Five California Chamber of Commerce job killer bills await action in the California Legislature this week as Friday marks the last day that policy committees can meet and report bills. At the close of Friday’s session, legislators will head home for summer recess and will reconvene on August 1.
The remaining job killer bills present regulatory challenges for employers—especially small business employers. The following proposals will hurt job creation and will shut down or reduce investment in California’s economy:
- SB 1044 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Allows employees to leave work or refuse to show up to work if employee feels unsafe regardless of existing health and safety standards or whether employer has provided health and safety protections and subjects employers to costly PAGA lawsuits if they dispute the employee’s decision or need to have another employee take over any job duties. Assembly Emergency Management Committee hearing, June 27.
- AB 2183 (Stone D-Scotts Valley): Limits an employee’s ability to independently and privately vote for unionization in the workplace, by essentially eliminating a secret ballot election and replacing it with the submission of representation cards signed by over 50% of the employees, which leaves employees susceptible to coercion and manipulation by labor organizations. Also, unfairly limits an employer’s ability to challenge the cards submitted by forcing employers to post an unreasonable bond, and then limits an employee’s ability to decertify a union, by forcing them to go through the ballot election process instead of submission of representation cards. Also includes an unnecessary presumption of retaliation that is effectively unlimited in scope because it would apply for the duration of an election campaign, which could last for a year or more. Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, June 28.
- AB 2188 (Quirk D-Hayward): Risks workplace safety by promoting marijuana use to a protected class under California’s discrimination law, on par with national origin or religion. Also effectively prohibits pre-employment drug testing, harming employers’ ability to keep their workplace safe and drug free. In addition, would prohibit use of traditional marijuana tests, such as urine and hair testing, and compel employers to utilize saliva-based testing. Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee hearing, June 29.
- AB 2840 (Reyes; D-San Bernardino): Circumvents the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), creates an unprecedented ban on warehouses and logistics use projects irrespective of whether there are any project impacts, usurps local authority over land use decisions, exacerbates supply chain problems, and forces union labor for proposed private projects that are not banned. Senate Governance and Finance Committee hearing, June 29.
- SB 1162 (Limón; D-Goleta): Undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes burdensome administrative and record keeping requirements, and subjects employers to a private right of action and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). In Assembly Appropriations Committee; no hearing date set.