The California Chamber of Commerce yesterday released its annual Job Killer list, which includes 24 bills that would harm California’s economic growth and job creation should they become law.
“These bills represent some of the worst policy proposals affecting California employers and our economy currently being considered by Legislature,” said CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg. “Some of these bills have been rejected time and again by the Legislature or vetoed by the previous Governor. Legislators should, instead, focus on removing impediments to economic growth and creating upward mobility for all Californians.”
CalChamber will periodically release job killer watch updates as legislation changes. Track the current status of the job killer bills on www.CalChamber.com/jobkillers or by following @CalChamber and @CAJobKillers on Twitter.
The 2019 list of employment-related job killer bills includes various bills expanding leaves of absences, new workplace protections for medical marijuana and other bills that will increase labor costs.
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 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 exposes an employer to being penalized twice for the same violation, by allowing both an employee and the Labor Commissioner to recover the same civil penalties through civil litigation.
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 percent 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 882 (McCarty; D-Sacramento) Limitation on Ability to Maintain a Safe Workplace — Significantly undermines an employer’s ability to maintain a safe, drug-free workplace, by prohibiting an employer from discharging an employee who has tested positive for a drug that is being used for medical purposes, which will expose employers to costly litigation.
AB 1035 (Mayes; R-Yucca Valley) Expansion of Civil Litigation for Data Breaches — Unfairly requires businesses to notify consumers of a data breach within 72 hours, which will place an unrealistic compliance burden on businesses before they can reasonably assess the extent of the breach, thereby unnecessarily causing harm to consumers and increasing businesses’ class action exposure.
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.
SB 135 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Substantial Expansion of California Family Rights Act — Significantly harms small employers in California with as few as five 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 the 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 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.
SB 567 (Caballero; D-Salinas) Expands Costly Presumption of Injury — Significantly increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace and establishes an extremely concerning precedent for expanding presumptions into the private sector.
Last year, CalChamber identified 29 job killers — one was sent to Governor Brown and vetoed.
For the full list of job killer bills, visit CalChamber’s Top Story.