BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó


          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                   AB 592|
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                                 THIRD READING

          Bill No:  AB 592
          Author:   Lara (D)
          Amended:  7/1/11 in Senate
          Vote:     21

           SENATE LABOR & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS COMM.  :  6-0, 06/22/11
          AYES:  Lieu, Wyland, DeSaulnier, Leno, Padilla, Yee
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Runner

           SENATE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE  :  Senate Rule 28.8

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  61-17, 05/23/11 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT  :    Employment:  leave:  interference, restraint, 
          and denial

           SOURCE  :     Author

           DIGEST :    This bill clarifies that it is an unlawful 
          employment practice to interfere with, restrain, or deny 
          the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any right 
          provided under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) or 
          due to disability by pregnancy, childbirth, or related 
          medical conditions.  This bill also declares that this 
          clarification is declarative of existing law.

           ANALYSIS  :    Existing federal law provides for the Family 
          Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which unpaid, job-protected leave 
          for specified family and medical reasons for 12 weeks in a 
          12 month period.  This includes which includes the birth of 


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          a child or parental bonding.  

          Existing federal law explicitly prohibits the interfering, 
          restraining, or denying an eligible employee from utilizing 
          leave under FMLA.

          Existing law prohibits an employer from discriminating 
          against someone in an employment setting on the basis of 
          race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, 
          physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, 
          marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation of any 
          person.  This includes, among other things, refusing to 
          hire or employ the person or to discriminate against the 
          person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or 
          privileges of employment. 

          Existing law prohibits an employer from refusing to allow a 
          female employee disabled by pregnancy, childbirth, or 
          related medical conditions to take a leave for a reasonable 
          period of time not to exceed four months and thereafter 
          return to work. The employee shall be entitled to utilize 
          any accrued vacation leave during this period of time, but 
          an employer may require an employee who plans to take a 
          leave to give the employer reasonable notice of the date 
          the leave shall commence and the estimated duration of the 

          Existing law establishes CFRA which requires employers to 
          grant employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid protected leave, 
          in any 12 month period, to care for a seriously ill spouse, 
          child or parent, or for their own serious medical 
          condition, which includes the birth of a child or parental 

          This bill clarifies that it is unlawful to interfere with, 
          restrain, or deny the exercise of, or the attempt to 
          exercise, any right provided under CFRA or due to 
          disability by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical 

          This bill also declares that this clarification is 
          declarative of existing law.




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          As written, California's Pregnancy Disability Leave and 
          CFRA do not explicitly reference "interference" with an 
          employee's right to leave as a basis for liability.   While 
          such activities are illegal through federal law and  Faust 
          v. California Portland Cement Company  (2007), the author 
          notes a recent unpublished court case,  Harris v. CashCall, 
          Inc.  , where the court appeared to leave open the idea that 
          interference is legal.

          The author notes that this bill will bring California's 
          pregnancy and family medical leave laws in line with the 
          federal standard by clarifying that "interference" is a 
          basis for liability under California law as well.  
          According to the author, this bill will minimize confusion 
          among employers and employees, and afford a woman who is 
          eligible to take leave in California, the greatest 
          protection under the law.

           Prior Legislation
          AB 1865 (Kuehl), Chapter 1047, Statues of 2000, expressly 
          provided that employees of  any entity covered by the FEHA 
          are personally liable for their acts of harassment, 
          regardless of whether their employer knows or should have 
          known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and 
          appropriate corrective action. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :    Appropriation:  No   Fiscal Com.:  Yes   
          Local:  No

           SUPPORT  :   (Verified  7/12/11)

          American Federation of State, County and Municipal 
          Employees, AFL-CIO
          Bell Gardens Women's Club
          CA Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union
          CA Conference of Machinists
          CA Official Court Reporters Association
          California Labor Federation
          California Nurses Association
          California Teamsters Public Affairs Council
          Engineers and Scientists of California
          International Longshore and Warehouse Union



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          Labor Project for Working Families
          Professional and Technical Engineers, Local 21
          The Schlehr Law Firm
          UNITE HERE!
          United Food and Commercial Workers-Western States 
          Utility Workers Union of America, Local 132

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    Supporters of this bill, which 
          includes the California Labor Federation, argue this bill 
          makes it clear that interfering with an employee's CFRA 
          rights is forbidden and that by stating this in the CFRA 
          statute itself will better aid employers in conforming 
          their conduct to the law helping to avoid potential 

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR  :  61-17, 05/23/11
          AYES:  Achadjian, Alejo, Allen, Ammiano, Atkins, Beall, 
            Bill Berryhill, Block, Blumenfield, Bonilla, Bradford, 
            Brownley, Buchanan, Butler, Charles Calderon, Campos, 
            Carter, Cedillo, Chesbro, Davis, Dickinson, Donnelly, 
            Eng, Feuer, Fletcher, Fong, Fuentes, Furutani, Galgiani, 
            Gatto, Gordon, Hagman, Hall, Hayashi, Roger Hernández, 
            Hill, Huber, Hueso, Huffman, Jeffries, Lara, Bonnie 
            Lowenthal, Ma, Mendoza, Miller, Mitchell, Monning, 
            Nestande, Pan, Perea, V. Manuel Pérez, Portantino, 
            Skinner, Solorio, Swanson, Torres, Wagner, Wieckowski, 
            Williams, Yamada, John A. Pérez
          NOES:  Conway, Beth Gaines, Garrick, Grove, Halderman, 
            Harkey, Jones, Knight, Logue, Mansoor, Morrell, Nielsen, 
            Norby, Olsen, Silva, Smyth, Valadao
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Cook, Gorell

          PQ:nl  7/13/11   Senate Floor Analyses 

                         SUPPORT/OPPOSITION:  SEE ABOVE

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