(August 31, 2010) On the final day of the legislative session, the California Chamber of Commerce is drawing attention to the seven “job killer” bills that are still moving. One “job killer” bill is already on its way to the Governor’s desk.
AB 2346 (Butler; D-Los Angeles) 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 excessive, unnecessary new rules regarding heat illness prevention with unreasonable consequences for violations. The bill is currently to engrossing and enrolling, which is the final procedural step before the bill is formally submitted to the Governor.
The provisions of the bill create traps and a ‘gotcha’ cycle from which it could be difficult for employers to exit. Among the bill’s onerous provisions that opponents find most egregious are:
- Creates a broad new private right of action even when no violation has been found by Cal/OSHA.
- Creates joint liability along with a repeat offender provision for any violation—even paperwork.
- Creates a very low bar to meet a presumption of fraud, which in civil law is a very high standard.
- Creates a new unprecedented, undefined requirement to certify the availability of a program and equipment to comply with heat illness prevention requirements.
- Ignores and potentially undermines state law establishing workers’ compensation as the exclusive remedy for work-related injuries and illnesses by creating a private right of action to sue for damages.
CalChamber is urging its members to contact the Governor and urge him to veto AB 2346.
Active Job Killer Bills
Today is the last day for the Legislature to send bills to the Governor. Still alive are:
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.
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.
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.
AB 1186 (Skinner; D-Berkeley)/AB 1532 (John A. Pérez; 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.
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.