GSBE Weekly Update 08/15/2018
AB 1654 Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004: construction industry
The Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 authorizes an aggrieved employee to bring a civil action to recover specified civil penalties, that would otherwise be assessed and collected by the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, on behalf of the employee and other current or former employees for the violation of certain provisions affecting employees. The act requires the employee to follow prescribed procedures before bringing an action and establishes alternate procedures for specific categories of violations. The act requires, except as provided, that 75% of the civil penalties recovered by aggrieved employees be distributed to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency for enforcement of labor laws and for education of employers and employees about their rights and responsibilities, and 25% be distributed to the aggrieved employees. This bill would except from the act an employee in the construction industry, as defined, with respect to work performed under a valid collective bargaining agreement, if the agreement provides for certain terms of employment, prohibits violations otherwise redressable pursuant to the act, provides a grievance and binding arbitration procedure to redress violations, expressly and unambiguously waives the act, and authorizes the arbitrator to award otherwise available remedies.
AB 3030 Calif Environmental Quality Act: exemption: qualified opportunity zones
The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency, as defined, to prepare, or cause to be prepared, and certify the completion of, an environmental impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect. CEQA also requires a lead agency to prepare a mitigated negative declaration for a project that may have a significant effect on the environment if revisions in the project would avoid or mitigate that effect and there is no substantial evidence that the project, as revised, would have a significant effect on the environment.
CEQA exempts certain projects from its requirements. This bill would exempt a project that is financed by a qualified opportunity fund and that meets certain requirements from CEQA. The bill would require the project proponent to make certain certifications regarding the project. The bill would require a lead agency, before making a determination that the project is exempt from CEQA, to hold a noticed public hearing on the project, as specified. The bill would require the lead agency, if it determines that a project is exempt from CEQA under the above exemption and determines to approve or carry out the project, to file a specified notice with the Office of Planning and Research.
Because a lead agency would have to determine the applicability of the exemption, to take certain specified action before determining that a project is exempt, and to file a notice with the Office of Planning and Research, the bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
AB 3018 State contracts: skilled and trained workforce
Existing law authorizes a public entity to require a bidder, contractor, or other entity to use a skilled and trained workforce to complete a contract or project, and requires that the commitment to use a skilled and trained workforce be made in an enforceable agreement that meets specified requirements. Existing law defines a “skilled and trained workforce” to mean a workforce that meets certain conditions, including specified apprenticeship graduation requirements. Existing law requires a contractor, bidder, or other entity to provide to the public entity or other awarding body, on a monthly basis while the project or contract is being performed, a report demonstrating compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements.
This bill would require the public agency or other awarding body to forward a copy of the monthly report to the Labor Commissioner for issuance of a civil wage and penalty assessment and a copy of the plan, if any, to achieve substantial compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements and the response to that plan, as prescribed, if the monthly report does not demonstrate compliance with skilled and trained workforce requirements. The bill would limit the public agency or awarding body to withholding 150% of the value of the monthly bill for subcontractor that failed to timely submit the required information or did not demonstrate compliance, and would allow the contractor, bidder, or other entity to withhold the same amount from the subcontractor. The bill would require a contractor or subcontractor to pay a civil penalty to the state of not more than $5,000 per month of work performed in violation of the skilled and trained workforce requirements if the Labor Commissioner or his or her designee determines that the contractor or subcontractor failed to use a skilled and trained workforce.
The bill would require a contractor or subcontractor that commits a second or subsequent violation within a 3-year period to pay a civil penalty to the state of not more than $10,000 per month of work performed in violation of the skilled and trained workforce requirements. The bill would require a contractor to obtain a declaration signed under penalty of perjury from the subcontractor that he or she has met the skilled and trained workforce requirements before making the final payment to the subcontractor.
The bill would make a contractor or subcontractor who, with the intent to defraud, violates the above-described requirements ineligible to bid on, be awarded, or perform work on a contract for a public works project, as specified. The bill would require the Labor Commissioner to publish on the commissioner’s Internet Web site a list of contractors who are ineligible under these provisions. By expanding the crime of perjury, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.