BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    Ó

          |SENATE RULES COMMITTEE            |                        AB 676|
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                                   THIRD READING 

          Bill No:  AB 676
          Author:   Calderon (D)
          Amended:  8/31/15 in Senate 
          Vote:     21  

           SENATE LABOR & IND. REL. COMMITTEE:  4-1, 6/24/15
           AYES:  Mendoza, Jackson, Leno, Mitchell
           NOES:  Stone

           SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE:  5-2, 6/30/15
           AYES:  Jackson, Hertzberg, Leno, Monning, Wieckowski
           NOES:  Moorlach, Anderson

           AYES:  Lara, Beall, Hill, Leyva, Mendoza
           NOES:  Bates, Nielsen

           ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  51-27, 6/2/15 - See last page for vote

           SUBJECT:   Employment: discrimination: status as unemployed

          SOURCE:    Author

          DIGEST:  This bill prohibits an employer from 1) publishing an  
          advertisement or announcement for a job that includes a  
          provision stating or indicating that an unemployed person is not  
          eligible; and 2) asking an applicant to disclose the applicant's  
          employment status until the employer has determined that he/she  
          meets the minimum employment qualifications for the position. 


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          Existing law:

          1)Authorizes employers to conduct an investigation, such as a  
            background check, into a person's character for employment  

          2)Defines unlawful discrimination and lawful employment  
            practices by employers and employment agencies to protect both  
            prospective and current employees against employment  

          3)Prohibits, under the Fair Employment and Housing Act,  
            harassment and discrimination in employment because of, among  
            other things, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation,  
            marital status, mental and physical disability, age and/or  
            retaliation for protesting illegal discrimination related to  
            one of these categories or for reporting patient abuse in tax  
            supported institutions. 

          4)Prohibits employers from discriminating, discharging or  
            refusing to hire an employee based on an employee's lawful  
            conduct during nonworking hours away from the employer's  

          This bill: 

          1)Prohibits an employer, on and after July 1, 2016, from doing  
            the following:

             a)   Publishing in print, on the Internet, or in any other  
               medium, an advertisement or announcement for a job that  
               includes a provision stating or indicating that an  
               unemployed person is not eligible. 

             b)   Asking an applicant to disclose, orally or in writing,  
               the applicant's employment status until the employer has  


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               determined that the applicant meets the minimum employment  
               qualifications for the position, as stated in the published  
               notice for the job. 

          2)Defines "employer" as the state or any political or civil  
            subdivision of the state or any person, as defined, who  
            directly or indirectly, or through an agent or any other  
            person, employs or exercises control over the wages, hours, or  
            working conditions of any person. 

          3)Defines "employment status" as an individual's present  
            unemployment, regardless of the length of time that he/she has  
            been unemployed. 

          4)Specifies that these provisions shall not be construed to  
            prohibit an employer from: 

             a)   Publishing, as specified, an advertisement or  
               announcement for any job that contains provisions setting  
               forth job qualifications, including:

               i)     Holding a current and valid professional or  
                 occupational license, certificate, registration, permit,  
                 or other credential. 

               ii)Requiring a minimum level of education or training, or  
                 professional, occupational, or field experience. 

               iii)Stating that only individuals who are current employees  
                 of the employer will be considered for that job. 

             b)   Obtaining information regarding an individual's  
               employment, including recent relevant experience. 

             c)   Having knowledge of a person's employment status.


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             d)   Inquiring as to the reasons for an individual's  
               employment status.

             e)   Refusing to offer employment to a person because of the  
               reasons underlying an individual's employment status.

             f)   Otherwise making employment decisions pertaining to that  

          5)Specifies that a violation of these provisions does not result  
            in a person being guilty of a misdemeanor. 


          "Unemployed Need Not Apply"

          The nation has suffered from a severe unemployment crisis that  
          has affected nearly all sectors of the economy. According to the  
          National Employment Law Project, around 9.8 million workers were  
          unemployed in May 2014, and 3.4 million, or 34.6 percent, of  
          those workers were searching for work for six months or more. In  
          the summer of 2010, news accounts began to emerge throughout the  
          country suggesting that some employers were establishing blanket  
          exclusions of unemployed workers from job consideration using  
          terms like "must be currently employed" or "require current (or  
          very recent) tenure," as part of the qualifications for  
          employment. One of the first stories reported, in May 2010,  
          involved accounts by media in Atlanta reporting that Sony  
          Ericsson's newly relocated headquarters had posted a job  
          announcement for a marketing position that explicitly stated,  
          "No Unemployed Candidates Considered At All." 

          Subsequently, in early 2011, the National Employment Law Project  
          (NELP) conducted a four-week review of the nation's most  
          prominent online job listing websites. NELP's research of job  
          postings identified more than 150 ads that included exclusions  


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          based on current employment status. (Briefing Paper: Hiring  
          Discrimination against the Unemployed, National Employment Law  
          Project, July 12, 2011) Most of the ads specifically stated that  
          applicants "must be currently employed." 
           Existing law also prohibits harassment and discrimination in  
          employment because of race, color, religion, sex and sexual  
          orientation, among others.  However, nothing specifically  
          addresses the issue of discriminating against the unemployed.  
          This bill attempts to ban such a practice under state law by  
          prohibiting employers from discriminating against prospective  
          job applicants on the basis of his/her employment status.  

