New State Minimum Wage Increase Fails Committee Passage, But Paid Sick Leave, Liens on Employers, Still in Play in California Legislature

The California Legislature is nearing its summer recess, which starts Thursday, July 3.   

June 27 was the deadline for policy committees to meet and decide whether to advance bills under consideration.  The following is a snapshot of the major private sector employment law legislative activity before the recess: 

  • SB 935 (minimum wage increase): This second minimum wage bill failed to advance before the previous one (2013’s AB 10) implemented its first scheduled minimum wage increase on July 1, 2014. Two Democratic members of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee  “took a walk” at the time of the Committee’s June 25 vote on the bill, thus avoiding casting the last vote necessary to move the bill out of committee and on with the legislative process.  Failed to pass Assembly Labor and Employment; reconsideration granted.
  • AB 2416 (priority liens against employer property for filed, but not yet proven, wage claims): Amended June 26 to, among other things, eliminate the authority of employees to file a wage lien on an employer’s principal residence, and to provide employers with a means of lifting a filed wage lien if a court or Labor Commissioner finds the employee does not have a reasonable likelihood of success on the claim for wages and other compensation, penalties, and interest owed to the employee.  Passed Senate Judiciary and Labor and Industrial Relations Committees; pending in Senate Appropriations
  • AB 1522 (paid sick leave).  This may be the most significant labor and employment bill for most California private sector employers in this year’s legislative session.  Amended June 15; passed Senate Judiciary; pending in Senate Appropriations.
  • AB 1897 (labor contracting; third-party/joint liability):  Last amended May 28; passed Senate Judiciary; pending in Senate Appropriations.
  •  AB 2617 (restricting arbitration of claims, including those under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)):  Passed Senate Judiciary; pending final passage on Senate floor
  • AB 1660 (FEHA violation for acting on undocumented worker’s driver’s license): Passed Senate Judiciary; pending final passage on Senate floor
  • AB 2053 (adding “abusive treatment” [bullying] to required AB 1825 [sexual harassment] training): Passed Senate Labor and Industrial Relations; pending in Senate Appropriations
  • AB 1792 (cost of employees’ public benefits to state; sometimes called the “public shaming” bill):  Passed Senate Health; pending in Senate Appropriations

Passed since our last update is SB 1360, which declares, as existing law, the right of employees taking “recovery periods” as authorized by Labor Code 226.7 during hot weather to be paid for the recovery periods.  The bill is awaiting action by Governor Brown. 

A full report on significant California employment legislation affecting private sector employers will be produced during the summer recess. 

The Legislature begins its summer break on July 3, and returns for the final days of the session on August 4.  August 15 is the last day for fiscal committees to report bills to the floor.  August 22 will be the last day to amend bills on the floor.  August 31 is the last day to pass bills this year – the Legislature recesses for the year on adjournment that day.  Governor Brown then has until September 30 to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature at the end of the session.

Information contained in this publication is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.