Stronger California Wins
Since 2014, the Stronger California Advocates Network has fought for the passage of 50 bills and billions of dollars in budget allocations to advance workplace justice and economic security for women and families across the state.
SB 497 – Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Act (Sen. Smallwood-Cuevas)
Many workers who report violations of the California Equal Pay Act and other labor rights violations, such as wage theft, face retaliation, such as having their hours cut, being demoted, or even termination. This law will strengthen our retaliation laws, ensuring workers can exercise their rights without fearing harmful repercussions. For more information about worker retaliation, see here, and for additional details about this legislation, see here.
AB 933 (Aguiar-Curry; Ward) – Protecting Survivors from Weaponized Defamation Lawsuits
This law will ensure survivors of sexual assault, sexual harassment, and other forms of harassment and discrimination have adequate protections against retaliatory, baseless defamation lawsuits. These frivolous and retaliatory measures, also known as Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP), are increasingly being used as a weapon to threaten, silence, intimidate, and dissuade survivors from speaking out against their abusers. AB 933 will help prevent these abusive legal tactics and ensure survivors have adequate relief when they prevail against baseless claims. See here for more information about this legislation and here for news coverage.
SB 616 (Gonzalez) Paid Sick Days
This law will increase the minimum number of required paid sick days available to workers from 3 to 5 days. California law enables workers to use paid sick leave for the diagnosis, care, or treatment of their or a family member’s health condition; for preventive care for the worker or the worker’s family member; or to seek services related to domestic violence. SB 616 will better ensure workers are not forced to choose between working while sick and being fired or sending a sick kid to school and not making rent. It will lead to a healthier, more productive workforce and give survivors of domestic violence more time to seek the protections they need. For more information about the importance of advancing economic security to combat domestic violence, click here.
AB 596 and SB 380 (Gómez Reyes; Limón) – Child Care Family Fee
Will establish a more equitable family fee system that minimizes tradeoffs between paying for child care and other essentials. Please click here for more information about this win from our Stronger California partners at Parent Voices.
SB 476 (Limón) – Food Handler Training
Will prevent employers and industry associations from using worker money to fund corporate lobbying efforts aimed at suppressing workers’ wages by requiring food handler training costs to be covered by employers similar to all other required health and safety training. For more information about this legislation, click here.
SB 521 (Smallwood-Cuevas) – CalWorks: Pregnancy or Parenting
Will help pregnant, parenting, and lactating students in high school and college to maintain their CalWORKs benefits and avoid penalties by adding destabilizing events and violations of Title IX protections to the lists of acceptable reasons for not meeting satisfactory progress requirements.
Child Care Budget Win: Child Care Family Fee and Provider Payment Reform
Transformed the subsidized child care family fee system by eliminating fees for the majority of families and capping them at 1% for the rest. Additionally, this budget win establishes a new, more just way to pay child care providers based on the true cost of care, along with payment increases for two years.
SB 1162 (Limón) – Pay Transparency for Pay Equity Act
Will require employers to openly list salary ranges on all job postings and provide salary ranges to existing employees upon request. It will also increase pay transparency by requiring employers with 100 or more employees hired through labor contractors to submit pay data reports to the Civil Rights Department broken down by sex, race, and ethnicity, which is necessary to combat a growing trend of large corporations hiring through third-party contractors to skirt existing equal pay laws and other labor laws.
AB 1041 (Wicks) – Leave for Chosen Family
Will ensure California workers can take time off work to care for loved ones by expanding the definition of “family member” for purposes of family caregiving leave and paid sick leave. This is particularly important for the growing number of households that don’t follow outdated nuclear family models, and will be particularly impactful for LGBTQI+ families, immigrant families, and people living in multigenerational households.
SB 951 (Durazo) – Accessible Paid Family and Disability Leave for Low-Income Workers
Will increase the Paid Family Leave (PFL) and State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits wage replacement rates from 70% for low-income workers and 60% for all other workers, to 90% and 70%, respectively. This helps ensure everyone can afford to take time off to care for a new child or ill family member, or to recover from their own health condition, including pregnancy.
AB 1949 (Low) – Job-Protected Bereavement Leave
Will allow workers to take up to 5 days of job-protected bereavement leave following the death of a loved one. Previously, workers could legally be fired for taking a single day off work following the death of a spouse, child, sibling, parent, grandparent, or domestic partner.
AB 257 (Holden) – Fast Food Industry Accountability and Standards
The FAST Recovery Act creates a Fast Food Sector Council consisting of workers, employers, and government regulators who are charged with proposing and implementing improved industry-wide standards.
