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Update: Employee arbitration bill vetoed by Gov. Brown

The dynamics of the employee law arena area always in flux. Lawmakers in California and in Washington regularly look to tweak processes that are seen to be skewed in favor of one side or the other.

As we noted earlier this year, the most recent legislative session in Sacramento featured a plethora of measures that were of particular interest to workers in the state. In this post, as promised, we hope to provide an update on the status of things for readers.

We begin with Senate Bill 3. That measure seeks to increase the minimum wage in the state to $13 an hour. This would take place over a two-year span of time. According to an item in the Sacramento Bee from late in August, that bill got sidelined for the time being in the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

The chairman of the committee says the measure isn’t dead, but he wants to be sure any wage increase approved can be implemented rationally, depending on local economic conditions.

Assembly Bill 1509, expanding retaliation protections to include not just individual employees, but any family members who also work for a company, won approval. It was among bills signed into law by Gov. Brown last month.

One measure that did not make the cut was Assembly Bill 465. As we explained in our post, this measure would have blocked employers from requiring prospective employees to agree to have any possible disputes resolved through arbitration, rather than court, as a condition of being hired.

The governor vetoed the bill. He pointed to protections that already exist under the law as one reason and observed that the blanket ban would likely run afoul of the Federal Arbitration Act.

As this roundup displays, the employment law landscape can shift. That can make upholding worker rights complicated. Working with an experienced attorney is always advised.


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