Stops All 29 Job Killer Bills
The 2018 legislative session was especially busy for the California Chamber of Commerce policy advocates.
CalChamber policy advocates, together with members, allied associations and local chambers of commerce, stopped many harmful proposals, won amendments to remove damaging provisions in other proposals, and helped pass bills to make future investments in our state’s economy
In 2018, the Legislature introduced more than 2,600 bills; CalChamber tracked 213 California bills, stopping 115 opposed bills (including 29 job killers), and backing 27 bills that were signed into law.
Strong advocacy by the CalChamber, members, local chambers of commerce and allied employers prevented all but one job killer bill from passing the Legislature.
On his final day to act on legislation, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed the last surviving CalChamber-opposed job killer bill. AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) would have banned arbitration agreements beneficial to employees, employers and the courts.
Besides interfering with and essentially eliminating settlement agreements for labor and employment claims, AB 3080 exposed employers to criminal liability regarding arbitration agreements and essentially prohibited arbitration of labor and employment claims as a condition of employment. CalChamber’s analysis of the bill also found that it was likely preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) and would only have delayed the resolution of claims.
Finally, given where AB 3080 provisions were placed in the Labor Code, any violation would have been a misdemeanor. Accordingly, an employer would have faced not only civil liability for any violation of the various provisions of AB 3080, but could have faced criminal charges as well.
In his September 30 veto message, the Governor stated: “Since this bill plainly violates federal law, I cannot sign this measure.”
Following are highlights from the entire legislative session. For a list of all CalChamber priority bills send to the Governor this year, see the Final Status Report on Major Business Bills, embedded below.
Labor and Employment
As usual, labor matters were among the hardest fought issues on the CalChamber agenda. The 2019 new laws will include:
Lactation Accommodation (AB 1976; Limón; D-Goleta): Under current state law an employer must provide a location other than a toilet stall for an employee to express breast milk. The location must also be private and in close proximity to the employee’s work area. This CalChamber supported law requires that the employer provide a location other than a “bathroom,” rather than a “toilet stall.” AB 1976 contains a hardship exemption and clarifying language about what temporary spaces are appropriate as lactation accommodations.
Defamation Protection (AB 2770; Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks): Under this CalChamber-sponsored job creator bill, employers and victims of sexual harassment will be protected from liability for defamation lawsuits for injury to an alleged harasser’s reputation after a complaint of sexual harassment has been made. An employee who makes credible reports of harassment will be shielded from liability, as will an employer who communicates with interested parties such as victims and witnesses. When contacted for a job reference about a current or former employee, an employer will now be permitted to reveal whether the individual is not eligible for rehire because the employer determined that he/she engaged in sexual harassment.
Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements (SB 820; Leyva; D-Chino): This CalChamber opposed new law expands the types of cases in which so-called “secret settlements” are restricted. It prohibits any settlement agreement in a case where sexual harassment, assault or discrimination has been alleged from including a confidentiality provision that prohibits disclosure of factual information regarding the claim, except with regard to the claimant’s identity.
Sexual Harassment (SB 1300; Jackson; D-Santa Barbara): In this sweeping new law, the Legislature declared its intent to create a much lower bar for employees to bring harassment lawsuits, and limited the ability of employers to obtain summary judgment in such cases and also prohibits the use of non disclosure agreements. CalChamber secured amendments to remove the more onerous job killer provisions, but remained opposed to the bill.
For expanded information on employment-related laws, an HRCalifornia Extra newsletter and White Paper will be published soon.
CEQA Reform/Land Use
The Governor signed two CalChamber-supported bills that will help expedite home building:
California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) reform (AB 1804; Berman; D-Palo Alto): Expedites infill development of affordable housing by expanding the existing CEQA exemption for infill projects to unincorporated areas already surrounded by urbanized land uses and populations.
Land Use Improvements (AB 2913; Wood; D-Healdsburg) The bill promotes fairness in housing construction by providing that a permit would remain valid if the work on the site authorized by that permit is begun within 3 years after its issuance, or if the work authorized on the site by the permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of up to 3 years after the time the work has begun.
