Stronger CA Advocates Network Releases 2019 Agenda
May 3. 2019
The Stronger Califrnia Advocates Network brings together a diverse group of over 50 nonprofit and advocacy organizations from across the state that work on issues that deeply impact the lives of California’s working women and families.
From sexual harassment and pay discrimination, to childhood poverty and lack of affordable child care, to the lack of women on corporate boards, these issues do not appear separately in our lives. They often overlap and intersect to create even larger barriers to economic security and professional success. That’s why the Stronger California Advocates Network tackles them together. In partnership with the California Women’s Caucus, we combine the power, expertise, and on-the-ground knowledge of our organizations to propose and promote innovative bills and policies that get to the heart of these intersecting issues.
Our 2019 agenda builds on the success and momentum of the past few years to introduce our most innovative, comprehensive legislation yet, including:
Ensuring Fair Pay, Job Opportunities, & Workplace Justice
- Extend Filing Deadline for Harassment & Discrimination Claims (AB 9 – Assemb. Reyes, Friedman & Waldron)
Under current law, a worker who has experienced sexual harassment or other forms of discrimination at work has only one year to file a claim with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. This is significantly shorter than the time allowed for filing other civil claims. This bill would extend the filing deadline to three years, ensuring that workers have the necessary time to process what happened to them, learn about their options, and seek justice.
- Ban Retaliatory “No Rehire” Clauses in Settlement Agreements (AB 749 – Assemb. Stone, Gonzalez & Reyes)
AB 749 would prohibit the use of “no rehire” clauses in settlement agreements that broadly restrict future employment opportunities for workers settling a sexual harassment or other employment dispute. More about this bill.
- Pay Data Reporting to Close the Wage Gap (SB 171 – Sen. Jackson)
This bill would require California employers with 100 employees or more to submit an annual pay data report to the Department of Industrial Relations outlining the compensation and hours worked of its employees by gender, race, ethnicity, and job category. This would allow state agencies to more efficiently identify patterns of wage disparities and encourage employers to analyze their own pay practices to ensure they are fair and lawful.
- Stop Forced Waivers of Workers’ Rights (AB 51 – Assemb. Gonzalez)
This bill will prohibit employers from requiring workers to sign forced arbitration agreements, or other waivers of rights, as a condition of employment and would prohibit retaliation against workers who decline to sign. These agreements are used to trap victims of sexual harassment, wage theft, and other workplace violations in the employer’s private arbitration system and prevent workers from seeking justice in court.
- Budget Request: Domestic Worker Rights Education and Outreach Program
A request of $5 million to fund the establishment of a Domestic Worker Rights Education & Outreach Program within the CA Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The program would provide education, outreach and training to domestic work employees and employers on minimum wage, overtime, sick leave, record-keeping, retaliation, and the DLSE adjudication and retaliation process. This program would promote fair and dignified labor standards across the industry.
Expand Access to Affordable, Quality Early Childhood Care and Education
- A Strong Start for CalWORKs Families (SB 321 – Sen. Mitchell)
This bill seeks to fulfill the promise made when the CalWORKS program was created 20 years ago: that families would have affordable child care and would experience no break in child care services as they transitioned between CalWORKs child care stages. By aligning the technology, systems and infrastructure of our programs, this bill will give all children a strong start and their working parents the viable chance to attain economic security.
- Building a Better Early Care and Education Act (AB 378 – Assemb. Limón)
This bill gives family child care providers the right to collectively bargain with the state so they can negotiate for improvements that impact the work they do and the families they serve.
- Budget Request: Child Care
$1 billion over three years to expand flexible, affordable child care and the necessary funds to implement 12 months of continuous child care in the CalWORKs Stage 1 child care program.
- Family Leave for a 21st Century California ( SB 135 – Sen. Jackson)
SB 135 will ensure that nearly all Californians who pay into the Paid Family Leave Program can use it without losing their job; that more newborns can receive individual care; and that CA’s leave laws reflect the state’s diverse, multigenerational families and care-giving needs.
- Workplace Lactation Accommodations (SB 142 – Sen. Wiener)
If passed, this bill will be the most comprehensive lactation accommodation law in the nation. The bill addresses the barriers that working parents face that make it difficult to maintain breastfeeding after returning to work. It would require employers to have a written lactation policy and to provide employees with a safe and comfortable lactation space that meets minimum requirements. It also requires newly constructed or renovated buildings of a certain size and classification to include lactation spaces.
- Eliminating Poverty Tows (AB 516 – Assemb. Chiu)
This bill ends the practice of towing cars as a debt collection tool and makes sure low-income drivers can continue using their cars for basic needs such as getting to work, taking children to school, or going to medical appointments.