NCJW California is prioritizing the following four state bills in 2018:
SB 982: Ending Deep Childhood Poverty
NCJW-CA is proud to be a co-sponsor of this important bill. Growing up in deep poverty impairs children’s ability to learn, develop and thrive. Decades of research reveal the negative impacts of poverty on children’s health, educational achievement, and adult success. “Deep poverty” is defined as living in a family with an income below 50 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Children in deep poverty suffer the worst outcomes. Deep poverty causes toxic stress that harms brain development and early functioning, disrupting a child’s ability to succeed in school and life. SB 982 will endeavor to eliminate deep poverty in the CalWORKs program by placing a minimum grant level to ensure no CalWORKs grant falls below 50 percent of the federal poverty line. By doing so, this bill will protect children from the worst harms of chronically unmet basic needs and better enable the CalWORKs program to achieve its goals.
SB 10: Money Bail Reform (Hertzberg) NCJW | LA’s position has changed to oppose
After a year of proactively advocating for the passage of SB 10 through visits with legislators, phone banks, and action alerts, the National Council of Jewish Women | Los Angeles (NCJW | LA) has changed its position from strong support to opposition to Senate Bill 10 (Hertzberg), the Money Bail Reform Act. We are deeply disappointed in the proposed amendments to the bill that were made just last week and we believe these amendments will perpetuate racial and socioeconomic disparities and biases in California’s criminal justice system. The changes allow for substantial discretion at the local and judicial level likely resulting in increased rates of pretrial detention. Because NCJW | LA’s work and mission focus on expanding equity and economic justice, we feel it would be irresponsible and counter to our organizational values to support the bill in its current form. NCJW | LA is committed to reforming the bail system and will continue to work alongside our coalition partners to eliminate the predatory practice of money bail in California. To learn more about our position, click here.
AB 900: Victim Compensation for Human Trafficking Victims (Gonzalez-Fletcher)
California has a state fund—the Victim Compensation Program (VCP)—dedicated to compensating victims of violent crime for various categories of economic losses, including “lost income,” that they suffer as a result of the crimes committed against them. Trafficking victims do not have access to the formal documentation currently required to verify income loss because the requirements presume lawful recordkeeping of employment and the cooperation of employers (i.e., criminal traffickers). The bill expressly states that the VCP Board may authorize compensation for income loss suffered by human trafficking victims for the period that they are forced to labor with little or no pay. To ensure that the statute and regulations do not require documentary evidence that trafficking victims cannot realistically provide, the bill also instructs the Board to adopt guidelines that allow it to rely on evidence other than official employment documentation in considering and approving trafficking victims’ applications for lost income compensation.
SB 1300: Closing Legal Loopholes for Sexual Harassment Victims (Jackson)
This bill contains some proposals to combat sexual harassment in the workplace and to support the rights of victims of sexual harassment. The bill would prohibit an employer from requiring the execution of a release of a claim or right under the Fair Employment and Housing Act in exchange for a raise or bonus or as a condition of employment or continued employment. The bill would prohibit an employer from requiring an employee to sign a non-disparagement agreement or another document that purports to deny the employee the right to disclose information about unlawful acts in the workplace, including but not limited to, sexual harassment. The bill would provide that an agreement or document in violation of either of those prohibitions is contrary to public policy and unenforceable. Also, FEHA requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide at least 2 hours of prescribed training and education regarding sexual harassment to all supervisory employees within six months of their assumption of a supervisory position and once every two years, as specified. This bill, instead, would require any employer to provide that training to all employees in California within six months of their hire and once every two years. The bill also would require an employer to provide bystander intervention training, as specified, and to provide information to each employee on how to report harassment and how to contact the department to make a complaint.
NCJW|LA is also prioritizing the following state bills in 2018:
AB 334 (Cooper) – Sexual Assault
Sexual Assault - This bill extends the statute of limitations for civil liability based on sexual assault (to the later of: up to ten years after the act or up to three years of discovery of an injury resulting from the assault), expands who may administer a sexual assault forensic examination to nurse practitioners and physician’s assistants, clarifies language to be consistent in the statutes, and increases the reimbursement costs for conducting a sexual assault forensic exam from $300, to up to $1,000.
SB 320 (Leyva) - Medication Abortion:
Current law establishes the University of California, under the administration of the Regents of the University of California, and the California State University, under the administration of the Trustees of the California State University, as 2 of the segments of public postsecondary education in this state. This bill would express findings and declarations of the Legislature relating to the availability of abortion by medication techniques at on-campus student health centers at public postsecondary educational institutions in the state.
NCJW|LA is a coalition partner of the Fair Workweek LA Campaign for Los Angeles City:
Fair Workweek LA is a coalition of labor, community groups, health advocates, and retail workers fighting for a Fair Workweek in the city of Los Angeles. We are advocating for a comprehensive policy for retail workers that would include:
- Advance notice of schedules
- Predictability pay
- Pay for cancelled or on-call shifts
- Right to rest between shifts
- Consent to last-minute additions
- Right to request a flexible working arrangement
- Promoting full-time work
- No discrimination based on hours of work
- Record-keeping requirements
The retail industry is one of Los Angeles’ biggest employers, with almost 140,000 retail workers in the city. Los Angeles needs to fight for a comprehensive Fair Workweek policy to make retail work more just for these thousands of workers. We must expand on what other cities have done and create a model for other cities to follow.