As the 2017-18 legislative session gets underway in California, policy committees are beginning to hear and vote on bills – including numerous proposals that impact California employers.

Our weekly “hot list” will provide you with a preview of the bills that will be up (as well as other important legislative action) the following week.

Here’s our first installment:

Assembly Judiciary Committee – March 14, 2017 (Tuesday) – 9:00 a.m. – Room 447

The following bills will be heard (among others):

AB 260 (Santiago) – Human Trafficking: Hotels and Motels – Requires hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, and other locations that provide transient lodging to post an existing notice relating to slavery and human trafficking. This bill is similar to SB 225 (Stern), which has also been introduced this year. See our recent blog post about this bill here.

AB 403 (Melendez) – Legislative Employee Whistleblower Protection Act – Prohibits interference with the right of legislative employees to make protected disclosures of ethics violations and would prohibit retaliation against legislative employees for making such disclosures. Although this bill impacts only the Legislature as an employer, it is nice to see an effort to make the Legislature comply with whistleblower rules that other employers have to follow. Unfortunately, this proposal has been tried numerous times without success. Hmmm.

Assembly Labor and Employment Committee – March 15, 2017 (Wednesday) – 1:30 p.m. – Room 447

The following bills will be heard (among others):

AB 199 (Chu) – Public Works: Residential Projects – Defines “public works” for prevailing wage law purposes to include private residential projects built on private property that are built pursuant to an agreement with the state or a political subdivision (such as a city or county). This potentially has major implications for the building industry in California and this is an important bill to watch. The California Chamber of Commerce recently added this one to its “job killer” list. See a recent editorial against this bill here.

AB 263 (Rodriguez) – Emergency Medical Services Workers “Bill of Rights” – Requires an employer that provides EMS services to authorize and permit its employees to take rest periods. This bill also requires the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (by July 1, 2019) to adopt standards that require EMS providers to adopt a workplace violence prevention plan that contains prescribed elements.

AB 402 (Thurmond) – OSHA: Plume – Requires Cal/OSHA to convene an advisory committee to develop a regulation requiring health facilities to evacuate or remove surgical “plume” through the use of a plume scavenging system. This bill is similar to AB 2272 from last year, which was vetoed by Governor Brown.

Check back here for updates on the status of these bills, as well as additional previews of upcoming California legislative activity.