Labor and employment
Within the state legislature one bill, SB 3 (Leno), has already been proposed, which seeks to hike the wage to $13 per hour. This same proposal was stopped last year in the Assembly Labor and Employment committee with help from two key democrats on the committee who were concerned about an additional mandatory wage hike so soon after the 25% increase approved by the Legislature and Governor in 2013.
The push for even higher minimum wages will also continue in local communities throughout California. As these local discussions occurred throughout 2014, the concept of recognizing an employee’s total taxable compensation (including gratuities) and establishing a teen or training wage became central. This will continue through 2015.
2015 will also be a year where labor unions and others continue to push a “retail worker bill of rights” proposal, much like that which was enacted in San Francisco. The specific provisions of the San Francisco ordinance are the following: 1) two weeks' notice of employee schedule with penalties for each shift change; 2) mandated equivalent starting hourly rate for part-time and full-time employees; 3) requires employer to provide part-time employees with the same paid and/or unpaid time off offered to full-time employees; 4) mandatory offer of additional hours/shifts to part-time employees before hiring additional employees or contracted labor; 5) requires successor employer to retain all employees of the former employer for at least 90 days.
While this legislation has not been introduced in the legislature, proponents have said publicly they will pursue this as a statewide proposal in 2015. The CRA advocacy team has already met with many legislators in advance of the bill being introduced to share with them objections with regard to the costs, complexities, and logistical challenges of such a proposal.
Finally, new legislative attempts like AB 67 (Gonzalez) are being made in the legislature to require employers to pay at least two-times the regular rate of pay to an employee for work on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This proposal will likely begin to move through the legislative process this spring.
AB 52 (Gray) proposes that a defendant’s maximum liability for statutory damages in a construction-related accessibility claim against a place of public accommodation be $1,000 for each offense if the defendant has made the corrections to violations that are the basis of the claim.
An additional proposal, AB 54 (Olsen), proposes that when a plaintiff brings a claim alleging a violation of a construction-related accessibility standard within three years of a change in that standard, then the plaintiff would only be allowed to collect statutory damages if the plaintiff also has a written notice or demand letter at least 60 days prior to filing any action and the violation is not cured.