Health Care Costs
The Governor vetoed two CalChamber-opposed bills that would have increased health care premiums if signed into law:
- Opioid Use Disorders (AB 2384: Arambula; D-Kingsburg):One bill sought to mandate medication-assisted treatment for opioid abuse disorders and would have eliminated all quality control and cost containment mechanisms for the treatment, all of which would have significantly increased the cost of health care. The bill is a former job killer.
- Autism Services (SB 399; Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge):A second bill would have increased costs and undermined the ability of health care issuers to promote and manage applied behavioral analysis for children with autism by making a number of changes to how the autism services are provided.
Governor Brown signed a CalChamber-supported bill related to food and consumer product packaging:
CalChamber supports AB 2632 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) because it protects consumer product and food manufacturers from lawsuits by clarifying package labeling requirements regarding the amount of product and packaging.
Final Status Report on Major Bills
The following list summarizes the final status of priority bills for the CalChamber that were sent to the Governor this year.
Within each subject area, the CalChamber list presents bills in order of priority, with the highest priorities at the top.
The CalChamber will publish a record of legislators’ votes on key bills affecting the California business climate on October 19. Generally, the bills selected for the vote record have appeared in one of the status reports.
Bills signed by the Governor will become law on January 1, 2019 unless otherwise stated. Urgency, budget-related and tax levy measures go into effect immediately upon being signed, so the date the bill was signed is noted.
Land Use Restrictions. AB 2528 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Potentially limits private land use by expanding areas protected for non-endangered species. Punishes landowners who managed their lands in a way to enhance the habitat of nearby species. Oppose Unless Amended.
Defensible Space. AB 1954 (Patterson; R-Fresno) Encourages rural landowners to clear vegetation and timber within 300 feet of a habitable structure without the need for a costly Timber Harvest Plan in order to reduce the spread of wildfires. Support.
Timber Harvest Plans. AB 2889 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Expedites the permitting process for a Timber Harvesting Plan (THP). Directs the Department of Forestry to provide guidance and assistance to THP applicants. Support.
Refrigerant Ban. SB 1013 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Imposes a costly policy for banning certain fluorinated gasses without transparency and without consideration of alternative methods by exempting the rulemaking process from the Administrative Procedures Act. Opposition removed June 4, 2018 due to amendments. No Position.
Redundant Requirements. SB 818 (Beall; D-San Jose) Before amendments, reinstated onerous unfair paperwork requirements on banks dealing with foreclosures when no crisis exists and is duplicative of federal law. Opposition removed due to June 21, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Translation of Documents. SB 1201 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, opened banks up to liability for misunderstood loan modification documents written in non-English languages prepared by the banks. Opposition removed due to amendments agreed to in Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. No Position.
Increases Costs and CEQA Litigation. AB 2447 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace) Before amendments, invited more litigation and increased the complexity and cost of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance by 1) requiring local agencies to make a finding as to the discriminatory intent or effect of a proposed project, 2) forcing the local agency to incorporate all oral and written comments from the scoping process into the environmental review document regardless of its accuracy or relevancy, and 3) allocating responsibility for identifying what constitutes a “subject land use” for which new notice provisions will apply to the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. Job killer tag removed due to April 26, 2018 amendments. Opposition removed due to May 25, 2018 amendments. No Position/Former Job Killer 2018.
Expedites CEQA Process. AB 2341 (Mathis; R-Visalia) Simplifies the environmental review process under the California Environmental Quality Act for refurbishing, converting, repurposing, or replacing existing buildings by stating that lead agencies are not required to perform an aesthetic impacts analysis for such projects so long as they meet certain criteria. Support.
Promotes Housing Development. AB 1804 (Berman; D-Palo Alto) Expedites infill development by expanding the existing California Environmental Quality Act exemption for infill projects to unincorporated areas already surrounded by urbanized land uses and populations. Support.
Reforms CEQA. AB 2782 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Improves environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act by authorizing lead agencies to more comprehensively analyze the pros and cons of a project by considering specific economic, legal, social, technological, or other benefits of, and negative impacts of denying, the proposed project. Support.
