News & Legislative Updates
By Revae Hitt
Legislation & Advocacy Committee
Go to senate.gov to search the D.C. office contact info for California U.S. senators or call the capitol switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
It is best to contact each senator’s local office:
50 United Nations Plaza, Suite 5584
San Francisco, CA 94102
One Post Street, Suite 2450
San Francisco, CA 94104
Go to house.gov to find your U.S. representative using your zip code, then search for their local office contact info. Or, you can call the capitol switchboard at (202) 225-3121.
You can leave a message for the white house here: whitehouse.gov/contact/. You can also call the white house switchboard at 202-456-1414.
Visit findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov to find contact information for your state legislators.
You can leave a message for the governor of California here: govapps.gov.ca.gov.
Tips on calling the offices of elected officials
By Revae Hitt
Legislation & Advocacy Committee
Status of AB 2, 71 & 5
AB 2, AB 71, and AB 5 have all been read for the first time in committee on January 3rd, 2018. These bills will be heard in committees, and members of the public can attend the hearings to listen or testify in support or opposition of each bill. Keep an eye on The Senate Daily File and The Assembly Daily File (senate.ca.gov/schedulespublications) for notifications of committee hearings. A notification is posted at least 4 days before a scheduled hearing.
AB 2 - California Community Colleges Waive Fees
for Two Years
AB 71 & AB 5 - Competing Bills Follow Supreme Court Decision on Definition of an Independent Contractor
AB 71 - Roll Back Dynamex Decision
AB 5 - Expand protections for Independent Contractors
Tips on testifying before a committee
Contact the author of the bill to notify them that you plan to testify
Make sure your schedule is flexible as the bill may not be heard on its tentative hearing date
Use this guide from NCDA on how to tell your story: ncda.org/aws/NCDA/pt/sp/govtrelations_yourstory
Two federal bills were introduced in 2018 that directly affect employment resources for veterans and justice-involved individuals: S.3395 Supporting Veterans in STEM Careers Act and S.3747 First Step Act of 2018. These NCDA publications can provide insight on the career development of veterans and justice-involved individuals:
Career Development for Transition Veterans
Career Development Services for Clients who are
Justice Involved (Chapter 12)
By Anne-Marie Beck and Debra Ann Arviso
Legislative/Public Policy Co-Chairs
Introduced: Scholarships, Training & Recruiting Veterans for STEM Careers S.3395
Introduced:Revising Federal Pell Grant funding Amounts S.3423
Introduced: Protecting Amateur Athletes in NCAA H.R.6749
Introduced: Mandatory Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions S.3467
Introduced: Designating September as "National Workforce Development Month" S.R.632
Introduced: Scholarships, Training & Recruiting Veterans for STEM Careers
S.3395, introduced 08/28/2018, directs the National Science Foundation (NSF) to:(1) encourage veterans to study and pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and computer science in coordination with other federal agencies that serve veterans.
Introduced: Revising Federal Pell Grant Funding Amounts
S.3423, introduced 09/06/2018, would revise the amounts for discretionary Federal Pell Grant funding for the 2019-2020 year. The maximum Pell Grant for the 2019-2020 period would be $5,135 per recipient. Further, it would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 in regards to the Federal Pell Grant by striking ‘‘$1,409,000,000’’ and inserting ‘‘$1,370,000,000’’.
Introduced: Protecting Amateur Athletes in NCAA
H.R.6749, introduced 09/07/2018, would provide protections for amateur and professional athletes. A qualifying student would be one who: (A) participates as an athlete in a collegiate revenue-generating sport; (B) is an incoming freshman at such institution; (C) does not transfer to such institution from another institution of higher education.
Introduced: Mandatory Funding for Minority-Serving Institutions
S.3467, introduced 09/18/2018, would permanently reauthorize mandatory funding programs for historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.
Introduced: Designating September as "National Workforce Development Month"
S.Res.632, introduced 09/18/2018, would designate September 2018 as “National Workforce Development Month” and support Federal initiatives to promote workforce development.
Introduced: Strengthening Minority-Serving Institutions Act of 2018
H.R.6876, introduced 09/25/2018, would permanently reauthorize mandatory funding programs for historically Black colleges and universities and other minority-serving institutions.