          White House: Addressing the Negative Cycle of Long-Term  
          In January 2014, the White House released a report, "Addressing  
          the Negative Cycle of Long-Term Unemployment," which explored  
          the challenge of long-term unemployment, something it called  
          "the worst legacy of the Great Recession." Among other things,  
          the report found that, although the long and short-term  
          unemployed have similar credentials overall, research suggests  
          that the long-term unemployed face significant disadvantages in  
          the labor market simply by virtue of their status as being  
          long-term unemployed. In response to these findings, the Obama  
          Administration announced the following:

          1)New Best Practices for Hiring and Recruiting Long-Term  
            Unemployed: The Administration has engaged with America's  
            leading businesses to develop best practices for hiring and  
            recruiting the long-term unemployed and ensure they receive a  
            fair shot during hiring.  Over 80 of the nation's largest  
            businesses have signed on as well as many small- and  
            medium-sized businesses. 

          2)Presidential Memorandum to Make Sure the Federal Government  
            Does the Same: The President will also lead by example to make  
            sure that individuals who are unemployed or have faced  
            financial difficulties through no fault of their own receive  
            fair treatment and consideration for employment by federal  

          3)Fund programs that help find employment: The Department of  
            Labor is seeking to fund new programs that build on models  


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            that have shown success in helping the long-term unemployed  
            find employment through innovative partnerships and proven  
            strategies, including job-training, subsidized employment, and  
            sector-based strategies.

          Prior Legislation 
           AB 2271 (Calderon, 2014) was nearly identical to the previous  
            version of this 
          bill and was vetoed by the Governor. Amendments to AB 676 taken  
            out of Senate 
          Appropriations Committee have revised and recast the provisions  
            to achieve the 
          author's goal, however, AB 2271 included civil penalties for  
            violations of these 
          provisions and the current version of this bill does not. 

          AB 1450 (Allen, 2012) was similar, but not identical, to this  
            bill and was also
          vetoed by the Governor. AB 1450 also included state contracts  
          and would have specified that failure to comply would be grounds  
          for cancelling, terminating, or suspending the contract and  
          debarring the contractor (for up to three years) from  
          eligibility for future state contracts. 
          FISCAL EFFECT:   Appropriation:    No          Fiscal  
          Com.:YesLocal:   No

          According to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Department  
          of Industrial Relations would potentially incur increased  
          administrative costs in the range of $1 million annually  
          (special funds) to process, review, and investigate complaints.

          SUPPORT:   (Verified8/27/15)

          California Conference Board of the Amalgamated Transit Union
          California Conference of Machinists
          California Employment Lawyers Association
          California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO
          California Nurses Association
          California State Firefighters' Association 
          California Teamsters Public Affairs Council


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          Engineers & Scientists of California
          Glendale City Employees Association 
          International Longshore & Warehouse Union
          National Association of Social Workers, CA Chapter
          Organization of SMUD Employees
          Professional & Technical Engineers
          San Bernardino Public Employees Association 
          San Diego County Court Employees Association 
          Service Employees International Union 
          San Luis Obispo County Employees Association 
          Utility Workers Union of America

          OPPOSITION:   (Verified8/27/15)

          None received

          ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT:     According to the author, research  
          shows that the long-term unemployed are frequently overlooked  
          and sometimes excluded from job opportunities. Employers and  
          employment agencies have posted job vacancy notifications with  
          language such as "No unemployed candidates considered at all" or  
          "Only currently employed candidates will be considered."  
          Proponents argue that the long-term unemployed are some of  
          California's most in-need individuals whose harm is compounded  
          when their attempts to re-enter the work force are thwarted by  
          this type of discrimination. They cite a study which found that  
          long-term unemployed workers with otherwise identical resumes  
          were called back for interviews at rates 45% lower than the  
          short-term unemployed. Proponents believe this bill will level  
          the playing field for the long-term unemployed and allow a  
          person's credentials and qualifications to speak first, rather  
          than their status as an unemployed individual.  

          ASSEMBLY FLOOR:  51-27, 6/2/15
          AYES:  Alejo, Bloom, Bonilla, Bonta, Brown, Burke, Calderon,  
            Campos, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Dababneh, Daly, Dodd,  
            Eggman, Frazier, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gatto,  
            Gipson, Gomez, Gonzalez, Gordon, Gray, Roger Hernández,  
            Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Levine, Lopez, Low, McCarty,  
            Medina, Mullin, O'Donnell, Perea, Quirk, Rendon,  


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            Ridley-Thomas, Rodriguez, Salas, Santiago, Mark Stone,  
            Thurmond, Ting, Weber, Williams, Wood, Atkins
          NOES:  Achadjian, Travis Allen, Baker, Bigelow, Brough, Chang,  
            Dahle, Beth Gaines, Gallagher, Grove, Hadley, Harper, Jones,  
            Kim, Lackey, Linder, Maienschein, Mathis, Mayes, Melendez,  
            Obernolte, Olsen, Patterson, Steinorth, Wagner, Waldron, Wilk
          NO VOTE RECORDED:  Chávez, Nazarian

          Prepared by:Alma Perez / L. & I.R. / (916) 651-1556
          8/31/15 8:54:38

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