Zero-Emission Vehicles. SB 1014 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Before amendments, imposed unnecessary burdens on transit network carrier drivers by requiring all miles delivered by transit network carriers to be delivered by zero-emission vehicles. Opposition removed due to amendments. No Position.
Unconstitutional Board Mandate for Publicly Traded Corporations. SB 826 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Requires a publicly traded corporation to satisfy quotas regarding the number of women on its board or face significant penalties, which is likely unconstitutional, a violation of California’s Civil Rights statute, and a violation of the internal affairs doctrine for publicly held corporations. Oppose.
New Penalty. AB 1065 (Jones-Sawyer; D-South Los Angeles) Helps limit retailers’ losses from thefts by strengthening penalties by creating a new Organized Retail Crime felony in California law. Support.
Stringent New Requirements on Economic Development Subsidies. AB 2853 (Medina; D-Riverside) Creates onerous local agency reporting requirements both before and during the award of any economic development subsidy to a warehouse distribution center, including requirements that businesses disclose proprietary, competitive information, which will likely lead to a decline in warehouses being built in California, negatively impacting California’s economy. Oppose.
Statewide Economic Development Strategic Action Plan. AB 2596 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Requires the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) to lead the preparation of a California Economic Development Strategic Action Plan, with the goal of creating a process by which the office can identify economic challenges that confront the state. Support.
Extended Alcohol Hours. SB 905 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Creates pilot program giving six cities the ability to extend alcohol sales to 4 a.m. after meeting certain criteria. Support.
Career Technical Education. AB 1808 (Committee on Budget) Incorporates job creator policy from AB 1743, which extends and improves the Career Technical Education Incentive Grant program, which provides students with necessary training and education to prepare them for a variety of career options. Support.
Signed 6/27/18—Chapter 32
Career Technical Education. AB 1809 (Committee on Budget) Incorporates job creator policy from SB 1243, which establishes the California STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Pathways Grant Program, providing $10 million for selected schools to create public-private partnerships to prepare students for high-skilled, high-demand jobs in technology, manufacturing, health care and finance. Support.
Signed 6/27/18—Chapter 33
Onerous Disclosure Requirements. AB 2361 (Weber; D-San Diego) Imposes onerous disclosure requirements on contractors of the University of California that will force public reporting of proprietary information as well as personal employee data, with the threat of barring the contractor from bidding on any contract for five years if the contractor makes a mistake or omission. Oppose.
Education Accountability. AB 3188 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Encourages schools to prioritize both career and college preparation for students which will help reduce dropout rates, increase graduation rates, and better prepare students for the workforce. Support.
Prohibits Compensation on a Per Signature Basis. AB 1947 (Low; D-Campbell) Denies the right to address grievances with government through initiatives, referendums and recalls by making it a misdemeanor for a person to pay for signature collection on a per-signature basis for state or local initiatives, referendums or recall petitions. Oppose.
Increased Energy Costs. SB 100 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Increases the cost of energy and threatens the reliability of the grid by mandating an ambiguous zero-carbon energy by 2045 planning goal and requirements for regulatory agencies in the state. Oppose.
Increased Energy Cost. AB 3232 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Before amendments, would have increased the cost of energy by adding an additional greenhouse gas emissions target on top of already-existing energy efficiency targets. Opposition removed due to May 29, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Provides Disincentives for Investment in Energy Reliability Upgrades. SB 1339 (Stern; D-Canoga Park) Prohibits businesses that use diesel or gasoline backup generators for electricity generation from accessing favorable rate treatment proposed by the bill for customers who are considering investments in microgrid technology. Oppose Unless Amended.
Provides Energy Certainty. AB 1879 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Provides certainty to business by allowing a natural gas supplier to provide a new natural gas connection to homes and businesses in the state. Support.
Signed 9/18/18—Chapter 481
Jeopardizes Existing and Future Energy Production. SB 834 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Takes away California’s ability to produce its own resources in state lands by repealing existing authority from the California State Lands Commission to issue, renew, modify or extend a lease or conveyance for oil and natural gas production if the lease would result in an increase of production from federal waters. Oppose.
