This year’s legislative process was different than expected due to the COVID-19 response, and the California Legislative calendar was adjusted in an effort to protect public health. Because of calendar changes, the traditionally aligned “house of origin” deadlines were impacted and the state legislature now has until July 31 to complete policy review of bills with fiscal impact; and until August 7 for bills that do not have fiscal impact
AGC has continued to monitor the status of state legislation and is actively involved in ensuring the voice of construction is at the table. The bill summaries below outline priority legislation we continue to monitor:
AB 2232 (Grayson D) Contractors: renewal of licenses. This bill would require the registrar to grant the retroactive renewal of a license if within 90 days of the expiration of a license, if the otherwise eligible licensee submits a completed application for renewal and pays the renewal and delinquency fees.
AGC is co-sponsoring this measure with the CSLB. Bill is awaiting a policy committee hearing in the Senate.
AB 2311 (Low D) Public contracts: skilled and trained workforce requirement: notice. This bill would require a public entity, when the use of a skilled and trained workforce to complete a contract or project is required pursuant to existing law, to include in all bid documents and construction contracts a notice that the project is subject to the skilled and trained workforce requirement.
Bill is awaiting policy committee hearing in the Senate.
SB 1189 (McGuire D) Contracting business: home improvement: residential property. Would create a new classification of contracting business, to be called residential remodeling contracting. The bill would provide that a residential remodeling contractor’s principal contracting business is in projects that make improvements to, on, or in an existing residential wood frame structure that require the use of at least 3 unrelated building trades or crafts for a single contract. The bill would provide a nonexclusive list of trades or crafts in this regard. The bill would prohibit a residential remodeling contractor from taking a contract for a project requiring less than 3 unrelated trades or crafts and also would prohibit contracting for a project that involves specified trades or crafts, including fire protection, unless the contractor holds the appropriate license classification or subcontracts with an appropriately licensed contractor.
Measure is awaiting policy committee referral in the Assembly.
AB 196 (Gonzalez D) Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: essential occupations and industries. Would define “injury,” for certain employees who are employed in an occupation or industry deemed essential in the Governor’s Executive Order of March 19, 2020 (Executive Order N-33-20), except as specified, or who are subsequently deemed essential, to include coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) that develops or manifests itself during a period of employment of those persons in the essential occupation or industry. The bill would apply to injuries occurring on or after March 1, 2020, would create a conclusive presumption, as specified, that the injury arose out of and in the course of the employment, and would extend that presumption following termination of service for a period of 90 days, commencing with the last date actually worked.
The measure is pending a hearing in the Senate Labor committee. AGC has successfully worked with the State Insurance Commissioner to make sure that COVID related claims do not count against an employer’s experience rating modification.
AB 398 (Chu D) COVID-19 Local Government and School Recovery and Relief Act. This bill would, on and after January 1, 2021, but before January 1, 2026, impose a tax on a large business, defined as a for-profit, private entity that has more than 500 employees that perform any part of their duties within the State, at the rate of $275 per employee. The bill would require the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration to administer the tax and collect the tax pursuant to the Fee Collection Procedures Law.
AGC is part of a large coalition in opposition to this “head tax” measure. Bill is pending referral by the Senate Rules committee.
AB 1947 (Kalra D) Employment violation complaints: requirements: time. Current law generally authorizes people who believe that they have been discharged or otherwise discriminated against in violation of any law enforced by the Labor Commissioner to file a complaint with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement within 6 months after the occurrence of the violation. Existing law generally requires the Labor Commissioner to commence actions to enforce labor standards within 3 years of their accrual, as specified. This bill would extend the period of time within which people may file complaints subject to the 6-month deadline, described above, to within one year after the occurrence of the violations.
AGC is part of a large employer coalition in opposition to this measure. Bill is pending referral by the Senate Rules committee.