Introduced: Increase PELL Grants & Job Training for Working Students
H.R.6935, introduced 09/27/2018, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to provide for job training Federal Pell Grants and to increase support for working students. Among other things, this bill would create eligible careers pathways programs that combine rigorous and high-quality education, training and other services that (1) align with the skill needs of industries in the State or regional economy involved; (2) prepare an individual to be successful in any of a full range of secondary or postsecondary education options, (3) include counseling to support an individual in achieving the individual’s education and career goals; (4) include education offered concurrently with workforce preparation activities and training for a specific occupation or occupational cluster; (5) organize education, training, and other services to accelerate the educational and career advancement of the individual; (6) enable an individual to attain a secondary school diploma or its recognized equivalent, and at least one recognized postsecondary credential; (7) help an individual enter or advance within a specific occupation or occupational cluster.
Additionally, H.R.6935 would create a job training career and technical education program at an institution of higher education.
Introduced: Decreasing the Cost of Higher Education
H.R.6947, introduced 09/27/2018, H.R.6947 would promote greater experimentation among institutions of higher education to: (1) increase the level of student attainment of postsecondary and graduate certificates and degrees through innovative programs designed to decrease the cost and time required to complete postsecondary and graduate programs; (2) improve the quality and effectiveness of postsecondary education programs, providing accelerated degree or certificate programs, and increasing on-time graduation rates.
Introduced: Designating September 2018 as "National Workforce Development Month"
H.R..1100, introduced 09/28/2018, would designate September 2018 as “National Workforce Development Month” and recognizing the necessity of investing in workforce development to support workers and to help employers succeed in a global economy.
Introduced: TRIO Programs Common Sense Opportunities Act
S.3535, introduced 10/01/2018, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to clarify the treatment of technical errors in applications for Federal TRIO programs, and for other purposes. Note: The term ‘technical error’ means a nonsubstantive error in an application, including an error in formatting, spacing, number of pages, font size or style and an error in rounding or any other typographical error in a proposed budget.
Introduced: Reducing Student Loan Debt & Increasing Student Retention
S.3596, introduced 10/11/2018, would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to create an innovation zone initiative. S.3596 would permit institutions of higher education to test the effectiveness of statutory and regulatory flexibility that aims to increase student success, which may be defined as 1 or more of the following: (A) Reduction in student loan debt.
(B) Increase in student retention and program completion at institutions of higher education, especially for historically underrepresented students. (C) Decrease in student time to program completion. (D) Closing of gaps in enrollment and completion between historically underrepresented students and students who are not historically underrepresented students. Definition of Historically Underrepresented Student: (1) means a student, or prospective student, at an institution of higher education who is at risk of educational failure or otherwise in need of special assistance and support; and (2) may include an adult learner, working student, part-time student, student from a low-income background, student of color, Native youth, single parent (including a single pregnant woman), student who is a homeless child or youth, youth who is in, or has aged out of, the foster care system, first generation college student, and student with a disability. (E) Increase in student employment outcomes upon graduation. (F) Improved financial aid disbursement and service to students. (G) Increase in student safety, wellness, or food and housing security. (H) Other innovative practices that benefit students.
Introduced: Designating November 2018 as "National College Application Month"
S.Res.697, introduced 11/15/2018, would: (1) designate November 2018 as “National College Application Month”; (2) encourage the people of the United States: (A) to evaluate options for pursuing higher education; and (B) to support every student, regardless of the background or resources of the student, in obtaining the skills and knowledge needed to thrive; (3) support efforts to better assist low-income and first generation students throughout the college application process; (4) urge public officials, educators, parents, students, and communities in the United States to observe National College Application Month with appropriate activities and programs designed to encourage students to consider, research, and apply to college; and (5) commend teachers, counselors, mentors, and parents who support students throughout the college application process, as well as the organizations and institutions partnering to eliminate barriers to higher education.
Introduced: Adult and Juvenile Offender Reentry Project Grants
S.3635, introduced 11/15/2018, would make grants available to States, local governments, territories or Indian tribes, service providers and nonprofit organizations for the purpose of strategic planning and implementation of adult and juvenile offender reentry projects. Additionally, S.3635 would help develop a strategic, collaborative plan for an adult or juvenile offender reentry demonstration project that includes: (1) Improvements to existing programs; (2) Improvements in educational methods provided at prisons, jails and juvenile facilities; (3) Providing mentoring grants to non-profit organizations; (4) Providing community-based mentoring and transitional service grants to non-profit organizations.
