Assembly Labor and Employment Committee Passes Two Job Killer Bills

CA-Job-KillersCroppedThe Assembly Labor and Employment Committee yesterday voted to pass two job killer bills that will lead to increased litigation.

The committee passed:

  • AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) inappropriately alters the employment relationship and increases frivolous litigation by requiring any successor grocery employer to retain employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days and continue to offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory.
  • AB 465 (Hernández; D-West Covina) significantly drives up litigation costs for all California employers as well as increases pressure on the already-overburdened judicial system by precluding mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act.

Key Votes

AB 359 unfairly forces grocery employers to hire a predecessor’s employees, undermines the at-will employment presumption in California, and ensures continued union representation, despite any change in employers.

The bill passed Assembly Labor and Employment 5-2 on May 6.

Ayes: Chu (D-San Jose), Hernández (D-West Covina), Low (D-Campbell), McCarty (D-Sacramento), Thurmond (D-Richmond).

AB 359 now heards to the Assembly Judiciary Committee; no hearing date set.

Noes: Harper (R-Huntington Beach), Patterson (R-Fresno).

AB 465 precludes pre-dispute employment arbitration agreements, which both the California Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court have already authorized. As such, AB 465 will serve only to drive up litigation costs, increasing individual claims, representative actions and class action lawsuits against California employers of all sizes until such legislation can work through the judicial process to be challenged again.

AB 465 passed the Committee 4-2.

Ayes: Ayes: Chu (D-San Jose), Hernández (D-West Covina), Low (D-Campbell), Thurmond (D-Richmond).

Noes: Harper (R-Huntington Beach), Patterson (R-Fresno).

Absent, Abstaining or Not Voting: McCarty (D-Sacramento)

AB 465 will be considered next by the entire Assembly.

Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera

Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera took over as president and chief executive officer of the California Chamber of Commerce on October 1, 2021. Previously, she oversaw the development and implementation of policy and strategy as executive vice president and represented the CalChamber on legal reform issues. She led CalChamber advocacy on labor and employment and taxation from September 2010 through the end of 2017. As senior policy advocate in 2017, she worked with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy. Before joining the CalChamber, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law. See full bio.