Employment-Related Job Killers, Other Harmful Bills Advance

September 13 is the last day for the Legislature to pass any bill.

Assembly and Senate fiscal committees sent California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bills, including five job killers, along for further consideration by the entire membership of both houses on Friday.

Some bills were amended, while others were held in the fiscal committee and are likely dead for the rest of the year.

Bills Advancing

Following is a sampling of employment-related bills that are actively being considered by legislators:

Job Killer Bills

AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Bans arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment. Banning such agreements benefits the trial attorneys, not the employer or employee. Governor Brown vetoed a similar measure last year and stated it “plainly violates federal law.”

AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) — Passed Senate Appropriations Committee with amendments: Allows employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks, incentivizing strikes, burdening employers, and potentially affecting the solvency of California’s UI fund.

Other CalChamber-Opposed Bills

AB 1478 (Carrillo; D-Los Angeles) — Passed Senate Appropriations with amendments: Significantly amends current law regarding job protected leave for jury duty, victims of a crime, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking by creating a new private right action for potential employer violations.

SB 749 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) — Passed Assembly Appropriations with amendments: Unnecessarily requires the disclosure of private employees’ personnel and financial data under the California Public Records Act as well as private employers’ trade secrets.

Update on AB 5

Several amendments were made to AB 5 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), the bill that codifies the ABC independent contractor employment test established in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. Amendments include:

  • Add new professional services exemption categories: marketing, administrator of human resources, travel agents, enrolled agents, payment processing agents, photography, editors, cartoonists;
  • New exemption for construction trucking;
  • Exemption for referral agency. Connects small businesses that set own rates to the public without deduction by agency;
  • Move specified licensed professionals from professional services exemption (requiring criteria to be satisfied) to straight exemption: lawyer, architect, engineer, veterinarian, private investigator, accountant;
  • New exemption for psychologists, dentists and podiatrists to physician exemption;
  • Add new language to reduce requirements for professional exemptions;
  • Add commercial fishermen due to existing exemption from employment laws;
  • Adds 6-month delay to utilizing ABC test for workers compensation;
  • Add language to clarify that exemptions are retroactive and new obligations are prospective; and
  • Increase the number of allowable submissions, as defined, that a freelance journalist can make to the same publication from 25 to 35 in the same year before being subject to the Dynamex test.

For more information on other CalChamber-opposed bills remaining, read CalChamber’s Top Story.

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