SB 1017 (Eggman) – Housing Protections for Domestic Violence Survivors
Expands California’s existing eviction protections for survivors of abuse to include survivors of violent crime. It also closes loopholes in current eviction protections, increasing documentation options for domestic violence survivors, and expands the situations survivors can present in order to access this crucial protection and avoid eviction and homelessness for themselves and their families.
AB 2223 (Wicks) – Decriminalization of Abortion and Pregnancy Loss
Ensures no one in California can be investigated, prosecuted, or incarcerated for ending a pregnancy or experiencing pregnancy loss.
SB 975 (Min) – Protecting Vulnerable Populations Against Coerced Debt
Protects survivors of coerced debt from the negative impacts of debts taken out in their name without their knowledge or through coercion, such as domestic abuse survivors, the vast majority of whom experience financial abuse. It also protects survivors’ credit reports and credit scores from being damaged as a result of the coerced debt.
SB 854 (Skinner) – The HOPE for Children Act – Budget Trailer Bill
Will help narrow the racial wealth gap and create economic mobility for children who lost their parent(s) or primary caregiver to COVID-19 and eligible foster youth by providing them with state-issued trust funds.
SB 321 (Durazo): Domestic Workers Safety Act
Advances health and safety protections for domestic workers, the vast majority of whom are low-wage immigrant women who have traditionally been excluded from basic employment protections under state and federal law.
SB 62 (Durazo): Garment Workers Wage Protection
Expands and strengths enforcement of wage theft liability in the garment manufacturing industry, ensuring that retailers cannot use layers of contracting to avoid responsibility for wage theft.
SB 331 (Leyva): Silenced No More Act
Prohibits non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) in employment settlement agreements involving sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sex discrimination, to ensure that workers can also speak out about other forms of discrimination and harassment, including racism and ableism. It will also expand the existing prohibition on overly broad non-disparagement clauses.
AB 367 (C. Garcia): Menstrual Equity for All Act
Requires all public schools from grades 6 to 12 to stock the schools’ restrooms with an adequate supply of free menstrual products. It will also require the California State University (CSU) system and each community college district to stock an adequate supply of free menstrual products.
AB 1876 (Reyes): CA Earned Income Tax Credit (CalEITC) expansion to ITIN Tax Filers
Building on Stronger California budget by ensuring full inclusion of Californians in the California Earned Income Tax Credit, including those who use an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) to file taxes, many of whom are immigrants without citizenship documentation.
AB 1947 (Kalra): Worker Retaliation Claims/Ensuring Access to Justice
Advances workers’ access to justice by extending the time period to file retaliation complaints with the Labor Commissioner from 6 months to 1 year. It also helps to ensure that low-wage workers are able to obtain legal assistance specifically for whistleblower complaints, by allowing prevailing workers to recover attorneys’ fees.
SB 973 (Jackson): Pay Data Collection to Close the Gender & Race Wage Gap
Requires California employers with 100 employees or more to submit an annual pay data report to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) outlining the compensation and hours worked of its employees by gender, race, ethnicity, and job category.
SB 1383 (Jackson): Ensuring Job Protection for Paid Family Leave
Provides job protection so everyone who works for an employer with at least 5 employees can take Paid Family Leave to care for a sick family member, attend to their own health, or bond with a new child, without risking losing their job.
AB 9 (Reyes): Extend Filing Deadline for Harassment & Discrimination Claims
Extending filing deadline for harassment and discrimination claims to three years, ensuring that workers have the necessary time to seek justice.
AB 749 (Stone): Settlement agreements: restraints in trade
Prohibits 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.
AB 51 (Gonzalez): Stop Forced Waivers of Workers’ Rights
Prohibits 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.
SB 234 (Skinner): Keep Kids Close to Home Act
Equalizes the permitting requirements for small and large family child care homes, clarifies that family child care is allowed in apartments and condos, and updates housing protections for family child care providers.
AB 378 (Limon): Building a Better Early Care and Education Act
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, including but not limited to reimbursement rates, access to subsidized care, expanded access to food programs, among others.
SB 142 (Wiener): Workplace lactation accommodations
This 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.
AB 539 (Limon): California Financing Law: consumer loans: charges
Establishing important consumer protections for Californians seeking a loan of more than $2,500 but less than $10,000, to contract for or receive charges at a rate not exceeding an annual simple interest rate of 36% plus the Federal Funds Rate.
SB 1300 (Jackson): Sexual Harassment Prevention & Accountability Act
Requiring all employers covered under the Act to provide training to all employees, not just supervisors, and to include bystander intervention training and information on how to report and file complaints of harassment. This legislation also prohibits employers from requiring employees to extinguish their claims of sexual harassment, or other claims under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.
