The worker’s rights movement did not wait for congress to act-Our coalitions, led by the California labor movement, many faith-rooted allies and many advocacy groups, won major new protections for workers and their families, especially for immigrants. Pueblo De Fe Unido with your support worked hard for this list of victories within that broad coalition. Here are some laws new on the books, passed by the legislature and signed by governor Jerry Brown. Now we must struggle to educate people about these protections and resist the forces that will try to block and defeat enforcement.
- Assembly Bill 10 (“AB 10”) increases the minimum wage from $8 to $9 an hour effective July 1, 2014, and to $10 an hour as of January 1, 2016. This marks the first increase to California’s minimum wage law since 2008. For workers required to supply their own tools, minimum wage from $16 now to $18 in 2014 and $20 in 2016.
- AB 4 , the Trust Act, prohibits state and local law enforcement from detaining people for the purpose of delivering them to federal “ICE” immigration detention unless they have committed serious crimes.
- AB 60 will allow undocumented Californians to apply for a driver’s license starting in 2016.
- AB 241 requires that domestic workers be paid overtime (one and a half times regular hourly pay for every hour after 9 in a day or 45 in a week.)
- AB 263 prohibits employers to use immigration-related threats and document re-checks to retaliate against workers for exercising their rights. The penalties include $10,000 fines and the possibility a court will suspend the offender’s business license.
- AB 524 defines turning a person in to immigration authorities in order to get away with wage theft as criminal extortion.
- SB 666 prohibits employers or lawyers from threats of reporting immigration status of a worker or family member in retaliation for the worker exercising labor rights or in retaliation for testifying before any public body.
- Senate Bill 435 (“SB 435”) Requires paid “recovery periods” to cool down from extreme heat stress.
- AB 1195 Allows every crime victim to access the police report, regardless of immigration status.
- AB 35 prevents unqualified unaccredited persons from charging fees for filing an application for deferred action (for dreamers) and AB 1159 prevents immigration lawyers and consultants from charging for services related to the immigration reform proposals that are not yet law.
- SB 141 allows US citizen children, living abroad because a parent was deported from California, to gain eligibility for in-state tuition.
- SB 150 Allows some high school students to pay in-state tuition while attending community college classes.
Meanwhile there is so much more legislative work to do on comprehensive immigration reform and so much more, but let us celebrate and implement these victories.