The legislative session has drawn to a close, and a slew of bills now await Governor Newsom’s decision. He has until October 14, 2023, to either sign them into law or veto them. In this week’s Friday Five, we spotlight the five bills, in the author’s view, that could profoundly affect California employers:

1. SB 731 – Work From Home Rights (text of bill)

SB 731 would require an employer to provide employees with at least 30 days’ written notice by mail or email prior to requiring an employee to return to work. The bill includes specific language that must be contained, including language about requesting a reasonable accommodation if they have a disability. 

2. SB 699 – Noncompete Agreements – Already Signed Into Law (text of bill)

Already signed by the Governor, SB 699 will go into effect on January 1, 2024, and prohibits employers from entering into or enforcing noncompete agreements, regardless of the employee’s work location, or when and where the agreement was entered into.

3. AB 1076 – Noncompete Clauses (text of bill)

AB 1076 would void noncompete agreements in an employment contract, regardless of how narrowly tailored they are. This bill would also require employers to give employees who have previously signed a noncompete agreement notice that it is now void.

4. SB 616 – Paid Sick Leave Expansion (test of bill)

Currently, employers are required to provide employees with three days, or 24 hours, of paid sick leave. SB 616 would increase the amount of sick paid leave to five days, or 40 hours. Employers would be able to control the amount used per year at five days or 40 hours per year and cap accrual at 10 days or 80 hours.

5. SB 497 – Presumption of Retaliation (text of bill)

SB 497 creates a rebuttable presumption of retaliation if an employer disciplines or takes adverse action against an employee within 90 days of that employee engaging in protected conduct.

Indeed, if you’re keen to discover more about pending employment law bills that the Governor has yet to decide on, join us in our 2nd annual “Sign or Veto” Challenge. Showcase your knowledge in employment law and make your predictions on which bills the Governor will approve or decline. Plus, stand a chance to grab some exclusive Zaller law swag!