to appoint an advisory committee by March 1, 2000, including union and non-union contractors, to serve to establish and implement these standards and fees .

 

AB 1234       Shelley               99-393                State Bodies: Open meetings: Violations

 

This bill requires all state bodies to post notices of meetings, and minutes of emergency meetings, on the Internet.  The provisions of this bill would not be implemented until July 1, 2001, unless otherwise authorized by the Department of Information Technology.


 

Miscellaneous - Vetoed

Bill              

Number        Author                Subject

 

AB 442         Cedillo               State Funds Prohibited for Union Discouragement

 

This bill would have prohibited the use of state funds by an employer to discourage unionization by the employer or any other employees.  It would also have required the adoption of regulations to implement these provisions and to respond to complaints by auditing to see if a violation had occurred.  Violators would be

subject to civil damages and taxpayers would be authorized to bring action against employers, with the taxpayers being eligible to recover reasonable attorney’s fees and costs as part of the judgement.

 

Governor's Veto Message: 

 

“This legislation has the potential to impose an unreasonable burden on businesses in that they would have to maintain minutely-detailed records to track good, services and funds received from the State in order to avoid violating the provisions contained therein.  In addition, in the absence of a verified complaint, it would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to determine the accuracy and truthfulness of any report or fund utilization submitted by an employer.

 

Finally, AB 442 also has the potential to significantly increase employers’ litigation costs by providing countless opportunities for disgruntled employees to file civil actions merely in an effort to harass employers.”

 

SB 1065       Bowen                Vetoed               Public Records: Electronic Format

 

This bill would have specifically required all state agencies that have public information in an electronic format to:

 

1.   Make that information available in electronic format, if requested by the public.

2.   Make the information available in the electronic format in which it holds the information, when applicable.

3.   Provide the copy in the electronic format requested by the public if it is a format that was used by the agency in the past.

 

The bill also provided that if the report has been deleted or was no longer available, the agency would not have been required to reconstruct it in an electronic format.

 

Governor’s Veto Message:

 

“As such, this bill does not keep faith with previous legislation I have signed to protect the confidentiality of citizens whose personal information is maintained by state departments including the Employment Development Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Health Services, and the California Highway Patrol.

 

I believe the State's information technology resources should be directed towards making sure that its computer systems are year 2000 compliant.  The author was unwilling to add language which would ensure the completion of this task before the implementation of the provisions of this bill.”


 

INDEX

Assembly Bills

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

AB 60           Knox                   99-134                Overtime                                                                                 

AB 109         Knox                   99-164                Employment: Sick Leave                                                          

AB 184         Davis                   99-366                Employment: Hazardous Material Safety Data Filing                 

AB 224         Knox                   99-270                Workers’ Compensation: Peace Officers: Disability                  

AB 279         Wayne                99-553                Workers’ Compensation: Failure to Pay Compensation

AB 302         Floyd                  99-220                Public Works: Prevailing Wage                                                

AB 435         Corbett               99-766                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Records, Disclosure

AB 442         Cedillo                Vetoed                State Funds Prohibited for Union Discouragement                    

AB 470         Wildman              Vetoed                Public Works: Design Build Contracts                                      

AB 539         Papan                  99-595                Workers’ Compensation: Cancer                                             

AB 555         Reyes                  99-556                Farm Labor Vehicles                                                               

AB 574         Hertzberg            99-972                Public Contracts: Responsible Bidder                                       

AB 613         Wildman              99-299                Employment: JESF and TIPP Programs                                   

AB 633         Steinberg             99-554                Labor violations: Garment Manufacturing                                  
AB 775         Calderon             99-124                Workers’ Compensation: Medical Care                                   

AB 850         Torlakson            99-585                Permanent Amusement Rides Safety Inspection Program          

AB 884         Kuehl                  99-626                Talent Agencies and Artist’s Managers                                     

AB 921         Keeley                99-903                Apprenticeship Programs                                                         

AB 931         Calderon             99-781                Electricians: Apprenticeship Standards                                     

AB 1019       Strickland            99-195                Minors: Volunteer Construction Services                                  
AB 1127       Steinberg             99-615                Employee Safety: Violations                                                     

AB 1234       Shelley                99-393                State Bodies: Open meetings: Violations                                   

AB 1252       Wildman              99-977                Workers’ Compensation: Podiatrists                                        
AB 1309       Scott                   99-721                Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Self-Insurers                     
AB 1343       Floyd                  Vetoed                Workers’ Compensation: Subsequent Injury                             
AB 1387       Florez                  99-970                Public Employee Disability Benefits                                          

AB 1395       Correa                99-302                Public Works: Prevailing Wages                                               

AB 1652       Steinberg             Vetoed                Labor: Violations                                                                     

AB 1655       Hertzberg            99-469                Occupational Safety & Health Standards: Variances                 

AB 1689       Floyd                  99-692                Employment: Wage Claims                                                      

 

Senate Bills

 

Bill                                          Chapter

Number        Author                Number              Subject                                                                                

 

SB 16           Burton                 99-030                Public Works: Prevailing Wage                                                
SB 56           Solis                    99-340                Employment: Time Off to Appear in Court                               
SB 77           Murray                99-358                Workers’ Compensation: Death Benefits: Limitations                

SB 172         Escutia                Vetoed                Employees: Inspection of Personnel Records                            

SB 319         Burton                 99-306                JESF on the Underground Economy: Citations                         
SB 320         Solis                    Vetoed                Workers’ Compensation: Staffing of Courts                             
SB 460         Hayden               Vetoed                Employee Wages                                                                     

SB 508         Ortiz                    Vetoed                State Property: Safety & Health Standards                               

SB 651         Burton                 99-190                Registered Pharmacists                                                            
SB 717         Peace                  99-746                Workers’ Compensation Admin Revolving Fund                      

SB 887         Ortiz                    Vetoed                Foster Care                                             

SB 1065       Bowen                Vetoed                Public Records: Electronic Format