Jeopardizes Existing and Future Energy Production. AB 1775 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Takes away California’s ability to produce its own resources in state lands by repealing existing authority from the California State Lands Commission to issue, renew, modify or extend a lease or conveyance for oil and natural gas production if the lease would result in an increase of production from federal waters. Oppose.
Undermines California Office of Spill Prevention and Response. AB 2864 (Limón; D-Goleta) Before amendments, provided the California Coastal Commission with regulatory authority, rather than an advisory role, equal to that of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response despite the Commission having no institutional experience or staff expertise to play such a role. Opposition removed due to May 25, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Increased Permitting Fees and Delayed Permitting. SB 774 (Leyva; D-Chino) Before amendments, exposed permittees to unknown, increased fees by providing the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) a blank check to impose additional fees on permittees to implement and perform its statutory requirements when its primary sources of funding have structural deficits and created substantial uncertainty and delay of facility permitting by interjecting a new board into the organizational structure. Gutted and amended to a different subject area. Opposition and job killer status removed due to August 16, 2018 amendments. No Position/Former Job Killer 2018.
Acute Toxicity Study Bill. AB 2474 (Quirk; D-Hayward) A positive first step toward reducing the number of products that are treated as hazardous waste when disposed of at retail by requiring the California Department of Toxic Substances Control to evaluate whether either or both of specified tests can be adapted to be appropriate for use in identifying substances as hazardous waste or extremely hazardous waste. Support.
Unnecessary Hazardous Waste Regulation. AB 3138 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Before amendments, imposed increased and unnecessary costs on stationary sources by imposing a punitive $25,000 per day civil or administrative liability on a person or stationary source that violates either the provisions of a risk management plan or other Hazardous Materials Management provisions, even if the violation was unintentional. Opposition removed due to May 25, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Provides Regulatory and Cost Relief for Used Oil. AB 2928 (Chen; R-Walnut) Provides a pathway for “highly controlled used oil” to be better managed in such a way that it is not treated as hazardous waste unnecessarily, reduces costs, and ensures that highly controlled used oil is recycled instead of commingled with contaminated oils and solvents. Support.
Increases Health Care Premiums. AB 2384 (Arambula; D-Kingsburg) Before amendments, increased health care premiums by mandating medication-assisted treatment for opioid use disorders and by eliminating all quality control and cost containment mechanisms. Job killer tag removed due to June 14, 2018 amendments, but CalChamber remains opposed. Oppose/Former Job Killer 2018.
Increases Health Care Premiums. SB 399 (Portantino; D-La Cañada Flintridge) Increases costs and undermines the ability of health care issuers to promote and manage applied behavioral analysis for children with autism by making a number of changes to how the autism services are provided. Oppose.
Unreasonable Administrative Cost Cap. AB 2499 (Arambula; D-Kingsburg) Before amendments, potential loss of access by small businesses and individuals to agents who assist in their selection of health plans and management of their coverage, jeopardized proactive fraud prevention efforts and potentially would have driven insurers out of the market by reducing the amount of the premium that can be used to support the insurer’s administrative activities. Opposition removed due to June 18, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Increases Health Insurance Premiums. AB 2193 (Maienschein; R-San Diego) Before amendments, increased health care costs by driving up health care premiums requiring insurers to develop and make available case management for enrollees who may have maternal mental health conditions. Opposition removed due to August 17, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Medical Loss Ratio. SB 1008 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Before amendments, perpetuated the belief that the medical loss ratio is appropriate for dental coverage and beneficial to the consumer by including it on the uniform benefit form. Opposition removed due to August 6, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Pharmacy Access. SB 1442 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Before amendments, threatened access to pharmacy services by requiring a pharmacist to be assisted by at least one other employee at all times regardless of unforeseen circumstances. Opposition removed due to June 21, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Increases Health Care Costs. SB 349 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Before amendments, increased health care costs by setting dialysis clinic staffing ratios to the most stringent in the country and mandating transition times between patients leading to patient access issues with no clear evidence of clinical benefit to dialysis patients. Gutted and amended August 24, 2018 to a different subject area. Opposition removed. No Position.
