Bill Text: CA AB2043 | 2019-2020 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2020-05-21 - From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 6. Noes 1.) (May 20). Re-referred to Com. on APPR. [AB2043 Detail]

Download: California-2019-AB2043-Amended.html

Amended  IN  Assembly  May 11, 2020

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2019–2020 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill
No. 2043


Introduced by Assembly Member Gonzalez Members Robert Rivas, Eduardo Garcia, and Gonzalez
(Coauthor: Assembly Member Bonta)

February 03, 2020


An act to amend Section 12940 of the Government Code, relating to employment. An act to add and repeal Section 6725 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 2043, as amended, Robert Rivas. Unlawful business practices: employer liability: contracted supervisor. Occupational safety and health: agricultural employers and employees: COVID-19 response.
Existing law, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1973, provides the Division of Occupational Safety and Health within the Department of Industrial Relations with the power, jurisdiction, and supervision over all employment and places of employment necessary to enforce and administer all occupational health and safety laws and standards and to protect employees. Under the act, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board within the division is authorized to adopt, amend, or repeal occupational safety and health standards and orders. The act requires an employer to, among other things, provide safety devices and safeguards reasonably adequate to render the place of employment safe. A violation of the act under specific circumstances is a crime.
This bill would require the standards board, by February 1, 2021, to adopt occupational safety and health standards for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection prevention for agricultural employers and employees, as defined. The bill would require the division to disseminate information on best practices to agricultural employers commencing on January 1, 2021 and whenever the guidance document is updated, in both English and Spanish. The bill would also require the division or its designee to work collaboratively with community organizations to conduct a targeted outreach campaign, including public service announcements on local Spanish radio stations and the distribution of workplace signs. The bill would require agricultural employers to implement the provisions of the guidance document entitled “Safety and Health Guidance: COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees” as it is put forth and updated by the division. The bill would exempt regulations adopted to implement these provisions from the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. The bill would repeal these provisions when the state of emergency has been terminated by proclamation of the Governor or by concurrent resolution of the Legislature, as specified, or on January 1, 2022, whichever is later. By expanding the definition of an existing crime, this bill would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.

Existing law, the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, among other things, prohibits an employer, a labor organization, an employment agency, an apprenticeship training program, or any training program leading to employment from harassing, based upon enumerated protected characteristics, such as race or gender, an employee, an applicant, an unpaid intern or volunteer, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract.

This bill would also make a client employer responsible for the acts of a contracted supervisor, as those terms are defined, for specified prohibited harassment under these provisions.

Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NOYES  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6725 is added to the Labor Code, to read:

6725.
 (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) The term “agricultural employee” or “employee” means one engaged in agriculture, as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1140.4. “Agricultural employee” or “employee” shall not be construed to include any person other than those employees excluded from the coverage of the National Labor Relations Act, as amended, as agricultural employees, pursuant to Section 2(3) of the Labor Management Relations Act (29 U.S.C. Sec. 152(3)), and Section 3(f) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (29 U.S.C. Sec. 203(f)).
(2) The term “agricultural employer” shall be liberally construed to include any person acting directly or indirectly in the interest of an employer in relation to an agricultural employee, any individual grower, corporate grower, cooperative grower, harvesting association, hiring association, land management group, any association of persons or cooperatives engaged in agriculture, and shall include any person who owns or leases or manages land used for agricultural purposes, but shall exclude any person supplying agricultural workers to an employer, any farm labor contractor as defined in Section 1682, and any person functioning in the capacity of a labor contractor. The employer engaging such labor contractor or person shall be deemed the employer for all purposes under this section.
(3) “Guidance document” means the document disseminated by the division entitled “Safety and Health Guidance: COVID-19 Infection Prevention for Agricultural Employers and Employees.”
(b) By February 1, 2021, the standards board shall adopt occupational safety and health standards for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection prevention for agricultural employers and employees. The standards shall include, but shall not be limited to, sanitation practices, personal protective equipment, and physical distancing requirements.
(c) The division shall disseminate information on best practices to agricultural employers commencing on January 1, 2021 and whenever the guidance document is updated, in both English and Spanish. The division or its designee, working collaboratively with community organizations, shall conduct a targeted outreach campaign, including, but not limited to, public service announcements on local Spanish radio stations and the distribution of workplace signs.
(d) Agricultural employers shall implement the provisions of the guidance document as it is put forth and updated by the division.
(e) Notwithstanding any law, regulations adopted to implement this section are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code).
(f) This section shall remain in effect until the state of emergency has been terminated by proclamation of the Governor or by concurrent resolution of the Legislature declaring it at an end, pursuant to Section 8629 of the Government Code, or until January 1, 2022, whichever is later, and as of that date is repealed.

