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Key Economic Indicators 
Item  Rate 
CPI: 0.3% (Apr 2019) 
GDP Growth:   3.2% (1st QTR 2019)
Bank Prime Interest Rate:   5.5%
Consumer Confidence:  129.2% (Apr 2019) 
Small Biz Confidence:  103.5% (Apr 2019) 
Avg Gas Price:  $2.85 









Feb 2019


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New Laws In 2019 Affecting CA Businesses

Businesses in California have new laws to contend with.  These laws range from sexual harassment to family leave.  See below.


Sexual Harassment Training:  California employers with at least five employees will have to provide at least two hours of sexual-harassment prevention training to supervisors and at least one hour of training to all supervisory employees and at least one hour of sexual harassment training to all nonsupervisory employees by January 1, 2020, and once every two years thereafter. [CA Sexual Harassment FAQ:]..[SB.1343]


Sexual Harassment:  Employer agreements made on or after January 1 that limit an employee’s right to testify in cases involving criminal conduct or sexual harassment in the workplace will be unenforceable. SB 3109



Lactation Accommodation:  Effective January 1, workplace restrooms can no longer be offered as a place for nursing employees to express milk. The amendment also clarifies which conditions need to be met for a space to qualify as a lactation room.  [AB 1976]




Criminal Records:  Existing state law forbids California employers from asking job applicants about expunged or sealed criminal records. This amendment clarifies that employers may ask for these records when the job is one where a conviction would automatically disqualify a candidate under federal and state law.  [].   [SB.1412].


Paid Family Military Leave:  Must provide time off for a servicemember to participate in a qualifying exigency related to a covered active duty.vv[SB.1123] []


Discrimination against Service Members:  Prohibits employers from discharging or halting benefits of an employee for being a member of the military reserve or because of ordered military duty or training.  [SB.1500]. []




Sexual Harassment:  Allows a former employer to state it would not rehire a former employee based on the employer's determination that the former employee engaged in sexual harassment.  [AB.2770].  []




Discrimination and Harassment: Curtails an employer's ability to utilize non-disparagement clauses and certain waivers for claims asserted under the state Fair Employment and Housing Act.  [SB.1300].


Salary History:  Amends the statewide salary history ban, adding guidance about the questions an employer may ask during an interview and when employers must disclose pay scales for positions.  [AB.2282].


Wage Receipt Record:  Allows current and former employees to request a copy of their wage record that they can keep. [SB.1252].


Commercial Driver:  For certain commercial drivers, requires a meal period after six hours of work, instead of five hours, if the driver is paid at 1.5 times the minimum wage and receives overtime compensation.  [AB.2610].


Board of Director Membership:  Mandates that publicly held corporations must have a set number of women on their board of directors, based on the number of individuals on the board.  [SB.826].



 Hotel Worker Protection [Oakland]:  Amends Oakland municipal code to raise minimum wage for covered hotel employees, require employers to provide panic buttons, and limit mandatory overtime, among other items. Minimum wage increase takes effect in 2019, with potential regulations and enforcement mechanisms likely by 2020.  [Oakland Measure Z].


Consumer Privacy:  Allows a consumer to request a business disclose the personal information it collects, the categories of sources that collect the information, the business purposes for collecting or selling the information, and the categories of third parties with which the information is shared.  [AB.375].


Consumer Privacy:   SB.1121 Amends the new California Consumer Privacy Act (AB 375, above) to allow consumers to recover damages from a business if the business does not use reasonable security procedures to protect confidential information, and a breach occurs.


Human Trafficking:  Requires hotels and motels subject to the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to provide at least 20 minutes of training regarding human trafficking awareness to each employee likely to interact or come into contact with victims of human trafficking. 



By Bill Williams













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