Today's Law As Amended


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SB-218 Employment: discrimination enforcement: local government.(2019-2020)



As Amends the Law Today


SECTION 1.

 Section 12993 of the Government Code is amended to read:

12993.
 (a) The provisions of this part shall be construed liberally for the accomplishment of the purposes of this part. This part does not repeal any of the provisions of civil rights law or of any other law of this state relating to discrimination because of race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, sex, age, or sexual orientation, unless those provisions provide less protection to the enumerated classes of persons covered under this part.
(b) The provisions in in  this part relating to discrimination in employment on account of sex or medical condition do not affect the operation of the terms or conditions of any bona fide retirement, pension, employee benefit, or insurance plan, provided the terms or conditions are in accordance with customary and reasonable or actuarially sound underwriting practices.
(c) While it is the intention of the Legislature to occupy the field of regulation of discrimination in employment and housing encompassed by the provisions of this part, exclusive of all other laws banning discrimination in employment and housing by any city, city and county, county, or other political subdivision of the state,this  state, this  part does not limit or restrict the application of Section 51 of the Civil Code. The restrictions in this subdivision shall not apply to the regulation of discrimination in employment within the County of Los Angeles, as described in Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 12997). 

SEC. 2.

 Chapter 10 (commencing with Section 12997) is added to Part 2.8 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code, to read:

CHAPTER  10. Local Employment Rights Enforcement
12997.
 (a) Notwithstanding any other law, the legislative body of a local government, located within the County of Los Angeles, may enact its own antidiscrimination ordinance relating to employment, including establishing remedies and penalties for violations.
(b) A local ordinance may increase employee protection against discrimination but shall not decrease existing protections under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (hereinafter “the act”).
(c) A local ordinance may prohibit any conduct that independently constitutes an unlawful employment practice under the act and may prohibit conduct that is neither prohibited nor required by the act, but the ordinance shall not conflict with the act by prohibiting conduct that the act requires nor by requiring or authorizing conduct that the act prohibits.
12998.
 (a) The legislative body of a local government, located within the County of Los Angeles, may create a local agency (hereinafter “agency”) to investigate and enforce local antidiscrimination provisions.
(b) The agency may do all of the following:
(1) Accept claims for violations of the local antidiscrimination ordinances directly from a complainant.
(2) Investigate complaints, including the authority to issue subpoenas.
(3) Make determinations of violations of local antidiscrimination ordinances.
(4) Mediate and settle cases.
(5) Hold administrative hearings.
(6) Enforce judgments.
(c) The agency may award the full scope of remedies available under the act and any remedies available under the local antidiscrimination ordinance.
(d) The agency shall promulgate and enforce rules and administrative procedures, including, but not limited to, evidentiary rules created for the fair and efficient conduct of investigations, hearings, and appeals to carry out the purposes of the local antidiscrimination ordinances and the act. The Department of Fair Employment and Housing may adopt regulations imposing minimum standards for agency rules and administrative procedures.
(e) (1) The agency shall establish a public internet website that shall include the agency’s local ordinances and administrative policies for investigations and enforcement of complaints.
(2) The agency shall publish an annual report on its internet website detailing the number of complaints that the agency accepted and the disposition of those complaints.
(f) The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (hereinafter “department”) shall coordinate with the agency to establish a dual filing relationship that allows the agency to accept complaints under the act. This coordination includes any procedures that are specific to department operational considerations, including data collection and reporting, and to complaints under the act that are not already addressed by an agency’s agreement with the commission, pursuant to subdivision (e).
(g) The legislative body of a local government, located within the County of Los Angeles, may also designate the agency to act as a fair employment practice agency if the agency agrees to accept all charges of employment discrimination that the federal government would also accept.
(1) An agency designated as a fair employment practice agency shall enter into a work sharing agreement with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (hereinafter “commission”) setting forth the agency’s agreement to accept, investigate, and resolve claims and specify the responsibilities of the agency.
(2) If an agency is not designated as a fair employment practice agency, and there is a basis for the complaint under local and federal law, the agency shall help facilitate the filing of a timely complaint at the federal level.
12999.
 (a) The existence of a local agency shall not preclude a complaint from also being filed under the act with the department. Filing a complaint with an agency is not a prerequisite to filing a complaint under the act.
(b) Initially filing a claim with the department for a violation of the act shall extinguish an individual’s right to subsequently file a complaint based on the same allegations with an agency under a local antidiscrimination ordinance. The department shall notify the complainant of their right to dual file their complaint with an agency and the department and that filing initially with the department extinguishes their right to file a complaint under a local antidiscrimination ordinance.
(c) A complaint filed with a local agency shall also be deemed a complaint under the act and shall satisfy the act’s administrative exhaustion requirements, unless the complainant opts out of filing any or all claims under the act.
(1) The statute of limitations with regard to all state law claims that relate back to any claim filed with a local agency shall be tolled as of the date of the first filing of a complaint with an agency.
(2) The time for commencing an action for which the statute of limitations is tolled under paragraph (1) expires one year from the date notice of a pending binding decision is received under paragraph (1) of subdivision (g), one year from the date of the right-to-sue notice by the agency, or when the federal right-to-sue period to commence a civil action expires, whichever is later.
(d) A locally filed complaint shall not be refiled with or transferred to the department, nor shall the department be empowered or required to review the agency’s administrative determination, unless both the department and the agency enter a work sharing agreement that permits such refiling, transfer, or review.
(e) When a complaint is filed with an agency and is also deemed a complaint under the act, the agency is empowered to issue a right-to-sue notice under the act. However, the issuance of a right-to-sue notice under the act shall terminate the local agency’s administrative process with respect to the complaint.
(f) In the case of a claim filed with an agency that is also deemed a complaint under the act, if a local antidiscrimination ordinance does not give the agency the authority to issue a binding adjudication of the complaint, a right-to-sue notice shall be issued by the agency as follows:
(1) The complainant may request and receive a right-to-sue notice under the act at any time during the administrative process.
(2) The agency shall issue a right-to-sue notice under the act at the completion of its investigation or at the maximum time provided for investigations by the department, whichever is sooner.
(g) In the case of a claim filed with an agency that is also deemed a complaint under the act, if local law authorizes the agency to conduct or initiate a binding administrative adjudication of the complaint, a right-to-sue notice shall be issued by the agency as follows:
(1) The complainant may request and receive a right-to-sue notice under the act at any time during the administrative process until 10 business days after a notice is given that a binding decision will be issued. The notice shall inform the complainant that they will no longer be able to request a right-to-sue after 10 business days of receiving the notice and the notice shall also inform the complainant of their appeals rights after a binding decision is issued. Thereafter, no right-to-sue notice under the act may be issued by the agency and any claims under the act may be pursued with the agency only through administrative adjudication and subsequent appeals described in subdivision (h).
(2) The agency shall issue a right-to-sue notice under the act at the completion of its investigation or at the maximum time provided for investigations by the department, whichever is sooner, except if, before the maximum time provided for department investigations, the local agency completes its investigation and issues notice that it will seek a binding administrative adjudication in favor of the complainant. Thereafter, a right-to-sue notice under the act may be issued only in accordance with paragraph (1).
(h) Any party may obtain judicial review of an agency’s binding determination pursuant to Section 1094.5 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
SEC. 3.
 The Legislature finds and declares that a special statute is necessary and that a general statute cannot be made applicable within the meaning of Section 16 of Article IV of the California Constitution because of the need to establish a pilot program for local agency enforcement of antidiscrimination laws regarding employment in the County of Los Angeles.