Priorities

Economic growth and job creation are the keys to making California a great place to live, work and do business. To help lawmakers focus on the full ramifications of proposed laws, the California Chamber of Commerce identifies each year the legislation that will hinder job creation. The job killer list highlights those bills that truly are going to cost the state jobs.


2024 Job Killers

The California Chamber of Commerce 2024 job killer list includes bills dealing with unemployment insurance, taxes, labor and employment, consumer products, environmental, housing, artificial intelligence and health care issues.

“These proposals would add significant costs and burdens to California’s small businesses, creating an even more challenging business climate in our state,” said CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera. “Lawmakers should carefully weigh the consequences these bills would have on California employers and businesses in their local communities. We are grateful that the Governor and Legislative leadership have indicated that new taxes are off the table this year. This is particularly significant because two bills on this year’s job killer list propose tax increases to fund UI benefit hikes.”

The California Chamber of Commerce has named the following as job killer bills for 2024.

Unemployment Insurance/New Taxes

SB 1434 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Huge Increases to Unemployment Insurance Taxes. Increases UI taxes to fund UI benefit hikes of up to 55%, as well as providing for subsequent increases based on inflation. Also creates entirely new UI program to provide benefits to workers who do not qualify for traditional UI, to be funded by a new tax on California employers. In Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee. Failed deadline.

SB 1116 (Portantino; D-Burbank) Increased Unemployment Insurance Taxes to Subsidize Striking Workers. SB 1116 will allow striking workers to claim UI benefits when they choose to strike. Because the UI Fund is paid for entirely by employers, SB 1116 will effectively add more debt onto California employers. Moreover, SB 1116 will effectively force employers to subsidize strikes at completely unrelated businesses because the UI Fund’s debt adds taxes for all employers, regardless of whether they’ve had a strike.

AB 2829 (Papan; D-San Mateo) Tax on Digital Advertising Revenue. Implements a new tax on digital ads of 5%. In addition to increasing taxes on businesses, it is likely unconstitutional. Held in Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee, April 29, 2024.

SB 1327 (Glazer; D-Contra Costa) Tax on Digital Advertising Revenue. Implements a discriminatory 7.25% tax on the revenue generated from the sale of digital advertising. The bill targets taxpayers that annually make at least $2.5 billion of revenue from these services.

Labor and Employment

SB 1345 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles) Prohibits Consideration of Conviction History in Employment. Effectively prohibits most employers from considering conviction history of an applicant, existing employee, or contractor in employment or contracting decisions. In Senate Judiciary Committee. Failed deadline.

AB 2374 (Haney; D-San Francisco) Joint Liability for Businesses of All Sizes. Originally imposed new statutory joint liability on business of any size that contracts for janitorial services if a contractor violates the Displaced Janitor Opportunity Act and placed new mandates on those businesses that should be assigned to the contractor. Job killer status removed due to May 16, 2024 amendments removing joint liability portion of the bill and making other changes. CalChamber remains opposed unless amended due to the requirement that an awarding authority must provide certain notifications to a union representing another entity’s employees.

AB 2499 (Schiavo; D-Chatsworth) Leave Expansion. Significantly expands uncapped leave related to crimes and lowers threshold of applicability to employers with just five employees.

AB 2751 (Haney; D-San Francisco) Prohibition on Employee Communications During Certain Hours. Prohibits any employee working for an employer of any size from contacting another employee outside of their normal work hours except in very narrow circumstances and would subject employer to costly litigation for any dispute as to whether the communication was permissible. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee, May 16, 2024.

Artificial Intelligence

SB 1154 (Hurtado; D-Sanger) California Preventing Algorithmic Collusion Act of 2024. Prohibits a person from using or distributing pricing algorithms that use, incorporate, or were trained on “nonpublic competitor data” which is wholly unnecessary given that collusion is already illegal under existing law. Worse yet, the bill actually creates substantial confusion and uncertainty for businesses as to what is a lawful pricing algorithm as opposed to price fixing due to vague and overbroad standards, imposes onerous reporting requirements, and grants the Attorney General (AG) authority to request these reports detailing a business’s use of pricing algorithms for any reason and without any regard to whether the business is alleged to have behaved anticompetitively or harmed consumers. The bill also allows the AG to share the report with a third party to decipher the information reported. When combined with the aggressive liability provisions and the inevitable costs imposed on all but the smallest of businesses, the bill invariably will have a sweeping, chilling effect on price competition among businesses across all industries. In Senate Judiciary Committee. Failed deadline.

Consumer Products

SB 903 (Skinner; D-Berkeley) Bans All Uses of PFAS. Prohibits the use of PFAS in all commercial and consumer products by 2032 unless DTSC is petitioned and makes an affirmative determination that the PFAS in a particular product is an unavoidable use. Because of the breadth and scope of PFAS use, including in aerospace, lithium ion batteries, medical devices, automotive and semiconductors, to name a few, the regulatory program established is unworkable and ultimately will lead to a ban on critically important products or otherwise make certain products less safe. Held in Senate Appropriations Commmittee, May 16, 2024.

Environmental

ACA 16 (Bryan; D-Los Angeles) Environmental Rights. Has far-reaching negative consequences that would impair government operations, stunt development for new housing, infrastructure and clean energy project development and has strong potential to destabilize California’s economy.

SB 1497 (Menjivar; D-Los Angeles) Polluters Pay Climate Cost Recovery Act of 2024. Imposes an ill-defined tax on a broad set of entities that will increase costs for goods and services in California.

Health Care

AB 2200 (Kalra; D-San Jose) Government-Run Health Care. Forces all Californians into a new untested state government health plan, with no ability to opt out while eliminating Medicare for California seniors and increasing taxes at least $250 billion a year on workers, income, jobs, goods and services. Held in Assembly Appropriations Committee, May 16, 2024.

Housing

AB 2230 (Bennett; D-Ventura) Worsens Housing Crisis. Substantially shuts down the production of housing in California by blocking the inflow of crucial capital that nearly all housing production relies on. The Cartwright Act already protects against price fixing so expanding it as contemplated by this bill is unnecessary and will have the unintended consequence of making any return on investment a crime. In Assembly Judiciary Committee. Failed deadline.