Introduced: NSF Grants for Associate Degrees & Certificates in STEM
S.3583, introduced 12/19/2018, would direct the National Science Foundation to provide grants for research about STEM education approaches and the STEM-related workforce, and for other purposes. S.3583 would award competitive grants to community colleges to develop or improve associate degree and certificate programs in STEM fields.
Introduced: Student Loan Servicing & Debt Collection Practices
H.R.7112, introduced 12/19/2018, would : (1) Make amendments to terms and conditions of borrower defenses; (2) Improve student loan servicing and debt collection practices; (3) Improve disclosures, counseling, and financial assistance information for students; (4) Improve disclosures for clinical training programs.
Introduced: Repay Educational Assistance to Student Veterans
S.5, introduced 12/04/2018, would require the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to pay individuals who are owed educational assistance under the Post-9/11 Educational Assistance program the amounts of educational assistance that they are entitled to by law.
Introduced: Emergency Housing Grants for Students
H.R.7297, introduced 12/13/2018, would provide basic and emergency supplemental living assistance grants under the student support services program. The basic supplemental living assistance would cover reasonable, anticipated expenses for eligible students, expenses seen necessary to complete an academic year of the students’ first undergraduate baccalaureate course of study.
Introduced: Prohibiting Use of Federal Educational Assistance Funds for Marketing
H.R.7303, introduced 12/13/2018, would amend the Higher Education Opportunity Act to restrict institutions of higher education from using revenues derived from Federal educational assistance funds for advertising, marketing or recruiting purposes.
Introduced: Fellowship for Women of Color in STEAM & DoD Outreach to Minority-Serving Institutions
H.R.7307, introduced 12/13/2018, would establish a Fellowship for Women of Color in STEAM fields, and for other purposes. Additionally, it’s meant for the Department of Defense to increase engagement with and outreach to historically Black Colleges and Universities, and other minority-serving institutions.
Introduced: Restricting Use of Educational Assistance Funds for Marketing
S.3762, introduced 12/17/2018, would amend the Higher Education Opportunity Act to restrict institutions of higher education from using revenues derived from Federal educational assistance funds for advertising, marketing.
Introduced: increase Deduction for Student Loan Interest for Married Couples
H.R.7335, introduced 12/19/2018, would increase the amount allowed as a deduction for interest on education loans paid by married couples. In General the bill will be amended by inserting “($5,000 in the case of a joint return)” after “$2,500”.
Introduced: Services to Increase Community College Graduation Rates
S.3783, introduced 12/19/2018, would make grants for planning and implementing programs that would provide comprehensive support services and resources to increase transfer and graduation rates at community colleges and for other purposes.
Introduced: Reduce Prisoner Recidivism & Expand Prison Industries
S.3747, introduced 12/19/2018, would provide for programs to help reduce the risk that prisoners will recidivate upon release from prison. S.3747 would (1) covers sentencing reform; (2) reauthorize the Second Chance Act of 2007; (3) address: (a) Placement of prisoners close to families; (b) Home confinement for low-risk prisoners; (c) Federal prisoner reentry initiative reauthorization; modification of imposed term of imprisonment; (d) Identification for returning citizens; (e) Expanding inmate employment through Federal Prison Industries; (f) De-escalation training; (g) Evidence-Based treatment for opioid and heroin abuse; (h) Pilot programs; (i) Ensuring supervision of released sexually dangerous persons; (j) Data collection; (k) Healthcare products; (l) Adult and juvenile collaboration programs; (m) Juvenile solitary confinement.
