Brett T. Abbott
Written by Brett T. Abbott
Each year brings revisions to existing laws or new laws entirely. This is of course true for California employment law as well. In fact, employment laws seem to shift with greater frequency than other areas of the law. The year 2019 will bring with it a host of new laws that employers need to be aware of. Below are some key changes.
SB 820 (Settlement of Sexual Harassment Claims): This new law prohibits provisions in settlement agreements entered into after Jan. 1, 2019 that prevent disclosure of factual information pertaining to claims of sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender discrimination or related retaliation that have been filed in court or before an administrative agency. The new law does not prohibit a provision that prevents the parties to the agreement from disclosing the amount of the settlement.
SB 1300 (FEHA Amendments): This bill amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) in a number of respects, including to add a provision making it an unlawful practice for an employer to require an employee to release a FEHA claim in exchange for a bonus, raise or continued employment.
SB 1343 (Sexual Harassment Training): Existing law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide supervisors with sexual harassment training. This new law expands the training requirement to employers with five or more employees and requires that employers provide at least two hours of training to supervisory employees and at least one hour of training to non-supervisory employees by Jan. 1, 2020 and once every two years thereafter.
AB 1619 (Sexual Assault; Statute of Limitations): This new law greatly enlarges the statute of limitations for filing a civil action for damages for sexual assault to 10 years after the alleged assault or three years after the plaintiff discovered or reasonably discovered injury as a result of the assault, whichever is later.
SB 1976 (Lactation Accommodation): This new law makes changes to existing lactation accommodation law. The existing law requires employers to make reasonable efforts to provide a location other than a toilet stall to be used for lactation. The new law specifies that the location should be a place other than a bathroom and further specifies that it generally should be a permanent location but that it can be a temporary location if (1) the employer is unable to provide a permanent location due to operational, financial or space limitations; (2) the temporary location is private and free from intrusion while being used for lactation purposes; and (3) the temporary location is not used for other purposes while being used for lactation.
SB 1252 (Copy of Payroll Records): Existing law already requires that employees have a right to inspect or copy their payroll records and that they must be allowed to do so within 21 days of such a request. This new law clarifies that if an employee requests a copy of the records, the employer must provide the copies (as opposed to requiring employees to copy the records themselves).
This article is for education and information purposes only; it should not be construed as legal advice. If you have an employment law question for inclusion in a future article, contact Brett T. Abbott at Gubler & Abbott (firstname.lastname@example.org). For specific employment law advice or other legal assistance, contact Gubler & Abbott (559) 625-9600, 1110 N. Chinowth St., Visalia, CA 93291 (www.thecalifornialawyers.com).