Legislation

Consumer Attorneys of California is the first line of defense in the state Capitol and at the ballot box to protect consumer legal rights. Each year bills are introduced by big tobacco, insurance, HMO and other corporations to restrict or eliminate your legal rights. CAOC is there to fight such "tort reform" measures to ensure that every Californian has access to the courts. We also sponsor legislation to protect consumer legal rights and work through the state budgetary process to ensure adequate funding of California's civil justice system.
 

2018 Legislation
 

ENDING PROTECTION OF SEXUAL PREDATORS

AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher) – This bill will ensure that workers are not forced to waive their right to take harassment, discrimination, and labor claims against their boss to a court or state agency.  Forcing workers to sign these waivers lets companies keep harassment, discrimination, and labor violation claims out of court, effectively cloaking them in secrecy and, in some cases, allowing serial harassers and repeat violators to continue their conduct for years. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Assembly, in Senate

AB 1870 (Reyes, Friedman, Waldron) – The SHARE Act (Stopping Harassment and Reporting Extension) will extend the time for filing harassment and discrimination claims under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA). This bill would extend the filing requirement from one year to three years, allowing victims additional time to seek redress and  making it more consistent with the filing time limits for other actions.  Low wage earners are particularly harmed by the short filing time. Most low wage workers who suffered harassment or discrimination are not aware of their legal rights and do not know that that they are time barred if they do not file within a year. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Assembly, in Senate

SB 820 (Leyva) – Known at the STAND Act (Stand Together Against Non-Disclosures), this bill will end protection of sexual predators by banning secret settlements, the confidentiality provisions in settlement agreements, in cases of sexual harassment, sexual assault and sex discrimination. This measure was sparked by the case of Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein, accused by at least 80 women of sexual misconduct, including rape, sexual assault and harassment. His decades-long predatory behavior was kept secret in part due to the legal instruments that allowed him to hide behind the guise of confidentiality that barred victims from ever sharing their stories. This allows repeat offenders to continue to harass while silencing victims. By shining a bright light on this wrongdoing, the STAND Act will have a deterrent effect.  Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Senate, in Assembly

AB 1867 (Reyes) – Would require California businesses with 50 or more employees to keep records of employee complaints of sexual harassment for 10 years from the date of filing. This will make it harder for employers to conceal a history of harassment by an employee and provide evidence that an employer was aware of previous issues with an employee’s behavior. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Assembly, in Senate

INTERNET DATA PRIVACY AND PROTECTIONS

AB 375 (Chau, Hertzberg, Dodd) – Enacts the nation's most sweeping data privacy and protection measures. Among other data privacy protections, it allows consumers to insist that companies not sell their personal information and requires parents to give their approval before a company sells data about a minor, among other protections. To protect against data breaches, companies would face civil legal liability and potential action by the state Attorney General if they failed to protect consumer data from internet pirates. Bill information  STATUS: Signed by Gov. Jerry Brown  

SB 1121 (Dodd) – This measure comes in the aftermath of a series of data breaches that amplified with last year's massive Equifax scandal, which hit more than 145 million U.S. consumers (59% of the U.S. adult population).  SB 1121 will encourage better data management practices, boost accountability and prevent future incursions by adding teeth to California’s Information Practices Act and providing civil damages between $200 and $1,000 for victims of database breaches. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Senate, in Assembly

REDUCING COSTS, SPEEDING CIVIL JUSTICE

SB 1012 (Hertzberg) – SB 1012 will allow more cases to qualify for California's expedited jury trials, saving time and money for all parties as well as taxpayer dollars by freeing up crowded courtrooms. Under current law, expedited trials are required with some exceptions for "limited" civil cases seeking $25,000 or less. SB 1012 would expand that threshold to cases up to $50,000. It also is expected to be amended to add an additional tier for cases above $50,000 in an effort to increase court efficiencies by incorporating possible new procedures including reasonable limits on discovery, the number of expert witnesses and the use of better technology.  Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Senate, in Assembly

PATIENTS RIGHT TO KNOW


SB 1448 (Hill) – This measure would require doctors placed on probation for a serious offense after July 2019 to notify their patients of their discipline prior to the patient's first visit. It applies only to doctors on probation for offenses such as sexual abuse or misconduct, drug or alcohol abuse, a criminal conviction involving harm to patient health or safety, or inappropriate prescribing. SB 1448 would correct the problem with doctors who have histories of sexual assault or other serious misconduct hiding their misdeeds for years or in some cases even decades without their patients knowing. The recent case against Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar, who was convicted after decades of abusing the athletes under his care, highlights the need to protect patients when regulators fail to act. Fact sheet (PDF)  STATUS: Approved by Senate, in Assembly

MORE EFFICIENT CIVIL PROCEDURES

AB 2230 (Berman) – This court efficiencies measure will simplify the current procedure for separate statements. When parties have a discovery dispute, they file a motion to compel the discovery accompanied with a separate statement. Current court rules require so much detail in these separate statements that they often amount to anywhere from fifty pages to entire reams of paper. AB 2230 will promote efficiency by giving judges the option to require either a full separate statement or instead a concise outline of the discovery issues in dispute.  Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Assembly, in Senate

HELPING ASBESTOS VICTIMS

SB 632 (Monning) – Clarifies that dying asbestos victims receive the benefit of current law that provides a presumptive time limit of a seven-hour deposition for dying victims. Fact sheet (PDF)   STATUS: Approved by Senate, in Assembly

CAOC 2017 Legislative wrap up (pdf)

CAOC 2016 Legislative wrap up (pdf)

CAOC 2015-16 Legislative Update and Defeated Bills (pdf)

CAOC 2015-2016 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf)

CAOC 2014-2015 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf)

CAOC 2013-2014 Legislative Report (CAOC members) (pdf) 

Join the Legislative Review Committee (pdf)

Legislative Archive