The following are some Senate Bills, potentially of interest to wage and hour attorneys, that were passed in 2008, but were vetoed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger:
SB 18 – Perata - Public works: labor compliance programs.
This bill would have added the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006 (Proposition 1-D) as a source of funds for a public works project that would require an awarding body, if it chooses to use those funds, to initiate and enforce, or contract with a third party to initiate and enforce, a labor compliance program. Specifically, this bill would have required a school and community college district, a campus of the California State University, or a campus of the University of California applying for funds from the 2006 school bond to monitor the project through a Department of Industrial Relations approved labor compliance program (LCP).
SB 180 – Migden - Labor elections: farm workers.
This bill would have created a new election process for agricultural workers to select their representatives for collective bargaining, and also would have increased the penalties on employers engaged in unfair labor practices.
SB 191 – Padilla - Public works: State Public Works Enforcement Fund.
This bill would have authorized an awarding body, an aggrieved employee or a contractor to file a complaint with the director of Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) that an approved private entity, contracted to initiate and enforce a labor compliance program (LCP) for a public works project, had not competently performed the responsibilities required by statute and state regulations for an LCP. In addition, the bill would have required that the director provide notice of the complaint, determine if it appears meritorious, hold a hearing and issue a written decision regarding the complaint. This bill would have authorized the director to order the approved private entity to return the fees paid by an awarding body and to suspend the approval of the private entity to initiate and enforce a labor compliance program until a petition of revocation of the approval is heard and determined as provided.
This bill was subsequently amended to create an alternative mechanism to fund enforcement of prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements applicable to specified public works projects. Specifically, when amended, the bill would have established the State Public Works Enforcement Fund (Fund) and specify that money in the fund shall, upon appropriation by the Legislature, be used by DIR to administer and enforce the prevailing wage and apprenticeship requirements of current law. The bill would have required specified state agencies or school districts that choose to use the Kindergarten-University Public Education Facilities Bond Act of 2006 or any subsequent education facilities bond act as a source of funds for a public works project, to pay a fee levied by the director of DIR to be deposited into this fund. In addition, this bill would have required the California High-Speed Rail Authority and any other recipient of funds from the Safe, Reliable High-Speed Passenger Train Bond Act for the 21st Century to pay those administrative fees, if that act were approved by the voters at the statewide general election held on November 4, 2008.
SB 549 – Corbett - Bereavement leave.
Would have given employees in California the right to take up to four days of unpaid leave from work upon the death of specified relatives.
SB 622 – Padilla - Employment: misclassification of employees as independent contractors.
Would have made it unlawful for any person or employer to willfully misclassify an employee as an independent contractor. Would have assessed a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 and not more than $15,000 in addition to any other penalties or fines permitted by law for such willful misclassification. Also, any person found guilty of a repeated pattern of these behaviors would have been assessed a civil penalty of not less than $10,000 and not more than $25,000 in addition to any other penalties or fines permitted by law.
SB 1583 - Independent Contractors
This bill would provide that a person (excluding attorneys) who knowingly advises another person to treat an individual as an independent contractor to avoid employee status for the individual shall be jointly and severally liable with the employer if the individual is not found to be an independent contractor.