2018’s Assembly Bill 1976 essentially mandates that California employers must provide additional lactation accommodation to their employees. Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 1976 by Assemblymember Monique Limón on September 30th as Chapter 940.

The bill requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide an employee wishing to express milk in private with an area in close proximity to her workspace that is not a bathroom.

The bill went into effect on January 1, 2019 and amends Labor Code Section 1031. Now, essentially, the bill provides agricultural employers to be in compliance with these requirements if they provide the employee with a private, enclosed, and shaded space. Also, the requirement was removed that the temporary lactation accommodation space be air conditioned.

The bill also allows employers who show that providing an employee with a lactation space that is not a bathroom would constitute undue hardship to that business to provide a lactation space that is not a bathroom stall. AB 1976 requires an employer to make reasonable efforts to provide that employee with use of a room or other location other than a bathroom.

In Labor Code Section 1031A, the bill strikes “toilet stall” and replaces it with the word “bathroom.” Also, subdivision B deems an employer to be in compliance with this provision of law if all four conditions that I will specify are met.

One, the employer is unable to provide a permanent lactation location because of operational, financial, or space limitations.

Two, the temporary lactation location is private and free from intrusion while an employee expresses milk.

Three, the temporary lactation location is used only for lactation purposes while an employee expresses milk.

Four, the temporary lactation location otherwise meets the requirements of state law.

Lastly, a note to employers. Existing law makes a violation of these provisions subject to a civil penalty and makes the Labor Commissioner responsible for enforcement. These provisions of existing law continue even after AB 1976’s additional lactation accommodation requirements.

You can find a transcript of today’s podcast here.

 

Today’s post is on AB 1804, which creates a new CEQA exemption for housing projects.

The new law provides a statutory exception from California’s Environmental Quality Act – CEQA – for infill development, residential and mixed‑use housing projects that occur within an unincorporated area of a county.

Essentially, CEQA requires a lead agency to prepare or cause to be prepared and certify a completion of an environment impact report on a project that it proposes to carry out or approve that may have a significant effect on the environment, or to adopt a negative declaration if it finds that the project will not have that effect.

Assembly Bill 1804 exempts from CEQA, only until January 1, 2025, residential or mixed‑use housing projects that are located in unincorporated areas of a county meeting certain requirements. The lead agency must file a Notice of Exemption with the Office of Planning and Research and the county clerk in the county in which that project is located.

Now, there are a number of different requirements for that residential or mixed‑use housing project to meet. The new CEQA exception only applies if all of these conditions that are described in this new code section are met. Once all those provisions are met, then the CEQA exemption applies.

You’ll have to take a look at Section 21159.25 of California’s Public Resources Code to read all of the different conditions that must be met.

You can find a transcript of today’s podcast here.

 

 

 

Today’s post is on AB 1531, which provides for new rules for the payment of court fees.

This bill establishes specified rules regarding the payment of court fees when using an electronic filing service provider.

Essentially, the bill requires, if a duplicate payment is made to a court by a party or an electronic service provided by either credit card or other electronic means for things like court filing fees, then the court must issue any appropriate refund to the entity that made the most recent payment.

In addition, the new law allows an electronic filing service provider to notify the court clerk that fees remain unpaid, despite notice to the attorney of record, which would thereby allow the clerk to notify the attorney of record that he or she may be sanctioned by the court for nonpayment of those fees.

AB 1531 essentially adopts a last‑in, first‑out refund approach, which many courts around the state already utilize to address duplicate payment issues. In addition, AB 1531 is intended to make it easier for service providers to collect money owed to them that was not paid by attorneys of record who filed court documents through them by allowing the courts to sanction those attorneys of record.

You can find a transcript of today’s podcast here.