3 Job Killer Bills to Be Heard in Assembly Committee Today

2024 Job Killers ListTwo labor-related California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills and one environmental-related job killer bill are scheduled to be heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee today.

Labor-Related Bills

The following two job killer bills are currently on the committee agenda:

  • AB 2374 (Haney; D-San Francisco): Imposes new statutory joint liability on business of any size that contracts for janitorial services if a contractor violates the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act and places new mandates on those businesses that should be assigned to the contractor.

In a recent letter sent to legislators, the CalChamber explained that the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act already provides robust, job retention protections for janitorial workers and there is no need to now expand liability and unnecessary obligations to clients. Further, AB 2374 would set a troubling precedent by binding an employer to a collective bargaining agreement that its new employee was previously under even though that employer had no role whatsoever in the bargaining process.

Moreover, any size company in California that contracts out for janitorial services would be liable for the failure of a contractor or successor contractor to comply with Labor Code Section 1061. Specifically, AB 2374 provides that the “awarding authority” can now be sued where a janitorial employee has not been offered employment by the successor contractor or has been discharged by one of the contractors. Not only can the awarding authority be sued by the employee, but AB 2374 also gives unions standing to sue them in civil court. This means that a company that did not contribute to the violations of Section 1061 and has no control over the hiring or firing decisions of the contractors is liable for back pay, benefits, and any applicable penalties under the Labor Code, including Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) penalties.

  • AB 2499 (Schiavo; D-Chatsworth): Significantly expands 12-week leave related to crimes and lowers threshold of applicability to employers with just five employees.

In a recent letter, the CalChamber pointed out that while one new leave expansion may not seem like much in isolation, it is important to view this proposal as part of the broader set of mandates to which employers are subject, especially our smallest employers. In just the last four years, California employers have been subject to nine new and/or expanded leave mandates.

The CalChamber underscored that some aspects of AB 2499 are duplicative and unnecessary as it expands a 12-week leave mandate to cover scenarios addressed under existing leave laws or where there is no urgency.

Environmental Bill

Also scheduled to be heard today is ACA 16 (Bryan; D-Los Angeles). This bill has far-reaching negative consequences that would impair government operations, stunt development for new housing, infrastructure and clean energy project development and has strong potential to destabilize California’s economy.

In a letter sent to legislators, the CalChamber warned of unintended negative consequences resulting from enshrining into the State’s Constitution a general right to clean air and clean water. California’s environmental laws and regulations designed to ensure clean air and water are the strongest in the nation.

More than a mere redundancy, ACA 16 lays the legal foundation to challenge virtually any state or local government infrastructure, energy, procurement proposal or housing project on the basis that any one of them threatens their new, and as yet undefined, general right. Layering a constitutional amendment on top of the extensive matrix of existing laws undermines their applicability and effectiveness in favor of an unworkable framework in which “no growth” would become the only option, the CalChamber said.

The bill would also likely hinder economic development. The broad nature of the proposed language leaves it open to interpretation, which in turn will lead to increased litigation and slower economic development.

ACA 16 essentially ensures that government infrastructure, energy, and housing projects will be slowed down—if not altogether stopped—by litigation among competing interests. Just last year, the Legislature and Governor fashioned a statewide infrastructure permit streamlining initiative to ensure the state can meet its ambitious climate and energy goals. This measure is a complete reversal of that effort.

Prioritizing the environmental concerns of the individual, by way of a new general right under the Constitution, over those of the general public whose concerns are protected through laws passed by the Legislature and executed by the executive branch, will have perverse negative outcomes where societal concerns will be left unaddressed.

New affordable housing development projects could be delayed or stopped if air emissions associated with grading activities release air emissions or any wastewater discharge. The same is true for key transportation projects, such as High-Speed Rail, and for necessary clean energy development projects like solar farms, where any amount of project impact could be grounds to enjoin, the CalChamber said.

Staff Contacts: Ashley Hoffman, Brady Van Engelen

Ashley Hoffman joined the California Chamber of Commerce in August 2020 as a policy advocate specializing in labor and employment and workers’ compensation issues. She was named a senior policy advocate starting January 1, 2024 in recognition of her efforts on behalf of members. Hoffman holds a B.A. with high honors in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and earned her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law where she was a Michael T. Masin scholar, an editor at the UCLA Law Review, and staff member for the Women’s Law Journal. See full bio.