Our Stronger California Bills: End of Session Update

September 20. 2021
Monika Dymerski, Policy Fellow


This legislative session, the Stronger California Advocates Network, chaired by Equal Rights Advocates, has been busy advocating for policies that will advance economic security for women and families across the state. September 10 marked the end of the 2020 legislative session and we achieved important progress on our 2021 Stronger California Advocates Network Legislative Agenda in partnership with our 70+ Stronger California partners.

 

Update: We are thrilled to share that  CA Governor Gavin Newsom signed 4 of our Stronger California priority bills into law in October, 2021. You can learn more about these bills and our prior budget wins by watching our Stronger California mid-session update webinar, featured at the bottom of this page.


The Stronger California Advocates Network‘s 2021 priority bills address the ongoing challenges faced by women, low-wage workers, and other vulnerable communities in the wake of COVID-19 and advance policies to bring about broader structural change and increase economic security for women and families. 

Ensure Fair Pay, Job Opportunities, & Workplace Justice:

Signed into law! – Garment Worker Protection Act –  Senate Bill 62 (Senator Durazo)
This bill combats rampant wage theft in the garment worker industry, a workforce predominantly made up of low-wage immigrant women workers. It would expand and strengthen enforcement of wage theft liability in the garment manufacturing industry, ensuring that retailers cannot use layers of contracting to avoid responsibility for wage theft. By eliminating the pay-per-piece rate in the garment industry while still allowing bonus and incentive payments, this bill would ensure that workers are paid for all time spent working. 

 

Signed into law! – Health & Safety for All Workers Act (Domestic Workers) – Senate Bill 321  (Senator Durazo)
This bill advances health and safety protections for domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are low-wage immigrant women workers who have traditionally been excluded from basic employment protections under state and federal law. It would require the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the California Department of Industrial Relations to convene an advisory committee, including domestic workers, to make recommendations to protect the health and safety of household domestic workers, and develop voluntary industry-specific occupational health and safety guidance for the purpose of educating domestic workers and employers.

→ Support this bill by taking action here.

 

Signed into law! – Silenced No More Act – Senate Bill 331 (Senator Leyva)
This bill would expand existing prohibitions on non-disclosure agreements (NDA’s) in employment settlement agreements involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sex discrimination, to ensure that workers can speak out about all forms of discrimination and harassment. It would also expand the existing prohibition on overly broad non-disparagement clauses in employment agreements to cover workers who are required to sign these clauses as part of severance agreements.

→ Support this bill by taking action here.

 

Building Economic Security, Combating Poverty, & Building Assets:

Signed into law! – Menstrual Equity for All Act – Assembly Bill 367 (Assemblymember C. Garcia)
This bill would require all public schools from grades 6 to 12 to stock the schools’ restrooms with an adequate supply of free menstrual products. It would also require the California State University (CSU) and each community college district, to stock an adequate supply of free menstrual products at at least one designated and accessible central location on each campus, and encourage the University of California (UC), independent institutions of higher education, and private postsecondary educational institutions to do the same.

→ Support this bill by taking action here.

 

Support Family-Friendly Workplaces:

Vetoed by Gov. Newsom – Paid Family Leave Wage Replacement – Assembly Bill 123 (Assemblymember Gonzalez)
This bill would increase the wage replacement rate for Paid Family Leave to 90% of wages, making it possible for millions of additional Californians to be there for their families when it matters most.

→ Support this bill by taking action here.

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