Amends Unlawful Detainer and Eviction Notice Process. AB 2343 (Chiu; D-San Francisco) Before amendments, would have driven up the cost of providing rental housing in the state by tripling the amount of notice a landlord is required to provide a tenant in order to begin a lawful eviction process, extending the due date for rent to the middle of the month, and allowing a tenant who has joined a “tenant association” to stop paying rent merely by claiming landlord retaliation. Opposition removed due to June 25, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Imposes New Penalties for Cannabis Violations. AB 2164 (Cooley; D-Rancho Cordova) Before amendments, provided authority to local governments to impose new fines and penalties on any person responsible for a continuing violation pertaining to building, plumbing, electrical or other zoning issue relating to the cultivation of cannabis with no right of appeal for the property owners, who may have no knowledge that their tenants are violating local and state laws. Opposition removed due to May 29, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Improves Assessment for State Housing Needs. SB 828 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Strengthens the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) by increasing state-level oversight over local and regional housing obligations. Support.
Expedites Housing Construction. AB 2973 (Gray; D-Merced) Expedites housing construction in certain jurisdictions by extending the expiration date of existing and unexpired tentative maps, vesting tentative maps, and parcel maps that relate to the construction of single or multifamily housing by 24 months for jurisdictions that remain economically depressed. Support.
Promotes Fairness in Housing Construction. AB 2913 (Wood; D-Healdsburg) Provides that a permit would remain valid if the work on the site authorized by that permit is commenced within 3 years after its issuance, or if the work authorized on the site by the permit is suspended or abandoned for a period of up to 3 years after the time the work is commenced. Support.
Spurs Housing Development. AB 3194 (Daly; D-Anaheim) Encourages much-needed residential housing construction in California by closing two loopholes often used by local governments to deny extending the protections of the Housing Accountability Act. Support.
New Labor Code Requirement Subject to Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). AB 2732 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Creates new onerous requirements for employers to provide a worker bill of rights document to all employees, have them sign it, give them a copy of the signed document, keep the original for three years, and post the document. Oppose Unless Amended.
Usurps Cal/OSHA Priorities. AB 2963 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Requires Cal/OSHA to treat as a serious violation a rule that does not constitute any violation of Cal/OSHA rules, and redirects Cal/OSHA resources, which will undermine existing Cal/OSHA priorities. As a result of a blood lead level of employees reported to the Department of Public Health, the bill requires a workplace inspection by Cal/OSHA within three days, as if a serious violation has been reported where none exists. Oppose.
Expensive Public Database. AB 2334 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Before amendments, the bill sought to publicly shame employers by establishing a California-specific searchable website requiring each employer’s injury and illness records to be provided for public review, that can be misconstrued and distorted in a manner that does not reflect employers’ commitment to the safety of their employees while providing no advancement of worker safety. Opposition removed due to May 25, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Significant Expansion of Harassment Discrimination and Retaliation Liability. SB 1300 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Limits the use of nondisparagement agreements and general releases and, through the codified intent language, attempts to restrict the ability to summarily adjudicate harassment claims and lower the legal standard for actionable harassment claims by providing a directive to the courts on how to they should interpret the law. These provisions will significantly increase litigation against California employers and limit their ability to invest in their workforce. Job killer status removed due to August 20, 2018 amendments, but CalChamber remains opposed. Oppose/Former Job Killer 2018.
Extension of Statute of Limitations. AB 1870 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace) Unnecessarily extends the statute of limitations from one year to three years for all discrimination, harassment and retaliation claims filed with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing. Oppose Unless Amended.
Labor Contractor Joint Liability. AB 3081 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Placed in the Labor Code additional, often duplicative, sexual harassment protections and training requirements, which are already protected under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and created burdensome leave of absence requirements for employers. As amended, the bill expands joint liability for labor contractors to all employment-related harassment claims, not just sexual harassment complaints as limited in the bill’s prior version. There is no basis for a business that contracts for services being deemed statutorily liable for harassment of another’s employees when there is absolutely no way in which that contractor can engage or force the labor contract company to comply with provisions of the FEHA or the Labor Code. Oppose.
