BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    



                                                                     AB 676


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          Date of Hearing:  April 22, 2015


                        ASSEMBLY COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS


                                 Jimmy Gomez, Chair


          AB  
          676 (Calderon) - As Introduced February 25, 2015


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          Urgency:  No  State Mandated Local Program:  NoReimbursable:  No


          SUMMARY: This bill prohibits, starting July 1, 2016, an  
          employer, an employment agency, or a person who operates an  
          Internet Web site for posting jobs from publishing an  
          advertisement or announcement for a job that indicates current  
          employment is a requirement, unless this is based on a bona fide  
          occupational qualification. Specifically, this bill:









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          1)Prohibits an employer or an employment agency from  
            affirmatively asking an applicant to disclose information  
            concerning the applicant's current employment status until the  
            employer has determined that the applicant meets the minimum  
            employment qualifications for the position.

          2)Prohibits an employment agency, unless based on a bona fide  
            occupational qualification, from limiting, segregating, or  
            classifying an individual in any manner that may limit that  
            individual's access to information about jobs or referrals for  
            consideration of jobs because of the individual's employment  
            status.

          3)Prohibits an employer, employment agency, or person operating  
            a job posting website from interfering with, restraining, or  
            denying the exercise of, or the attempt to exercise, any  
            rights provided under this bill, or discriminating against an  
            individual because the individual has engaged in specified  
            activities.

          4)Authorizes an individual aggrieved by a violation of this bill  
            to file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner.

          5)Establishes civil penalties of $1,000 for a first violation,  
            $5,000 for a second violation, and $10,000 for each subsequent  
            violation.


          6)Specifies this bill does not create or authorize a private  
            right of action. 


          7)Defines "employment status" to mean an individual's present  
            unemployment, regardless of length of time that the individual  
            has been unemployed.


          FISCAL EFFECT:  Administrative costs to the Department of Labor  








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          Standards Enforcement, potentially in the range of $1 million to  
          $3 million (special funds), to process, review, and investigate  
          complaints. 


          Predicting the number and nature of the claims that may come  
          before the DLSE is difficult.  According to data from the  
          Employment Development Department, as of February, there are  
          approximately 1.2 million unemployed workers in California.  
          According to DLSE, cases involving retaliation often involve  
          lengthy, resource intensive investigations.  This bill also  
          expands DLSE enforcement authority to include 3rd party internet  
          website providers. This is a new addition to the DLSE statutory  
          framework and associated costs are difficult to determine.   
          Further, this bill prohibits a private right of action, meaning  
          all complaints would come before DLSE.  


          COMMENTS:


          1)Purpose. Over the last several years, significant media  
            attention has focused on reports that some employers are  
            refusing to consider applicants for employment unless those  
            individuals are currently employed in other jobs.  Further,  
            research conducted by the National Employment Law Project  
            (NELP) in 2011 identified more than 150 ads that included  
            exclusions based on current employment status. This bill seeks  
            to address discrimination against the unemployed by  
            prohibiting current employment as a requirement, unless based  
            on a bona fide occupational qualification.

          2)Prior legislation. This bill is  
          nearly identical to AB 2271 (Calderon) of 2014, vetoed by  
          Governor Brown.  The veto message reads as follows:


               "This bill would prohibit an employer from discriminating  
               against job applicants based on the applicant's status as  








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               unemployed. While I support the intent of this bill, it  
               could impede the state's efforts to connect unemployed  
               workers to prospective employers as currently drafted. The  
               problems facing our state's long term unemployed are great.  
               There is no doubt that those Californians want to get back  
               to work and I want to help them get there - unfortunately  
               this bill does not provide the proper path to address this  
               problem."


            
            Analysis Prepared by:Misty Feusahrens / APPR. / (916)  
          319-2081