2020 Enacted Legislation

AB9-DFEH Compliant Statute Extended

Extends the statute of limitations for employees to file a complaint with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) from one year to three years for complaints of discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

What this mean for employers:

  • Employers must be more diligent about documenting complaints from employees and the response to complaints
  • Document retention policies will need to be adjusted accordingly to ensure that the employer’s documentation of complaints, investigations and resolution of  complaints are not prematurely discarded.
  • Proper documentation of performance issues and documentation of the reasons for disciplinary action and termination decisions will become even more important given the lapse in time it will take to prosecute claims with the extended statute of limitations because supervisors’ memories will fade in such time.

AB51 – Condition of Employment

  • Prohibits employers from requiring applicants or employees to agree, as a condition of employment to mandatory arbitration, class action or jury waivers relating to the Labor Code and the Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”).  Under AB 51, an agreement that requires an employee to opt out of a waiver or take any affirmative action in order to preserve their rights is deemed a condition of employment.  Arbitration agreements subject to the Federal arbitration Act (“FAA”) are excluded from this bill (does not apply to post-dispute settlement agreements or negotiated severance agreements)

AB673-Wage Penalty

Provides that penalties for late payment of scheduled wages (weekly, biweekly, or semimonthly) shall be recovered by the Labor Commissioner, payable to the affected employee, as a civil penalty or by the employee as a statutory penalty in a hearing before the Labor Commissioner.

The affected employee may also enforce civil penalties for late payment of wages through the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) actions but cannot also recover statutory penalties for the same violation.

What this mean for employers:

  • The penalties for late payment of scheduled wages (as opposed to final wages) were uncertain prior to the passage of this bill.
  • Employers will have to be especially careful about meeting scheduled paydays as missed payroll now carries significant penalties that may attract litigation.