BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”



                                                                  SB 400
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          SENATE THIRD READING
          SB 400 (Jackson)
          As Amended  August 6, 2013
          Majority vote 

           SENATE VOTE  :21-12  
           
           LABOR & EMPLOYMENT  4-1         JUDICIARY           6-1         
           
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          |Ayes:|Roger HernŠndez, Chau,    |Ayes:|Wieckowski, Chau,         |
          |     |Gomez, Holden             |     |Dickinson, Garcia,        |
          |     |                          |     |Muratsuchi, Stone         |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Morrell                   |Nays:|Wagner                    |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           APPROPRIATIONS      12-4                                        
           
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          |Ayes:|Gatto, Bocanegra,         |     |                          |
          |     |Bradford,                 |     |                          |
          |     |Ian Calderon, Campos,     |     |                          |
          |     |Eggman, Gomez, Hall,      |     |                          |
          |     |Holden, Pan, Quirk, Weber |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
          |-----+--------------------------+-----+--------------------------|
          |Nays:|Harkey, Bigelow,          |     |                          |
          |     |Donnelly, Wagner          |     |                          |
          |     |                          |     |                          |
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           SUMMARY  :  Enacts various employment protections for employees  
          who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or  
          stalking.  Specifically,  this bill  :   

          1)Extends specified existing protections for victims of domestic  
            violence and sexual assault to also include victims of  
            stalking.

          2)Prohibits an employer from discharging, discriminating or  
            retaliating against an employee because of the employee's know  
            status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or  
            stalking, if the victim provides notice to the employer of the  








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            status or if the employer has actual knowledge of the status.

          3)Requires an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for  
            a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who  
            requests an accommodation while at work.

          4)Specifies that reasonable accommodations may include the  
            implementation of safety measures, including a transfer,  
            reassignment, modified schedule, changed work telephone,  
            changed work station, installed lock, assistance in  
            documenting domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, an  
            implemented safety procedure or another adjustment in job  
            structure, as specified.

          5)Specifies that an employer is not required to provide a  
            reasonable accommodation to an employee who has not disclosed  
            his or her status as a victim of domestic violence, sexual  
            assault, or stalking.

          6)Provides that an employer shall engage in a timely, good  
            faith, and interactive process with the employee to determine  
            effective reasonable accommodations.

          7)Specifies that these requirements do not require an employer  
            to undertake an action that constitutes an undue hardship on  
            the employer's business operations, as specified, including  
            when an action would violate an employer's duty to furnish and  
            maintain a place of employment that is safe and healthful.

          8)Requires an employee requesting a reasonable accommodation,  
            upon request of the employer, to provide a written statement  
            by the employee or an individual acting on the employee's  
            behalf, certifying that the accommodation is for an authorized  
            purpose.

          9)Authorizes an employer to also request certification  
            demonstrating the employee's status as a victim of domestic  
            violence, sexual assault, or stalking, as specified, and  
            authorizes the employer to request recertification every six  
            months.

          10)Specifies that if circumstances change and an employee needs  
            a new accommodation, the employee shall request a new  
            accommodation from the employer.








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          11)Specifies that if an employee no longer needs an  
            accommodation, the employee shall notify the employer that the  
            accommodation is no longer needed.

          12)Provides that an employer shall not retaliate against a  
            victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking for  
            requesting a reasonable accommodation, regardless of whether  
            the request was granted.

          13)Provides that an employee who is discharged or in any other  
            manner discriminated or retaliated against is entitled to  
            reinstatement and reimbursement for lost wages and work  
            benefits caused by the acts of the employer, as well as  
            appropriate equitable relief.

          14)Provides that an employer who willfully refuses to rehire,  
            promote or otherwise restore an employee or former employee  
            who has been determined to be eligible for rehiring or  
            promotion is guilty of a misdemeanor.

          15)Makes other related and conforming changes. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  According to the Assembly Appropriations  
          Committee, this bill will result in General Fund administrative  
          costs, likely between $180,000 and $200,000, to the Division of  
          Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE) within the Department of  
          Industrial Relations to enforce this measure.  

           COMMENTS  :  Existing law generally affords employees who are  
          victims of domestic violence or sexual assault the right to take  
          time off from work for specified activities, including obtaining  
          a restraining order or seeking medical attention or  
          psychological counseling.  This bill seeks to make a number of  
          changes to existing law, as well as to add additional specified  
          protections.  First, this bill would amend existing law related  
          to leave and related provisions to also include victims of  
          stalking.  Second, this bill would prohibit an employer from  
          discharging, discriminating or retaliating against an employee  
          because of the employee's "know status" as a victim of domestic  
          violence, sexual assault, or stalking.  Third, this bill would  
          require an employer to provide reasonable accommodations for a  
          victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking who  
          requests an accommodation while at work, as specified.








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          As introduced, this bill also provided that an employee who is  
          discharged, threatened with discharge, demoted, suspended, or  
          denied a reasonable accommodation may bring a civil action in  
          superior court and if the employee prevails, may be awarded  
          attorney's fees and costs.  This provision has been amended out  
          of the bill.  However, the deletion of an express private right  
          of action is not intended to diminish other administrative and  
          judicial enforcement mechanisms and remedies available to  
          aggrieved persons.
            
          Supporters argue that although existing law recognizes a  
          victim's need to take time off work, it is simply not enough for  
          victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.   
          According to one of this bill's sponsors, the Legal Aid Society  
          - Employment Law Center, domestic violence, sexual assault, and  
          stalking have a harmful effect on the ability of victims to  
          maintain employment.  The co-sponsor points to various  
          statistics that illustrate the alarming rates of job loss and  
          other problems at work due to the abuse - one study in  
          particular found that nearly 50% of survivors of sexual assault  
          lost their jobs or were forced to quit following the assault. 


           Analysis Prepared by  :    Ben Ebbink / L. & E. / (916) 319-2091 


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