FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
IR # 96-47
Thursday, December 26, 1996

CONTACT:
Rick Rice
(415) 972-8835


DIR Releases Significant Legislative Changes for 1997

SAN FRANCISCO-- The Department of Industrial Relations today released its annual summary of legislation, much of which will have significant impact on California's labor force.

Broken down into sections including workers' compensation, wages, hours and working conditions, and occupational safety and health, the summary contains a brief synopsis of all legislation passed by the Legislature in 1996 pertaining to the Department, its programs, and its constituencies. The summary also contains the corresponding chapter number or veto message for each piece of legislation.

Two measures included in the report that highlight change in the California's work environment are SB 987 and AB 1987.

Senate Bill 987 (Polanco), endorsed by both industry and labor groups, exempts the entertainment industry from certain Cal/OSHA permit requirements. Cal/OSHA regulations require employers to obtain a permit from the agency when constructing or demolishing any structure over 36 feet in height. The rule is strictly enforced in the construction industry but was seen as unnecessary and burdensome for the entertainment industry where motion picture, television and theater sets are built and razed very quickly and since employee safety is ensured by other regulations.

Assembly Bill 1987 (Miller) provides greater protection to student athletes from unscrupulous athletic agents. The new law gives student athletes and schools more flexibility to take legal action against agents who break the law. Also, rather than licensing by the Labor Commissioner, the new law requires athletic agents to maintain an insurance policy or keep sufficient funds in trust in order to cover any claims which may be filed against them.

In total, 21 pieces of legislation are contained in the summary, 18 of which were signed into law by Governor Wilson. For a copy of the 1996 Legislative Summary, please contact the Department of Industrial Relations Communications Office at (415) 972-8835.

The 1996 Legislative Summary is also available on the DIR Home Page at www.dir.ca.gov.
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