A California Chamber of Commerce-opposed “job killer” bill that unfairly subjects California employers to costly litigation will be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee soon.
SB 404 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) exposes employers to a higher risk of litigation by expanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include a protected classification for any person who is, perceived to be, or associated with an individual who provides medical or supervisory care to a listed family member.
SB 404 proposes to include “familial status” as a protected classification under the FEHA to prevent discrimination on such basis. The term “familial status” is broadly defined as any:
- Individual who provides “medical or supervisory care” to a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner;
- Employee who is “perceived” as someone who provides medical or supervisory care to a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or in-law; or
- Person who is “associated” with a person who provides medical or supervisory care to a child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or in-law.
The term “medical” care is undefined and therefore could be liberally interpreted to include such tasks as administering over-the-counter medication once a day or even driving a listed family member to a doctor’s appointment on a quarterly basis. Moreover, “supervisory” care is also ambiguous and would expand this proposed classification to employees who are not actually providing any care to a covered family member, but rather “supervising” the care the family member receives.
SB 404 will be considered by the Assembly Appropriations Committee soon. Contact your Assemblymember and ask him/her to oppose SB 404.
CalChamber Policy Advocate: Jennifer Barrera