The 2016 California Legislative Session Gets Underway

By Christopher E. Cobey, © Littler Jan 11, 2016
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California's 2016 session commenced on Jan. 4, 2016. Hearings are already scheduled on these bills of interest to California private-sector employers:

  • Senate Bill (S.B.) 368. This is a bill backed by the business community and the Republican legislative minority, and has been proposed in previous sessions. The bill would permit an individual, nonexempt employee to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays up to 10 hours per day, within a 40-hour workweek, and would allow the employer to implement this schedule without the obligation to pay overtime compensation for those additional hours in a workday.
  • Assembly Bill (A.B.) 326. This bill would require the Department of Industrial Relations to quickly release employer funds, plus interest earned, deposited in escrow as security for possible liquidated damages, to those found to be entitled to those funds, following the conclusion of all administrative and judicial review of proceedings.
  • S.B. 702. This bill would require temporary services agencies to include in their Workplace Theft Prevention (WTPA) notices (also known as “Labor Code section 2810.5 notices”) the email address, if one is on file with the temporary services employer, of the legal entity for whom an employee will perform work.

Bills can be tracked through the California Legislature’s website at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov. This site includes committee reports on individual bills, normally issued at least one legislative day before a bill is heard in committee, or on the floor. If a committee’s hearings are streamed live online, they can be accessed through http://www.calchannel.com/live-webcast.

Look for the appearance of the following proposed policy changes in 2016:

  • Expansion of the California Family Leave Act's (CFLA) scope of coverage.
  • Prohibition on mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements as a condition of hiring or continued employment.
  • Limitations on a hiring employer's ability to request an applicant's previous salary history.
  • Expansion of penalties and lowering of the employee threshold that would trigger the imposition of various violations of the Labor Code.

Christopher E. Cobey is an attorney in the San Jose, Calif., office of Littler.Republished with permission. © 2016 Littler. All rights reserved.

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