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The California State Legislature has been very active in 2017. Of particular interest for California employers are Proposed Bills AB 168 and SB 63, which seek to give additional rights to both potential and current employees.

AB 168

What is Proposed Bill AB 168?

Proposed Bill AB 168 was introduced by Assembly Member Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Stockton) as part of an effort in California (that has also gained momentum nationwide) to address historical gender pay inequity.

  • AB 168 would prohibit all California employers and their agents, including state and governmental employers, from inquiring into an applicant’s salary history, other compensation, or benefits information for any reason.
  • This includes compensation inquiries of any kind, both oral and written.
  • The bill would also require all private employers, excluding state or local government employers, to provide a pay scale for the open position upon reasonable request by the applicant.

 

Are there any other exceptions?

AB 168 would not apply to salary history information disclosable to the public pursuant to federal or state law, including but not limited to, the California Public Records Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 6250) of Division 7 of Title 1 of the Government Code) or the federal Freedom of Information Act (Section 552 of Title 5 of the United States Code).

 

What is the status of AB 168?

The bill is currently in the California State Senate after passing through the Assembly with a 60-9 bipartisan vote.

Click here to read the bill’s full text. Stay tuned to our blog for future news about this pending bill.

 

SB 63

What is Proposed Bill SB 63?

Proposed Bill SB 63, also referred to as the New Parent Leave Act, seeks to expand the rights currently granted by the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), as well as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), by offering job-protected parental leave to employees working for smaller employers.

  • The law would apply to private and state employers, including any political or civil subdivision of the state and the cities.
  • The law would require employers with 20 or more employees located within 75 miles, to allow up to 12 weeks of parental leave for their employees.
  • The law would require employers to maintain and pay for group health plan coverage for eligible employees during the duration of their leave.
  • The law would require the employer to guarantee the same or a comparable position to the employee upon their return.

 

How do employees become eligible?

  • The leave must be sought by the employee within one year of a child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
  • The employee must have worked for more than 12 months for the current employer, with at least 1,250 hours of service during the previous 12-month period.

 

What is the status of SB 63?

The bill passed through the Senate on May 30, 2017, with a vote of 25-13. The bill recently had its first reading in the California State Assembly. Stay tuned to our blog for future news about this pending bill.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.

 

Currently, both the CFRA and the FMLA laws apply to parental leave in California. More information about these laws and their differing rights and requirements can be found here.

 

The information and materials on this blog are provided for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal or tax advice. Information provided in this blog may not reflect the most current legal developments and may vary by jurisdiction. The content on this blog is for general informational purposes only and does not apply to any particular facts or circumstances. The use of this blog does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship, nor should any such relationship be implied, and the contents do not constitute legal or tax advice. If you require legal or tax advice, please consult with a licensed attorney or tax professional in your jurisdiction. The contributing authors expressly disclaim all liability to any persons or entities with respect to any action or inaction based on the contents of this blog.

 

Joanna Castillo– Joanna is the Client Compliance Manager for Sequoia, where she works with our clients and internal teams to make benefits compliance more fun! In her free time, Joanna enjoys live music, college football, travel, and walking her dog in Golden Gate Park.