• Wage and Hour Laws – Bills Currently Under Review by California’s Legislature

    Wage Discrimination and Overtime Pay Bills  wage discrimination

    This is a busy time of year in the California legislature as many new bills will be heard by their original committee or referred to a second committee by the end of April or first part of May.  Four notable bills address 1) overtime compensation for private school teachers, 2) wage discrimination, 3) gender pay differentials, and 4) overtime compensation for executive, administrative, or professional employees. We take a quick glance at these bills and highlight next steps for each below. 

    SB 621 (Bradford) – Overtime Compensation; Private School Teachers

    This bill is a follow-up to AB 2230 (Chu) from last year, which established a new earnings standard for designating private school teachers as exempt employees (de-coupled from the “twice the state minimum wage” standard).  Specifically, existing law provides that 8 hours of labor constitutes a day’s work. Under existing law, any work in excess of 8 hours in one workday and any work in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek, and the first 8 hours worked on the 7th day of work in any one workweek, is required to be compensated at the rate of no less than 11/2 times the regular rate of pay for an employee. Existing law also provides that hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one day as well as hours worked in excess of 8 hours on any 7th day of work are to be compensated at the rate of no less than twice the regular rate of pay of an employee. Existing law exempts from these provisions an individual employed as a teacher at a private elementary or secondary academic institution if specified requirements are met, including, among others, that the employee earns a monthly salary equivalent to the greater of no less than the lowest salary offered by any school district or the equivalent of no less than 70% of the lowest schedule salary offered by the school district or county office of education in which the private elementary or secondary institution is located, as specified.

    This bill would specify that the existing standards apply to full-time employees and would prescribe a revised earnings standard for exemption from overtime provisions for part-time employees that would require a part-time employee earn the proportional amount of a full-time salary that is equal to the proportion of the full-time instructional schedule for which the part-time employee is employed. The bill would provide that a private school may use school salary schedules in effect for up to 12 months prior to the start of the school year, for use in budgeting for salaries under these provisions.
     
    Next Steps: Re-referred to the Committee on Appropriations

    AB 46 (Cooper) – Employers; wage discrimination

    Existing law prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, and performed under similar working conditions, unless the employer demonstrates that one or more specific factors, reasonably applied, account for the entire wage differential. Existing law also similarly prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than the rates paid to employees of another race or ethnicity for substantially similar work. Existing law also authorizes an employee paid lesser wages in violation of these prohibitions to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and authorizes the employee, the division, or the Department of Industrial Relations to commence a civil action for the wages the employee was deprived of because of the violation, interest on those wages, and liquidated damages. Under existing law, an employer or other person who violates or causes a violation of that prohibition, or who reduces the wages of any employee in order to comply with that prohibition, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
     
    This bill would define “employer” for those purposes to include public and private employers. The bill would specify that a public employer is not subject to the misdemeanor provision.
     
    Next Steps: Referred to Committee on Labor & Employment; Hearing Date 4/19/17

     

    AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – Employers; gender pay differentials

    Existing law requires a corporation, limited liability company, or common interest development, among others, to file a statement of information with the Secretary of State, providing specified information about the entity. Existing law regulates the terms and conditions of employment, including the payment of wages. Existing law generally prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at rates less than the rates paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, as specified.
     
    This bill would require an employer that is required to file a statement of information with the Secretary of State and that has 250 or more employees to collect specified information on gender pay differentials. The bill would require the employer to publish the information collected on an Internet Web site that is available to the public by July 1, 2020, and to submit it to the Secretary of State, subject to the occurrence of a specified contingency. The bill would require an employer to annually update, publish, and submit the information, as specified. The bill would require the Secretary of State to publish a certification on its Internet Web site that it is prepared to receive the information described above upon the occurrence of 2 specified events.
     
    Next Steps: Re-referred to Committee on Labor & Employment; Hearing Date 4/19/17

     

    AB 1565 (Thurmond) – Work hours; overtime compensation; executive, administrative, or professional employees

    Existing law, with certain exceptions, establishes 8 hours as a day’s work and a 40-hour workweek, and requires payment of prescribed overtime compensation for additional hours worked. Existing law authorizes the Industrial Welfare Commission to establish exemptions from overtime pay requirements for certain executive, administrative, and professional employees, as prescribed. Existing law establishes the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement in the Department of Industrial Relations for the enforcement of labor laws, including orders of the commission.

    This bill would exempt from overtime compensation an executive, administrative, or professional employee, as defined, if the employee earns a monthly salary equivalent to either $3,956 or an amount no less than twice the state minimum wage for full-time employment, as defined, whichever amount is higher.

    Next Steps: Re-referred to Committee on Labor & Employment; Hearing Date 4/19/17

    California Employment Law

    Leading California employment lawyers at Kingsley & Kingsley will be monitoring these bills, among many others working their way through the California legislature.  In the meantime, if you have any questions about California’s wage and hour laws, contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers.

    Kingsley & Kingsley

    16133 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 1200
    Encino, California 91436
    Phone: 888-500-8469
    Local: 818-990-8300 (Los Angeles Co.)

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