• Pending California Legislation Could Significantly Impact Employers
  • August 27, 2004 | Author: Helene J. Wasserman
  • Law Firm: Ford & Harrison LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • The California Legislature has passed two bills that could significantly impact California employers.

    Assembly Bill 2832 would raise the minimum wage in California. Currently, the minimum wage stands at $6.75 per hour. If it becomes law, AB 2832 will ultimately raise the minimum wage to $7.75 per hour. It would be introduced in two steps, with the minimum wage being increased to $7.25 per hour effective July 1, 2005, and then climbing to $7.75 per hour effective July 1, 2006. Governor Schwarzenegger is expected to veto this bill.

    Senate Bill 1841 addresses electronic monitoring of employees in the workplace. Current law prohibits an employer from recording an employee in certain areas of the workplace without a court order and makes violation of this prohibition a misdemeanor. SB 1841 would add a new section to the California Labor Code, which would prohibit employers from engaging in electronic monitoring without first providing notice to the employee, except in certain circumstances. The term "electronic monitoring" is defined as the collection of individually identifiable information concerning employee activities or communications through the use of electronic devices, including but not limited to computers, telephones, radio, cameras, and the like. The exceptions to this requirement exist if the employer has reasonable grounds to believe that a particular employee is engaged in unlawful conduct and the monitoring will produce evidence of that unlawful conduct and will be conducted in accordance with other applicable state and federal laws. Governor Schwarzenegger has not publicly taken a position on this bill.

    We will keep you posted on new developments in this and other pending legislation as they occur.