California Legislature Considers Jobs-Related Bills | Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP

The California legislature has several employment-related bills pending, including a law that would ban discrimination against marijuana users, another that would provide protections for employees with safety concerns and allow them to quit. work without notice, and a measure which would establish a four -day work in the state.

Below are some details on pending invoices.

  • Protection for marijuana users. Assembly Bill 2188 would amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act to make it an illegal practice for an employer to discriminate against an adult applicant or employee on the basis of “a person’s use of cannabis.” outside of work and outside of the workplace” as well as the failure of drug tests that detect “non-psychoactive metabolites of cannabis in… urine, blood, hair or bodily fluids”. The bill provides exceptions for certain industries (such as federal contractors and licensees and building and construction trades) and does not allow employees to use cannabis at work. Still in committee, the measure faces opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce.
  • Safety in case of emergency. Employees who refuse to report to or leave a workplace because they “feel unsafe” in a state of emergency or “emergency condition” would be protected by Senate Bill 1044 , which would prohibit employers from taking or threatening to take adverse action against the worker . The bill defines an “emergency situation” as “[a]n event that presents a serious danger to the structure of a workplace or to the immediate health and safety of a worker” or “[a]n to evacuate a workplace, a worker’s home or the school of a worker’s child.
  • Shortened work week. A proposal with potentially significant impact, Assembly Bill 2932 would increase the standard California workweek from 40 hours to 32 hours for non-exempt employees of employers with more than 500 employees. To avoid a loss of wages for workers, the measure would require employers to maintain the compensation rate of pay on the 40-hour workweek scale; it would also provide overtime payment for work performed in excess of 32 hours per week. The controversial bill missed committee deadlines and is no longer pending for this legislative session.

To read AB 2188, click on here.

To read SB 1044, click here.

To read AB 2932, click on here.

Why is this important: AB 2188 and SB 1044 remain pending in the legislature and could become law by the end of the year if passed and signed by the governor. Although AB 2932 has not moved forward this year, the bill has made headlines and may be back for the next legislative session.

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