Anti-Business Proposals Rise Again in New Session
(April 25, 2011) Legislation that will increase costs for California employers, thereby hurting their ability to compete in the global marketplace and provide jobs has been introduced again this year.
Following is a partial list of anti-business bills introduced so far this year. The CalChamber opposes these proposals.
- AB 10 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) – Automatic Minimum Wage Increase. Increases the cost of doing business for employers in California by raising the state minimum wage to $8.50 per hour with an automatic annual indexing of the minimum wage for every year thereafter according to the percentage of inflation. Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File.
- AB 22 (Mendoza; D-Norwalk) – Employment: Credit Reports. Unfairly limits employers’ ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, unless the information in the report is “substantially job-related.” The bill narrowly defines that term to refer only to managerial positions; employees of the state Department of Justice; law enforcement; certain financial institutions; or a position for which a report is required by law. In Assembly Appropriations.
- AB 52 (Feuer; D-Los Angeles) – Rate Regulation. Potentially increases costs on purchasers and limits access by imposing fees on health insurers to create additional bureaucracy to implement rate regulation on health insurance products sold in California by requiring a complex and regulated rate approval process. Assembly Health Committee hearing, April 26.
- AB 400 (Ma; D-San Francisco) – Employment: Paid Sick Days. Unreasonably expands both public and private employers’ costs and liability for new protected and paid sick leave for employees. Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing, April 26.
- AB 559 (Swanson; D-Alameda) – Undermines Judicial Discretion. Unreasonably increases business litigation costs by limiting judicial discretion to reduce or deny exorbitant attorneys fees in fair employment and housing cases. Assembly Third Reading.
- SB 104 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) – Increased Agricultural Costs. Attempts to limit employees’ ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50 percent of the employees, which leave employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations. Assembly Third Reading.
- SB 111 (Yee; D-San Francisco) – New Lawsuits Against Small Business. Could result in new shakedown lawsuits against business establishments by making it a strict liability violation of the Unruh Civil Rights Act, subject to minimum damages of $4,000, if a business limits the use of a customer’s language, even if unintentionally. Held at Assembly Desk.
- SB 129 (Leno; D-San Francisco) – Employee Safety Risk. Undermines employers’ ability to provide a safe and drug-free workplace by establishing a protected classification for employees who utilize medical marijuana. Senate Third Reading.
- SB 364 (Yee; D-San Francisco) – Creates Employer Tax Credit Uncertainty. Eliminates the incentive effect of future-enacted tax incentives by imposing a penalty on California employers who claim tax incentives if they experience a loss in employment greater than 10 percent, whether or not the reduction of employees was connected to the effectiveness of the incentive. Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing, April 27.
- SB 508 (Wolk; D-Davis) – Discourages Investment. Creates uncertainty for California employers making long-term investment decisions by requiring all future-enacted investment credits to sunset after seven years. Senate Third Reading.
- SB 810 (Leno; D-San Francisco) – Government-Run Health Care. Creates a new government-run, multibillion-dollar socialized health care system supported by an unspecified "premium structure" to be determined by 2014 that would conflict with recently enacted federal health care reform. Senate Health Committee hearing, April 27.
Staff Contact: Marc Burgat