SEC. 2.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
SECTION 1.Section 12940 of the Government Code is amended to read:
12940.

It is an unlawful employment practice, unless based upon a bona fide occupational qualification, or, except where based upon applicable security regulations established by the United States or the State of California:

(a)For an employer, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person, to refuse to hire or employ the person or to refuse to select the person for a training program leading to employment, or to bar or to discharge the person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against the person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment.

(1)This part does not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire or discharging an employee with a physical or mental disability, or subject an employer to any legal liability resulting from the refusal to employ or the discharge of an employee with a physical or mental disability, if the employee, because of a physical or mental disability, is unable to perform the employee’s essential duties even with reasonable accommodations, or cannot perform those duties in a manner that would not endanger the employee’s health or safety or the health or safety of others even with reasonable accommodations.

(2)This part does not prohibit an employer from refusing to hire or discharging an employee who, because of the employee’s medical condition, is unable to perform the employee’s essential duties even with reasonable accommodations, or cannot perform those duties in a manner that would not endanger the employee’s health or safety or the health or safety of others even with reasonable accommodations. Nothing in this part shall subject an employer to any legal liability resulting from the refusal to employ or the discharge of an employee who, because of the employee’s medical condition, is unable to perform the employee’s essential duties, or cannot perform those duties in a manner that would not endanger the employee’s health or safety or the health or safety of others even with reasonable accommodations.

(3)Nothing in this part relating to discrimination on account of marital status shall do either of the following:

(A)Affect the right of an employer to reasonably regulate, for reasons of supervision, safety, security, or morale, the working of spouses in the same department, division, or facility, consistent with the rules and regulations adopted by the commission.

(B)Prohibit bona fide health plans from providing additional or greater benefits to employees with dependents than to those employees without or with fewer dependents.

(4)Nothing in this part relating to discrimination on account of sex shall affect the right of an employer to use veteran status as a factor in employee selection or to give special consideration to Vietnam-era veterans.

(5)(A)This part does not prohibit an employer from refusing to employ an individual because of the individual’s age if the law compels or provides for that refusal. Promotions within the existing staff, hiring or promotion on the basis of experience and training, rehiring on the basis of seniority and prior service with the employer, or hiring under an established recruiting program from high schools, colleges, universities, or trade schools do not, in and of themselves, constitute unlawful employment practices.

(B)The provisions of this part relating to discrimination on the basis of age do not prohibit an employer from providing health benefits or health care reimbursement plans to retired persons that are altered, reduced, or eliminated when the person becomes eligible for Medicare health benefits. This subparagraph applies to all retiree health benefit plans and contractual provisions or practices concerning retiree health benefits and health care reimbursement plans in effect on or after January 1, 2011.

(b)For a labor organization, because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of any person, to exclude, expel, or restrict from its membership the person, or to provide only second-class or segregated membership or to discriminate against any person because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of the person in the election of officers of the labor organization or in the selection of the labor organization’s staff or to discriminate in any way against any of its members or against any employer or against any person employed by an employer.

(c)For any person to discriminate against any person in the selection, termination, training, or other terms or treatment of that person in any apprenticeship training program, any other training program leading to employment, an unpaid internship, or another limited duration program to provide unpaid work experience for that person because of the race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status of the person discriminated against.

