California Update - May 24, 2017

By Jason Gabhart May 24, 2017
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California Fair Employment and Housing Council Criminal History Regulations Effective July 1

New regulations limiting the types of criminal history policies that companies may adopt go into effect on July 1.  The new rules will prohibit employers from having a policy that has an adverse impact on a person in a protected class under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, unless the policy is job-related and consistent with business necessity. Check out this article from the latest edition of SHRM's California HR News for a more detailed explanation of the new rules, as well as a summary of the latest criminal history restrictions in California.

Deadline for California Legislation Approaching Soon

The California Legislature will be quite busy the next two weeks. This Friday marks the deadline for bills to pass out of the Senate and Assembly appropriations (fiscal) committees. If a piece of legislation makes it out of the committee, it will then be sent to the floor for a vote by either the full Senate or Assembly. The Legislature won't have much time to decide the fate of these bills after returning from the Memorial Day holiday, as the deadline for bills to pass out of their respective house of origin is Friday, June 2.

Many bills that SHRM is advocating on are currently in the appropriations committees. Some of these include AB 353 (private employer voluntary veterans hiring preference), AB 450 (workplace compliance action undertaken by federal immigration agency personnel) and AB 1008 (California's "ban the box" legislation regarding background checks). A complete update on the status of all the bills SHRM is advocating on in California will be provided soon after the June 2 deadline.

California State-Run Retirement Plan Set to Begin in 2019

In less than two years, employers with five or more employees that don't already provide a retirement option will be required to either begin to offer a retirement plan or provide their employees access to a state-run retirement plan, known as Secure Choice. The state has indicated that the new requirements will begin in 2019. Employers with more than 100 employees will need to offer a retirement plan within 12 months after the program is open for enrollment, employers with more than 50 employees will need to offer a retirement plan within 24 months after the program is open for enrollment, and employers with more than five employees will need to offer a retirement plan within 36 months after Secure Choice is open for enrollment.

California Treasurer John Chiang and Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon recently announced that Secure Choice remains on track and they believe the plan stands on firm legal and statutory ground in response to efforts at the federal level to end state-run retirement programs. SHRM is monitoring the implementation of this program in California, as well as others that have been enacted and proposed in other states and remains concerned about the implications of these state-run retirement programs and their long-term viability. Read the Secure Choice fact sheet produced by the California Treasurer's office.

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