Senate Bill 96, the California state budget bill, includes some employment-related “trailer bills” that accompany the main budget bill, including the following:
Cal/OSHA Penalty Increases:
SB 96 increases penalties for repeated Cal/OSHA violations from $70,000 to $124,709. In addition, the civil penalty maximum is increased from $7,000 to $12,471 for each non-serious violation and each violation of posting, recordkeeping or notice requirements.
The bill also permits those maximum penalty amounts to be increased on January 1, 2018, and each January 1st thereafter based on the Consumer Price Index.
Further, civil penalty maximums are removed for specified crane safety order violations and carcinogen-related violations.
Division of Labor Standards Enforcement Rule Changes:
SB 96 increases the time within which the Labor Commissioner may investigate a retaliation claim from 60 days to one year. The bill also requires an employer to pay Labor Commissioner attorney’s fees when the DLSE prevails in retaliation-related enforcement actions.
Further, the bill makes it unlawful for an employer to terminate or otherwise discriminate against an employee for reporting a work-related fatality, injury or illness.
Another change brought by the bill is that in most cases, employers are prohibited from introducing as evidence in an administrative proceeding certain records that weren’t provided pursuant to the Labor Commissioner’s request.
Finally, the period in which an employer may comply with DLSE’s determination on a retaliation complaint is extended from 10 days to 30 days.
SB 96 became effective July 1, 2017. Although the law has become effective, the Cal/OSHA adjustments will not be enforced until Cal/OSHA goes through a public rule-making process.
Upcoming Seminar: New Laws for 2018
Wednesday, January 24, 2018
Location: Ervin Cohen & Jessup LLP
Registration time: 9:00 AM
Seminar time: 9:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Presented by: Kelly O. Scott
Parking Validation & Continental Breakfast Provided
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