BILL ANALYSIS Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary AB 1670 (Kuehl) Hearing Date:8/30/99 Amended:8/26/99 Consultant: Lisa Matocq Policy Vote:Judic 5-2 ____________________________________________________________ BILL SUMMARY: AB 1670 makes various changes to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and other statutes related to employment and housing discrimination. Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 1999-2000 2000-01 2001-02 Fund FEHA Unknown increased costs, probably not General substantial, potentially offset by unknown increased fine revenues Courts Unknown General STAFF COMMENTS: This bill, among other things: increases from $50,000 to $150,000 the damages and administrative fines that may be awarded by the Fair Employment and Housing Commission in employment discrimination cases (public agencies are not subject to the penalty provisions), requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to pregnant employees, as specified, provides that the prohibition against discrimination by agencies or entities receiving state funds is enforceable through a civil action for equitable relief, as specified, specifies that genetic testing of employees is prohibited, extends the prohibition against discrimination based upon mental disability to employers with 5 or more employees, rather than 15 or more employees, extends harassment protections under FEHA to independent contractors, as specified, and makes related changes. The Fair Employment and Housing Commission estimates negligible costs. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing was unable to provide any information about the fiscal impact of this bill. Therefore, there are unknown increased costs to the department, potentially offset by increased administrative fine revenues.