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2012 Job Killers

The 2012 “job killer” list follows:

Barriers to Economic Recovery

AB 278 (Eng; D-Monterey Park)/SB 900 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Impedes Economic Recovery – Establishes a private right of action that could result in costly litigation which could discourage investment in California’s housing market and make capital more expensive for consumers while creating procedural traps to impede the foreclosure process and delay lenders’ ability to recover collateral legitimately in foreclosure. Signed by Governor, 7/11/12.

AB 1543 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Unconstitutional Limit on International Trade — Increases the cost of state contracts by imposing an unlawful prohibition on state and local governments from contracting with businesses that use component parts and materials from other countries in construction projects and to manufacture goods. DEAD.

AB 1602 (Eng; D-Monterey Park)/SB 1470 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Impedes Economic Recovery — Delays the recovery of California’s housing market by allowing all borrowers, including strategic defaulters and investors, to abuse the loan modification process to forestall legitimate foreclosures. Both bills failed the deadline to move. Topic referred to legislative conference committee (see AB 278/SB 900 above).

AB 1897 (Campos; D-San Jose) Impedes Development — Originally increased the cost of development and created project delays by requiring that general plans incorporate concepts related to healthy food access and urban agriculture. With May 17, 2012 amendments, no longer a “job killer.” CalChamber still opposes.

AB 1963 (Huber; D-El Dorado Hills) Targeted Tax on Services — Originally imposed a new sales-and-use-tax base on numerous services, disadvantaging California businesses that will not benefit by the proposed reduction in other tax rates.  Amended 04/25/12 to require a study of proposed changes. Opposition and “job killer” status removed.

AB 2408 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Creates Inequity in the Tax Structure — Harms struggling small businesses and start-ups by repealing the Net Operating Loss (NOL) carryback deduction, a lifeline that helps employers stay afloat, retain employees, and continue investing in their businesses in an economic downturn. DEAD.

AB 2425 (Mitchell; D-Los Angeles)/SB 1471 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Impedes Economic Recovery — Delays the economic recovery of California’s housing market by allowing borrowers, including strategic defaulters and investors, to interrupt the foreclosure process to forestall legitimate foreclosures. Both bills failed the deadline to move. Topic referred to legislative conference committee (see AB 278/SB 900 above).

AB 2517 (Eng; D-Monterey Park) Inappropriate Wage Liens — Creates a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage and hour arena by allowing employees in certain industries to file liens on an employer’s real property or any property where work was performed, based on an alleged but unproven wage claim. DEAD.

AB 2540 (Gatto; D-Los Angeles) Targeted Tax on Services — Before amendments, would have imposed a new sales-and-use-tax on numerous services, disadvantaging small businesses that may not necessarily benefit from the proposed tax exemption for the first $10,000 in business income. Opposition and Job Killer status removed due to amendments

SB 950 (Alquist; D-Santa Clara) Unreasonable and Duplicative Tax Penalties for Employers — Forces taxpayers to overpay their taxes in order to avoid severe penalties. DEAD.

Costly Workplace Mandates

AB 1313 (Allen; D-Santa Rosa) Increased Cost on Agricultural Employers — Drives up the cost of commodities to consumers by removing the existing overtime exemption allowed for agricultural employers. DEAD.

AB 1439 (Alejo; D-Salinas) Automatic Minimum Wage Increase — Increases the cost of doing business on California employers by annually indexing the minimum wage rate upwards according to the percentage of inflation even during an economic downturn. DEAD.

AB 1450 (Allen; D-Santa Rosa) Exposure to Costly Discrimination Litigation — Subjects employers to unjustified charges of discrimination for legitimately inquiring into an applicant’s most recent employment history. Amended 08/22/12 to remove the threat of frivolous litigation for inquiring into an applicant’s most recent employment background. Opposition and “job killer” status removed.

AB 1808 (Williams; D-Santa Barbara) Improper Characterization of Private Employees to Allow Potential Card Check Unionization — Significantly expands the definition of “public employee” to include employees of any private employer where a public agency “shares” in the employment decisions of those private employees, thereby subjecting private employers to petitions of recognition from public employee unions. DEAD.

AB 1999 (Brownley; D-Santa Monica) Expansion of Discrimination Litigation — Makes it virtually impossible for employers to manage their employees and exposes them to a higher risk of litigation by expanding the Fair Employment and Housing Act to include a protected classification for any person who is, perceived, or associated with a family caregiver. DEAD.

