End of Session Update: 6 CalChamber Job Killer Bills Head to Governor

End of Session Update: 6 CalChamber Job Killer Bills Head to Governor

California legislators last week approved six bills designated by the California Chamber of Commerce as job killers, which will increase labor costs and create more liability for employers.

Governor Gavin Newsom has until October 14 to sign or veto bills passed by the Legislature in the closing days of the session.

Job Killer Bills

The following job killer bills were sent to the Governor’s desk:

  • AB 524 (Wicks; D-Oakland): Exposes employers to potentially costly litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) by creating an extremely broad, protected class under the FEHA — employees with “family caregiver status” — which is broadly defined to include any employee who provides direct care to specified family members, but also to any person of their choosing, and the bill would create a de facto accommodation requirement that will burden small businesses.
  • AB 647 (Holden; D-Pasadena): 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 616 (Gonzalez; D-Long Beach): Imposes new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by increasing 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): Imposes an onerous and stringent process to hire employees based on seniority alone for nearly every industry, including hospitals, retail, restaurants and movie theaters, which will delay hiring and eliminates contracts for at-will employment.
  • SB 365 (Wiener; D-San Francisco): Discriminates against use of arbitration agreements by allowing trial courts to continue trial proceedings during any appeal regarding the denial of a motion to compel, undermining arbitration and increasing court and party time and resources spent on cases that ultimately are sent to arbitration.
  • SB 799 (Portantino; D-Burbank): Allows striking workers to claim unemployment insurance (UI) benefits when they choose to strike. Because the UI Fund is paid for entirely by employers, SB 799 will effectively add more debt onto California employers. Moreover, SB 799 will effectively force employers to subsidize strikes at completely unrelated businesses because the UI Fund’s debt adds taxes for all employers, regardless of whether they’ve had a strike.

Former Job Killers

Two former job killer bills also passed:

  • SB 525 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Increases minimum wage for health care workers to $25 in stages. Job killer tag and opposition removed due to September 11, 2023, amendments. CalChamber neutral.
  • SB 723 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Continues an onerous and stringent recall process for specific employers to return former employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic by extending the current law past the previously imposed sunset date. Job killer status removed due to September 7, 2023, amendments. CalChamber still opposes.

Read more, including CalChamber-opposed and -supported bills, in CalChamber’s Top Story.

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