Yesterday, Governor Brown signed several more bills that further expand employee rights in California:
AB 218 — Existing California law prohibits both public and private employers from asking an applicant to disclose, either verbally or in writing, any information about a prior arrest or detention that did not result in a conviction. This new law, which takes effect July 1, 2014, would prohibit a state or local agency from asking an applicant to disclose information concerning a conviction until the state or local agency has determined that the applicant meets the minimum employment qualifications for the position.
AB 566 — Existing California law prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, and/or sexual orientation. This new law, which takes effect January 1, 2014, adds “military and veteran status” to this list of categories protected from employment discrimination in the state.
SB 390 — Existing California law makes it a crime for an employer to fail to make agreed-upon payments to employee health and welfare funds, pension funds, or other benefit plans. This new law, which takes effect January 1, 2014, would also make it a crime for an employer to fail to remit withholdings from an employee’s wages that were due pursuant to local, state, or federal law.
SB 435 — Existing California law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to work during any meal or rest period mandated by a wage order promulgated by the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC). This new law, which takes effect January 1, 2014, also prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to work during any “recovery periods,” defined by Cal-OSHA as a “cooldown period” intended to prevent heat illness. Employers can find Cal-OSHA’s requirements for preventing heat illness here.