This year, over 2200 bills were proposed to the California Legislature before the February 16, 2018 deadline. Of course, as anyone familiar with the legislative process knows, many of these bills are going be dead upon arrival; however, a handful will pass and become laws, influencing the lives and livelihoods of millions of California employees. The remainder of this article will briefly discuss several of the proposed bills which hopefully will expand the scope of employee protections in California.
Assembly Bill 1870 would extend the current statute of limitations governing the timeframe in which employees and tenants may file an employment or housing discrimination claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). Currently, the statute of limitations stands at one year; AB 1870 would give employees and tenants three years to report their claim to the DFEH. The additional time to pursue a discrimination claim may enable those concerned about obtaining a new position, while pursuing a FEHA claim, to file a complaint after securing a new job and potentially even satisfying any probationary period. Furthermore, the additional time may enable an aggrieved employee time to obtain additional evidence or even the courage to proceed with a discrimination claim.
Assembly Bill 2841 would build upon influential 2014 legislation that required employers to provide up to three days of sick leave per year. AB 2841 would amend California Labor Code section 246 so as to extend the sick leave requirement to five days per year by the employee’s 200th calendar day of employment. An employer is not obligated to rollover any accrued sick pay to the following year beyond 40 hours or five days. Additionally, the five day sick leave accrual requirement will now apply to providers of in-home support services.
Assembly Bill 2069 seeks to amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), California Government Code section 12940, to extend discrimination protection to patients with a status as medical marijuana cardholders. Assuming that medical marijuana is prescribed to treat a known physical or mental disability and/or medical condition, the medical use of cannabis by a qualified individual is subject to reasonable accommodation. There are, however, several significant limitations to the amendment. First, an employer is not required to hire and/or precluded from terminating the employment of an individual using medical marijuana if their employment would cause the loss of monetary benefits or licensing under federal law. Furthermore, an employer is not precluded from terminating or otherwise disciplining an employee who is determined to be impaired on the job because of the use of medical marijuana.
Have questions about your legal rights as an employee? Get in touch with Perrin Law Group today for a free consultation regarding your rights as an employee.