AB 2570 (Stone, Mark D) False Claims Act. The False Claims Act requires a complaint filed by a qui tam plaintiff to be filed in superior court in camera and allows the complaint to remain under seal for up to 60 days to allow for the Attorney General or prosecuting attorney to elect to intervene and proceed with the action or to decline to proceed, as specified. The act prohibits service to be made on the defendant until after the complaint is unsealed. This bill, with respect to whether a false record or statement is material, would require that the materiality test focus on the potential effect of the false record or statement when it is made. This bill would specify that the amount of damages, as described above, include consequential damages. The bill would state that these changes are declaratory of existing law.
AGC continues to spearhead a large coalition in opposition to the reintroduction of AB 1270. Previous version of this bill was held in the Senate Appropriations committee; Bill is pending a referral by the Senate Rules committee.
SB 939 (Wiener D) Emergencies: COVID-19: commercial tenancies: evictions. Would prohibit a commercial landlord, as defined, from serving a specified notice of eviction on a commercial tenant, as defined, until 90 days after the state of emergency proclaimed by the Governor on March 4, 2020, is lifted and if specified criteria apply, including that the commercial tenant served a written notice on the landlord affirming, under the penalty of perjury, that the commercial tenant is an eligible COVID-19 impacted commercial tenant.
AGC was part of a large real estate coalition in opposition to this bill. Bill was held by the Senate Appropriations committee.
SB 973 (Jackson D) Employers: annual report: pay data. Current law establishes within the Department of Industrial Relations the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, which is vested with the general duty of enforcing various labor laws, including provisions prohibiting wage rates that discriminate on the basis of gender or race. This bill would authorize the DFEH to receive, investigate, conciliate, mediate, and prosecute complaints alleging practices unlawful under those discriminatory wage rate provisions. The bill would require the DFEH, in coordination with the division, to adopt procedures to ensure that the departments coordinate activities to enforce those provisions.
This bill would require, on or before March 31, 2021, and each year thereafter, a private employer that has 100 or more employees and who is required to file an annual Employer Information Report under federal law, to submit a pay data report to the DFEH that contains specified wage information. AGC is part of larger employer coalition in opposition. This bill has previously failed and is a reintroduction by the same author. Bill awaiting referral in Assembly.
SB 1159 (Hill D) Workers’ compensation: COVID-19: critical workers. Would, until an unspecified date, define “injury” for an employee to include illness or death resulting from coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) under specified circumstances. The bill would create a disputable presumption, as specified, that an injury that develops or manifests itself while an employee is employed arose out of and in the course of the employment. 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 government employees, a leave of absence.
Opposed for the same reasons as AB 196; this measure is currently awaiting a referral in the Assembly.
SB 1368 (Durazo D) Contractors: wages: liability. Current law requires, for all contracts entered into on or after January 1, 2018, a direct contractor, as defined, making or taking a contract in the state for the erection, construction, alteration, or repair of a building, structure, or other work, to assume, and be liable for, specified debt owed to a wage claimant that is incurred by a subcontractor, at any tier, acting under, by, or for the direct contractor for the wage claimant’s performance of labor included in the subject of the original contract. Current law authorizes the Labor Commissioner to bring an action under specified statutes or in a civil action to enforce this liability. This bill would, for specified contracts, extend a direct contractor’s liability under these provisions to also include penalties and liquidated damages.
This bill would have imposed new penalties and liquidated damages on the General Contractor for nonpayment of wages and fringe benefits by their subcontractors. This bill would be totally contrary to agreements and provisions reached in AB 1701 from two years ago. Fortunately, due to opposition from AGC, CBIA and CEA, this bill was dropped and will not move this year.
SB 1383 (Jackson D). Employees: time off. Unlawful employment practice: family leave. Existing law, the Moore-Brown-Roberti Family Rights Act, commonly known as the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), makes it an unlawful employment practice for a government employer or any employer with 50 or more employees, as specified, to refuse to grant a request by an employee, who has at least 1,250 hours of service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves, a child, a parent, or a spouse, as specified.
This bill would revise and recast these provisions to make it an unlawful employment practice for any employer to refuse to grant a request by an employee to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to bond with a new child of the employee or to care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified.
This measure is supported by Governor Newsom. AGC is part of a large CalChamber led coalition in opposition to the bill. Bill is awaiting referral in the Assembly.
Associated General Contractors of California
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