Sexual Harassment Employer/Employee Protection. AB 2770 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Codifies case law to ensure victims of sexual harassment and employers are not sued for defamation by the alleged harasser when a complaint of sexual harassment is made and the employer conducts its internal investigation. This bill also provides additional protections to employers by expressly allowing employers to inform potential employers about the sexual harassment investigation and findings. Reducing the cost of frivolous litigation allows an employer to utilize these financial resources to grow its workforce. Sponsor/Job Creator 2018.
Lactation Accommodation. SB 937 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Significantly amends current law regarding lactation accommodations by implementing new location standards, employer policy requirements, document retention, and supplementary Labor Code penalties. Oppose Unless Amended.
Lactation Accommodation. AB 1976 (Limón; D-Goleta) Before amendments, established new mandates for employers regarding lactation accommodations even though this could create an undue hardship on employers with limited space. As amended, the bill contains a hardship exemption and clarifying language regarding what temporary spaces are appropriate as lactation accommodations. These amendments take into consideration the vast array of facilities that conduct business in California while creating a narrow exemption for employers that simply cannot provide a private location for employees to express breastmilk other than a bathroom. Support.
Disclosure of Personal Contact Information. AB 2455 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Requires the state to turn over personal information of registered home care aides to unions for the purpose of organizing. Oppose.
Sexual Harassment Complaint Document Retention. AB 1867 (Reyes; D-Grand Terrace) Before amendments, created a confusing mandate whereby employers with 50 or more employees must maintain internal complaint records of employee complaints alleging sexual harassment for a minimum of 5 years after the last day of employment of the complainant or any alleged harasser named in the complaint, whichever is later. Opposition removed due to June 21, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Janitorial Workers Training Requirements. AB 2079 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Mandates additional registration, enforcement, and training requirements on employers and individuals in the janitorial business. Oppose.
Joint Liability. SB 1402 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Requires customers of a motor carrier service provider to be jointly and severally liable with the motor carrier for unpaid wages, unreimbursed expenses, damages and penalties, including applicable interest. Oppose.
Criminal Background Checks. SB 1412 (Bradford; D-Gardena) Before amendments, prohibited employers in specific industries from seeking particular conviction history information of an applicant, creating a conflict with federal law requirements. Opposition removed due to August 23, 2018 amendments. No Position.
CalWORKs Participation. SB 926 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Before amendments, allowed a participant in the CalWORKs program to refuse to comply with the program based on the participant’s independent determination that the employer-provided schedule is too unpredictable. Opposition removed due to May 26, 2018 amendments. No Position.
General Contractor Wage-and-Hour Liability. AB 1565 (Thurmond; D-Richmond) Prevents general contractor liability for wage theft that the subcontractor committed if the general contractor already paid the subcontractor in full and was not involved in the wage theft. Gutted and amended May 24, 2018. No Position.
Signed 9/19/18—Chapter 528
Rest Breaks, Petroleum Facilities. AB 2605 (Gipson; D-Carson) Promotes public and employee safety by ensuring that petroleum facilities may require that safety-trained employees keep radios on during their rest breaks in case of an emergency. Support.
Signed 9/20/18—Chapter 584
Ban on Settlement Agreements and Arbitration Agreements. AB 3080 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Significantly expands employment litigation and increases costs for employers and employees by banning settlement agreements for labor and employment claims as well as arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment, which is likely preempted under the Federal Arbitration Act and will only delay the resolution of claims. Banning such agreements benefits the trial attorneys, not the employer or employee. Oppose/Job Killer 2018.
Confidentiality Provisions. AB 3109 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Specifies the limitations of a non-disclosure provision in a settlement agreement for claims involving sexual harassment and assault, so that the Legislature, courts, or administrative agencies can resolve disputes or policy debates involving these issues. Support.
Confidentiality Provisions. SB 820 (Leyva; D-Chino) Limits the ability to informally resolve civil cases that include an allegation of harassment or failure to prevent harassment, which will encourage defendants to pursue a trial on the merits of such cases to prove such claims lack merit and clear any public concerns regarding reputation, thereby increasing the burden on the trial courts. Oppose.
International Commercial Arbitration. SB 766 (Monning; D-Carmel) Clarifies that out-of-state attorneys and attorneys from foreign jurisdictions may apply to appear and represent parties in international commercial disputes hosted in California, which will create a greater opportunity for California to host these proceedings and provide business opportunities for the state. Support.
