(October 10, 2011) Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. concluded his work on legislation over the weekend, vetoing two more CalChamber-opposed “job killer” bills in addition to two earlier vetoes and signing one job killer bill into law. A total of five job killers ultimately made it to the Governor’s desk from the 30 that were identified for 2011.
“We commend Governor Brown for vetoing nearly all CalChamber identified job killers,” said Allan Zaremberg, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce. “Governor Brown’s commitment to ‘do no more harm’ to California’s economy will send a strong message that eliminating economic uncertainty is the first element of any program to make California more competitive.”
The Governor yesterday vetoed these job killers:
- AB 1155 (Alejo; D-Watsonville) Would have increased 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. Among other things, Governor Brown cited new litigation costs for businesses as a reason for his veto.
- AB 325 (B. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Would have added to California businesses’ legal costs and responsibilities by requiring an employer to provide employees with up to three days of unpaid bereavement leave. In addition, the bill would have elevated the significance of the right to bereavement leave to the same level as the right to be free from racial or gender discrimination and harassment. In vetoing the bill, Governor Brown agreed with CalChamber, saying he believed the bill was unnecessary because the vast majority of employers voluntarily make such an accommodation for the loss of a loved one. He also echoed CalChamber’s opposition to the far-reaching private right to sue that the bill would have established.
The Governor earlier vetoed these job killers:
- AB 559 (Swanson; D-Alameda) (vetoed on September 26, 2011) Would have unreasonably increased 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. In vetoing the bill, Governor Brown agreed with CalChamber, saying “in this case, I think the Supreme Court got it right. Judges are in the best position to decide whether to award or deny fees in these instances.”
- SB 104 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) (vetoed on June 28, 2011) Would have essentially eliminated a secret ballot election and replaced it with the submission of representation cards signed by more than 50 percent of the employees, and left employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations. In working to defeat the bill, CalChamber argued that the current provisions of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) adequately protect the rights and interests of employees and employers, as well as unions. In his veto message Governor Brown reminded the bill’s supporters that while Governor in 1975 he signed the nation’s first agricultural labor relations act, the ALRA. Under its protections, tens of thousands of agricultural workers have voted for unionization or otherwise expressed their choices as to how their interests should be advanced, the veto message stated.
The Governor yesterday signed a job killer:
- AB 22 (Mendoza; D- Artesia) which will limit private employers’ ability to use consumer credit reports for legitimate employment purposes, such as for screening potential hires who have direct and unsupervised access to any amount of cash and/or valuable non-financial assets. CalChamber argues that this bill will place California companies at a competitive disadvantage to other states.
Job Killer Stats
2011: 30 “job killer” bills identified, 5 sent to Governor, 4 vetoed;
2010: 43 “job killer” bills identified, 12 sent to Governor, 10 vetoed;
2009: 33 “job killer” bills identified, 6 sent to Governor, 6 vetoed;
2008: 39 “job killer” bills identified, 10 sent to Governor, 9 vetoed;
2007: 30 “job killer” bills identified, 12 sent to Governor, 12 vetoed;
2006: 40 “job killer” bills identified, 11 sent to Governor, 9 vetoed;
2005: 45 “job killer” bills identified, 8 sent to Governor, 7 vetoed;
2004: 23 “job killer” bills identified, 10 sent to Governor, 10 vetoed.