California’s latest budget bill (trailer bill SB 96) contains various changes to the state’s employment laws.
Senate Bill 96 passed the Senate on June 15, 2017 and was officially enrolled on June 20, 2017. The bill is currently on Governor Brown’s desk with more than 30 tenets covering changes in the Departments of Veteran’s Affairs, Elections and Finance. It also contains numerous changes to Labor Standards Enforcement, Public Works Enforcement and OSHA Violations. Below we highlight changes to key employment laws contained in SB 96 as described in various legislative analyses.
Labor Standards Enforcement
Senate Bill 96 specifies that the statute of limitations on workers recovering unpaid wages and other penalties looks back from the date that an employer is notified of a Bureau of Field Enforcement investigation, to preserve the ability to recover unpaid wages and penalties that would have moved beyond the statute of limitations by the time a citation is issued. SB 96 also stipulates the following:
Public Works Enforcement
Requires that contractors and subcontractors engaged in the performance of a public work must be registered as a public works contractor for work on or after January 1, 2018, regardless of a contract date, and raises the registration fee from $300 to $400. Registration is only required for projects over $25,000 for new construction; over $15,000 for maintenance. The bill also allows the labor commissioner to charge a penalty of $100 per day, up to $8,000 total, for contractors failing to register with the state. And allows the Labor Commission to issue and serve a stop order prohibiting the use of unregistered contractor or subcontractor on all public works until they are registered.
Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) Penalty Compliance
SB 96 makes it unlawful for an employer to discharge or discriminate against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury or illness (other than Labor Code Section 132a retaliation claims for filing a workers’ compensation claim). The bill also updates various civil penalties, including:
California’s Existing Employment Laws
While SB 96 is being considered by Governor Brown, don’t hesitate to contact Kingsley & Kingsley to speak with one of our experienced labor lawyers if you have questions about any of California’s existing employment laws.
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