(July 27, 2011) Fiscal committees in the Senate and Assembly will be the next battleground for most of the “job killer” bills that remained alive when legislators adjourned for their month-long summer recess.
The California Chamber of Commerce is urging lawmakers to reject these proposals, which threaten the state’s job climate and will slow economic recovery if passed.
The list below does not include the “job killer” tax bills, which require a two-thirds vote for approval and therefore are unlikely to move.
Costly Workplace Mandates
AB 22 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) Hampers Employment Decisions. Unfairly limits private employers’ ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, unless the information in the report is “substantially job-related” and for a “managerial position.” Senate Appropriations Committee hearing August 15.
AB 375 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Expands Costly Presumptions. Increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace. Senate Appropriations hearing August 15.
AB 1155 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Erodes Workers’ Comp Reforms. Increases costs and lawsuits in the workers’ compensation system by eroding the apportionment provision that protects an employer from paying for disability that did not arise from work. Senate floor.
SB 829 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Undermines Employer Rights. Undermines employer rights in California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) citations by allowing private parties to interfere with the appeals process which could impose significant costs on employers, the Cal/OSHA Appeals Board and on Cal/OSHA. Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing August 17.
Economic Development Barriers
AB 350 (Solorio; D-Anaheim) Costly Employee Retention Mandate. Inappropriately alters the employment relationship by requiring any successor contractor for “property services,” defined as licensed security, landscape, window cleaning or food cafeteria services, to retain employees of the former contractor for 90 days and thereafter offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory. Senate Appropriations hearing August 15.
SB 535 (De León; D-Los Angeles) Climate Change Tax Increase.Increases costs and discourages job growth by implementing unlimited fees and taxes under a cap-and-trade system. Assembly Appropriations hearing August 17.
Employee Benefit Mandates
AB 325 (B. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Unpaid Bereavement Leave. Adds to California’s reputation of being an overly litigious state by creating a private right of action and mandating an employer to provide an employee with up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave. In Senate Appropriations; no hearing date yet.
Expensive, Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens
AB 52 (Feuer; D-Los Angeles) Rate Regulation. Imposes implementation fees on health insurers to support additional bureaucracy and to regulate rates without addressing the costs that drive the rates. Senate Appropriations hearing August 15.
SB 568 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Polystyrene Food Container Ban. Threatens thousands of manufacturing jobs within the state by inappropriately banning all food vendors from using polystyrene foam food service containers, ignoring the numerous environmental benefits associated with polystyrene products. Assembly Appropriations hearing August 17.
Inflated Liability Costs
AB 559 (Swanson; D-Oakland) Undermines Judicial Discretion. Unreasonably increases business litigation costs by limiting judicial discretion to reduce or deny exorbitant attorneys fees in fair employment and housing claims that should have been raised in a limited civil proceeding. Senate floor.
AB 1062 (Dickinson; D-Sacramento) Undermines Efficient Dispute Resolution. Dramatically increases litigation costs for employers by eliminating the right to appeal a court order denying or dismissing a petition to compel arbitration, driving more cases into the courts. Senate floor.
Contact your legislators and urge them to oppose the “job killer” bills. Easy-to-edit sample letters are available at www.calchambervotes.com.
Staff Contact: Marc Burgat