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AB-3109 Contracts: waiver of right of petition or free speech.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/16/2018 09:00 PM
AB3109:v99#DOCUMENT


CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Assembly Bill No. 3109


Introduced by Assembly Member Mark Stone
(Principal coauthors: Assembly Members Friedman and Reyes)

February 16, 2018


An act to add Section 1670.11 to the Civil Code, relating to contracts.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


AB 3109, as introduced, Mark Stone. Contracts: waiver of right of petition or free speech.
The California Constitution provides that the people have the right to petition government for redress of grievances and to assemble freely to consult for the common good. The California Constitution provides that every person may freely speak, write, and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of this right. Existing law generally regulates formation and enforcement of contracts, including what constitutes an unlawful contract. Under existing law, a contract is unlawful if it is contrary to an express provision of law, contrary to the policy of express law, though not expressly prohibited, or otherwise contrary to good morals. A contract is also void to the extent that it restrains a person from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind.
This bill would specify that a contract or settlement agreement is void and unenforceable if it includes a provision that waives a party’s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue or restricts a party’s right to seek employment or reemployment in any lawful occupation or profession.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

 Section 1670.11 is added to the Civil Code, to read:

1670.11.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, a contract or settlement agreement entered into on or after January 1, 2019, that does either of the following is void and unenforceable:
(1) Waives a party’s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue.
(2) Restricts a party’s right to seek employment or reemployment in any lawful occupation or profession.
(b) As used in this section, a party’s right of petition or free speech under the United States Constitution or the California Constitution in connection with a public issue includes, but is not limited to, all of the following:
(1) Any written or oral statement or writing made before a legislative, executive, or judicial proceeding, or any other official proceeding authorized by law.
(2) Any written or oral statement or writing made in connection with an issue under consideration or review by a legislative, executive, or judicial body, or any other official proceeding authorized by law.
(3) Any written or oral statement or writing made in a place open to the public or a public forum in connection with an issue of public interest.
(4) Any other conduct in furtherance of the exercise of the constitutional right of petition or the constitutional right of free speech in connection with a public issue or an issue of public interest.