Capitol Alert

Jerry Brown pondering family leave, anti-discrimination bills

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation earlier this month granting agricultural workers the same right to overtime pay as other Californians, and on Wednesday he signed a relatively minor bill to improve working conditions at nail salons.

But as the Democratic governor wades through nearly 600 more bills sent to him by the Legislature in its end-of-session rush, he still has other labor matters to consider.

Here are two bills worth watching:

Assembly Bill 2844 (Assemblyman Richard Bloom, D-Santa Monica): Requires companies seeking state contracts to ensure they aren’t violating nondiscrimination laws, including with their policies toward Israel.

Analysis: Global politics inform this Legislative Jewish Caucus priority bill targeting the “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement, which seeks to punish Israel for its treatment of Palestinians by refusing to do business with the country. Jewish legislators discussed the bill with Brown but the governor has given no public indication of his stance.

Senate Bill 654 (Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson): Offers up to six weeks of protected unpaid parental leave to employees of businesses with between 20 and 49 employees.

Analysis: Brown vetoed a family leave bill last year that would have expanded the kind of relatives workers could take time off to care for. That measure, like SB 654, incurred significant opposition from business groups and earned the California Chamber of Commerce’s “job killer” tag, though Brown wrote in his veto message that he was concerned about a disparity between federal and state law and said he was open to a more generous policy. Earlier this year, Brown signed legislation boosting the compensation rate from California’s paid family leave program.

David Siders: 916-321-1215, @davidsiders

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