(d)For any employer or employment agency to print or circulate or cause to be printed or circulated any publication, or to make any nonjob-related inquiry of an employee or applicant, either verbal or through use of an application form, that expresses, directly or indirectly, any limitation, specification, or discrimination as to race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status, or any intent to make any such limitation, specification, or discrimination. This part does not prohibit an employer or employment agency from inquiring into the age of an applicant, or from specifying age limitations, if the law compels or provides for that action.

(e)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2) or (3), for any employer or employment agency to require any medical or psychological examination of an applicant, to make any medical or psychological inquiry of an applicant, to make any inquiry whether an applicant has a mental disability or physical disability or medical condition, or to make any inquiry regarding the nature or severity of a physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition.

(2)Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an employer or employment agency may inquire into the ability of an applicant to perform job-related functions and may respond to an applicant’s request for reasonable accommodation.

(3)Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an employer or employment agency may require a medical or psychological examination or make a medical or psychological inquiry of a job applicant after an employment offer has been made but prior to the commencement of employment duties, provided that the examination or inquiry is job related and consistent with business necessity and that all entering employees in the same job classification are subject to the same examination or inquiry.

(f)(1)Except as provided in paragraph (2), for any employer or employment agency to require any medical or psychological examination of an employee, to make any medical or psychological inquiry of an employee, to make any inquiry whether an employee has a mental disability, physical disability, or medical condition, or to make any inquiry regarding the nature or severity of a physical disability, mental disability, or medical condition.

(2)Notwithstanding paragraph (1), an employer or employment agency may require any examinations or inquiries that it can show to be job related and consistent with business necessity. An employer or employment agency may conduct voluntary medical examinations, including voluntary medical histories, which are part of an employee health program available to employees at that worksite.

(g)For any employer, labor organization, or employment agency to harass, discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because the person has made a report pursuant to Section 11161.8 of the Penal Code that prohibits retaliation against hospital employees who report suspected patient abuse by health facilities or community care facilities.

(h)For any employer, labor organization, employment agency, or person to discharge, expel, or otherwise discriminate against any person because the person has opposed any practices forbidden under this part or because the person has filed a complaint, testified, or assisted in any proceeding under this part.

(i)For any person to aid, abet, incite, compel, or coerce the doing of any of the acts forbidden under this part, or to attempt to do so.

(j)(1)For an employer, labor organization, employment agency, apprenticeship training program or any training program leading to employment, or any other person, because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, or military and veteran status, to harass an employee, an applicant, an unpaid intern or volunteer, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract. Harassment of an employee, an applicant, an unpaid intern or volunteer, or a person providing services pursuant to a contract by an employee, other than an agent or supervisor, shall be unlawful if the entity, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of this conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. An employer may also be responsible for the acts of nonemployees, with respect to harassment of employees, applicants, unpaid interns or volunteers, or persons providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace, if the employer, or its agents or supervisors, knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action. In reviewing cases involving the acts of nonemployees, the extent of the employer’s control and any other legal responsibility that the employer may have with respect to the conduct of those nonemployees shall be considered. An entity shall take all reasonable steps to prevent harassment from occurring. Loss of tangible job benefits shall not be necessary in order to establish harassment.

(2)The provisions of this subdivision are declaratory of existing law, except for the new duties imposed on employers with regard to harassment.

(3)An employee of an entity subject to this subdivision is personally liable for any harassment prohibited by this section that is perpetrated by the employee, regardless of whether the employer or covered entity knows or should have known of the conduct and fails to take immediate and appropriate corrective action.

(4)(A)For purposes of this subdivision only, “employer” means any person regularly employing one or more persons or regularly receiving the services of one or more persons providing services pursuant to a contract, or any person acting as an agent of an employer, directly or indirectly, the state, or any political or civil subdivision of the state, and cities. The definition of “employer” in subdivision (d) of Section 12926 applies to all provisions of this section other than this subdivision.

(B)Notwithstanding subparagraph (A), for purposes of this subdivision, “employer” does not include a religious association or corporation not organized for private profit, except as provided in Section 12926.2.

(C)For purposes of this subdivision, “harassment” because of sex includes sexual harassment, gender harassment, and harassment based on pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. Sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.

