April 27, 2018 – -The Almond Alliance has identified and is tracking several key labor bills, which, despite the likelihood of increased litigation, all passed out of Committee.

AB 2841 (Gonzalez Fletcher) would increase the number of paid sick days from three to five. This would place an additional burden on California businesses and at a time when employer costs continue to be on the rise as the minimum wage increases. The bill is now headed to Appropriations where it is likely to pass given that the author of the bill is also the Chair of the Committee.

AB 2946 (Kalra) which would extend the statute of limitations from current law of six months to three years for a worker to allege they have been fired or otherwise discriminated against.  Furthermore, the bill also requires a one-sided plaintiff attorney’s fee provision that will incentivize further litigation.

SB 1284 (Jackson) requires employers with 100-plus employees to submit a pay data report to the state containing certain information including the number of employees by race, ethnicity, and sex, the employees’ pay and hours worked. This creates a false impression of wage discrimination or unequal pay where none exists and, therefore, subjects employers to unfair public criticism, enforcement measures, and significant litigation costs to defend against meritless claims. This bill passed out of committee and will be next heard in Appropriations Committee.

SB 1300 (Jackson) would open the litigation floodgates by allowing people who have not actually been the victim or harassment or discrimination to file employment practices lawsuits. What should essentially be an employee complaint or grievance about a perceived shortcoming by the employer would become fodder for costly litigation by people not even required to be employed by employer. Employment practices claims are very expensive to investigate and defend, even if there was no actual wrongdoing by the employer.

Finally, a bill which would have helped businesses by expanding the list of itemized wage statement violations that employers can attempt to cure, failed to pass Committee. AB 2907 (Flora) would have allowed employers to correct pay stub violations and mistakes for any of the nine pay stub requirements outlined under PAGA within 33 days.