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NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS FOR CALIFORNIA
updated 02/11/14 10:54 AM
Many of Them Took Effect Jan. 1
California enacted a number of new laws in 2013 affecting employment relationships. Here, we highlight some of the key changes for credit unions to take note of as they plan for 2014. Unless otherwise noted, all laws took effect Jan. 1.

Training Time-Off for Reserve Peace Officers and Emergency Rescue Personnel
Assembly Bill 11; Logue—Prior law required California employers with 50 or more employees to provide temporary leaves of absence of up to 14 days per calendar year for employees who are volunteer firefighters for the purpose of fi re or law enforcement training. AB 11 adds reserve peace officers and emergency rescue personnel to this list and expands the law to cover time off for emergency rescue training.

Expansion of ‘Paid Family Leave’
Senate Bill 770; Jackson—California’s Paid Family Leave Program provides a wage replacement benefit that allows eligible employees to take up to six weeks of partially paid leave from their jobs each year to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in foster care or adoption. Effective July 1, 2014, SB 770 expands the definition of “family member” to allow Paid Family Leave for workers who take time off to care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parents-in-law.

Time-Off for Crime Victims
Senate Bill 288; Lieu—SB 288 prohibits an employer from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against, an employee who is a victim of a specified crime for taking time off from work to appear in any court proceeding. “Victim” means any person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act. It also includes the person’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, or guardian.

Protection for Military and Veteran Status
Assembly Bill 556; Salas—AB 556 adds “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Protection for Victims of Stalking
Senate Bill 400; Jackson—Prior law prohibited employers from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against, a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault if the victim takes time off to attend to issues arising as a result of the crime. SB 400 strengthens those protections and extends them to victims of stalking. It also adds an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations (e.g., transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, changed work telephone, etc.) for a victim who requests it for his or her safety at work.

Definition of ‘Sexual Harassment’
Senate Bill 292; Corbett—SB 292 amends the definition of harassment to clarify that “sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.”

Good Samaritan Employee Protection
Assembly Bill 633; Salas—AB 633 prohibits an employer from adopting or enforcing a policy prohibiting an employee from voluntarily providing emergency medical services (CPR). An employer may authorize certain employees trained in emergency services to provide them, but any available employee may voluntarily do so if a trained and authorized employee is unavailable, unable, or unwilling.

Whistleblower Protections
Senate Bill 496; Wright— Employers are prohibited from making, adopting, or enforcing any rule, regulation, or policy that prevents an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency when the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information is a violation of or noncompliance with a local rule or regulation. This also extends to reporting to a person with authority over the employee or to another employee with authority to investigate or address the violation, or from providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry. An employer is also prohibited from retaliating for same.

 
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CHAPTER FORUM, RECEPTION ENGAGES CUs updated 10/27/14 06:55 PM
Networking and Awards after 'REACH'
Credit union chapter members from across California and Nevada gathered Oct. 23 at the JW Marriott (L.A. Live) in downtown Los Angeles to attend the 2014 Chapter Forum, which offered a full day of valuable networking and educational sessions for attendees who were eager to share individual stories about the work their chapters are accomplishing.

NEEN JAMES CHALLENGES CUs AT 'REACH' updated 10/27/14 04:17 PM
'Time is the New Currency'
By Wednesday afternoon, nearly 700 credit union CEOs, professionals, industry vendors, and guests had attended REACH 2014, the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues’ Annual Meeting and Convention from Oct. 20-22 at the JW Marriott (L.A. LIVE) in downtown Los Angeles.

CFPB, FTC HOST DEBT COLLECTION FORUM updated 10/27/14 03:31 PM
Latino Consumers Discussed
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently hosted an all-day forum on “Debt Collection and the Latino Community,” which brought together consumer advocates, industry professionals, and regulators to discuss how debt collection issues affect Latino consumers, especially those with limited English proficiency (LEP).

FinCEN: QUARTERLY UPDATE ON 'SARs' updated 10/27/14 03:09 PM
Also, Mortgage Service Transfer Guidance
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued its SAR Stats quarterly update, which provides information on Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) filed through Sept. 30, 2014.