Child Care Legislative Roundup 2016

The 2016 legislative cycle that ended September 30th  resulted in laws that will impact working parents and their children, child care professionals and our child care delivery system.  Here is a summary of enacted bills, as well as select bills that did not become law:

  • SB 3 (Leno) establishes a statewide, graduated minimum wage increase that will result in a minimum wage of $15/hour by the year 2022. The law begins by setting a minimum wage of $10/hour as of January 1, 2016. Employers with 25 or fewer employees will have an additional year to pay the scheduled increases.  Effective July 1, 2018, the bill also extends the paid sick days guarantee to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers.  Read our full analysis of how California’s new minimum wage law will impact the child care industry here.
  • SB 1015 (Leyva). Known as the 2016 Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, this bill extends the protections that were set to expire January 1, 2017.  Over 300,000 California domestic workers — nannies, housecleaners and home-based caregivers who are primarily immigrant women –are guaranteed protection regarding wages, hours and working conditions, including the right to receive overtime pay after an 8-hour workday or 40-hour workweek. A Fact Sheet on domestic workers’ rights is available.
  • AB 1567 (Campos) would waive  fees  and  give  priority  access  to  state -funded  before and after school  programs  for  children  who  are  homeless,  or foster students.  The bill requires programs to inform the parent or caregiver of a child who is homeless or in foster care of the child’s right to receive priority enrollment and how to request it. The law becomes effective on July 1, 2017.
  • AB 2036 (Lopez) is a consumer education bill for parents looking for or using child care services. The bill will require on-line child care posting services to make additional information available about license-exempt child care providers, including Trustline registry information or other background check services conducted.  Online child care job posting services would also need to include on their websites a statement regarding a parent’s right to certain complaint information, and a written description of the background check provided.
  • SB 1234 (De Leon) This bill will promote greater retirement savings for Californians by giving all  private sector workers a workplace retirement plan.  Employers with five or more employees who do not offer an employer-sponsored retirement plan will be required to offer access to the California Secure Choice Retirement Program.  Workers will participate through automatic payroll contributions (starting at 3% and increasing to 8%) with an “opt-out” provision.  This bill would provide a retirement savings option to many child care employees who do not currently have access to a retirement plan.

The following bills either failed to pass out of various committees or the Assembly and/or Senate Floors, and died with the close of this legislative session, or were passed by the Legislature but vetoed by the Governor.

  • AB 2150 (Santiago, Weber, Gonzalez) would have guaranteed a minimum of 12 months of eligibility for all CDE-administered subsidized child care programs and eliminated burdensome reporting requirements. It would have updated the financial eligibility guidelines for subsidized child care programs. These changes would have brought California into compliance with the CCDBG Act of 2014. This bill, co-sponsored by the Child Care Law Center and Parent Voices, was held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
  • SB 654 (Sen. Jackson) would have required small businesses with 20 or more employees to allow new parents to take up to six weeks of unpaid leave without losing their job. The law would have provided job protection for up to 2.7 million workers who currently have no guarantee that they can keep their job if they take time off following the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child.  The Governor vetoed this bill, citing as his reason the increased litigation exposure that small businesses would face.
  • SB 878 (Leyva) would have provided predictable work schedules to covered employees in restaurants, grocery and retail stores. Subject to limited exceptions, employers in these covered industries would have been required to provide a 21 day work schedule listing all employee shifts at least seven days in advance of the first shift on the schedule.  The bill passed through Senate appropriations and was placed on suspense file.
  • AB 492 (Gonzalez) would have provided a diaper benefit of $50 per month for every child, 2 years old or younger, who is enrolled in child care so that the parent could have participated in CalWORKs Welfare-to-Work  activities. The Governor vetoed this bill because it was not a part of the original budget.

**In an earlier version of this post, we mistakenly reported that AB 492 was signed into law, but it was vetoed by Governor Brown on September 25, 2016.