Last week the Governor signed over two hundred bills and vetoed at least that many. Over the next few weeks, I’m sure we will all be receiving various bulletins describing the major new labor and employment laws in California. So instead of duplicating that effort, I decided to highlight 10 obscure new laws that affect public sector employment in California. Have fun reading.
1. AB 32 (D-Lieu) – Public officials: Personal Information.
Allows an elected or appointed official, or his or her employer, to obtain an injunction against any person or entity that publicly posts on the Internet the home address or telephone number of that official.
2. AB 381 (D-Block) – Unemployment Compensation Disability Benefits: Academic Employees. Allows community college districts to elect to provide state disability insurance (SDI) coverage to academic employees who are permanent, part-time, or temporary; and, to management, confidential, and employees who are not part of a bargaining unit.
3. AB 485 (D- Carter) – Civil Air Patrol: California Wing: Employment Leave.
Requires an employer to provide 10 days of unpaid leave to an employee called to service by the Civil Air Patrol. (Not just a public sector law)
4. AB 567 (R- Villines) – Government Practices.
Amends the California Whistleblower Protection Act (CWPA) to cover as “employees” those persons appointed to state boards or commissions
5. AB 681 (D- Hernandez) – Confidentiality of Medical Information: Psychotherapy.
Allows for the disclosure of confidential medical information (as opposed to a mere Tarasoff warning) by a psychotherapist when there is a serious imminent threat to the health and safety of a reasonably foreseeable victim or victims. Disclosure must be pursuant to a request for information from law enforcement or the target of the threat (which presumably would include employers and/or employees that are targeted). (Not just a public sector law)
6. AB 955 (D- León) – Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act: Discipline.
Amends the Public Safety Officers Procedural Bill of Rights Act to clarify that a public agency is not be required to impose discipline within the one-year limitations period; only the investigation and notice of discipline must be completed within the year.
7. AB 1227 (D- Feuer) – Workers’ Compensation: Public Employees: Leaves of Absence.
Expands the availability of Labor Code 4850 leave—which allows injured peace officers to receive a full year’s pay tax-free—to include local park rangers, community college police, and school district police officers.
8. AB 1245 (D- Monning) – Recovery of Public Records.
Establishes a procedure by which the Secretary of State can recover governmental records, belonging to the state or a local agency that are found in possession of non-governmental entities or persons (for example, a former employee).
9. SB 169 (R- Benoit) – Identification: Honorably Retired Peace Officers.
Empowers the head of a local agency that employs peace officers to bestow upon retirees an honorary badge or other emblem that states that person’s position as an honorable retired peace officer from that agency.
10. SB 644 (R- Denham) – Civil Service Examinations: Veterans’ Preference.
Increases the veterans’ preference points provided on open, non-promotional state civil service entrance examinations from 10 to 15 points for disabled veterans, and from 5 to 10 points for all other veterans.