New Employment Laws in the Works in California

The State Assembly recently passed six new bills that further protect employees’ rights in the state of California. Below is a summary of those bills

  • AB-51 aims at outlawing arbitration in employment contracts. This bill is likely preempted by federal law (the Federal Arbitration Act) despite its declared intent not to invalidate agreements that are otherwise enforceable under the FAA.  Former Gov. Jerry Brown repeatedly refused to sign similar bills.
  • AB-171 provides a “rebuttable presumption” of unlawful retaliation if within 90 days of notice to the employer of sexual harassment, domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault, the employee suffers an adverse action (e.g., discharge, demotion, suspension, etc.) by the employer.
  • AB-196 guarantees 100 percent wage replacement (up to the maximum weekly amount available for workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits) when workers access California’s Paid Family Leave.
  • AB-500 provides paid leave of six weeks for employees of school districts, charter schools, and community colleges who suffer pregnancy-related disabilities (pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, recovery).
  • AB-1066 makes striking employees eligible to receive unemployment benefits after the first four weeks of a trade dispute – currently, only employees who leave work due to a lockout are eligible for benefits.
  • AB-5 codifies the Dynamex decision (see prior post here: http://simonianlawfirm.com/2018/11/01/employee-vs-independent-contractor/), making it nearly impossible for most employers to classify a worker as an independent contractor.

All of these bills are aimed at protecting employee rights, which we’re in favor of. To speak with knowledgable attorneys about issues you may be experiencing at work, call our office at 818-405-0080.