Fiscal Committees Give Go-Ahead to Job Killers, Other Harmful Bills

(September 3, 2019) Assembly and Senate fiscal committees sent California Chamber of Commerce-opposed bills, including five job killers, along for further consideration by the entire membership of both houses on Friday.

Some bills were amended, while others were held in the fiscal committee and are likely dead for the rest of the year.

Bills Advancing

Following is a sampling of bills that are actively being considered by legislators:

Job Killer Bills

AB 51 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Bans arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment. Banning such agreements benefits the trial attorneys, not the employer or employee. Governor Brown vetoed a similar measure last year and stated it “plainly violates federal law.”

AB 1066 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Passed Senate Appropriations Committee with amendments: Allows employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks, incentivizing strikes, burdening employers, and potentially affecting the solvency of California’s UI fund.

AB 1080 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Amendments Pending: Provides CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame.

SB 1 (Atkins; D-San Diego): Passed Assembly Appropriations Committee with amendments: Gives certain state agencies unfettered authority to adopt rules and regulations when the agency, in its discretion, determines that the federal rules and regulations in effect on January 19, 2017 are “less protective” than existing federal law. It further increases the potential for costly litigation by creating new private rights of action under California law.

SB 54 (Allen; D-Santa Monica): Amendments Pending: Provides CalRecycle with broad authority to develop and impose costly and unrealistic new mandates on manufacturers of all single-use packaging and certain single-use plastic consumer products under an unrealistic compliance time frame.

Other CalChamber-Opposed Bills

ACA 14 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego): Passed Senate Appropriations with amendments: Places an unreasonable contract prohibition on the University of California for support services.

AB 731 (Kalra; D-San Jose): Passed Senate Appropriations with amendments: Imposes a burdensome rate review process for health plans and insurers in the large group market.

AB 1478 (Carrillo; D-Los Angeles): Passed Senate Appropriations with amendments: Significantly amends current law regarding job protected leave for jury duty, victims of a crime, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking by creating a new private right action for potential employer violations.

AB 1482 (Chiu; D-San Francisco): Amendments Pending: Places rent caps on all rental housing in the State of California, including new construction, regardless of whether costs from utilities increase or capital improvements are made, thereby disincentivizing maintenance on existing units and new housing construction.

SB 749 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles): Passed Assembly Appropriations with amendments: Unnecessarily requires the disclosure of private employees’ personnel and financial data under the California Public Records Act as well as private employers’ trade secrets.

Bills Stopped

The following bills were among those held in Senate Appropriations and therefore stalled for the year:

AB 161 (Ting; D-San Francisco): Mandates most businesses in California to offer electronic or paper receipts, or an option to opt out of any receipt at all, for every customer.

AB 516 (Chiu; D-San Francisco): Allows prolonged parking on public streets.

AB 1270 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley): Expands the False Claims Act to allow the Attorney General and private attorneys to sue taxpayers on perceived tax errors.

Update on AB 5

Several amendments were made to AB 5 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), the bill that codifies the ABC independent contractor employment test established in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles. Amendments include:

  • Add new professional services exemption categories: marketing, administrator of human resources, travel agents, enrolled agents, payment processing agents, photography, editors, cartoonists;
  • New exemption for construction trucking;
  • Exemption for referral agency. Connects small businesses that set own rates to the public without deduction by agency.
  • Move specified licensed professionals from professional services exemption (requiring criteria to be satisfied) to straight exemption: lawyer, architect, engineer, veterinarian, private investigator, accountant;
  • New exemption for psychologists, dentists and podiatrists to physician exemption;
  • Add new language to reduce requirements for professional exemptions;
  • Add commercial fishermen due to existing exemption from employment laws;
  • Adds 6-month delay to utilizing ABC test for workers compensation;
  • Add language to clarify that exemptions are retroactive and new obligations are prospective;
  • Increase the number of allowable submissions, as defined, that a freelance journalist can make to the same publication from 25 to 35 in the same year before being subject to the Dynamex test.