(5)For purposes of this subdivision, “a person providing services pursuant to a contract” means a person who meets all of the following criteria:

(A)The person has the right to control the performance of the contract for services and discretion as to the manner of performance.

(B)The person is customarily engaged in an independently established business.

(C)The person has control over the time and place the work is performed, supplies the tools and instruments used in the work, and performs work that requires a particular skill not ordinarily used in the course of the employer’s work.

(6)A client employer is also responsible for the acts of a contracted supervisor with respect to harassment of employees, applicants, unpaid interns or volunteers, or persons providing services pursuant to a contract in the workplace.

(A)For purposes of this subdivision, “client employer” means a private business entity, regardless of its form, that obtains workers to perform labor within the usual course of business from a contractor. “Client employer” does not include a business entity with fewer than 25 workers, including those hired directly and those obtained by a contractor, or a business entity with 5 or fewer workers supplied by a contractor.

(B)For purposes of this subdivision, “contracted supervisor” means a person providing services pursuant to a contract who supervises one or more employees, applicants, unpaid interns or volunteers, or persons providing services pursuant to a contract.

(k)For an employer, labor organization, employment agency, apprenticeship training program, or any training program leading to employment, to fail to take all reasonable steps necessary to prevent discrimination and harassment from occurring.

(l)(1)For an employer or other entity covered by this part to refuse to hire or employ a person or to refuse to select a person for a training program leading to employment or to bar or to discharge a person from employment or from a training program leading to employment, or to discriminate against a person in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of a conflict between the person’s religious belief or observance and any employment requirement, unless the employer or other entity covered by this part demonstrates that it has explored any available reasonable alternative means of accommodating the religious belief or observance, including the possibilities of excusing the person from those duties that conflict with the person’s religious belief or observance or permitting those duties to be performed at another time or by another person, but is unable to reasonably accommodate the religious belief or observance without undue hardship, as defined in subdivision (u) of Section 12926, on the conduct of the business of the employer or other entity covered by this part. Religious belief or observance, as used in this section, includes, but is not limited to, observance of a Sabbath or other religious holy day or days, reasonable time necessary for travel prior and subsequent to a religious observance, and religious dress practice and religious grooming practice as described in subdivision (q) of Section 12926. This subdivision shall also apply to an apprenticeship training program, an unpaid internship, and any other program to provide unpaid experience for a person in the workplace or industry.

(2)An accommodation of an individual’s religious dress practice or religious grooming practice is not reasonable if the accommodation requires segregation of the individual from other employees or the public.

(3)An accommodation is not required under this subdivision if it would result in a violation of this part or any other law prohibiting discrimination or protecting civil rights, including subdivision (b) of Section 51 of the Civil Code and Section 11135 of this code.

(4)For an employer or other entity covered by this part to, in addition to the employee protections provided pursuant to subdivision (h), retaliate or otherwise discriminate against a person for requesting accommodation under this subdivision, regardless of whether the request was granted.

(m)(1)For an employer or other entity covered by this part to fail to make reasonable accommodation for the known physical or mental disability of an applicant or employee. Nothing in this subdivision or in paragraph (1) or (2) of subdivision (a) shall be construed to require an accommodation that is demonstrated by the employer or other covered entity to produce undue hardship, as defined in subdivision (u) of Section 12926, to its operation.

(2)For an employer or other entity covered by this part to, in addition to the employee protections provided pursuant to subdivision (h), retaliate or otherwise discriminate against a person for requesting accommodation under this subdivision, regardless of whether the request was granted.

(n)For an employer or other entity covered by this part to fail to engage in a timely, good faith, interactive process with the employee or applicant to determine effective reasonable accommodations, if any, in response to a request for reasonable accommodation by an employee or applicant with a known physical or mental disability or known medical condition.

(o)For an employer or other entity covered by this part, to subject, directly or indirectly, any employee, applicant, or other person to a test for the presence of a genetic characteristic.

(p)Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as preventing the ability of employers to identify members of the military or veterans for purposes of awarding a veteran’s preference as permitted by law.

feedback