BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                          AB 1670
                                                          Page  1

Date of Hearing:   May 26, 1999

                    Carole Migden, Chairwoman

         AB 1670 (Judiciary) - As Amended: May 6, 1999 

Policy Committee:                              JudiciaryVote:9-3

Urgency:     Yes                  State Mandated Local  


This bill amends various Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA)  
and other civil rights statutes to strengthen discrimination  
protections and to clarify existing law, including:

1)Increasing the amount of damages and administrative fines that  
  the Fair Employment and Housing Administration may award in  
  discrimination cases from $50,000 to $150,000.

2)Extending harassment protections under the FEHA to contract  

3)Requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to  
  pregnant employees and clarifying that genetic testing of  
  employees is prohibited.


Potential minor cost to the Department of Fair Employment and  
Housing to the extent that the bill's provisions lead to  
increased workload for the department.


1)  Purpose  .  This bill is intended to strengthen and clarify a  
  series of key civil rights protections contained in FEHA and  
  other civil rights statutes.  The proposed changes continue to  
  incorporate recommendations made by a broad coalition of the  
  state's housing, labor, disability, civil rights, and  
  employment law experts and organizations.  Many of the  
  proposals are taken from existing federal law or regulations  
  in the areas of housing and employment, and many have already  


                                                          AB 1670
                                                          Page  2

  been approved by the Legislature in prior sessions.

2)  Prior Legislation  .  In 1998, AB 310 (Kuehl), which contained  
  many of the provisions of this bill, was vetoed by Governor  
  Wilson due to the concerns about the bill's harassment  
  protections for contract workers.

3)  Opposition  .  The Civil Justice Association of California  
  (formerly the Association for California Tort Reform) opposes  
  the bill due to concerns that it will expand employer  
  liability in the civil justice system.

  Analysis Prepared by  :    Chuck Nicol / APPR. / (916)319-2081