New Laws in California

AB 168—Salary History: This bill prohibits employers from relying on the salary history of an applicant for employment as a factor in determining whether to offer employment or what salary to offer. This bill also prohibits an employer from seeking salary history information and requires employers, upon reasonable request, to provide the pay scale for a position to an applicant for employment. This bill does not prohibit an applicant from voluntarily and without prompting disclosing salary history information.

AB 265—Copay Coupons: This bill prohibits drug manufacturers from offering any discount, repayment, voucher or other reduction in an individual’s out-of-pocket expenses associated with his or her health insurance coverage for any prescription drug if a lower cost generic drug is covered under the individual’s health insurance on a lower cost sharing tier that is designated as therapeutically equivalent.

AB 1048—Pain Management Drugs: Beginning July 1, 2018, This bill authorizes a pharmacist to dispense a controlled substance as a partial fill and requires a health insurer to prorate the insured’s cost sharing.

SB 17—Prescription Drug Pricing Transparency: Among other things, this bill requires certain manufacturers of prescription drugs to notify the purchasers of an increase in the wholesale acquisition cost of a drug if the increase exceeds a specified threshold. The notice must be given at least 60 days prior to the planned effective date of the increase.

SB 63—Parental Leave: Existing law provides unpaid, job-protected parental leave for employees of employers with 50 or more employees within 75 miles of each other. This bill extends these protections to employees of employers with 20 or more employees within 75 miles. In order to be eligible, employees must have more than 12 months of service and at least 1,250 hours of service with the covered employer during the 12-month period prior to the start of the leave.  Employees can take the leave within one year of the child’s birth or placement for adoption or foster care.

SB 133—Continuity of Care: This bill creates a continuity of care right for chronically ill individuals (as defined) to be provided by a succeeding insurance company if the plan dropped the health benefit product they were covered under or left the portion of the market in which the patient was covered. The insurer can require the nonparticipating provider to agree in writing to be subject to the same contractual terms and conditions that are imposed on currently participating providers providing similar services who are practicing in the same or a similar geographic area.

SB 295—Farm Labor Contractors: This bill requires farm labor contractors to conduct sexual harassment training for certain employees by providing the training in the language understood by the employee.

SB 396—Anti-Harassment Training: Existing law requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide two hours of sexual harassment training to supervisors every two years. This bill requires that the anti-harassment training also include a component on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation. The training must include practical examples inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation and must be presented by trainers or educators with knowledge and experience in these areas. This law also requires employers with five or more employees to post a new workplace notice, to be developed by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing, regarding transgender rights.

 


John Garner

About John Garner

John Garner has over thirty five years of experience in employee benefits. He specializes in compliance, health care reform, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). He helps clients with life, health, and disability benefits, cost containment, flexible benefits, and claim consulting.

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