Amended in Assembly April 30, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 26, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 465


Introduced by Assembly Member Roger Hernández

February 23, 2015


An act to add Section 925 to the Labor Code, relating to employment.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST

AB 465, as amended, Roger Hernández. Contracts against public policy.

Existing law declares that negotiation of terms and conditions of labor should result from voluntary agreement between employer and employee. Existing law provides that any person who coerces or compels any other person to enter into an agreement, written or verbal, not to join or become a member of any labor organization, as a condition of securing employment or continuing in employment, is guilty of a misdemeanor.

This bill wouldbegin delete requireend deletebegin insert prohibit any person from requiring another person, as a condition of employment, to agree toend insert the waiver of any legal right, penalty, forum, or procedure forbegin delete specifiedend deletebegin insert anyend insert employment lawbegin delete violations to be knowing, voluntary, and in writing.end deletebegin insert violations.end insert The bill would prohibitbegin delete such a waiver from being made as a condition of employmentend deletebegin insert a person from threatening, retaliating against, or discriminating against another person based on a refusal to agree to such waiver,end insert and would provide that any such waiver required from an employee or potential employee as a condition of employment or continued employment is unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable.begin insert The bill would require that any waiver of a person’s employment rights be knowing and voluntary and in writing, and expressly not made as a condition of employment. The bill would provide that a person seeking to enforce a waiver has the burden of proof to show that the waiver was knowing and voluntary. The bill would apply to any waiver agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2016, and would impose a $10,000 penalty against the employer for each violation of its provisions, with the penalty moneys and reasonable attorney’s fees awarded to the prevailing claimant.end insert

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: no. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1begin insert

begin insertSECTION 1.end insert  

end insert
begin insert

(a) The Legislature finds and declares that it is
2the policy of the State of California to ensure that all persons have
3the full benefit of the rights, penalties, remedies, forums, and
4procedures established in the Labor Code, and that individuals
5not be deprived of those rights, penalties, remedies, forums, or
6procedures through the use of involuntary or coerced waivers.

end insert
begin insert

7(b) It is the purpose of this act to ensure that a contract to waive
8any of the rights, penalties, remedies, forums, or procedures under
9the Labor Code, including any provision that has the effect of
10limiting the full application or enforcement of any right, remedy,
11forum, or procedure available under the Labor Code, is a matter
12of voluntary consent, not coercion.

end insert
13begin insert

begin insertSEC. 2.end insert  

end insert

begin insertSection 925 is added to the end insertbegin insertLabor Codeend insertbegin insert, to read:end insert

begin insert
14

begin insert925.end insert  

(a) A person shall not require another person to waive
15any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a
16violation of any provision of this code, as a condition of
17employment, including the right to file and pursue a civil action
18or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Labor Commissioner,
19state agency, other public prosecutor, law enforcement agency,
20or any court or other governmental entity.

21(b) A person shall not threaten, retaliate, or discriminate against
22another person on the basis that the other person refuses to waive
23any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a
24violation of this code, including the right to file and pursue a civil
25action or complaint with, or otherwise notify, the Labor
P3    1Commissioner, state agency, other public prosecutor, law
2enforcement agency, or any court or other governmental entity.

3(c) Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or
4procedure for a violation of this code, including the right to file
5and pursue a civil action or complaint with, or otherwise notify,
6the Labor Commissioner, state agency, other public prosecutor,
7law enforcement agency, or any court or other governmental entity
8shall be knowing and voluntary and in writing, and expressly not
9made as a condition of employment.

10(d) Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, remedy, forum, or
11procedure for a violation of this code that is required as a condition
12of employment shall be deemed involuntary, unconscionable,
13against public policy, and unenforceable. Nothing in this
14subdivision shall affect the enforceability or validity of any other
15provision of the contract.

16(e) Any person who seeks to enforce a waiver of any legal right,
17penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this code
18shall have the burden of proving that the waiver was knowing and
19voluntary and not made as a condition of employment.

20(f) This section shall apply to any agreement to waive any legal
21right, penalty, remedy, forum, or procedure for a violation of this
22code, including an agreement to accept private arbitration, entered
23into, altered, modified, renewed, or extended on or after January
241, 2016.

25(g) In addition to any other remedies available, a person who
26violates this section is liable for a civil penalty not exceeding ten
27thousand dollars ($10,000) per individual for each violation of
28this section and reasonable attorney’s fees.

end insert
begin delete29

SECTION 1.  

Section 925 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

30

925.  

(a) Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, forum, or
31procedure for a violation of any provision of this code shall be
32knowing, voluntary, and in writing. A waiver shall not expressly
33be made as a condition of employment.

34(b)  Any waiver of any legal right, penalty, forum, or procedure
35for a violation of any provision of this code that is required for an
36employee or potential employee as a condition of employment or
37continued employment shall be deemed involuntary,
38unconscionable, against public policy, and unenforceable.

end delete


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