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AB-1174 Right to work: labor organizations. (2017-2018)

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Date Published: 02/17/2017 09:00 PM

Revised  March 28, 2017


Assembly Bill
No. 1174

Introduced by Assembly Member Harper Members Harper and Melendez
(Principal coauthor: Senator Moorlach)
(Coauthor: Senator Fuller)

February 17, 2017

An act to amend Section 922 of the Labor Code, relating to employment.


AB 1174, as introduced, Harper. Right to work: labor organizations.
Under existing law, it is against public policy for an employer and a prospective employee to enter into an agreement whereby either or both of them promise to join, or not to join, or remain a member of, a labor or an employer organization or to withdraw from an employment relation should one party or the other join or remain a member of a labor or employer organization. Existing law also grants state employees the right to form, join, and participate in the activities of employee organizations of their own choosing for the purpose of representation on matters of employer-employee relations and provides that once an employee organization is recognized as the exclusive representative of an appropriate bargaining unit, it may enter into an agreement with the state employer to provide for organizational security in the form of maintenance of membership or fair share fee deduction.
Under existing law, it is a misdemeanor for an employer to coerce or compel a person to enter into an agreement to not join or to become a member of, a labor organization, as a condition of securing or continuing in employment.
This bill would, commencing January 1, 2018, prohibit a person from requiring an employee, as a condition of obtaining or continuing employment, to contribute financial support to a labor organization or financially support a charity or other organization sponsored by, or at the behest of, a labor organization. This bill would permit an employee or potential employee to seek injunctive relief or monetary damages, or both, for violations or threatened violations of these provisions. This bill would exempt specified employers and employees covered by federal law and would exempt circumstances that would be preempted by federal law from these provisions.
Because this bill would expand the definition of a crime, it would impose a state-mandated local program.
The California Constitution requires the state to reimburse local agencies and school districts for certain costs mandated by the state. Statutory provisions establish procedures for making that reimbursement.
This bill would provide that no reimbursement is required by this act for a specified reason.
Vote: MAJORITY   Appropriation: NO   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: YES  

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


 This act shall be known and may be cited as the “California Right to Work Act of 2017.”

SEC. 2.

 Section 922 of the Labor Code is amended to read:

 Any (a) For purposes of this section, the following terms have the following meanings:
(1) “Employer” means a person, firm, association or corporation, public entity, school, college, university, institution, or an education agency.
(2) “Labor organization” means any organization, agency, employee representation committee, or union that exists for the purpose, in whole or in part, of dealing with employers concerning wages, rates of pay, hours of work, and other conditions of employment or forms of compensation.
(b) Any person or agent or officer thereof who coerces or compels any person to enter into an agreement, written or verbal, not to join or become a member of any labor organization, do any of the following as a condition of securing employment or continuing in the employment of any such person is guilty of a misdemeanor. misdemeanor:
(1) Enter into an agreement, written or verbal, not to join or to remain a member of a labor organization.
(2) Pay any dues, fees, or assessments, or other similar charges, however denominated, of any kind or amount to a labor organization.
(3) Pay to any charity or other third party, in lieu of the payments described in paragraph (2), an amount equivalent to, or a pro rata portion of, dues, fees, assessments, or other charges required of a member of a labor organization.
(c) (1) A person injured as a result of a violation or threatened violation of this section may obtain the following remedies:
(A) Injunctive relief against a violator or person threatening a violation.
(B) Monetary damages, including costs and reasonable attorney’s fees, resulting from a violation or threatened violation.
(2) These remedies are independent of and in addition to the penalties and remedies prescribed in other provisions of this chapter.
(d) This section does not apply to any of the following:
(1) Employers and employees covered by the federal Railway Labor Act (45 U.S.C. Sec. 151 et seq.).
(2) Federal employers and employees.
(3) Employers and employees on exclusive federal enclaves.
(4) Circumstances that would otherwise conflict with, or be preempted by, federal law.
(5) An employment contract entered into before January 1, 2018. However, this chapter applies to any subsequent renewal or extension of such a contract.

SEC. 3.

 The provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.

SEC. 4.

 No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school district will be incurred because 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.

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