California employers take note:  The California State Assembly recently passed four significant employment-related bills that you should pay close attention to:

  • Medical MarijuanaA.B. 2279 would prohibit discrimination against an employee based on marijuana use, as long as the use was for medical reasons and did not occur at the workplace or during the hours of employment.
  • Equal PayA.B. 437 would reject the "paycheck rule" established in the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 127 S. Ct. 2162 (2007).   Under the new bill, the statute of limitations for pay claims under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act would toll with each discriminatory paycheck an employee receives. 
  • Independent ContractorsS.B. 1583 would make paid consultants who advise employers to treat workers as independent contractors to avoid employee status jointly and severally liable with the employer if it is determined the workers are not independent contractors.
  • Arrest RecordsA.B. 3063 would prohibit employers from asking applicants about arrests  that did not result in convictions, or about participation in pre-trial or post-trial diversion programs.

Will the Governator sign the bills?  Right now, he and the state assembly are deadlocked over the state budget, and Schwarzenegger has said he will not sign any new bills unless and until a new budget is agreed on.  However, if he does not sign the bills within 30 days of their passage, they automatically become law.  Stay tuned to the Stoel Rives World of Employment for more updates!