Governor Vetoes Job Killer; SB 654 Would Have Imposed Significant Costs on Small Business

SACRAMENTO, CA — The Governor today vetoed SB 654 (Jackson), a CalChamber job killer bill that would have increased costs and burdens on small business employers in the state.

“We are grateful the Governor recognized that this bill would have hurt small business in California and made it even more difficult for them to manage their workforce,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber President and CEO.

SB 654 (Jackson) would have created a new protected leave of absence for employers with as few as 20 employees. California already requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide up to 4 months of protected leave for an employee who suffers a medical disability because of pregnancy. SB 654 would have added another 6 weeks of leave for the same employee, totaling over 5 months of protected leave.  The bill also exposed small employers to costly litigation.

Currently, California is one of the nation’s most family friendly states given the list of programs and protected leaves of absences available to employees. California provides paid sick days, school activities leave, kin care, pregnancy disability leave, protections under the California Family Rights Act, and the paid family leave program.  This list is in addition to the leaves of absence required at the federal level.


The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California.  Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state.  Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law.  CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs.  Please visit our website at


The California Chamber of Commerce is the largest, broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels to influence government actions affecting all California business. As a not-for-profit, we leverage our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations to provide affordable and easy-to-use compliance products and services.