BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



          SENATE COMMITTEE ON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION
                              Senator Isadore Hall, III
                                        Chair
                                2015 - 2016  Regular 

          Bill No:           SB 1442          Hearing Date:    4/12/2016
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          |Author:    |Liu                                                  |
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          |Version:   |2/19/2016    Introduced                              |
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          |Urgency:   |No                     |Fiscal:      |Yes             |
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          |Consultant:|Felipe Lopez                                         |
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          SUBJECT: Discrimination:  regulations and enforcement


            DIGEST:    This bill reorganizes and consolidates various  
          statutes regarding discrimination.  In addition, the bill  
          removes the authority of various state agencies to promulgate  
          regulations to prohibit discrimination and would require  
          investigation and enforcement of antidiscrimination provisions  
          to be performed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing  
          (DFEH).

          ANALYSIS:
          
          Existing law:
          
          1)Prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, and  
            eligibility for government programs and benefits based upon  
            specified personal characteristics.

          2)Specifies that the DFEH within the Business, Consumer  
            Services, and Housing Agency, is charged with enforcement of  
            civil rights violations, including discrimination. 

          3)Authorizes the DFEH, and other state agencies that administer  
            programs or activities funded by the state or that receive  
            financial assistance from the state and that enter into  
            contracts for services to be provided to the public, as  
            specified, to promulgate regulations to prohibit  
            discrimination.







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          4)Specifies that it is the policy of the State to facilitate and  
            support the development and operation of housing for homeless  
            youth.

          This bill:

          1)Reorganizes and consolidates various statutes regarding  
            discrimination.

          2)Removes the authority of various state agencies to promulgate  
            regulations to prohibit discrimination and requires the  
            investigation and enforcement of antidiscrimination provisions  
            to be performed by the DFEH.

          3)Reorganizes the regulation of housing for homeless youth under  
            the Fair Employment and Housing Act. 

          Background

          Purpose of the bill.  According to the author, "various  
          Government Code sections prohibit discrimination in state-funded  
          programs, however many of the forms of discrimination prohibited  
          by those code sections are also prohibited in various other  
          existing statutes.  One of these sections, Government Code  
          Section 11135, requires the Secretary of the Health and Human  
          Services Agency to administer parts of the anti-discrimination  
          provisions and requires nearly every state department to adopt  
          its own regulations."

          The author argues that, "the state entity with expertise in  
          enforcing anti-discrimination laws is the DFEH, which makes it  
          the most logical choice to administer Section 11135."  

          California Department of Fair Employment and Housing.  The  
          California Department of Fair Employment and Housing is the  
          largest state civil rights agency in the country.  Its mission  
          is to protect Californians from employment, housing and public  
          accommodation discrimination, and hate violence.  

          The DFEH was established by the Legislature in 1959 as the  
          Division of Fair Employment Practices and was initially part of  
          the Department of Industrial Relations.  In 1980, the DFEH was  
          established as an independent department charged with enforcing  
          California's comprehensive employment, housing, public  








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          accommodations and public service non-discrimination laws, as  
          well as the State's bias-related hate violence law. 

          The DFEH's statutory mandate is to protect the people of  
          California from employment, housing and public accommodations  
          discrimination and hate violence pursuant to the California Fair  
          Employment and Housing Act, Unruh Civil Rights Act, Disabled  
          Persons Act, and Ralph Civil Rights Act.  The DFEH has  
          jurisdiction over both private and public entities operating  
          within the State of California, including corporate entities,  
          private sector contracts granted by the State of California, and  
          all State departments and local governments. 

          The DFEH receives and investigates discrimination complaints in  
          its five district offices throughout California.  The district  
          offices handle employment, housing, public accommodations, and  
          hate violence cases, along with a special investigations unit  
          which focuses on systemic discrimination cases statewide. 

          In addition, there are three legal offices which prosecute  
          cases.  The DFEH routinely provides technical assistance to  
          employers, business establishments and housing providers  
          regarding their responsibilities under the law.  The DFEH is  
          part of the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and  
          is administered by a Director appointed by the Governor.

          Prior/Related Legislation
          
          SB 703 (Leno, Chapter 578, Statutes of 2015) added a new section  
          of law to the Public Contract Code that prohibits a state agency  
          form entering into contracts for the acquisition of goods or  
          services of $100,000 or more with a contractor that  
          discriminates between employees on the basis of gender identity  
          in the provision of benefits. 

          AB 1586 (Koretz Chapter 421, Statutes of 2005) prohibited plans  
          and insurers from denying an individual a plan contract or  
          policy, or coverage for a benefit included in the contract  
          policy, based on the person's sex, as defined.

          AB 2208 (Kehoe, Chapter 488, Statutes of 2004)  required a  
          health care service plan and a health insurer to provide  
          coverage to the registered domestic partner of an employee,  
          subscriber, insured, or policyholder that is equal to the  
          coverage it provides to the spouse of those persons.








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          AB 17 (Kehoe, Chapter 752, Statutes of 2003) prohibited a state  
          agency from entering into a contract for the acquisition of  
          goods or services in the amount of $100,000 or more with a  
          contractor who, in the provision of benefits, discriminates  
          between employees with spouses and employees with domestic  
          partners, or discriminates between the domestic partners and  
          spouses of those employees, except under specified  
          circumstances. 

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


            SUPPORT:  

          California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (Sponsor)
          Disability Rights of California (If amended)

          OPPOSITION:

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:    According to the DFEH, "the DFEH is the  
          state agency responsible for enforcing California's civil rights  
          laws.  However, Government Code Section 11135 requires the  
          Secretary of the Health and Human Services Agency to administer  
          certain anti-discrimination provisions and requires nearly each  
          state department to adopt its own regulations implementing  
          Section 11135.  This structure is inefficient because the Health  
          and Human Services Agency is not otherwise charged with civil  
          rights enforcement and because departments are required to  
          create duplicative regulatory schemes to interpret their Section  
          11135 obligations.  Senate Bill 1442 creates a logical and  
          efficient mechanism for implementing the laws prohibiting  
          discrimination in state-funded programs by giving the DFEH  
          authority to investigate, mediate and prosecute Section 11135  
          complaints in the same manner it handles other discrimination  
          claims."

          DUAL REFERRAL:  Senate Judiciary Committee












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