Press Release

Sen. Smallwood-Cuevas Proposes Impactful 2023 Bill Package

Senator Smallwood-Cuevas Proposes Impactful Bill Package for 2023

Senator Smallwood-Cuevas Introduces a Package of Legislation Focusing on Worker and Civil Rights Protections


SACRAMENTO – Senator Lola Smallwood-Cuevas (D-Los Angeles) has introduced a package of legislation to better empower working Californians. In her first year in office, Senator Smallwood-Cuevas introduced a bill package that addresses the compounded poverty and onramps to prosperity through good jobs and social safety net programs. The Senator’s bill package centers the needs of working families, and protects the right to collective bargaining.


“The majority of the crisis that Californians suffer from are because of failed public policies,” said Senator Smallwood-Cuevas. “As a newly elected Senator, there’s a tremendous opportunity to be able to help our State Legislature make a course correction by presenting legislation that re-centers our communities and create a more equitable California.”


Senator Smallwood-Cuevas’ legislative package focuses on creating greater equity in communities across the state by providing stronger worker protections, discrimination enforcement, and access to green technologies. Her bill package includes:


  • Local Enforcement of Fair Employment and Housing – SB 16

Empowers local civil rights agencies to enforce prohibitions against discrimination in employment and housing.


  • Black History Month – SCR 30

Recognizes February 2023 as Black History Month and the importance of celebrating the historic contributions of Black Americans.


  • Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Act – SB 497

Creates a rebuttable presumption that retaliation occurred when the employer punishes or terminates a worker within 90 days of the worker’s complaint of wage theft or unequal pay.


  • Campus Protection for Pregnant and Parenting Students – SB 521

Would enable CalWORKs to provide accommodations to pregnant, parenting and lactating students who are not being adequately accommodated under Title IX.


  • Displaced Worker Protections Act – SB 627

Requires large chain employers to give advance notice to workers so they can prepare for a store closure. Also requires employers to give transfer rights to workers at the closed store for any job that becomes open at a chain location within 25 miles.


  • Safety Net for Grocery Workers Act – SB 725

Requires a grocery establishment that conducts a mass layoff due to merger or acquisition to provide workers with at least one week of severance pay for every year of service.


  • Prop 47 Elimination of the Limitation – SB 749

Allows people who have completed their prison sentence for a qualifying felony under Prop 47 to petition the courts to reclassify their felony to a misdemeanor using a simpler, more streamlined procedure.


  • Criminal Background Checks – SB 809

Limits when an employer may use a criminal conviction background check as a basis for hiring and termination.


  • Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Rates – SB 823

Requires utilities to establish a program that allows customers without access to an EV charging device at their homes to participate in existing EV charging discount programs.


  • Deregistered Apprenticeship Programs – SB 830

Requires the Division of Apprenticeship Standards to post quarterly on its Internet website a list of programs that are deregistered.


  • Carpet Installer Apprenticeships – SB 854

Requires 10% of existing assessments on carpet sales in California to be used for grants to apprenticeship programs for apprentice and journey-level carpet installers.


Senator Smallwood-Cuevas has partnered with leading labor and human rights groups to sponsor elements of this bill package. Through her proposed legislation, Senator Smallwood-Cuevas aims to expand equity among California’s working families and underserved communities.  

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