AB 79 – Adds More Specific Requirements For Union Access To Enrollment Orientation For New IHSS Providers (Budget Trailer Bill Effective Immediately On June 29, 2020)

CATEGORY: Client Update for Public Agencies, Fire Watch, Law Enforcement Briefing Room
CLIENT TYPE: Public Employers, Public Safety
DATE: Oct 26, 2020

On June 29, 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law the State Budget and its accompanying budget trailer bills. Included among these budget trailer bills, AB 79 changes how and when a recognized labor union can make a presentation to prospective in-home supportive services (IHSS) providers at the time the provider first enrolls with the relevant county agency, public authority, or non-profit consortium. 

As a budget trailer bill, AB 79 became effective immediately upon the Governor’s approval of the bill on June 29, 2020.

Currently, union representatives must be granted access to the new provider orientation to make a presentation of up to thirty minutes. Previously, the law required the county and union, on request by either party, to negotiate regarding the details of the union’s access rights.

AB 79 removes the negotiation element, and instead dictates specific terms for such orientation access. AB 79 specifies that the union must be allowed to give its presentation at the beginning of the orientation. It also requires a county, prior to scheduling a new provider orientation, to provide the union with at least 10 days advance notice of the planned time, date, and location of the orientation. If the union notifies the county within three business days that it is unavailable for the planned orientation, AB 79 requires the county to make reasonable efforts to reschedule the orientation so the union can attend, so long as rescheduling would not delay the provider enrollment by more than 10 business days. Prior to the orientation, AB 79 also requires the county to provide the union with each prospective provider’s name, address, and home telephone number, personal cellular telephone number (if known), and personal email address (if known).

In addition, AB 79 adds language to the Welfare and Institutions Code prohibiting counties from discouraging prospective providers from attending, participating, or listening to the union’s orientation presentation, but specifies that prospective providers may choose not to participate in the union’s presentation. This additional language is not a significant change in the law, as the anti-interference provisions of the Meyers-Milias-Brown Act already covered the prohibited conduct.

(AB 79 amends Section 12301.24 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.)