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SB-339 Engineers, land surveyors, and geologists and geophysicists: nondisclosure agreements: reporting.(2019-2020)

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Date Published: 07/30/2019 09:00 PM
SB339:v93#DOCUMENT

Senate Bill No. 339
CHAPTER 145

An act to add Sections 6789, 7874, and 8790.5 to the Business and Professions Code, relating to professions and vocations.

[ Approved by Governor  July 30, 2019. Filed with Secretary of State  July 30, 2019. ]

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 339, Jones. Engineers, land surveyors, and geologists and geophysicists: nondisclosure agreements: reporting.
The Professional Engineers Act and the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act provide for the licensure and regulation of professional engineers and land surveyors by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. Both acts require a licensee to report to the board in writing the occurrence of specified events in relation to the licensee within 90 days of the date the licensee has knowledge of the event. Under both acts, the failure of a licensee to report to the board in the time and manner required is grounds for disciplinary action. Both acts specify that a licensee shall not be considered to have violated a confidential settlement agreement or other confidential agreement by providing a required report to the board. The Professional Engineers Act requires the executive officer of the board to aid in the enforcement of the act. The Professional Land Surveyors’ Act requires the board to enforce all of the provisions of the act and cause the prosecution of all violations coming to its notice.
This bill would specify that if a licensee under the Professional Engineers Act or under the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act who is retained as an expert witness enters into a nondisclosure agreement, that agreement shall not be construed to prevent the licensee from reporting a potential violation of the Professional Engineers Act, or of the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act, as applicable to the licensee, to the board. The bill would also specify that those provisions in each of the acts would not be construed to be, or act as, a waiver of any applicable attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.
The Geologist and Geophysicist Act provides for the licensure and regulation of geologists and geophysicists by the Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. The act requires the executive officer of the board to aid in the enforcement of the act. The act also specifies that whenever any person has engaged in or is about to engage in any act or practice which constitutes or which, in the opinion of the board, will constitute an offense against the act, upon application of the board, the superior court of the county in which the offense has occurred or is about to occur, is authorized to issue an injunction or other appropriate order restraining that act or practice.
This bill would specify that if a licensee who is retained as an expert witness enters into a nondisclosure agreement, that agreement shall not be construed to prevent the licensee from reporting a potential violation of the act to the board. The bill would also specify that this provision would not be construed to be, or act as, a waiver of any applicable attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: NO   Local Program: NO  

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


SECTION 1.

 Section 6789 is added to the Business and Professions Code, immediately following Section 6788, to read:

6789.
 (a) If a licensee who is retained as an expert witness enters into a nondisclosure agreement, that agreement shall not be construed to prevent the licensee from reporting a potential violation of the Professional Engineers Act to the board.
(b) This section shall not be construed to be, or act as, a waiver of any applicable attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.

SEC. 2.

 Section 7874 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

7874.
 (a) If a licensee who is retained as an expert witness enters into a nondisclosure agreement, that agreement shall not be construed to prevent the licensee from reporting a potential violation of the Geologist and Geophysicist Act to the board.
(b) This section shall not be construed to be, or act as, a waiver of any applicable attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.

SEC. 3.

 Section 8790.5 is added to the Business and Professions Code, to read:

8790.5.
 (a) If a licensee who is retained as an expert witness enters into a nondisclosure agreement, that agreement shall not be construed to prevent the licensee from reporting a potential violation of the Professional Land Surveyors’ Act to the board.
(b) This section shall not be construed to be, or act as, a waiver of any applicable attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.