The California Chamber of Commerce has just released its annual list of “job killer” bills that have been proposed in the California Legislature. This year’s list identifies 32 proposed laws, including six new “Costly Workplace Mandates.”

Chamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg cautioned against “increase[d] uncertainty for employers and investors and . . . higher costs of doing business” while employers already face “higher health care premiums, higher workers’ compensation premiums, increased unemployment insurance taxes, and general tax increases.”

The “Costly Workplace Mandate” bills, which would directly affect California employers, are:

  • AB 5 (Ammiano, D-San Francisco) Creates a New Category of Protected Individuals (Homeless/Low Income Employees and Customers): The Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights and Fairness Act would create a new protected class of employees and customers who are homeless, have a low income, or suffer from a mental illness or physical disability, and it establishes a private right of action carrying the possibility of punitive damage awards for violations. (Available here.)
  • AB 10 (Alejo, D-Salinas) Automatic Minimum Wage Increases: Raises the minimum wage by almost 16 percent from $8.00 to $9.25 per hour by 2016 and thereafter indexes additional increases to inflation. (Available here.)
  • AB 1138 (Chau, D-Alhambra) New Potential Workers’ Compensation Liability: Requires employers to post a notice and maintain complete lists of employees covered by workers’ compensation insurance and to retain the notices and lists for five years to avoid a conclusive presumption in civil proceedings that the employer is not adequately insured. (Available here.)
  • SB 404 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) Expansion of Fair Employment and Housing Act To Include “Familial Status”: Adds to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act a new protected category of “familial status,” covering anyone who is, is perceived to be or is associated with a “family caregiver.” (Available here.)
  • SB 626 (Beall, D-San Jose) More Workers’ Compensation Increases: The Chamber’s analysis states that it “[u]nravels many of the employer cost-saving provisions in last year’s workers’ compensation reform package and results in employers’ paying nearly $1 billion in benefit increases to injured workers without an expectation that the increases will be fully offset by system savings.” (Available here.)
  • SB 761 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord) Additional Paid Family Leave Protection: Prohibits termination or other discrimination against an employee who uses family temporary disability insurance benefits, which provide up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits to workers who take time off from work to care for a seriously ill child, parent, or partner, or to bond with a newborn or newly adopted child. Provides for employment reinstatement, actual damages, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs if the employee prevails in the litigation. (Available here.)

For more information on how these proposed bills may impact you, contact your Proskauer relationship attorney.

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Photo of Tony Oncidi Tony Oncidi

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including…

Anthony J. Oncidi is the co-chair of the Labor & Employment Law Department and heads the West Coast Labor & Employment group in the firm’s Los Angeles office.

Tony represents employers and management in all aspects of labor relations and employment law, including litigation and preventive counseling, wage and hour matters, including class actions, wrongful termination, employee discipline, Title VII and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, executive employment contract disputes, sexual harassment training and investigations, workplace violence, drug testing and privacy issues, Sarbanes-Oxley claims and employee raiding and trade secret protection. A substantial portion of Tony’s practice involves the defense of employers in large class actions, employment discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination litigation in state and federal court as well as arbitration proceedings, including FINRA matters.

Tony is recognized as a leading lawyer by such highly respected publications and organizations as the Los Angeles Daily JournalThe Hollywood Reporter, and Chambers USA, which gives him the highest possible rating (“Band 1”) for Labor & Employment.  According to Chambers USA, clients say Tony is “brilliant at what he does… He is even keeled, has a high emotional IQ, is a great legal writer and orator, and never gives up.” Other clients report:  “Tony has an outstanding reputation” and he is “smart, cost effective and appropriately aggressive.” Tony is hailed as “outstanding,” particularly for his “ability to merge top-shelf lawyerly advice with pragmatic business acumen.” He is highly respected in the industry, with other commentators lauding him as a “phenomenal strategist” and “one of the top employment litigators in the country.”

“Tony is the author of the treatise titled Employment Discrimination Depositions (Juris Pub’g 2020;, co-author of Proskauer on Privacy (PLI 2020), and, since 1990, has been a regular columnist for the official publication of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California and the Los Angeles Daily Journal.

Tony has been a featured guest on Fox 11 News and CBS News in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed and quoted by leading national media outlets such as The National Law JournalBloomberg News, The New York Times, and Newsweek and Time magazines. Tony is a frequent speaker on employment law topics for large and small groups of employers and their counsel, including the Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”), PIHRA, the National CLE Conference, National Business Institute, the Employment Round Table of Southern California (Board Member), the Council on Education in Management, the Institute for Corporate Counsel, the State Bar of California, the California Continuing Education of the Bar Program and the Los Angeles and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. He has testified as an expert witness regarding wage and hour issues as well as the California Fair Employment and Housing Act and has served as a faculty member of the National Employment Law Institute. He has served as an arbitrator in an employment discrimination matter.

Tony is an appointed Hearing Examiner for the Los Angeles Police Commission Board of Rights and has served as an Adjunct Professor of Law and a guest lecturer at USC Law School and a guest lecturer at UCLA Law School.