Legislative Update After Legislature’s House of Origin Deadline

California Legislature deadline

Nine California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills and two job creator bills remain after Friday’s deadline for bills to pass their house of origin in the California Legislature.

The following employment-related job killer bills remain active:

  • AB 524 (Wicks; D-Oakland): Expansion of Litigation Under FEHA. Exposes employers to costly litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by asserting that any adverse employment action was in relation to the employee’s family caregiver status, which is broadly defined to include any employee who contributes to the care of any person of their choosing, and creates a de facto accommodation requirement that will burden small businesses.
  • AB 647 (Holden; D-Pasadena): Grocery Workers. Significantly expands statute related to successor grocery employers, including disrupting ability for independent small stores to join together, expands number of workers covered under the law and creates a significant new private right of action.
  • SB 365 (Wiener: D-San Francisco): Undermines Arbitration. Discriminates against use of arbitration agreements by requiring trial courts to continue trial proceedings during any appeal regarding the denial of a motion to compel, undermining arbitration and divesting courts of their inherent right to stay proceedings.
  • SB 399 (Wahab; D-Hayward): Bans Employer Speech. Chills employer speech regarding religious and political matters, including unionization. Is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment and preempted by the National Labor Relations Act.
  • SB 525 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Costly Minimum Wage Increase. Imposes significant cost on health care facilities and any employer who works with health care facilities by mandating increase in minimum wage to $25/hour.
  • SB 616 (Gonzalez; D-Long Beach): Costly Sick Leave Expansion on All Employers. Imposes new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by more than doubling existing sick leave mandate, which is in addition to all other enacted leave mandates that small employers throughout the state are already struggling with to implement and comply.
  • SB 627 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles): Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process to hire employees based on seniority alone for nearly every industry, including hospitals, retail, restaurant and movie theaters, which will delay hiring and eliminates contracts for at-will employment.
  • SB 723 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, and removes guardrails on existing law by making mandate permanent and significantly broadening the applicability of the law.

Additionally, some of the employment-related, CalChamber-opposed bills that passed Friday’s deadline are:

  • AB 1356 (Haney; D-San Francisco)WARN Act Expansion. Significantly expands WARN Act by increasing notice period, changing definition of covered establishment and expanding applicability to workers under overly broad definition of “employee of a labor contractor.”
  • SB 497 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles)90-Day retaliation Presumption. Implements 90-day retaliation presumption for certain claims, which is unnecessary in light of existing case law and will waste judicial resources by allowing claims to continue regardless of their merit.
  • SB 553 (Cortese; D-San Jose)New One-Size-Fits-All Workplace Violence Regulation. Takes a regulation written for hospitals related to workplace violence and applies it to all workplaces, regardless of size of resources. Also defines “violence” as speech that annoys employees, creating significant obligations even when no violence or actual threat of violence has occurred.

Read about the status of all Job Killer and Job Creator bills in CalChamber’s Top Story.

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