2015 Legislative Developments: Legislation Affecting Employment Status

An Employer’s Guide to New Laws Impacting the Workplace in 2016 and Beyond

November 12, 2015 | Bulletin No. 1273985.1

The California Legislature has enacted a number of new laws that will impact employers and employees in 2016. In eight installments, Kronick will provide you with helpful summaries by category. The fifth installment covers legislation affecting employment status.


V. Legislation Affecting Employment Status

A. AB 202 (Gonzalez): Professional Sports Team Cheerleaders

The bill adds section 2754 to the Labor Code. 

A cheerleader who is utilized by a California based professional sports team either directly or through a labor contractor is deemed to be an employee of the team. A California-based team means a team that plays the majority of its home games in California. A cheerleader means an individual who performs acrobatics, dance, or gymnastic exercises on a recurring basis. A professional sports team is either a minor or major league level team in the sports of baseball, basketball, football, ice hockey, or soccer. 

B. AB 359 (Gonzalez): Grocery Workers

The bill adds Part 9.5 (commencing with section 2500) to Division 2 of the Labor Code.

  1. Obligations of Incumbent Grocery Employer. The new law requires that within 15 days after the execution of a transfer document an incumbent grocery must provide the successor grocery employer with the name, address, date of hire, and employment occupation classification of each eligible employee. The incumbent employer is required to post a notice of the change in control at the affected location within five business days following execution of the transfer document.
  2. Obligations of Successor Grocery Employer. The successor grocery employer must maintain a preferential hiring list of eligible employees identified by the incumbent employer and must hire from that list for a period beginning with the execution of the transfer document and continuing for 90 days after the grocery establishment is fully operational and open to the public under the successor grocery employer. An eligible employee hired pursuant to the above must be retained for at least 90 days under the terms and conditions of employment established by the successor employer and pursuant to the terms of any applicable collective bargaining agreement. If the successor employer operates with fewer employees than the incumbent employer, eligible employees shall be retained based on seniority within job classifications. During the 90-day transition period, eligible employees retained under the new law may only be discharged for cause. At the end of the 90-day transition period, the successor employer is required to conduct a written performance evaluation of each eligible employee retained. If the employee’s work performance has been satisfactory, the successor employer is required to consider offering the employee continued employment.
  3. Definitions:
    1. Change in control means any disposition of all or substantially all of the assets or controlling interest.
    2. Eligible grocery worker means any individual whose primary place of employment is at the grocery establishment subject to a change in control and who has worked for the incumbent employer for at least six months prior to execution of the transfer document. The term does not include managerial, supervisory, or confidential employees.
    3. Grocery establishment means any food retail store over 15,000 square feet.
    4. Incumbent grocery employer means the person that owns, controls, or operates the grocery establishment at the time of change of control.
    5. Successor grocery employer means the person that owns, controls, or operates the grocery establishment after the change of control.
    6. Transfer document means the purchase agreement or other document effecting the change in control.