12 Job Killer Bills Await Action by Legislative Fiscal Committees

The fate of 12 bills identified by the California Chamber of Commerce as job killers depends on decisions today by fiscal committees in the Assembly and Senate.

The Assembly and Senate Appropriations committees face lengthy agendas as they consider bills previously sent to the suspense file pending a review of the legislation’s fiscal impact.

Tomorrow is the deadline for appropriations committees to send bills along for consideration by the entire Assembly or Senate.

Assembly Bills

On the Assembly Appropriations Committee Suspense File are:

  •  AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Ban on Arbitration Agreements — Significantly expands employment litigation and increases costs for employers and employees by banning 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. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed a similar measure last year and stated it “plainly violates federal law.”
  • AB 345 (Muratsuchi; D-Torrance) Oil and Gas Development Ban — Would eliminate thousands of high-paying California jobs and require California to import even more foreign oil by banning new oil and gas development, re-drilling operations, and rework operations by imposing a state minimum 2,500-foot setback requirement from certain structures, and further authorizing local governments to enact even greater setback requirements, without limitation.
  • AB 628 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Uncapped New Leave of Absence for Employees and Their Family Members — Significantly expands the definition of sexual harassment under the Labor Code, which is different than the definition in the Government Code, leading to inconsistent implementation of anti-harassment policies, confusion, and litigation. Also, provides an unprecedented, uncapped leave of absence for victims of sexual harassment and their “family members” which is broadly defined, that will add another layer of burdens on employers and their ability to manage their workforce.
  • AB 673 (Carrillo; D-Los Angeles) Unfair Expansion of Penalties Against an Employer for Alleged Wage Violation — Unfairly penalizes an employer twice for the same Labor Code violation and creates a new private right of action, allowing three different avenues of recovery for the same alleged violation while reducing revenue to the State.
  • AB 755 (Holden; D-Pasadena) Targeted Tax on Purchase of Tires — Imposes a $1.50 targeted tax on the purchase of new tires, that will unfairly raise prices on California residents, including employers, in order to fund the mitigation of zinc in storm water for all.
  • AB 790  (Levine; D-San Rafael) Increased Cost on Employers for Use of Personal Services Contracts — Discourages and reduces the use of “personal services contracts” as defined, by requiring the hiring entity to pay a minimum contractual compensation rate at 85% of the area median income, which will presumably include wages from different industries and occupations that are not comparable to personal services, and reduce jobs for individuals who perform the work under personal services contracts.
  • AB 1066  (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) Unemployment During Trade Disputes — Would significantly increase costs on employers engaged in a trade dispute by allowing employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks, incentivizing strikes and transforming unemployment insurance into a political tool in trade disputes.
  • AB 1332 (Bonta; D-Oakland) Contract Prohibition for Businesses that Provide Services to Federal Government — Prohibits California public entities from contracting with, or investing in, any business that provides data-related services to an undefined group of federal agencies. Will create litigation and uncertainty for businesses that continue to work with California public entities, as the bill provides no clear guidance on how to comply with terms, and also in limited circumstances, compels public entities to breach signed contracts.
  • AB 1468 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Targeted Tax on Opioids — Unfairly imposes an excise tax on opioid distributors in California, which will increase their costs and force them to adopt measures that include reducing workforce and increasing drug prices for ill patients who need these medications the most, in order to fund drug prevention and rehabilitation programs that will benefit all of California.

Senate Bills

The following bills are on the Senate Appropriations Committee Suspense File:

  • SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego) Unprecedented Delegation of Legislative Authority and Increased Litigation — Creates significant uncertainty and litigation risks to regulated entities by giving certain state agencies unfettered authority to adopt rules and regulations without any of the Administrative Procedure Act safeguards when the agency, in its discretion, determines that the federal rules and regulations in effect on January 19, 2017 are more “stringent” than existing federal law. It also increases the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law or when a state agency takes the foregoing discretionary action.
  • SB 135 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of California Family Rights Act — Significantly harms small employers in California with as few as 5 employees by requiring these employers to provide 12 weeks of a protected leave of absence each year, in addition to existing leaves of absences already required, as well as potentially requiring larger employers to provide 10 months of protected leave, with exposure to costly litigation for any alleged violation.
  • SB 561 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Significant Expansion of Liability and Litigation Under California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) of 2018 — Creates an onerous and costly private right of action that will primarily benefit trial lawyers, allowing them to sue for any violations of the CCPA, and removes businesses’ 30-day right to cure an alleged violation of the CCPA as well as businesses’ ability to seek guidance from the Attorney General on how to comply with this confusing and complex law.

For more information on the remaining job killer bills, visit www.CAJobKillers.com.

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.