Economic Barrier. AB 2192 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley) Before amendments, limited publishers’ ability to recoup costs on time, effort, and money invested into peer-reviewed manuscripts that are based upon research developed through state grants by mandating such publications are free and open to the public within 6 months of completion, which would have jeopardized quality of these manuscripts and the continued investment in such manuscripts. Opposition removed due to April 5, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Seismic Safety. AB 2681 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) Before amendments, caused devaluation of properties in some parts of the state by listing them as vulnerable to earthquake damage on a list at the Office of Emergency Services open to the public. Opposition removed due to April 12, 2018 amendments. No Position.
California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018. AB 375 (Chau; D-Monterey Park/Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys). This bill, effective January 1, 2020, would require businesses to do the following, among many other things, upon the request of a consumer: inform the consumer as to what personal information (PI) is being collected about them and whether their PI is being sold and to whom; provide to the consumer the categories and specific pieces of PI the business has collected about that consumer; delete any PI collected from the consumer; and permit the consumer to opt-out of or to opt-in to the sale of their PI, depending on age of the consumer. This bill also creates significant class action liability for a company in the wake of a data breach, creating a private right of action for any consumer whose data has been breached to sue for significant statutory damages without any proof of injury required. Although CalChamber opposed this bill, we preferred it to the privacy ballot initiative, which was much worse and has since been pulled from the ballot due to the passage of AB 375.
AB 375 Technical Clean-Up Vehicle. SB 1121 (Dodd; D-Napa) Originally removed the requirement of economic injury for standing to bring a claim in California against a company for a data breach, undermining the intent of voters, and drastically increasing liability for companies without providing any corresponding benefit to California consumers. Following enactment of AB 375 consumer privacy law in June, developed as an AB 375 technical clean-up vehicle. CalChamber worked with members and other affected parties to create a list of technical fixes. Job killer status removed due to August 27, 2018 amendments containing negotiated clean-up language to AB 375, including delayed enforcement of AB 375 and provisions clarifying that AB 375 private right of action applies only to additional liability for businesses after a data breach. As a result, CalChamber supports SB 1121. Support/Former Job Killer 2018.
Signed 9/23/18—Chapter 735
Connected Devices. AB 1906 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Beginning on January 1, 2020, requires manufacturers of connected devices to equip those devices with reasonable security features appropriate to the nature of the device. Opposition removed due to May 9, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Connected Devices. SB 327 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Before amendments, imposed onerous, duplicative and premature data security and notification mandates on manufacturers and retailers of devices that connect to the internet. Opposition removed due to January 11, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Third-Party Sharing by Places of Lodging and Bus Companies. SB 1194 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Prevents private businesses from sharing guest and passenger information without a court-issued warrant, subpoena, or order except as specified. Opposition removed due to June 20, 2018 amendments that carve out third-party sharing for business purposes. No Position.
Online Sales. AB 2511 (Chau; D-Monterey Park) Requires online retailers to take reasonable steps to verify the age of the purchaser and to refrain from delivering proscribed products to persons under 18. Opposition removed due to August 24, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Automated Technology or “Bots.” SB 1001 (Hertzberg; D-Van Nuys) Makes it unlawful for any person to use a bot with the intention of misleading and without disclosing that it is a bot and is not a natural person. Opposition removed due to June 21, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Blockchain Technology Working Group. AB 2658 (Calderon; D-Whittier) Requires the Secretary of the Government Operations Agency to appoint a blockchain working group, on or before July 1, 2019, to evaluate the use of the technology. Support.
Social Media Working Group. SB 1424 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Requires the Attorney General to establish an advisory committee to study the problem of false information on internet-based social media platforms and to make recommendations. Opposition removed due to May 10, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). SB 1355 (Hill; D-San Mateo) Prohibits use of drones above the grounds of a prison or jail. Oppose.
Driver License Information. AB 2769 (Cooper; D-Elk Grove) Prohibits businesses from storing driver license information for more than 24 hours without prior written consent. Concerns were removed based on April 19, 2018 narrowing amendments. No Position.
