Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday signed one bill requiring employers with 20 to 49 workers to offer 120 days of parental leave and another bill banning employers from asking job applicants for salary histories.
The parental leave bill, SB 63 by Sen. Hannah Beth-Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, lowers the threshold for requiring that parental leave be offered from the current 50 employees to 20 employees, effective Jan. 1.
In Los Angeles County, this will more than double the number of firms subject to the parental leave law, according to third-quarter 2016 size-of-business data from the state Employment Development Department. That report says roughly 22,500 employers have between 20 and 49 employees, while 14,600 employers have at least 50 workers.
SB 63 also prohibits employer with 20 to 49 workers from refusing to maintain and pay for the employee’s continued group health coverage during the duration of the leave.
The California Chamber of Commerce had labeled SB 63 as a “job-killer,” citing as overly burdensome the requirements to return the employee to the same position held prior to taking the leave and to continue paying health insurance.
The salary history ban bill, AB 168 by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, forbids employers from asking job applicants for their salary histories and from relying on salary history information as a factor in determining what salary to offer an applicant. Job applicants can still voluntarily supply their previous salaries.
AB 168 also requires employers to produce pay scale information for a position upon demand.
The bill is intended to reduce gender pay disparities in the workplace, but major business groups contended it exposes employers to increased risk of discrimination lawsuits.
Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.