UCLA Labor Center

2017 Labor Bills Roundup

Publish date: September 29, 2017


Union members at the May 1, 2015 march in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles.

The California legislature passed hundreds of bills before the September 15th deadline. Among this legislation, several labor bills are now on the governor’s desk. The governor has until October 15th to sign or veto these bills, bills not signed or vetoed, become law. Here are some summaries of the more prominent bills regarding labor and employment:

SB-63: Status (Passed)
 Referred to as the “New Parent Leave Act,” it would be added to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). The bill would expand parental leave to small businesses and its implementation would extend the CFRA’s protections to employers with 20 to 49 employees. Employers in small businesses would be required to provide a three month, job protected leave to new parents. In addition, it would prohibit employers from refusing to provide coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes parental leave. This bill intends to allow parents, who work for small companies, to spend more time with their newborns.

AB-1008: Status (Passed)
Referred to as the “Ban the Box Bill,” this bill would amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to prohibit employers with five or more employees from asking questions about prior convictions to prospective job applicants before a conditional employment offer is made to the employee. Employers who deny employment on the basis of an applicant’s conviction history will be required to conduct an individualized assessment as to how the conviction history would impact job duties, and why it justifies denying employment. The following considerations would be included in the assessment: the gravity of the offense, the amount of time passed since the event occurred, and the nature of the job the applicant is seeking.

AB-450: Status (Passed)
Referred to as the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act,” this bill focuses on the privacy and well-being of immigrant workers. This bill will indicate that unless a federal warrant is provided, employers can’t voluntarily provide immigration enforcement agents entrance to nonpublic areas in a workplace. The state labor commissioner or the attorney general will be granted the authority to enforce with these new provisions.

To read the full text of these bills and for updates, visit: https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov.