2020 Bill Tracking: 2020 California Labor and Employment Legislation (updated October 1, 2020) 
2020 Bill Tracking: 2020 California Labor and Employment Legislation Signed Into Law (updated October 1, 2020)
2020 Bill Tracking: Top 20 Signed Employment Bills of 2020 (plus notable vetoes and failed bills)
 (updated September 2, 2020)


CELA-Sponsored and Priority Bills:

  • Retaliation and Whistleblower Protections (AB 1947 Assemblymember Kalra):  This bill will extend the filing deadline for administrative retaliation complaints from 6 months to 1 year. The bill will also allow workers to recover their attorneys fees if they prevail in a whistleblower action under Labor Code Section 1102.5.  Signed!
  • Family Leave (SB 1383 Senator Jackson):  This bill would expand the California Family Rights Act to cover all employers with 5 or more employees and to additionally allow employees to use unpaid job protected leave to care for a domestic partner, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or parent-in-law who has a serious health condition.  For claims against employers with 5-19 employees, parties must participate in mediation through the Department of Fair Employment and Housing before a civil action can be filed. Signed!
  • Pay Data Reporting to Close the Gender and Race Wage Gap (SB 973  Senator Jackson): The COVID-19 pandemic is highlighting the consistent undervaluing of women’s work and the ways in which gender- and race-based pay disparities put women (particularly women of color) at higher risk of economic insecurity and contribute to higher poverty rates overall. This bill would help close the gender wage gap by requiring California employers with 100 employees or more to submit an annual pay data report to the state outlining the compensation and hours worked of its employees by gender, race, ethnicity, and job category. Signed!
  • Right to Recall and Right to Retention (AB 3216 Assemblymembers Kalra & Gonzalez): AB 3216 ensures the right of recall and retention for workers in hotels, event centers, airports, and building services – industries hardest hit by the shelter-at-home rules. Vetoed (a veto message can be found here).
  • Domestic Workers’ Health and Safety (SB 1257 Senator Durazo):  COVID-19 has presented many health and safety risks, particularly for domestic workers who are caring for our sick and elderly.  Unfortunately, domestic workers are exempt from our health and safety laws under Cal/OSHA. This bill would get rid of this unjust exemption to help ensure domestic workers have basic health and safety protections. Vetoed (a veto message can be found here).


Other Key Labor and Employment Bills Signed Into Law:
AB 2257 (Gonzalez)  Worker misclassification: AB 5.
Summary: This AB 5 follow up bill would exempt from the 3-part ABC test for employment status and instead apply the test set forth in the California Supreme Court’s Borello decision (S.G. Borello & Sons, Inc. v. Department of Industrial Relations (1989) 48 Cal.3d 341) for certain occupations such as musicians, insurance inspectors and competition judges, subject to specified conditions. The bill would also add appraisers and certain master class teachers to the professional services exemption, revise the freelancer exemption, and recast the exemption for referral agencies, as specified. The bill would also create an exemption for business-to-business relationships between 2 or more sole proprietors, as specified. The bill would provide that a hiring entity need only satisfy all of the conditions of any one of the exemption provisions for the ABC Test not to apply.  More details here.  Signed (takes effect immediately).
AB 2992 (Weber)  Employment practices: leave time.
Summary:  This bill would prohibit an employer from discharging, or discriminating or retaliating against, an employee, who is a victim of crime or abuse, for taking time off from work to obtain or attempt to obtain relief, as prescribed. Signed.
AB 3075 (Gonzalez)  Wages: successor liability.
Summary:  This bill would establish successor liability to a corresponding judgment debtor if any of the following can be established: (1) The successor employer uses substantially the same facilities or substantially the same workforce to offer substantially the same services as the judgment debtor, (2) The successor employer has substantially the same owners or managers that control the labor relations as the judgment debtor, (3) The successor employer employs as a managing agent any person who directly controlled the wages, hours or working conditions of the affected workforce of the predecessor employer, or (4) The successor employer operates a business in the same industry and that business has an owner, partner, officer, or director who is an immediate family member of any owner, partner, officer, or director of the judgment debtor. This bill would hold a successor to a judgment debtor liable for any wages, damages and penalties that judgment debtor owes to its workforce pursuant to a final judgment after the time to appeal has expired.  This bill would require a business’s articles of incorporation to contain a statement signed by the filers, under penalty of perjury, that the filer is not an owner, director, officer, managing agent, or any other person acting on behalf of an employer, as defined, that has an outstanding final judgment issued by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement or a court of law, or a pending appeal, for violation of any wage order or provision of the Labor Code.  Signed.
AB 685 (Reyes) COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations.
Summary: This bill would require employers to provide written notice and instructions to employees who may have been exposed to COVID-19 at their worksite and would enhance the Division of Occupational Health and Safety's (Cal/OSHA) ability to enforce health and safety standards to prevent workplace exposure to and spread of COVID-19.  Signed (takes effect immediately).
SB 275 (Pan)  Health Care and Essential Workers Protection Act: personal protective equipment.
Summary:  This bill, the Health Care and Essential Workers Protection Act, would require the State Department of Public Health to establish a personal protective equipment (PPE) stockpile to ensure an adequate supply of PPE for health care workers and essential workers, as defined, and would require the stockpile to be at least sufficient for a 90-day pandemic or other health emergency. The bill would require the department to establish guidelines for the procurement of the PPE stockpile, taking into account, among other things, the amount of each type of PPE that would be required for all health care workers and essential workers in the state during the pandemic or other health emergency, which would represent the amount of PPE to be maintained in the stockpile.  Signed.
AB 1867 (Committee on Budget)  Small employer family leave mediation: handwashing: supplemental paid sick leave.
Summary:  This bill would make various statutory changes to implement COVID-19 food sector supplemental paid sick leave (SPSL), and COVID-19 SPSL for essential workers including active firefighters, and healthcare providers, as specified, and workers not covered under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). This bill also establishes a small employer family leave mediation pilot program at the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), which would require plaintiffs to submit to mediation before filing a civil action against an employer with 5-19 employees.  Signed (takes effect immediately).
AB 2537 (Rodriguez)  Personal protective equipment: health care employees.
Summary: This bill would require public and private employers of workers in a general acute care hospital, as defined, to supply those employees who provide direct patient care or provide services that directly support personal care with the personal protective equipment necessary to comply with the regulations described above, as specified. The bill would also require an employer to ensure that the employees use the personal protective equipment supplied to them. Signed.
SB 1129 (Hill) Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers.  
Summary: This bill would define “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) under specified circumstances, until January 1, 2023. The bill would create a disputable presumption, as specified, that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment and is compensable, for specified dates of injury. The bill would limit the applicability of the presumption under certain circumstances. The bill would require an employee to exhaust their paid sick leave benefits and meet specified certification requirements before receiving any temporary disability benefits or, for police officers, firefighters, and other specified employees, a leave of absence. The bill would also make a claim relating to a COVID-19 illness presumptively compensable, as described above, after 30 days or 45 days, rather than 90 days. Signed (takes effect immediately).
SB 1146 (Umberg)   Civil procedure: electronic filing, trial delays, and remote depositions.
Summary:  This bill would require a party represented by counsel, who has appeared in an action or proceeding, to accept electronic service of a notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission. The bill would require a party represented by counsel, upon the request of any party who has appeared in an action or proceeding and who provides an electronic service address and a copy of this rule, to electronically serve the requesting party with any notice or document that may be served by mail, express mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile transmission.  Signed (takes effect immediately).


If you have experience with any of the legislative issues above or if you have any feedback you would like to share, please email our Legislative Counsel & Policy Director, Mariko Yoshihara at mariko@cela.org.

CELA is an organization that advocates for policy change through volunteerism. With our strong grassroots efforts, we can effect broad scale change! Like us on facebook at www.facebook.com/CELALawyers and follow us on Twitter with the handle @CELA_Lawyers.

For more information on any of the bills we are tracking, please click on the bill or visit www.leginfo.legislature.ca.gov or email mariko@cela.org.

Top 20 Signed Employment Bills of 2019 (plus notable vetoes and failed bills)
All Labor and Employment Bills of 2019