While the federal government seems determined to curtail the rights of workers, the State of California has doubled-down on protecting them. In the first two weeks of October, Governor Brown signed into law four bills that will extend worker rights. Those bills are:
SB63, written by Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, increases workplace protections for new parents who work for small businesses. This bill provides for 12 weeks of unpaid parental leave for employees who work for companies with 20 to 49 employees, and protects these new parents from losing their jobs or health care benefits.
AB 168, written by Assemblymember Susan Eggman, prohibits all employers from seeking salary history information from an applicant and requires employers to provide the pay scale for a position upon a reasonable request by an applicant.
AB 46, written by Assemblymember Jim Cooper, allows public employees to pursue wage discrimination claims, a right that was previously only available to private employees.
AB 1008, written by Assemblymember Kevin McCarthy, prohibits public and private employers from asking an applicant to disclose information regarding criminal convictions until a conditional offer of employment is made. Moreover, the applicant can only be denied the job if the conviction is disqualifying for the actual position sought, based upon an individualized assessment of the conviction and the duties of the job.
Let’s give a hearty round of applause for Governor Brown, and our deepest thanks to the many people who worked for passage of these new laws.