GSBE Weekly Update 11/14/2018
New Employment Bills that will impact California employers in 2019 (the bills will become effective January 1, 2019, unless specified otherwise):
AB 3109 – Contracts: waiver of right of petition or free speech. This bill makes unenforceable any provision in a contract or settlement agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2019, that waives a party’s right to testify in an administrative, legislative, or judicial proceeding concerning alleged criminal conduct or alleged sexual harassment on the part of the other party when the party has been required or requested to attend the proceeding pursuant to a court order, subpoena, or written request from an administrative agency or the legislature.
SB 224 – Personal rights: civil liability and enforcement. This bill adds “investor, elected official, lobbyist, director, and producer among those listed persons who may be liable to a plaintiff for sexual harassment” under Civil Code section 51.9 of who may be personally liable for sexual harassment.
SB 820 – Settlement agreements: confidentiality. Prohibits provision in settlement agreements that prevents the disclosure of factual information relating to certain claims of sexual assault, harassment, or discrimination.
SB 826 – Corporations: boards of directors. Requires public companies who have principle executive offices in California to have a set number of women on the board of directors.
SB 1252 – Payroll records. Existing law grants current and former employees of employers who are required to keep this information the right to inspect or copy records pertaining to their employment, upon reasonable request. Existing law requires an employer to respond to these requests within a specified time. This bill provides that employees have the right to receive a copy of the employment records described above and apply the associated time requirements and penalty provisions in this context.
SB 1300 – Unlawful employment practices: discrimination and harassment. Prohibits an employer, in exchange for a raise or bonus, or as a condition of employment of continued employment, from requiring the execution of a release of a claim or right under FEHA or from requiring an employee to sign a nondisparagement agreement or other document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including, but not limited to, sexual harassment. The bill also provides that a prevailing defendant is prohibited from being awarded fees and costs unless the court finds the action was frivolous, unreasonable, or groundless when brought or that the plaintiff continued to litigate after it clearly became so.
SB 1343 – Employers: sexual harassment training: requirements. This bill requires employers with 5 or more employees, including temporary or seasonal employees, to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training to all supervisors and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and one every 2 years thereafter.
SB 1412 – Applicants for employment: criminal history. The bill permits employers to conduct background checks for employees under certain narrow exceptions.