California Employment Legislation Nears Completion as Deadline Looms

With the August 31, 2010 deadline for legislative bills to be passed a week away, several employment-related bills are working their way through the California legislature to Governor Schwarzenegger’s desk.

A trio of bills were recently enrolled and should reach the Governor’s desk shortly:

AB 2340 (Monning) Bereavement Leave - This bill would allow for three days unpaid leave for bereavement purposes upon the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or domestic partner’s child, within 13 months of the death of the bereaved individual. The provisions of the bill would not apply to an employee who is covered by a valid CBA that provides for bereavement leave and other specified working conditions.

SB 903 (Wright) Statute of Limitations - This bill would extend the period within which the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (“DLSE”) may commence a collection action, as defined, from one year to three years.

SB 1474 (Steinberg) Agricultural Employee Labor Representatives - This bill would authorize the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, under specified circumstances, to set aside an election where there has been misconduct by the employer affecting the outcome of an election and to certify a labor organization as the exclusive bargaining representative for a bargaining unit if the organization had previously presented the board with authorization cards signed by more than 50% of the employees in that bargaining unit.

Once enrolled and to the Governor’s desk, the Governor has 10 days to sign, veto, or let a bill become law without his signature during the legislative session.

Also, earlier this month, legislation amending the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”) affecting the provision of health benefits to retirees was signed by the Governor and will become law effective January 1, 2011:

AB 1814 (Buchanan) Discrimination in Employment - This bill amends FEHA to provide that FEHA does not prohibit an employer from providing health benefits or health care reimbursement plans to retired persons that are altered, reduced, or eliminated when the retiree becomes eligible for Medicare benefits.

Please check back regularly for updates on California legislation.

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