California’s top business leaders today voiced opposition to a proposed Budget Act amendment that would provide funding to reinstate the Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC).
Jennifer Barrera, President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce; Rachel Michelin, President and CEO of the California Retailers’ Association; Lance Hastings, President and CEO of the California Manufacturers and Technology Association; Jot Condie, President and CEO of the California Restaurant Association; and Dan Dunmoyer, President and CEO of the California Building Industry Association issued the following joint statement:
“The proposed Budget Bill reauthorizes the Industrial Welfare Commission, but unaccountably limits the Commission’s authority to revise and update the outdated wage orders to reflect the current workplace. This limitation will only create unnecessary confusion, create layered burdens on employers, and subject businesses to more frivolous litigation under PAGA.”
The allied groups point to specific language in the Budget Bill that is problematic because it limits the IWC from making many useful updates to the Wage Orders, and reads as follows (troubling phrase bolded):
Of the amount appropriated in Schedule (5), $3,000,000 shall be available for the Industrial Welfare Commission to convene industry-specific wage boards and adopt orders specific to wages, hours, and working conditions in such industries, provided that any such orders shall not include any standards that are less protective than existing state law. The commission shall prioritize for consideration industries in which more than 10 percent of workers are at or below the federal poverty level. The Industrial Welfare Commission shall convene by January 1, 2024, with any final recommendations for wages, hours, and working conditions in new wage orders adopted by October 31, 2024.
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 www.calchamber.com.