Governor Brown Signs Three Employment-Related Bills

By Clay Creps

Governor Brown recently signed into law three key employment-related bills, affecting the Workplace Fairness Act, mandatory overtime, and the Equal Pay Act (see our articles tracking the development of these bills here and here).

Workplace Fairness Act Amendments
The version signed into law of Senate Bill 1586, which makes amendments to the Workplace Fairness Act, makes it an unlawful employment practice for employers to ask employees to request to enter into agreements preventing them from disclosing or discussing conduct constituting unlawful discrimination (including sexual assault), or to make an offer of settlement conditional upon such a request. The law also requires mediators to provide an unrepresented party to the mediation with a copy of BOLI’s model procedures and policies. In addition to voiding nondisparagement and confidentiality provisions that are not requested by the settling employee, the law also makes a provision preventing the disclosure of the amount or fact of settlement void. The law clarifies that it does not affect confidentiality agreements unrelated to discriminatory conduct.

Notice of Mandatory Overtime
Senate Bill 1513 was also signed into law, and is effective Jan. 1, 2023. The bill prohibits employers from taking adverse action against certain manufacturing employees who refuse to work mandatory overtime shifts – unless the employer provides the employee with at least two weeks’ advance notice of the mandatory overtime shift.

Equal Pay Act Amendments
Lastly, Governor Brown signed into law Senate Bill 1514, which extends the exceptions to the definition of “compensation” found in the Equal Pay Act. These include retention bonuses offered to employees and hiring bonuses offered to prospective employees. The extension lasts through the 180th day following the expiration or termination of the current state of emergency.

Two additional bills are currently pending signature: House Bill 4002 (requiring overtime pay for agricultural workers) and House Bill 4074 (requiring employees of or workers for a marijuana licensee to report human trafficking on licensed premises to the OLCC). We will continue to monitor these bills.

This update is prepared for the general information of our clients and friends. It should not be regarded as legal advice. If you have questions about the issues raised here, please contact any of the attorneys in our Labor & Employment Practice Group, or the attorney with whom you normally consult.

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