Senate committee prolongs 'job killer' bills


Despite its best efforts, the California Chamber of Commerce cannot get Sacramento to heed its warnings.

Late last month, the Senate Judiciary Committee gave approval to four "job killer" proposals on party-line votes.

The time to act is now. The Chamber urges voters and concerned Californians to contact their legislators and urge them not to let these fiscally foolish follies advance any further.

The quartet of egregious bills is listed below:

AB 2617.

This bill unfairly prohibits the enforcement of arbitration agreements or pre-litigation settlement agreements that require the individual to waive their right to pursue a civil action for the alleged violation of civil rights.

Critics argue this bill interferes with state and federal arbitration laws. Courts already provide adequate protection for arbitration agreements - which are an effective and efficient means to resolve workplace claims and disputes.

The bill, sponsored by Shirley Weber, D-San Diego, has been sent out of committee for consideration by the full Senate.

AB 1522.

This bill increases employer mandates by requiring all employers, large and small, to provide all employees in California with paid sick leave, and threatens employers with statutory penalties as well as litigation for alleged violations.

In opposing this bill, the California Chamber of Commerce notes that many employers voluntarily offer sick leave for full-time employees. Expanding that benefit to mandate paid sick leave for temporary, seasonal and part-time employees will create a large, economically unsustainable burden on the state's employers.

The bill, sponsored by Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, is awaiting action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 1897.

This bill unfairly imposes liability on any contracting entity for the contractor's wage and hour violations, lack of workers' compensation coverage, and/or failure to remit employee contributions, despite the lack of any evidence that the contracting entity controlled the working conditions or wages of the contractor's employees.

This bill, according to critics, would unfairly hold liable the overwhelming majority of employers in California for the wage-and-hour violations of another that they could neither control nor prevent.

The bill, sponsored by Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina, is awaiting action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

AB 2416.

This bill creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees to file liens on an employer's real or personal property, or property where work was performed, based upon alleged yet unproven wage claims.

Critics point out that this bill will cripple California's businesses by allowing any employee, governmental agency or anyone "authorized by the employee to act on the employee's behalf" to record liens on an employer's real property or any property where an employee "performed work" for an alleged, yet unproven, wage claim. The legislation, if passed, would severely disrupt commercial and personal real estate markets all across the state.

The bill, sponsored by Mark Stone, D-Scotts Valley, is awaiting action in the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Make your voice heard. Contact your legislators and appropriations committee members to prevent these bills from advancing.

If not, California suffers. We all suffer.


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