Cringe-Worthy Proposed Laws

Every year there are bills proposed by our legislature that make employers want to cringe. Sadly, this year is no different and some of the proposed laws will also encourage a scream or two:

AB2932 will require employers to now have 32-hour workweeks, instead of 40 hours… AND force you to pay the employee the same weekly amount. So you’ll be paying higher wages, higher workers’ compensation, and overtime after 32 hours.

SB1044 allows employees to leave work or refuse to show up based on their own subjective feelings of it being unsafe or a state of emergency or an emergency condition. This bill doesn’t even have Cal/OSHA make this determination instead of the employee. Also, if the company assigns someone else to those job duties, the employee could claim they’ve been replaced and file a PAGA claim.

AB2182 returns for a second attempt at passing. This bill will add “family responsibilities” as a new protected class for any employees with children under 18 years of age or for employees who provide care to anyone in their household or any widely-defined family member (even those who don’t live with the employee). This would require an interactive process, protected leaves of absence, and possible accommodations, similar to those needed for disabilities, etc.

SB1162 will require pay data reports (from companies of 100+ employees) to be public so anyone can look up what a company is paying professional and administrative employees. We imagine pay equity lawsuits will then follow.

AB2188 promotes marijuana use as a protected class within California’s discrimination laws, prohibits pre-employment drug testing, and would prohibit urine and hair tests for marijuana. This will severely limit employers from maintaining a safe working environment when using vehicles or equipment are part of the employee’s job.

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