AB 2039 (Swanson; D-Alameda) Expansion of Protected Leave Requirements for California Employers — Creates a burdensome, California–only mandated benefit that significantly expands the category of individuals with serious health conditions for whom an employee can take a leave of absence beyond what is currently included under the federal Family Medical Leave Act. DEAD.

AB 2217 (Pan; D-Sacramento) Targeted Burden on Companies with Call Centers — Discourages businesses from even locating a call center in California by requiring the business to adhere to overreaching mandates. DEAD.

AB 2346 (Butler; D-Los Angeles) Increased Cost of Food — Could increase the price of food and force growers to move their crop production to other states and countries, thereby hurting California exports, by creating unprecedented and excessive consequences for perceived and actual violations of heat illness prevention regulations. VETOED.

Expensive, Unnecessary Regulatory Burdens

AB 2424 (Portantino; D-Pasadena) New State Goals for Forestry — Increases costs of timber production by changing the state’s forestry goals to give equal consideration to each public need when reviewing forestry operations, including Timber Harvest Plans. DEAD

SB 568 (A. Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) Polystyrene Food Container Ban — Threatens thousands of manufacturing jobs within the state by inappropriately banning all food vendors from using polystyrene foam food service containers, ignoring the numerous environmental benefits associated with polystyrene products. DEAD.

Fuel Price Increases

AB 1186 (Skinner; D-Berkeley)/AB 1532 (John A. Pérez; D-Los Angeles)/ AB 2404 (Fuentes; D-Los Angeles)/ SB 535 (De León; D-Los Angeles)/ SB 1572 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills)  Illegal Tax Increase — Increases energy costs, including fuel prices, on consumers and businesses by allocating funds from an illegal tax to various programs that are not necessary to cost-effectively implement the market-based trading mechanism under AB 32. AB 1186 Vetoed. AB 2404 held on the Assembly Appropriations Suspense File, 05/25/12. SB 1572 held on third reading on the Assembly Floor, 08/31/12. AB 1532 and SB 535 signed by Governor, 09/30/12.

Inflated Liability Costs

AB 1208 (C. Calderon; D-Montebello) Court Inefficiency — Creates uncertainty, inefficiency and unpredictability for litigants, further aggravating California’s reputation as a bad place to do business, by decentralizing control of trial court funds. DEAD.

AB 2149 (Butler; D-Los Angeles) Discourages Settlement Agreements — As introduced, inappropriately interfered in the contractual relationship between two parties by allowing the sharing of certain information contained in settlement agreements. With April 26, 2012 amendments, removed from “job killer” list, but CalChamber still opposes unless amended.

SB 491 (Evans; D-Santa Rosa) Anti-Arbitration Legislation – Creates uncertainty for businesses regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements and dramatically increases litigation costs by encouraging more class actions and potentially pushing more cases into the courts. DEAD.

SB 1528 (Steinberg; D-Sacramento) Inflates Litigation and Insurance Costs —  Artificially inflates medical damage awards in personal injury cases by allowing an injured party to recover expenses never actually incurred, which will ultimately increase legal costs as well as insurance rates. DEAD.

Early Activity on ‘Job Killer’ Bills in 2012

SB 810 (Leno; D-San Francisco) Government-Run Health Care – Creates a new government-run, multibillion-dollar socialized health care system supported by an unspecified “premium structure” to be determined by 2014 and by prohibiting the sale of any private health care insurance. DEAD.

AB 832 (Ammiano; D-San Francisco) Hidden Tax Increase – Before amendments, would have raised taxes on businesses and individuals by imposing a hidden tax on exempt software when the software is purchased in a bundle with hardware. Opposition and Job Killer status removed due to amendments. 

The California Chamber of Commerce (CalChamber) is the largest broad-based business advocate to government in California.  Membership represents one-quarter of the private sector jobs in California and includes firms of all sizes and companies from every industry within the state.  Leveraging our front-line knowledge of laws and regulations, we provide products and services to help businesses comply with both federal and state law.  CalChamber, a not-for-profit organization with roots dating to 1890, promotes international trade and investment in order to stimulate California’s economy and create jobs.  Please visit our website at



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