By Anne-Marie Beck and Debra Ann Arviso
CCDA Legislative/Policy Committee
Enacted: Fair Employment and Housing Act Amendments SB1300
Enacted: Protection Against Secret Settlements SB 820
Enacted: Sexual Harassment Training for All Employees and Small Employers SB1343
Enacted: Freedom to Testify About Criminal Conduct and Sexual Harassment AB 3109
Enacted: Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault Claims AB 1619
Enacted: More Women on Boards of Directors SB826
Enacted: Expanding Lactation Accommodation AB 1976
Enacted: Criminal Background Checks SB 1412
Enacted: Paid Family Leave Use for Call to Active Duty/Military Service SB 1123
Enacted: Human Trafficking Training for Hotel/Motel and Mass Transit Employers SB 970 & AB 203
Enacted: Talent Agencies Required to Provide Sexual Harassment Education AB 2338
Enacted: Expansion of Relationships Subject to Sexual Harassment Claims SB 224
Enacted: PAGA Relief for Unionized Construction Employers AB 1654
Enacted: Sexual Harassment Training for In-Home Supportive Services AB 3082
Enacted: Retailers Jointly Liable for Trucking Labor Violations SB 1402
Enacted: Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act Proposition 11
Introduced: California Community Colleges Waive Fees for Two Years AB 2
Introduced: Janitorial Workers: Sexual Violence and Harassment Prevention Training AB 2079
Introduced: Roll Back Dynamex Decision AB 71
Introduced: Expand protections for Independent Contractors AB 5
Enacted: Fair Employment and Housing Act Amendments
SB 1300 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) as follows: (1) it makes employers liable for claims of sexual harassment, and any kind of unlawful harassment by non-employees where the employer knew or should have known of the harassment and failed to take appropriate corrective action; (2) it prohibits employers from requiring an employee to release a FEHA claim in exchange for a raise or bonus or as a condition of employment or continued employment; (3) it prohibits an employer from requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or other document by which the employee would be restrained from disclosing information about unlawful acts in the workplace; (4) it provides guidance on bystander intervention training; and (5) it adds declarations of the Legislature’s intent with regard to the application of the anti-harassment laws. Among other things, the Legislature has declared that a single incident may be sufficient to create a triable issue regarding the existence of a hostile work environment; that harassment cases are rarely appropriate for disposition on summary judgment; and that the legal standard for sexual harassment does not vary by type of workplace.
Enacted: Protection Against Secret Settlements
SB 820 With settlement agreements, this law prohibits provisions 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. This new law does not prohibit a provision that prevents the parties to the agreement from disclosing the settlement amount, but, at the claimant’s request, it can limit the disclosure of the claimant’s identity or of facts that would lead to the discovery of the claimant’s identity.
Enacted: Sexual Harassment Training for All Employees and Small Employers
SB 1343 expands the sexual harassment training requirement to include employers with at least 5 employees. Currently, employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training to all supervisors and managers every 2 years, or within 6 months of an employee becoming a supervisor or manager. The amendment also requires employers to provide at least one hour of training to non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every 2 years thereafter.
Enacted: Freedom to Testify About Criminal Conduct and Sexual Harassment
AB 3109 states that any provision in a contract or settlement agreement will be deemed unenforceable if it prohibits testimony about criminal conduct or sexual harassment in an administrative, legislative or judicial proceeding. This covers only testimony that is required, such as by subpoena or a court order, or in response to a written request in an administrative or legislative hearing.
Enacted: Statute of Limitations for Sexual Assault Claims
AB 1619 extends the amount of time individuals may file a civil action for damages for sexual assault from three years 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.
Enacted: More Women on Boards of Directors
SB 826 requires publicly-held domestic and foreign corporations with its main executive offices in California to have a minimum of one female director on their boards by the end of 2019. Depending on the board’s size, as many as three female members may be required by the end of 2021.The fine for violating this law is $100,000 for the first violation and $300,000 for a second violation and any subsequent violations.
Enacted: Expanding Lactation Accommodation
AB 1976 brings California more in line with federal law, which requires employers to provide a lactation location other than a bathroom. As of now, employers in California must provide a private location in close proximity to where female employees work, other than a toilet stall, for them to express breast milk. The new law will provide undue hardship exemptions under limited circumstances.
Enacted: Criminal Background Checks
SB 1412 narrows an employer’s ability to consider sealed or expunged convictions to only those circumstances where a particular conviction would legally prohibit someone from holding that job. Right now, state law generally prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s judicially sealed or expunged convictions.
Enacted: Paid Family Leave Use for Call to Active Duty/Military Service
SB 1123 expands the scope of the disability insurance program to provide partial wage replacement benefits to employees who take time off for reasons associated with being called to active duty or the call to duty of the employee’s spouse, domestic partner, parent or child. Under California’s temporary disability insurance program, these benefits are provided to employees who take time off work for specified purposes.
Enacted: Human Trafficking Training for Hotel/Motel and Mass Transit Employers
SB 970 & AB 203 amends the Fair Employment and Housing Act to require that hotel, motel and mass transit employers train and educate employees who are likely to come in contact with victims of human trafficking. By January 1, 2020, these employers must provide “at least 20 minutes of classroom or other effective interactive training and education regarding human trafficking awareness” to any employee “who works in a reception area, performs housekeeping duties, helps customers in moving their possessions, or drives customers.” Existing law requires certain California businesses to post a notice relating to slavery and human trafficking.
