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Legislative Updates

January 2021

The final session of the California Legislature 2020 witnessed a year like no other. The State Legislature, having to shutdown twice and conduct business virtually due to the pandemic, finalized their business on September 30 and officially concluded the 2020 legislative year. The legislature reduced the number of bills it introduced in 2020 to focus on COVID–19 policy responses and other priority areas. In a typical year, the Legislature sends roughly over 2,400 bills to the governor for consideration. In 2020, the Governor signed a under 400 bills and vetoed 56.

With URCA’s industry and business partnerships, active involvement, and high profile presence, there were some legislative wins for our industry due to the collective strength of our members and partners. Ever vigilant and supportive of sound public policy that supports our industry, URCA took the following positions on the following bills.

AB 685: Employee Notification - COVID-19 (URCA Opposed)
This bill was signed by the Governor and requires public and private employers to notify all employees and subcontractor employees, within one business day, regarding potential exposure to COVID-19. Specifically, the bill requires that if an employer is notified that an employee was potentially exposed at the workplace to any person that has COVID-19, the employer shall take steps in furtherance of the law.

SB 1159: Workers’ Compensation - Coronavirus (URCA Opposed)
This bill was signed by the governor, and will increase workers’ compensation costs for employers. The bill creates a “disputable” presumption, meaning that it is presumed that contraction of coronavirus is a workplace injury, but may be controverted by other evidence. The bill is retroactive and applies from the time the governor’s similar Executive Order expired (July 6). The bill is an urgency measure and takes effect immediately, with a sunset date of January 1, 2023.

SB 1383, CA Fam ily Rights ACT (URCA Opposed)
The Governor signed this bill which significantly expands the California Family Rights Act (“CFRA”) family and medical leave law by now applying it to all employers with 5 or more employees, adding the ability to care for a serious health condition of more family members, and eliminating other previous restrictions on the use of CFRA leave.

The following bills failed this year:

AB 196: Workers Compensation – Coronavirus (URCA Opposed)
This bill would have increased workers’ comp. costs for employers. The bill originally created a “conclusive” presumption that contraction of coronavirus by essential employees is a workplace injury without ability of the employer to provide any evidence to the contrary. The bill was amended to create a “disputable” presumption and shorten the time frame for denial of claims, but still failed to pass.

AB 2999: Employees - Bereavement Leave (URCA Opposed)
This bill proposed a mandate on all employers to provide employees up to 10 days of unpaid bereavement leave for the death of a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent or domestic partner. The bill died in policy committee.

AB 398: Head Tax over 500 employees (URCA Opposed)
COVID-19 Local Government and School Recovery and Relief Act. AB 398 would institute a tax of $275 per employee for “an entity, including, but not limited to, a limited liability company, corporation, or limited liability partnership, that has more than 500 employees that perform any part of their duties within the state.”


URCA thanks the following members for providing photos for this website:
Alcal Arcade Contracting, Best Contracting, Eberhard Company, Letner Roof Company and Troyer Contracting.

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