In August 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a number of bills that will impact the employer community. A brief summary of these new laws, along with links to the bills, can be found below.
Recovery of Wages: Liquidated Damages (AB 2074)
AB 2074 amends Section 1194.2 of the California Labor Code to allow an employee who alleges minimum wage violations to file suit for liquidated damages any time before the expiration of the statute of limitation on the underlying minimum wage action.
The bill was introduced in response to the California Court of Appeal decision, Bain v. Tax Reducers, Inc., in which the court held that an employee was entitled to recover wages for three years of minimum wage violations, but could only recover one year of liquidated damages. As a result of this bill, California workers will have a three-year statute of limitations on liquidated damages claims for failure to pay minimum wage.
Employment: Wages (AB 2743)
AB 2743 addresses waiting time penalties for employers and employees that are part of a collective bargaining agreement in the entertainment industry. This bill allows employees—who are employed at a venue that hosts live theatrical or concert events and are enrolled in and routinely dispatched to employment through a hiring hall or other system of regular short-term employment established through a collective bargaining agreement—to recover waiting time penalties against employers that do not pay final wages in accordance with their collective bargaining agreements.
Health Care Coverage: Waiting Periods (SB 1034)
SB 1034 imposes a 90-day limit on eligibility waiting periods for insured health benefits issued by insurers subject to regulation by the California Department of Insurance and/or the California Department of Managed Health Care. The blog post by Ogletree Deakins shareholder Timothy G. Verrall, “Resistance WAS Futile—California Conforms to ACA Waiting Period Requirement,” provides an in-depth look at SB 1034.