Enacted: Talent Agencies Required to Provide Sexual Harassment Education
AB 2338 requires talent agencies to provide educational materials on sexual harassment prevention, retaliation, and reporting resources to adult artists and minors aged 14 to 17 and their parents and legal guardians, within 90 days of retention. For adult model artists only, talent agencies are required to provide materials on nutrition and eating disorders. Talent agencies must retain records for three years showing that the required educational materials were provided.
Enacted: Expansion of Relationships Subject to Sexual Harassment Claims
SB 224 expands the reach of sexual harassment claims under Civil Code § 51.9, which covers non-employment relationships. The amendments to Civil Code § 51.9 allow a plaintiff to prove a cause of action for sexual harassment against a defendant who held himself or herself out as being able to help the plaintiff establish a business, service, or professional relationship, and specifically identifies investors, elected officials, lobbyists, directors, and producers among the potential defendants.
Enacted: PAGA Relief for Unionized Construction Employers
AB 1654 provides that unionized workers in the construction industry covered by certain collective bargaining agreements (“CBA”) will be exempt from the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004, commonly referred to as PAGA. As the number of PAGA lawsuits continues to increase in California, AB 1654 provides construction industry employers with an opportunity to resolve such disputes through entering into a collective bargaining agreement with a labor union.
Enacted: Sexual Harassment Training for In-Home Supportive Services
AB 3082 requires the In-Home Supportive Services (“IHSS”) program, administered by the State Department of Social Services and counties, to develop or otherwise identify standard educational material about sexual harassment and the prevention thereof to be made available to IHSS providers and recipients and a proposed method for uniform data collection to identify the prevalence of sexual harassment in the IHSS program.
Enacted: Retailers Jointly Liable for Trucking Labor Violations
SB 1402 makes retailers jointly liable for violations of state labor and employment laws when they hire trucking companies with unpaid final judgements for failure to pay truck driver wages, imposing unlawful expenses on employees, failure to remit payroll taxes or to provide worker’s compensation insurance, misclassifying employees as independent contractors, and other labor law violations.
Enacted: Emergency Ambulance Employee Safety and Preparedness Act
Proposition 11 allows private ambulance companies to continue their current practice of having emergency medical technicians and paramedics stay on-duty during their meal and rest breaks in order to respond to 911 calls. Private ambulance companies would attempt to reschedule meal and rest breaks that are interrupted by a 911 call.
Introduced: California Community Colleges Waive Fees for Two Years
AB 2 would expand the California College Promise to cover two academic years for certain students. Currently, the program waives some or all fees for certain students enrolled in at least 12 credits a semester, and who have filled out either the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or the California Dream Act application.
Introduced: Janitorial Workers: Sexual Violence and Harassment Prevention Training
AB 2079 empowers janitors to prevent rape on the night shift. This new law requires janitorial companies to allow workers to train each other on how to effectively exert their rights in the face of harassment. All employers applying for new or renewed registration must demonstrate completion of sexual harassment violence prevention requirements and provide an attestation to the Labor Commissioner. AB 2079 would also prohibit the Labor Commissioner from approving a janitorial service employer’s request for registration or for renewal if the employer has not fully satisfied a final judgment to a current or former employee for a violation of the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
Competing Bills Follow Supreme Court Decision on Definition of an Independent Contractor
AB 71 and AB 5 were proposed in response to the blockbuster decision by the California Supreme Court in the Dynamex case, where the court adopted an entirely new test for determining whether an individual is an employee or an independent contractor. This new legal standard, known as the “ABC Test,” provides a much narrower definition of an independent contractor than we have previously seen in California. Under the ABC Test, the hiring entity must establish all three of the following in order to classify a worker as an independent contractor: (A) the worker is free from the control and direction of the hirer in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of such work and in fact; (B) the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity's business; and (C) the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed for the hiring entity.
Introduced: Roll Back Dynamex Decision
AB 71 seeks to enact clear provisions protecting independent workers while rolling back the dangerous precedent set in the California State Supreme Court decision Dynamex Operations West v. Superior Court. These factors include, but are not limited to, the right to fire at will without cause and how to determine the method of payment, whether it’s by the job or the time it takes.
Introduced: Expand protections for Independent Contractors
AB 5 is intended to strengthen employee rights and define the role of an independent contractor. AB 5 would add to state law the “ABC test” regarding independent contractors and create a presumption that a worker who performs services for a hire is an employee.
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