CLIENT ALERT: AB 5 “Opportunity to Work Act"

12/05/2016

CLIENT ALERT: Statewide “Opportunity to Work” Legislation Introduced

On December 5, 2016, two California Assembly Members introduced AB 5, titled the “Opportunity to Work Act.”  AB 5 would require any employer with 10 or more employees in California to offer additional hours of work to existing employees before hiring new employees (including employees or subcontractors provided by a temp agency).  Work would only need to be offered to an existing employee if, in the employer’s “reasonable judgment,” the employee had the “skills and experience to perform the work.”  Employers would not be required to offer additional work hours if doing so would require the employer to pay overtime.  Employees could file civil suits against employers for violations of the Act, and would be entitled to recover attorney’s fees if they prevail.

AB 5 is based on San Jose, CA’s Measure E, which voters approved in November, and which will go into effect next spring.  Like AB 5, Measure E generally requires employers to offer existing employees additional hours before hiring new employees.  Other cities, including Seattle and San Francisco, have also passed similar measures, though they generally apply to a narrower set of employers and employees (those in certain specific industries, for example).

The complete text of AB 5 is available here:  https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201720180AB5 

Mullen & Henzell’s employment law group will continue to monitor AB 5’s progress during the 2017-2018 legislative session.  For more information please contact Brian Daly or Rafael Gonzalez.

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