Governor Brown Signs New Legislation Commencing January 2018

Last month, we discussed the new changes to the Equal Pay Act that will prohibit employers from relying on an applicant’s prior salary to determine how much to pay the applicant.

As happens at this time of the year, the governor signs a number of pieces of legislation, many of which impact employees. Today we are looking at a few more important pieces of legislation protecting employees with criminal histories, women, immigrants, and families.

First, Governor Brown signed Ban the Box. This legislation broadens the current legislation.  Now, it will be an unlawful employment practice to ask a potential employee about his or her criminal convictions or to consider any convictions until after a conditional offer of employment is made. After making such an offer, the law sets forth limits on how an employer may consider facts surrounding a conviction, including an individualized assessment and notice. The law applies to employer’s with over five employees.  See, AB1008.

SB 63 expands parental or baby-bonding leave to any employer with 20 or more employees in a 75 mile radius (the prior law covered employers with 50 employees). The law permits 12 weeks of leave (yes, unfortunately unpaid leave) within a year of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.  The law still requires that the employee have worked one year and 1,250 hours.

The Immigrant Worker Protection Act, AB 450, prohibits employers from allowing federal immigration agents from entering nonpublic areas of a place of labor, or inspect employee records, except with a warrant or subpoena, or otherwise required by federal law.

Jody LeWitter