governor signs clothing manufacturer, stealing wages and other employment-related bills | Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Synopsis of Seyfarth: On Monday, September 27, Governor Newsom signed a number of employment-related bills, including bills to tackle wage theft and wage / hour violations by clothing manufacturers, which all come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022. The governor also vetoed two measures taken by Assembly member Lorena Gonzalez aimed at paid family leave and recall rights for hotel workers.

By the start of the weekend, Governor Newsom had (for the most part) signed (with some veto) about 300 bills awaiting approval. Very few of them, especially AB 701 related to warehouse quotas that we have already discussed here, were employment invoices.

But, on Monday, the governor signed a number of important measures concerning employers: SB 62 (joint and several liability of the guarantors of the brands and the manufacturers), AB 1003 (salary theft = grand theft), AB 1033 (small employer mediation program / CFRA leave), SB 606 (references to occupational safety), and SB 639 (minimum wage for employees with disabilities), each of which is discussed below. He has also signed industry-specific bills, such as AB 73 (Cal / OSHA — forest fire smoke guards for farm workers), and SB 646 (creating a limited exception to the PAGA for specific janitorial employees performing work under a collective agreement).

On Tuesday, the governor vetoed two bills drafted by the chair of the appropriations committee, Lorena Gonzalez: AB 123 (increasing the formula for determining the replacement salary) and AB 1074 (extension of recall rights to hotel employees).

We are still awaiting the Governor’s decision on the following employment bills: SB 331, AB 1084, and SB 255.

SB 62: Retailers expose themselves to potential liability for wage / hour violations by sub-contractors of garment manufacturers in the supply chain

Designated as a job killer by the California Chamber of Commerce, SB 62 hold those at the top of the supply chain – what the bill calls “brand guarantors” – liable for wage violations by their clothing suppliers, even when the end seller of the garment was completely unaware of the violation. In other words, as we have already written here, the bill will make clothing “brands” and holding companies – and even retailers – jointly and severally liable with the contractors from whom they purchase t-shirts. , hats or even belts for sale for the contractor’s salary. / hour violations, and possibly even for violations by the contractor’s subcontractor.

According to the signature of the governor announcement, SB 62 aims to “protect marginalized low-wage workers, many of whom are women of color and immigrants, by ensuring that they are paid their due and improving working conditions”. California Chamber of Commerce to disagrees, noting that “[n]nothing in SB 62 will address the problem of bad underground garment industry players evading the law ”; SB 62 “simply allows these bad actors to continue operating as usual while shifting the cost and responsibility to companies that have no control over the workers.” Time will tell if this measure will achieve the intended objective. Either way, employers should start auditing their clothing suppliers as soon as possible.

SB 606: Increase Cal / OSHA Authority

Like our OSHA team reported Tuesday morning, SB 606 will dramatically increase the performance of Cal / OSHA. The bill expands this authority by establishing two additional categories of violations for which Cal / OSHA can cite: (1) “Company-wide violations” and (2) “Gross violations,” all of which are two summarized in detail in the blog linked above.

The California Chamber of Commerce originally designated SB 606 a job killer, corn deleted the invoice from the list after amendments removed a provision that would have created a rebuttable presumption of reprisal if an employer took adverse action against an employee within 90 days of the employee taking a number of actions, such as disclosing a positive COVID-19 test or diagnosis of a communicable disease or reporting a possible violation of an OSHA standard.

AB 1003: Add intentional salary theft to the… Penal Code?

This future law is as intimidating as it is simple: AB 1003 adds section 487m to the Penal Code, making it an offense to intentionally steal wages, including tips, “in an amount greater than nine hundred and fifty dollars ($ 950) to a single employee, or two thousand three hundred and fifty dollars ($ 2,350) in total. Grand theft is generally punishable by an offense of imprisonment in a county jail for up to one year or a felony by imprisonment in a county jail for 16 months or two or three years.

AB 1033: CFRA leave for the care of in-laws and mediation program for small employers of the DFEH

AB 1033, co-sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce, will add in-laws to the list of family members for whom an employee can take time off under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA). This addition builds on SB 1383 here, which expanded the CFRA to require companies with as few as five employees to provide 12 weeks of mandatory family leave per year. SB 1383 also expanded the categories of people for whom an employee can take CFRA leave to care for grandparents and domestic partners. According to the Chamber of Commerce, the inclusion of “in-laws” was inadvertently omitted in 1383, and its inclusion here in AB 1033 is intended to correct this oversight.

AB 1033 will also require the Department for Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) to notify an employee in writing of the requirement for mediation under the DFEH Small Employer Mediation Program before bringing an action. civil law and would require an employee to contact the Dispute Resolution Department of the DFEH. division to indicate whether they are requesting mediation and making other related changes.

AB 1506: Distributor of newspapers and carriers Extension of exemption AB 5

AB 1506 will extend the AB 5 exemption for newspaper distributors working under contract with a newspaper publisher and newspaper carriers from January 1, 2022 to January 1, 2025, but will also require all newspaper publishers and distributors who hire or contract directly with newspaper carriers to submit specified information relating to their workforce to the Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA) no later than March 1, 2022, 2023 and 2024.

SB 639: Minimum wage for people with disabilities

SB 639 prohibit, as of January 1, 2022, the Industrial Welfare Commission from issuing special licenses authorizing the employment of a disabled person for wages below the minimum wage.

Enough is enough, says the governor: AB 123 would needlessly increase the formula for paid family leave.

AB 123 would have revised the formula for calculating certain holiday pay by requiring that the amount of weekly compensation be increased to 65% or 75% of the highest salary paid to an individual. In his veto a message, the governor expressed support for a strong paid vacation program, but noted that his administration has already adopted a number of measures—SB 83 (extension of the duration of paid family leave), SB 1383 (CFRA extension), AB 138 (increase in salary replacement) – aimed at increasing paid holidays, making this legislation a new unnecessary expense. According to for the mover of the bill, however, the current formula for determining wage replacement is woefully flawed for low-income workers.

Enough is enough, says the governor: AB 1074 Confers recall rights already conferred.

AB 1074 reportedly renamed the “Displaced Janitorial Opportunities Act” to the “Displaced Janitorial and Hospitality Opportunities Act”, extending the right to recall the provisions of the law to hotel workers. The governor vetoed the measure yesterday, to explain, like us abstract, that in early 2021, it had already promulgated SB 93, which provided for strong recall rights for hotel workers displaced by the pandemic.

Workplace solutions

Fortunately, none of the future laws include an emergency clause, so employers will have a few months to prepare before the bills come into force on January 1, 2022. If you have a specific question about the measures proactive in ensuring compliance with any of the new requirements above, please do not hesitate to contact your Seyfarth lawyer.

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