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California Governor Gavin Newsom Signs New Employment Law Measures

California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law several new measures that employers will need to comply with by January 1, 2020.

AB 9 extends the statute of limitations period for employees to file claims of discrimination, harassment and/or retaliation with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) from one to three years so that employees have one more year to file a civil action and employers may now defend against claims for workplace incidents that occurred as long ago as four years.

AB 51 is an effort to make workplace arbitration agreements that are entered into, modified, or extended on or after January 1, 2020, illegal.

SB 142 expands California’s lactation accommodation requirements, including requirements that the lactation room or location be “safe, clean, and free of hazardous materials.” In addition, employers must provide a surface to place a breast pump and personal items; a place to sit; access to electricity or alternative devices, including, but not limited to, extension cords or charging stations, needed to operate an electric or battery-powered breast pump; access to a sink with running water; and a refrigerator (or cooling device or cooler) in close proximity to the employee’s workspace.