SB 807 – Enforcement of Civil Rights: Department of Fair Employment and Housing This statutory amendment enacts several important changes impacting tolling and jurisdictional mandates of the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) as well as employment record retention periods associated with complaints alleging workplace violations of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This bill makes several procedural changes to the way the DFEH enforces California’s civil rights laws under the FEHA. These changes include 1) modifying when and how the DFEH can appeal adverse superior court decisions regarding the scope of DFEH petitions to compel compliance with investigations of the department associated with violations of employment-related complaints; and 2) tolling the amount of time the DFEH has to file a civil action while dispute resolution efforts are pending. SB 807 also extends current record retention requirements for employers to four years. As amended, Government Code Section 12946 will now require employers to

• (A) 493110 for General Warehousing and Storage. • (B) 423 for Merchant Wholesalers, Durable Goods. • (C) 424 for Merchant Wholesalers, Nondurable Goods. • (D) 454110 for Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses. The name or designation given to any establishment is irrelevant in determining applicability of the statute. SB 701 does exempt NAICS Code 493130 (Farm Product Warehousing and Storage) from quota requirements under the statute. However, even agricultural businesses operating establishments that fall under NAICS code 424

retain personnel records for applicants and employees for four years from the date the records were created, or the date the employment action was taken. (NOTE: This is in addition to retention requirements that apply once a complaint has been filed). The bill also extends the period in which an individual can file a civil action for violations of certain statutes, by tolling the filing period while the DFEH investigates and/or takes action on behalf of an individual complainant. SB 807 also increases the time the DFEH has to complete its investigation and issue a right-to-sue notice for employment-related discrimination complaints treated by the DFEH as a class or group complaint to two years. SB 87 – California Small Business COVID- 19 Relief Grant Program This bill, signed into law on February 23, 2021, established the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program with California’s Office of Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA). SB 87 is a bill providing for appropriations funding for small business grants in an effort to assist qualified small and underserved businesses impacted by COVID- 19. The bill includes taxable year exclusions and requires the California Franchise Tax Board to adopt regulations necessary and appropriate to implement these taxable exclusions. Audit and recapture procedures are built into the bill to assure criteria oversight. This bill took effect immediately upon signing. AB 1003 – Wage Theft (Grand Theft) AB 1003 elevates existing liability by making the intentional theft of wages or tips by employers punishable as grand theft. An employer’s intentional theft of wages or gratuities in an amount greater than $950 for one employee, or $2,350 for two or more employees, and in any consecutive 12-month period, is now punishable as grand theft. This increases the existing penalty for grant theft and creates a new Penal Code Section (Cal. Pen. Code Section 487(m)). Criminal prosecutors will now have the discretion to decide whether to charge an employer with a misdemeanor (imprisonment in a county jail for up to 1 year) or felony (imprisonment in county jail for 16 months or 2 or 3 years), by a specified fine, or by a fine and imprisonment. AB 1003 also includes the following: • Defines “theft of wages” as the intentional deprivation of wages, gratuities, benefits or other compensation, by unlawful means, with the knowledge that the wages,

Nondurable Goods, will be impacted. Violations include monetary penalties,

injunctive relief and the recovery of attorneys’ fees. Violators may also be subject to penalties in representative actions brought under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). However, the statute does include a PAGA safe-harbor provision allowing employers an opportunity to cure alleged violations.

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