DIVISION OF LABOR STANDARDS ENFORCEMENT

LEGISLATION EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002

Following is a brief description of some of the labor laws that were enacted during 2001. Unless otherwise noted, all laws become effective on January 1, 2002.

To find legislation by topic, click the following links:

Discrimination

Farm Labor Contractors

Public Works

Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

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

AB 25 AB 1069
AB 423 AB 1675
AB 471 SB 588
AB 1015SB 912
AB 1025SB 1125

Discrimination

AB 25 - Chapter 01- 893

Subject: Domestic Partnerships

Author: Migden

Summary: Existing law requires employers who provide sick leave to allow employees to use that leave for taking care of an ill child, parent, or spouse, and bars employers from taking discriminatory actions against employees who use or attempt to use sick leave as provided. Among other provisions, this bill amends this law to include a domestic partner as a person covered by its provisions.

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Discrimination

AB 1015 - Chapter 01-820

Subject: Employment Retaliation

Author: Wright

Summary: This bill prohibits discrimination against job applicants because they have engaged in activities protected by the Labor Code.

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Discrimination

AB 1069 - Chapter 01-134

Subject: Department of Labor Complaints

Author: Koretz

Summary: When issuing a determination in a discrimination complaint involving health and safety issues (Labor Code §§6310 and 6311), the Labor Commissioner must inform the aggrieved person that he or she may file a complaint regarding California's enforcement program's handling of the case with the United States Department of Labor (U.S. DOL). This bill requires the Labor Commissioner to temporarily suspend a determination pending U. S. DOL’s review of such a complaint.

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Farm Labor Contractors

AB 423 - Chapter 01-157

Subject: License Requirements

Author: Hertzberg

Summary: This bill makes additional requirements for contracting parties to verify the licenses of farm labor contractors. The bill also requires the Labor Commissioner to establish a Farm Labor Contractor Verification Unit (by July 1, 2002) and a Farm Labor Enforcement Unit. In addition, commencing January 1, 2003, a person convicted of willfully and knowingly failing to pay agricultural workers the minimum wage, or any higher wages agreed upon, will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

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Farm Labor Contractors

SB 1125 - Chapter 01-147

Subject: Farmworker Remedial Account

Author: Burton

Summary: This bill permits farm labor contractor surety bonds and the funds in the Labor Commissioner’s Farmworker Remedial Account to be used to pay an agricultural worker any monetary award that is the result of a violation of labor laws or regulations.

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Public Works

SB 588 - Chapter 01-804

Subject: Prevailing Wages: Payroll Records

Author: Burton

Summary: This bill authorizes a joint labor-management committee, organized pursuant to federal law, to bring a civil action against an employer who fails to pay prevailing wages to his or her employees on a public works project.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 471 - 01-198

Subject: Horseracing

Author: Hertzberg

Summary: This bill permits backstretch employees to be represented by a labor union for collective bargaining purposes. This bill also requires the Labor Commissioner to notify the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) of any final findings of Labor Code violations committed by one of its licensees and to audit the payroll records of trainers who operate for ninety or more racing days per calendar year and are not party to collective bargaining agreements.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1675 - Chapter 01-948

Subject: Sheepherder's Working Conditions

Author: Koretz

Summary: This bill requires a sheepherder to be compensated a monthly wage of $1,050 per month as of July 1, 2001 and $1,200 per month effective July 1, 2002. Subsequent increases in the monthly minimum wage must occur at the same time and at the same percentage rate of increase as the state minimum wage. The bill also codifies minimum labor standards and working conditions for sheepherders.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1025 - Chapter 01-821

Subject: Lactation Accommodation

Author: Frommer

Summary: This bill requires employers to provide employees with a reasonable amount of break time and a location (other than a toilet stall) for the purpose of expressing breast milk in the workplace.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 912 - Chapter 01-345

Subject: Employment of Minors in Agricultural Packing Plants

Author: Chesbro

Summary: This bill permits the Labor Commissioner to grant a Lake County agricultural plant an exemption that allows the employment of 16- and 17-year-old minors for up to 60 hours per week during peak harvest season. The bill also requires that the Labor Commissioner inspect each plant that requests exemption, and that every exempt plant file an annual report with the Labor Commissioner on the minors it has employed. These provisions automatically repeal on January 1, 2005.

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