Three Job Killers in Committees Today

The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee today will consider three California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bills.

  • AB 1761 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) denies hotel guests due process, by requiring hotels to create a blacklist of guests who have been accused, yet not proven, to have engaged in inappropriate behavior toward hotel employees, and precludes the hotel from allowing those guests on the blacklist to enter their properties for three years. Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.
  • AB 1902 (Levine; D-San Rafael) discourages and reduces “personal service contracts” as defined, by unfairly increasing the contract price for these services based upon an undefined and unspecified “area income” rate that presumably will include wages from different industries and different occupations that are not comparable to personal services.  It also provides the Department of Industrial Relations with extraordinary authority to value companies, determine “similar services” to be included under the provisions of this bill, and what constitutes “area income.” Assembly Appropriations Committee.
  • AB 2613 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace) imposes another layer of Labor Code penalties for wage and hour violations in addition to the penalties already available under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and imposes personal liability onto employees who have no control over the actual payment of wages.  Assembly Appropriations Committee.

AB 1761: Customer Blacklist and Hotel Workers Panic Button 

Current law requires all places of employment—including hotels—to have an Illness and Injury Prevention Program (IIPP) that addresses all safety risks of the job. As such, hotel employers assess the risks of working alone in guest rooms, and develop procedures and processes to minimize those risks to the extent possible.

Requiring all employees working alone in guest rooms to be provided with panic buttons ignores current safety procedures in place and creates challenges associated with panic buttons. In addition, creating a list of hotel guests to be banned from service at a hotel for three years without any due process for the guest is completely unworkable for hoteliers and their guests.

Furthermore, the bill creates a new paid leave requirement for employees to contact police, provide a police statement, and contact a counselor or attorney. Current law, along with paid sick leave, allows employees to use available time off for these purposes without retaliation. A new paid leave requirement is unnecessary.

CalChamber is asking members to urge their Assembly representatives to vote no on AB 1761.

AB 1902: Interference with Contracts

AB 1902 would give the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) extraordinary authority to dictate the minimum contractual compensation rate for certain workers who perform personal services for targeted companies, which will artificially increase costs related to these services and jeopardize jobs for the contractors who perform this work. AB 1902 also provides the DIR unbridled authority to value state, national, and international companies and their assets for purposes of determining when the higher wage rate under AB 1902 applies.

Artificially increasing rates for such contracts and services based upon an “area income” may ultimately discourage the use of such providers and eliminate jobs in these industries. In doing a cost analysis, targeted companies may ultimately determine it is more cost effective to hire internally than contract for these services at the mandatory rate required by AB 1902. Such a shift would create a loss of jobs for those individuals working for personal service contractors, as it would not necessarily result in a one-for-one ratio with regard to the individuals ultimately employed.

CalChamber is asking members to urge their Assembly representatives to vote no on AB 1902.

AB 2613: Wage Statement Penalties 

AB 2613 makes significant changes to the Labor Code by imposing personal liability for individuals who are not managing agents of the company.

This means that an employee working in the payroll department that issues the company pay checks could be held personally liable for penalties under AB 2613, even though that employee had absolutely no control over the amount of the check, the timing of the check, or how the wages were calculated.

Penalties, on top of penalties, on top of penalties for a single unintentional wage violation is hardly just and will create a crushing amount of litigation for employers.

CalChamber is asking members to urge their Assembly representatives to vote no on AB 2613.

Staff Contacts: Jennifer Barrera, Laura Curtis, Marti Fisher

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.