Employment attorneys in California will be subject to a new Senate Bill in 2019. Last week, Governor Brown signed Senate Bill 954 into law. The Bill affects labor laws and labor lawyers. The new Bill amends the California Evidence Code.
Specifically, Senate Bill 954 amends Section 1122 and adds Section 1129 to the Evidence Code. These code sections deal with mediation rules, including mediation in employment law cases.
According to the new laws, employment attorneys in California must provide certain disclosures to their clients before participating in mediation. The client must sign the disclosure form. The law provides the specific language that must be included in the disclosure. It also requires the disclosure to be formatted in 12-point font in the client’s preferred language. Some highlights of the required disclosures are as follows:
- The mediation is confidential;
- All communications between the clients and their attorneys in preparation for mediation and during mediation are confidential;
- All statements and documents made during the mediation and in preparation for the mediation are confidential;
- The mediator’s recommendation or report is confidential and will not be admissible in court; and
- The mediator cannot testify in court regarding the mediation.
While the Governor signed the Bill last week, it will only go into effect on January 1, 2019. Employment attorneys in California that prepare to go to mediation on their cases next year will have to abide by this new law.
For more information on the Bill you may visit this link:
If you have a question about mediation in employment cases, please do not hesitate to contact our office for a free consultation.