Opposition Stops More Holdover Job Killer Bills

Two job killer bills that remained eligible for consideration this year failed to advance in the Assembly this month.

Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee were an unfair scheduling mandate, AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego and Kalra; D-San Jose), and a targeted tax on contractors, AB 43 (Thurmond; D-Richmond).

AB 5

AB 5 would have burdened small and large employers with a scheduling mandate that requires employers to offer additional hours of work to employees before hiring a new employee or contractor and exposes employers to multiple threats of costly litigation for technical violations that do not cause an employee any harm.

The mandate would have applied to small employers with as few as 10 employees, creating a host of complications and concerns, including:

• Mandating the employer to offer additional hours of work to employees in facilities where the employee does not work;

• Mandating an employer to contact an employee who may have explicitly told the employer he/she was not interested in the additional hours of work; was unavailable; or the additional hours of work would have required the employee to work overtime, thereby increasing the cost to an employer;

• AB 5 fails to indicate what an employer actually has to do to satisfy the “offer” requirement of additional hours;

• The requirement to use a “transparent and nondiscriminatory process” to pick among numerous available employees to receive the additional hours of work exposes the employer to threats of litigation, fines and administrative complaints when one employee is given the additional time over the other;

• Imposing an unreasonable document retention mandate on employers.

AB 43

AB 43 would have unfairly targeted one category of taxpayers to fund a benefit for all of the state by imposing a tax on contractors for the privilege of doing business with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and requiring the contractor to absorb the cost while maintaining a price of lowest responsible bidder.

In announcing that Assembly Appropriations would be holding AB 43, the chair said the committee encourages the author to reintroduce the proposal with language that will limit the scope of the state’s liability.

January 19 was the deadline for bills introduced last year to be sent along for consideration by the entire Assembly.