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8 New Laws that Affect Employers

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Governor Brown signed 8 new laws that affect employers.  Below is a short description of each law:

***SB 1343: EMPLOYERS WITH 5 OR MORE EMPLOYEES: this bill requires employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and training every 2 years thereafter.

SB 1412: APPLICANTS FOR EMPLOYMENT; CRIMINAL HISTORY: this bill clarifies what information employers may use when screening job applicants.  There are certain employers, who by law, have to inquire into the criminal backgrounds of applicants and can deny those applicants a job based upon certain categories of criminal offense and criminal conduct.  This law clarifies what those limited exception employers may ask.

SB 224: INCREASES THE TYPES OF JOB TITLES THAT CAN BE PERSONALLY LIABLE FR SEXUAL HARASSMENT: the bill adds “investor, elected official, lobbyist, director, and producer amount those listed persons who may be liable for sexual harassment (on an individual basis) under Civil Code Section 51.9.

SB 1252: PAYROLL RECORDS: The existing law grants current and former employees the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to their employment, upon reasonable request.  The law also requires that employers respond to these requests within 21 days. The amended law requires that employers must provide a copy upon request, rather than requiring the employee to make a copy. The amendment leaves in place the employer’s right to charge the employee “the actual cost of reproduction.

SB 1300: UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES: DISCRIMINATION AND HARASSMENT:  this law prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to execute a release of a claim or right under FEHA or from requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or otherwise deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, as a condition of receiving a raise or bonus, or as a condition of continued employment.

SB 826: CORPORATE BOARD OF DIRECTORS MUST HAVE A SET NUMBER OF WOMEN: in furtherance of creating gender equality, the Governor mandated that public companies with principle executive offices in the state of California must have a set number of women on the board of directors.

SB 820: SEXUAL HARASSMENT, ASSAULT AND DISCRIMINATION CONFIDENTIALITY CLAUSES: this bill prohibits settlement agreements to include a provision that prevents the disclosure of factual information relating to certain claims of sexual assault, harassment or discrimination.

AB 1309: WAIVER OF RIGHT OF PETITION OR FREE SPEECH:  this bill makes any provision in a contract or settlement agreement, entered after January 1, 2019, unenforceable that waives a party’s right to testify in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding relating to alleged criminal conduct or alleged sexual harassment on the part of the other party when subpoenaed, or requested by writing to by an administrative body.

If you have any questions, or want to book a sexual harassment training for your staff, please feel free to contact us at (818) 591-6724.

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