Today's Law As Amended


PDF |Add To My Favorites | print page

SB-926 CalWORKs and CalFresh: work requirements.(2017-2018)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.
 The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(a) Due to their precarious economic situations, low-income workers frequently have their rights violated.
(b) Low-income workers are often not scheduled enough hours to prevent poverty or to comply with public benefit work requirements.
(c) Low-income Californians should not be forced to seek employment or remain employed at a workplace that violates their basic worker rights.
(d) Low-income Californians should be informed about their worker rights when they seek public benefits or an increase in public benefits due to a loss of job or reduction in hours.

SEC. 2.

 Section 11320.31 of the Welfare and Institutions Code is amended to read:

11320.31.
 (a)  Sanctions shall not be applied for a failure or refusal to comply with program requirements for reasons related to employment, an offer of employment, an activity, or other training for employment including, but not limited to, the following reasons:
(a) (1)  The employment, offer of employment, activity, or other training for employment discriminates on any basis listed in subdivision (a) of Section 12940 of the Government Code, as those bases are defined in Sections 12926 and 12926.1 of the Government Code, except as otherwise provided in Section 12940 of the Government Code.
(b) (2)  The employment or offer of employment exceeds the daily or weekly hours of work customary to the occupation. occupation, the recipient provides documentation to the county human services agency that the anticipated hours would be so unpredictable for that specific recipient that they would not allow the recipient to anticipate compliance with program requirements related to the job, or the recipient provides documentation to the county human services agency that the scheduled hours exhibit a pattern of unpredictability for that specific recipient that does not allow the recipient to anticipate compliance with program requirements related to the job. 
(c) (3)  The employment, offer of employment, activity, or other training for employment requires travel to and from the place of employment, activity, or other training and one’s  a recipient’s  home that exceeds a total of two hours in round-trip  round trip  time, exclusive of the time necessary to transport family members to a school or place providing care, or, when walking is the only available means of transportation, the round-trip  round trip  is more than two miles, exclusive of the mileage necessary to accompany family members to a school or a place providing care. An individual A recipient  who fails or refuses to comply with the program requirements based on this subdivision paragraph  shall be required to participate in community service activities pursuant to Section 11322.9.
(d) (4)  The employment, offer of employment, activity, or other training for employment involves conditions that are in violation of applicable health and safety standards.
(e) (5)  The employment, offer of employment, or work activity does not provide for workers’ compensation insurance.
(f) (6)  Accepting the employment or work activity would cause an interruption in an approved education or job training program in progress that would otherwise lead to employment and sufficient income to be self-supporting, excluding work experience or community service employment as described in subdivisions (d) and (j) of Section 11322.6 and Section 11322.9 or other community work experience assignments, except that a recipient may be required to engage in welfare-to-work activities to the extent necessary to meet the hours of participation required by Section 11322.8.
(g) (7)  Accepting the employment, offer of employment, or work activity would cause the individual recipient  to violate the terms of his or her  the recipient’s  union membership.
(8) The recipient self-certifies that the employment or offer of employment fails to comply with the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 (Article 1.5 (commencing with Section 245) of Chapter 1 of Part 1 of Division 2 of the Labor Code).
(9) The recipient self-certifies that the recipient experienced sexual harassment or other abusive conduct at the workplace. For purposes of this section, “abusive conduct” has the same meaning as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (h) of Section 12950.1 of the Government Code.
(10) The recipient self-certifies that the recipient’s rights under the New Parent Leave Act (Section 12945.6 of the Government Code) were violated.
(11) The recipient self-certifies that the recipient’s rights under the Wage Theft Prevention Act of 2011 were violated.
(12) The recipient self-certifies that the recipient’s rights under the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (Part 4.5 (commencing with Section 1450) of Division 2 of the Labor Code) were violated.
(b) If a recipient has received relief from a program sanction pursuant to this section, the recipient shall participate in all other welfare-to-work activities required by the recipient’s welfare-to-work plan, with the exception of employment requirements. This relief shall last no longer than three months from the first date of the failure or refusal to comply with program requirements.
(c) When an applicant or recipient reports refusing any offer of employment, reducing hours, voluntarily quitting any employment, or being discharged from any employment, the county human services agency shall provide the applicant or recipient with information regarding workplace rights generally, including information about how to file complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The State Department of Social Services shall convene stakeholders to develop instructions for county human services agencies on how to best inform applicants and recipients of aid of their workplace rights and available remedies, and how to document applicants’ or recipients’ self-certification of circumstances as required by this section. Stakeholders may be convened concurrently with an existing department stakeholder meeting.

SEC. 3.

 Section 18929 is added to the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:

18929.
 To the extent permitted by federal law, regulation, or waiver thereof, a county shall determine that good cause exists for purposes of the work requirement specified in Section 273.7(a)(1)(vii) of Title 7 of the Code of Federal Regulations if an applicant or recipient has voluntarily quit a job or reduced work hours based on at least one of the reasons enumerated in subdivision (a) of Section 11320.31, or because the scheduled work hours were so unpredictable that they did not allow the applicant or recipient to anticipate the amount of monthly income from the job. When the applicant or recipient reports refusing any offer of employment, reducing hours, voluntarily quitting any employment, or being discharged from any employment, the county human services agency shall provide the applicant or recipient with information regarding workplace rights generally, including information about how to file complaints with the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement and the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. This information shall be provided pursuant to the instructions developed by the workgroup specified in subdivision (c) of Section 11320.31.
SEC. 4.
 Notwithstanding the rulemaking provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (Chapter 3.5 (commencing with Section 11340) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code), the State Department of Social Services may implement this act through an all-county letter or similar instruction from the Director of Social Services, until regulations are adopted. The department shall adopt regulations implementing this act on or before October 1, 2020. The all-county letter, or similar instruction, or regulation shall provide all of the following:
(a) An applicant or recipient of CalFresh or CalWORKs may self-certify under penalty of perjury that the reason the applicant or recipient voluntarily quit a job or reduced work hours qualifies for a good cause exemption, as specified in Section 18929 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(b) A recipient of CalWORKs may self-certify under penalty of perjury that the reason the recipient failed or refused to comply with program requirements qualifies for a relief from sanction, as specified in Section 11320.31 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.
(c) Guidance on how the county shall collect verification in instances in which more than one request for a good cause exemption or relief from sanction is made.
SEC. 5.
 No appropriation pursuant to Section 15200 of the Welfare and Institutions Code shall be made for purposes of this act.
SEC. 6.
 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution for certain costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district because, in that regard, this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
However, if the Commission on State Mandates determines that this act contains other costs mandated by the state, reimbursement to local agencies and school districts for those costs shall be made pursuant to Part 7 (commencing with Section 17500) of Division 4 of Title 2 of the Government Code.