Publication Details

The California Legislative Report - June 2021

Jun 7, 2021 | Related Attorney Michael S. Kalt | Topic: Employment

The 2021 Legislative Session has now reached the halfway point with bills being required to pass the legislative chamber in which they were introduced. And as expected, a number of employment-related bills surmounted this key deadline, including bills that would:

  • Amend the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to allow employers to provide a voluntary hiring preference for veterans (SB 665).
  • Expand the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to allow time off to care for a “parent-in-law” (AB 1033)
  • Amend the CFRA and California’s Paid Sick Leave law to allow time off to care for a “designated person” (AB 1041).
  • Prohibit confidentiality provisions in a settlement agreement involving any form of harassment or discrimination (SB 331), and
  • Expand from two years to four years the retention period for certain employment records (SB 807).

However, and somewhat surprisingly perhaps, many proposed employment bills either failed passage or stalled for this year, including bills that would:

  • Amend the statewide Paid Sick Leave law to increase amounts available for employee accrual, usage, and carryover (AB 995).
  • Amend the FEHA to prevent discrimination based upon “family responsibility” (AB 1119).
  • Require employers to provide bereavement leave (AB 95).
  • Require larger employers to provide “backup childcare benefits” (AB 1179).
  • Require larger employers to submit annual workplace metrics reports to the Labor Workforce Development Agency (AB 1192).
  • Allow the State Department of Public Health to publish COVID-19-related information provided by employers (AB 654), and
  • Create a Fast-Food Sector Council to establish industry-wide minimum standards on various fast food employment issues (AB 257)

Please note, since this is the first year of a two-year legislative cycle, these stalled bills may resurface in 2022.

Looking ahead, the California Legislature will be active before the annual summer recess (commencing July 16th) as these remaining bills proceed to key committee votes in the second legislative chamber.

In the interim, below is an overview of the key pending employment bills.

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