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Legislation effective January 1, 2012

Following is a brief description of some of the labor laws that were enacted during 2011. Unless otherwise noted, all laws become effective on January 1, 2012.

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:

2011

AB 22
AB 240 AB 243 AB 469 AB 551
AB 766
AB 1236 AB 1396 AB 1398 AB 1401 SB 272 SB 459


Discrimination

AB 22 - (Chapter 724, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment: Credit Reports

Author: Mendoza

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1785.20.5 of the Civil Code, and adds Chapter 3.6 (commencing with Section 1024.5 (to Part 2 of Division 2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.

Summary: Prohibits the use of consumer credit reports by an employer or prospective employer for employment purposes unless the position of the person for whom the report is sought falls under any one of eight (8) specified types of employment positions. The bill excludes those businesses which are financial institutions subject to specified federal statutes (15 USC 6801 to 6809)

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Discrimination

AB 1236 - (Chapter 691, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment: hiring practices

Author: Fong

Sections Affected: Adds Article 2.5 (commending with section 2811) to Chapter 2 of Division 3 of the Labor Code, relating to Employment

Summary: Prohibits the state or a city county, city and county, or special district from requiring an employer to use the federal electronic employment verification system (E-verify) except as required under federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds.

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Discrimination

SB 272 - (Chapter 147, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Leave of absence: organ donation

Author: DeSaulnier

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1510 of the Labor Code, relating to Employment

Summary: Requires a private employer with 15 or more employees to grant a leave of absence not exceeding 30 days to an employee who is an organ donor in any one-year period for the purpose of donating his or her organ to another person. An employer shall grant a leave of absence not exceeding 5 days to an employee who is a bone marrow donor in any one year period, for the purpose of donating his or her bone marrow to another person. Covered employers are prohibited from discriminating against employees who exercise these rights and allows an employee a private right of action in civil court to enforce its provisions.

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Public Works

AB 551 - (Chapter 677, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Public contracts: prevailing wage requirements: violations

Author: Campos

Sections Affected: Increases the minimum and maximum daily penalty amounts for failure of a contractor or subcontractor to pay the applicable prevailing wage rate to workers on public works projects, the minimum and maximum daily penalty amount for failure to timely produce certified payroll records following written notice. A contractor or subcontractor failing to provide a timely response to a request to produce certified payroll records will be subject to debarment proceedings which may make him or her ineligible to bid or be awarded a public works contract or perform as a subcontractor for a specific period.

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Public Works

AB 766 - (Chapter 481, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Public works: payroll records

Author: Monning

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1776 of the Labor Code, relating to public works

Summary: Permits certain state agencies participating in the Joint Enforcement Strike Force on the Underground Economy (JESF), or a law enforcement agency, to obtain non-redacted copies of records made available for inspection to entities within the JESF. An employer would not be liable for damages in a civil action for reasonable acts or omissions taken in good faith in compliance with these requirements.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 240 (Chapter 272, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Compensation recovery actions: liquidated damages

Author: Bonilla

Sections Affected: Amends Sections 98 and 1194.2 of the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Permits an employee to recover liquidated damages in an amount equal to the wages unlawfully unpaid and interest thereon pursuant to a complaint brought before the Labor Commissioner alleging payment of less than the minimum wage fixed by an order of the Industrial Welfare Commission.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 243 (Chapter 671, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Labor contractors

Author: Alejo

Sections Affected: Amends Section 226 of the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Requires an employer who is a farm labor contractor to disclose the name and address of the legal entity that secured the services of the farm labor contractor on the required itemized wage statement (pay stub) furnished to each employee.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 469 (Chapter 655, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employees: wages

Author: Swanson/Huffman

Sections Affected: Amends Sections 98, 226, 240, 243, 1174 and 1197.1 of, and adds Sections 200.5, 1194.3, 1197.2,1206 and 2810.5 to the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Enacts the Wage Theft Protection Act of 2011 which criminalizes willful violations for non-payment of wages after a court judgment or final administrative order. Requires restitution to the employee in addition to a civil penalty for failure to pay minimum wages. Requires that specified information be provided to employees at the time of hire and in wage claim proceedings and that employers update changes within specified periods. Extends the time period for obtaining judgment on final orders for collection of penalties by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE). Enhances bond requirements for employers with convictions or court judgments for non-payment of wages including requiring an accounting of assets upon request of DLSE or court order. Establishes that penalties under the Labor Code for failure to comply with wage-related statutes are minimum penalties. Allows employees to recover attorney's fees and costs incurred to enforce a judgment for unpaid wages.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1396 - (Chapter 556, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment contract requirements

Author: Committee on Labor and Employment

Sections Affected: Amends section 2751 and repeals Section 2752 of the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Requires that, by January 1, 2013, a contract of employment involving commissions as a method of payment for services to be rendered in this state must be in writing and set forth the method by which commissions are to be computed and paid. The bill also repeals an existing provision providing for treble damages for violation of the requirement.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1398 - (Chapter 489, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment of minors: agricultural packing plants

Author: Chesbro

Sections Affected: Amends section 1393.5 of the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Extends the sunset date to January 1, 2017 authorizing the Labor Commissioner to issue, under specified conditions, special exemptions allowing agricultural packing plants to employ minors enrolled in schools located in Lake County to work for up to 10 hours per day and more than 48 hours, but not more than 60 hours per week during peak harvest season, when school is not in session. The bill also changes reporting requirements for employers to file required information to the Labor Commissioner (to be filed annually on or before October 1) and the filing of reports to the Legislature (to one report which must be filed by November 1, 2016 covered the period from March 1, 2011 to October 1, 2016).

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

AB 1401 - (Chapter 557, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment: minors

Author: Committee on Arts, Entertainment, Sports, Tourism, and Internet Media.

Sections Affected: Amends Section 1308.5 and adds Section 1308.10 to the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Establishes an on-line internet website permit process to be administered by the Labor Commissioner for the issuance of temporary work permits for minors working in the entertainment industry. The temporary work permit issued is valid for a period not to exceed ten (10) days and authorizes a minor to perform for a short time period during which a parent or guardian pays an application fee and satisfies other requirements necessary for issuance of a regular 6-month permit. The Entertainment Work Permit Fund is created into which permit fees received for a temporary entertainment work permit would be placed and provides that these funds would pay costs for administering the on-line temporary work permit program.

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Wages, Hours, and Working Conditions

SB 459 - (Chapter 706, Statutes of 2011)

Subject: Employment: independent contractors

Author: Corbett

Sections Affected: Adds Sections 226.8 and 2753 to the Labor Code, relating to employment

Summary: Prohibits the willful misclassification of an individual as an independent contractor rather than as an employee. Persons or employers violating the prohibition are subject to specified civil penalties assessed by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) or a court, and enhances the penalty amount when a person or employer has engaged in a pattern or practice of willful misclassification. LWDA or a court shall order a violator to post a specified notice of violation following a determination that a person or employer has engaged in willful misclassification and shall notify the Contractors' State License Board (CSLB) if the violator is a licensed contractor. The Labor Commissioner is expressly authorized to enforce this law. A person who, for compensation, knowingly advises an employer to treat an individual as an independent contractor to avoid employee status could be jointly and severally liable if the individual is found not to be an independent contractor.

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