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State Legislation

Thursday, July 25, 2019

California First State to Clarify Definition of Race Discrimination to Include Hair Style. Governor Gavin Newsom signed  SB 188 into law on July 3, 2019. SB 188, also known as the CROWN ACT, "Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair," clarifies the definition of race for the workplace and educational institutions to include hair texture and protective hairstyles and defines protective hairstyles. While certain states have proposed legislation, California is likely the first state to protect employees from racial discrimination based on hairstyle. New York City banned hair discrimination earlier this year. Story [Jackson|Lewis]

California Extends Paid Family Leave from 6 Weeks to 8 Weeks Beginning on July 1, 2020, California will extend the maximum duration of Paid Family Leave (PFL) benefits from six weeks to eight weeks. Individuals may receive benefits from California's state disability insurance (SDI) program:

  • To care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, or domestic partner.
  • To bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child through foster care or adoption.
Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law these most recent changes in Senate Bill 83, on June 27, 2019. Senate Bill 83 was part of a larger state budget package for the new fiscal year that starts July 1 and is a move toward the governor's goal of ultimately expanding paid family leave to six months (for two parents if leave is taken consecutively). Story [Jackson|Lewis]

State Regulations Cal/OSHA Appeals Board Proposes Revisions to Procedural Rules. The Cal/OSHA Appeals Board has proposed to revise its rules of practice and procedure in a number of ways. Most significantly, the Board seeks to remove the requirement that the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) automatically produce its inspection file and other relevant documents within 30 days. Instead, appellant employers will be required to seek this information through the ordinary course of discovery. This change, which the Board is accepting comments on until August 22, 2019, comes at a time when the California Department of Industrial Relations is seeking to enhance workplace safety enforcement efforts and simultaneously streamline its appeals process to reduce a backlog of the Board's dockets.
Story [Reed Smith]