Job Killer Update: Only Six Bills Pass to Second House

Friday was the deadline for bills to pass the house in which they were introduced. Six job killer bills subject to the first house deadline have passed to the second house. Three remaining bills subject to the June 2 deadline were stopped on the floors.

Job Killers Stopped

Strong opposition from the California Chamber of Commerce and the business community helped to stop SB 705 (Allen; D-Santa Monica) from reaching the Assembly. SB 705 would have prohibited food vendors from using take-out food containers made from polystyrene foam. The bill was placed on the Senate Inactive File by Senator Ben Allen where it will remain and will be eligible for consideration in 2018.

Also stopped on the Senate Floor was SB 567 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) which proposed multiple tax hikes on state employers. The bill targeted family-owned businesses that transfer the business upon death to other family members. SB 567 also sought to eliminate the current deduction allowed for compensation paid to executive officers for achieving performance-based goals. Senator Ricardo Lara moved the bill to the Senate Inactive File and it may be considered in 2018.

AB 1576 (Levine; D-San Rafael) was never brought up for a vote on the Assembly Floor. The bill proposed to significantly amend the Gender Tax Repeal Act of 1998 so that businesses could easily have been sued for a consumer’s assertion that there was a price difference for substantially similar goods due to the gender of the intended user. The bill would have required businesses to settle consumer complaints with a minimum of $4,000 in damages or face further costly litigation. 

Job Killers in Second House

Moving on to the second house are the following CalChamber-opposed job killer bills:

ARBITRATION DISCRIMINATION

SB 33 (Dodd; D-Napa) Discrimination Against Arbitration Agreements — Unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements contained in consumer contracts for goods or services with a financial institution, as broadly defined, which is likely preempted by the Federal Arbitration Act and will lead to confusion and unnecessary litigation. To Assembly.

SB 538 (Monning; D-Carmel) Arbitration Discrimination — Unfairly and unlawfully discriminates against arbitration agreements by restricting the formation of antitrust arbitration agreements in hospital contracts, leading to costly litigation over preemption by the Federal Arbitration Act. To Assembly

INCREASED LABOR COSTS

AB 1209 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego) Public Shaming of California Employers — Imposes a mandate on California employers to collect data on the mean and median salaries paid to men and women under the same job title or description without also considering any bona fide reason for differences in compensation, to publicly shame California employers and expose them to costly litigation for alleged wage disparity where no violation of the equal pay law exists. To Senate.

SB 63 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) Imposes New Maternity and Paternity Leave Mandate — Unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers with as few as 20 employees by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for child bonding and exposes them to the threat of costly litigation. To Assembly.

SB 562 (Lara; D-Bell Gardens) Government-Run Health Care — Creates a new single-payer government-run, multibillion-dollar health care system financed by an unspecified and undeveloped “revenue plan” which will penalize responsible employers and individuals and result in significant new taxes on all Californians and California businesses. To Assembly.

INCREASED UNNECESSARY LITIGATION COSTS

SB 49 (de León; D-Los Angeles) Creates Uncertainty and Increases Potential Litigation Regarding Environmental Standards — Creates uncertainty for businesses with respect to the federal environmental standards proposed to be incorporated into California law if backsliding occurs at the federal level and the standards/requirements to be adopted by State agencies, and increases the potential for costly litigation by creating private rights of action under California law when certain events occur. To Assembly.

Policy committee hearings may resume today.

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