SB 224 (Jackson): Personal Rights: Sexual Harassment
Amended the Unruh Civil Rights Act to clarify certain specific professional relationships, outside of employment, where sexual harassment is prohibited; removed procedural hurdles for plaintiffs asserting claims under the Act; and provided enforcement authority to state anti-discrimination agency.
AB 2601 (Weber): The California Healthy Youth Act in Charter Schools
By extending the California Healthy Youth Act to charter schools, this law ensures that charter school students are not denied the comprehensive sexual health education taught to all other California public middle and high school students. Comprehensive sexual health education helps prevent sexual harassment and abuse.
AB 2282 (Eggman): Salary History
This law clarifies that for purposes of this section, “pay scale” means a salary or hourly wage range, and “reasonable request” means a request made after an applicant has completed an initial interview with the employer. This law also provides that prior salary cannot be used to justify any disparity in compensation under the California Equal Pay Act.
AB 168 (Eggman): Prohibits employers from relying on prior salary
Prohibit an employer, including state and local government employers, from seeking salary history information about an applicant for employment, except as otherwise provided.
AB 273 (Aguiar-Curry): Unlocking Opportunities for Families
Clarifies that English as a Second Language (ESL) and High School Equivalency Certificate (also known as GED) is an acceptable type of training course for families to qualify for child care assistance.
SB 63 (Jackson): New Parent Leave Act
Provides eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child in the 12 months following the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.
AB 557 (Rubio): Protections for Domestic Violence Survivors on CalWORKS
Requires a county to waive a CalWORKS program requirement for an applicant or recipient who is a past or present victim of abuse when the program requirement.
AB 10 (C. Garcia): Access to Menstrual Hygiene Products in Shelters, Schools & Universities
Requires that school bathrooms offer an adequate supply of free menstrual hygiene supplies in school bathrooms and requires the Department of Housing and Community Development to ensure that an adequate supply of menstrual hygiene supplies are available at all shelters throughout the state.
SB 54 (De Leon): The California Values Act
Ensures that California does not use state and local resources to fuel mass deportations and separate families and loved ones.
AB 480 (Gonzalez-Fletcher): CalWORKS: Welfare-to-Work: Necessary Diaper Supportive Services
Includes infant and toddler diapers among ancillary expenses that a county is required to provide as a necessary supportive service pursuant to a California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) participant’s welfare-to-work plan and provides that no continuous appropriation for public assistance shall be made to implement the provisions of this bill, as specified.
AB 1676 (Campos): Pay Equity for Women in the Workplace
Gives women more bargaining power when negotiating their salaries by removing past salary history from a new salary determination.
SB 1015 (Leyva): 2016 Domestic Worker Bill of Rights
Grants overtime protections to privately hired domestic workers, removing the sunset provision and making the law’s provisions permanent.
SB 3 (Leno): Minimum Wage Increase & Indexing
Increases the minimum wage to $11 in 2017 and $13 in 2018. Requires the annual automatic adjustment of the minimum wage, commencing Jan. 1, 2020.
AB 2288 (Burke): Apprenticeship Programs: Building & Construction Trades
Requires the California Workforce Development Board and each local board to ensure that pre-apprenticeship training in the building and construction trades follows the Multi-Craft Core Curriculum developed by the California Department of Education, including plans to increase the percentage of women in those trades.
40. AB 908 (Gomez): Expand Paid Family Leave
Increases the length of paid leave available from California’s Paid Family Leave program to 10 weeks to care for a sick family member or bond with a new child. It also increases the wage replacement rate for workers who make low wages, making this program more accessible to those who earn the least.
41. SB 358 (Jackson): CA Fair Pay Act
Prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees at wage rates less than those paid to employees of the opposite sex for substantially similar work, when viewed as a composite of skill, effort, and responsibility, as specified. It also revises and recasts the exceptions to require the employer to affirmatively demonstrate that a wage differential is based upon one or more specified factors. Prohibits an employer from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against.
42. SB 579 (Jackson): Expanding the Kin Care Law
Includes the addressing of a child care provider emergency or a school emergency, as defined, and the finding, enrolling, or reenrolling of a child in a school or with a child care provider as activities for which a parent having custody of a child shall not be discriminated against or discharged.
43. SB 342 (Jackson): Funding for high wage job training
Requires the California Workforce Investment Board to assist the Governor in helping individuals with barriers to employment achieve economic security and upward mobility by implementing policies that encourage the attainment of marketable skills relevant to current labor market trends.