Written By Christopher B. Dolan, Steven Balogh and Nancy Villatoro
This week’s question comes from Fred in Oakland: Every year, it seems laws get changed or updated. Can you share some laws that your firm may be looking out for in 2022?
Thanks for your question, Fred. During the first of the year the California legislature and Governor enact numerous bills that affect the courts or are of interest to the judicial branch. This year is no exception and the same thing happened in 2022. This is not a complete summary of all the laws, but here are some laws that we believe are worth mentioning as they relate to personal injury and employment law:
AB 855 Judicial Holidays
Native American Day (4th Friday in September: 9/23/22) replaces Columbus Day.
SB 241 More Efficient Courts
Remote appearances are extended until 2023. The general rule that other case deadlines are also extended for the same length of time as a continuance or postponement now also applies to arbitration. Courts are required to hear minor’s compromise petitions within 30 days of filing and, if the petition is uncontested, to issue a decision upon the hearing’s conclusion.
SB 447 Pain & Suffering in Survival Actions
Updates CCP 377.34 puts a deceased person’s non-economic damages back on the table for their survivors. Applies to all causes filed starting this year through to the end of 2026. Learn more here.
SB 331 Silenced No More Act
The prohibition on NDAs in settlement agreements has been expanded from just those involving sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination to cover settlement agreements for all forms of harassment or discrimination. SB 331 also expands the prohibition on overly broad confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses to include workers who have to sign one as part of a severance agreement. This only applies to agreements made after 1/1/22.
SB 93 Rehiring and Retention
Employers are required to essentially give laid-off workers right of first refusal for their old jobs. Requires an employer to keep records of these offers for three years.
AB 1033 Expanding the California Family Rights Act
Employers with at least 5 employees must provide employees up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave from work, on an annual basis, to care for a parent-in-law with a serious medical condition.
AB 849 Undoing Jarman v. HCR Manorcare (2020) 10 Cal.5th 375
Caps violations of regulatory resident rights (at skilled nursing and intermediate care facilities) at $500 per violation. The new caps apply to violations occurring after March 1, 2021.
AB 654 Covid-19 Exposure Employer Notification Requirement
Employers must provide local public health agencies with notice within 48 hours or a business day, whichever is later, upon learning of a potential exposure event. The Employer is also required to notify the employees, customers, and anyone else on site who may have been exposed. Only applies through to the end of 2022.
AB 701 Warehouse Workers Quota and pace-of-work standards Disclosures
Requires disclosure of quotas and workers cannot be fired or retaliated against for falling to meet an unsafe quota. The bill focuses on the relationship between quotas and incidence of workplace injury.
SB 762 Arbitration Invoice Payment Requirements
Amends Code of Civil Procedure §§ 1281.97 and 1281.98 to change the default rule to all arbitrator invoices are due upon receipt, unless the parties’ arbitration agreement sets a number of days. Extensions for invoice payments must be agreed upon by all parties to the arbitration.
Minors on horses on highways must wear approved helmets.
SB 286 Delivery App Tips
Tips for delivery cannot be retained by the apps but go to the delivery driver. Tips for pickup still go to the restaurant.
SB 389 Alcohol to go
Restaurants can sell alcohol to go through to the end of 2026.
AB 177 Judicial Evaluation of Remote Proceedings
The judicial counsel is to collect data on how many and how well remote proceedings are doing and present this information to the Legislature and governor by January 2023. This law also requires the Judicial Council to come up with guidelines on how to administer remote proceedings in the same timeframe.