Last week, SB 935 (Leno) passed through the California Senate. SB 935 provides for additional increases in the California minimum wage. Under the current language of the bill, if enacted, the California minimum wage would move to $11 an hour in January 2015, $12 an hour in January 2016, and $13 an hour in January 2017. Increases in 2018 and thereafter would be based upon inflation. The bill specifically provides that the California Industrial Welfare Commission would not have authority to lower the minimum wage during periods of negative inflation. We expect SB 935 to pass the Assembly as well. It is unclear if Governor Brown would sign it.
AB 1522 also passed its first legislative house last week. AB 1522 (Gonzalez), also referred to as the Healthy Workplaces – Healthy Families Act of 2014, provides that any employee who works in the State of California for more than 7 days in a calendar year shall accrue paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked and would be able to use sick time at a rate of 24 hours per year after 90 days of employment. Under the terms of AB 1522, paid sick leave could be used for the employee’s illness or that of a family member as well as for any leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. AB 1522 provides for a collective bargaining exception, as long as the CBA provides for some sick days. We expect AB 1522 to pass the Senate as well and anticipate that most of the important lobbying on this bill will occur at the Governor’s office.