Employee Relations 02/15/2013
AB 263 (Hernandez, R.) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on February 7, 2013
Assembly Bill 263, by Assembly Member Roger Hernandez, would prohibit an employer from engaging in, or directing another person to engage in, an unfair immigration-related document practice against a person for the purpose of, or with the intent of, retaliating against a person for exercising a right protected under state labor and employment laws or under a local ordinance applicable to employees.
Current law provides that an individual who has applied for employment, or who is or has been employed in California, is entitled to the protections, rights, and remedies available under state law, regardless of his or her immigration status. Additionally, existing law prohibits an inquiry into a person’s immigration status for purposes of enforcing state labor and employment laws, unless clear evidence exists and has been shown that the inquiry is necessary in order to comply with federal immigration law.
AB 263 is awaiting assignment to a policy committee.
AB 160 (Alejo) – Watch
As Introduced on January 22, 2013
Assembly Bill 160, by Assembly Member Luis Alejo, would exempt certain employees from the Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act (PEPRA) of 2013. Counties will recall that PEPRA was signed by Governor Brown last September and, among other things, for employees hired on or after January 1, 2013, creates a new benefit tier for safety and miscellaneous employees, requires that they pay at least 50 percent of the normal cost of retirement benefits, limits the compensation amount used to calculate retirement benefits and raises the retirement age.
AB 160 will essentially exempt about 20,000 transit workers from the PEPRA changes that went into effect in January.
Section 13© of the Urban Mass Transportation Act (Act) (which, in the 1960s, authorized the federal government to make grants available to states and public agencies to construct/reconstruct and/or improve public transit) protects state and local transit workers who are affected by federal transit funding by requiring that protected arrangements (collective bargaining agreements, wage protection, pension benefits and other conditions of employment) be in place and certified by the Department of Labor prior to transit funds being released to public entities. The Act also stipulates that those arrangements which were in place when the employer started receiving federal transit funds be continued in order for the entity to continue receiving federal funding. The section applies to all transit employees in the service area of a federally funded project.
AB 160 is in response to allegations that PEPRA violates the protected arrangement between transit workers and the State authorized by the Act, by narrowing collective bargaining rights and reducing benefits. This bill is awaiting a hearing date the Assembly Public Employees’ Retirement and Social Security Committee.
AB 194 (Campos) – Request for Comment
As Introduced on January 28, 2013
Assembly Bill 194, by Assembly Member Nora Campos, would make it a misdemeanor for a member of a legislative body of a local agency (including boards of supervisors and city councils) to prohibit public criticism protected under the Brown Act. Additionally, AB 194 would allow a district attorney or an individual to file a lawsuit to void any action taken by a legislative body when it has been found in violation of the law governing protection for public criticism.
The Brown Act is the section of California law that governs the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies. Among other things, it provides the right to public testimony, posting requirements for meeting notices and the requirement that any votes be taken in public.
AB 194 is awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Local Government Committee.