Misinformed Chemical Regulation. AB 2998 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica) Imposes an overly broad chemical regulatory regime by restricting the sale of any “flame retardant chemical” used in juvenile products, mattresses, or upholstered furniture, even for chemistries not yet invented or evaluated by regulatory authorities. Oppose.
Risks California Jobs and Limits Consumer Options. SB 1249 (Galgiani; D-Stockton) Before amendments, jeopardized hundreds of thousands of California manufacturing, distribution and retail jobs by effectively banning for sale any cosmetic product whose ingredient was tested on animals for any purpose, by anyone, anywhere in the world. As many cosmetic products contain active ingredients that are required by state, federal and international law to be animal tested for purposes of demonstrating human health and safety, SB 1249 would have severely handicapped American cosmetic companies that have no control over animal testing done on shared ingredients for purposes unrelated to cosmetics. Opposition removed due to August 28, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Labeling. AB 2632 (Santiago; D-Los Angeles) Protects consumer product and food manufacturers from lawsuits by clarifying package labeling requirements regarding the amount of product and packaging. Support.
Provides Ingredient Information to Salon Employees. AB 2775 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Ensures that ingredient information is readily available to every salon employee and customer by requiring professional cosmetic products manufactured on or after July 1, 2020, to have a label affixed on the container that satisfies all of the labeling requirements for any other cosmetic pursuant to the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and the federal Fair Packaging and Labeling Act. Support.
Clarifies Cleaning Product Right to Know Act. AB 2901 (Committee on Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials) Provides greater clarity for implementation of the 2017 Cleaning Product Right to Know Act by making minor technical changes to certain terminology. Support.
New Recycling/Composting Requirements. SB 1335 (B. Allen; D-Santa Monica) Before amendments, forced food service facilities operating in California state agencies or facilities to stop using disposable food service ware by 2021 unless 75% or more of the packaging can be recycled or composted. Since the mandated recycle/compost rate was not achievable within the time frame allotted, the bill served as a “de facto” ban on single-use cups, take-out containers, plates, trays and bowls in all state facilities. Opposition removed due to August 24, 2018 amendments which, unlike earlier versions, are material neutral and create a stakeholder process for ongoing industry input at CalRecycle to evaluate all food service material types in order to develop a list of products acceptable for use at state facilities. No Position.
Extension of Film Tax Credits. SB 871 (Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review) Extends California’s current job creator tax credit for motion picture and television productions, which has a sunset date of July 1, 2020, for an additional five years, continuing the success of this tax credit, which has brought more film and television production jobs to this state and has increased business to California companies that supply productions with goods and services. Support.
Signed 6/27/18—Chapter 54
Abatement of Taxes. AB 2503 (Irwin; D-Thousand Oaks) Extinguishes annual taxes (and related interest and penalties) that continue to improperly accrue to businesses that no longer exist, because they failed to complete the paperwork necessary for dissolution. Support.
Net Neutrality. SB 822 (Wiener; D-San Francisco) Preempted by federal law and opens the door to a patchwork of unworkable state regulations that will stymie innovation and potentially undermine the backbone of California’s internet economy. Oppose.
Impedes Regulatory Efforts. AB 87 (Ting; D-San Francisco) Before amendments, potentially impeded efforts to adopt regulations guiding autonomous vehicle testing by codifying language for regulations before the current rulemaking process is complete. Opposition removed due to August 6, 2018 amendments. No Position.
Streamlines Requirements. SB 1080 (Roth; D-Riverside) Streamlines driver licensing requirements for active duty military and their families so they can begin earning extra income through ride-sharing without unnecessary fees and delays. Support.
Encourages Development. AB 427 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Encourages economic development by creating the California Aerospace and Aviation Commission to support the health and competitiveness of California’s aerospace manufacturing sector. Support.
Land Use. AB 2975 (Friedman; D-Glendale) Before amendments, restricted adjacent and nearby private property owners’ use of their lands by automatically giving any federally delisted wild and scenic rivers protection under the state act, but retaining federal elements. Opposition removed due to May 29, 2018 amendments. No Position.