CalChamber Urges Action on Bills Awaiting Assembly/Senate Votes

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OpposeMany bills opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce have moved through legislative committees and could come to a vote of the entire Assembly or Senate as early as next week.

Hearing from constituents will be important as legislators weigh their decisions on the following bills.

In Assembly

AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) is a costly employee retention mandate. It inappropriately alters the employment relationship and increases frivolous litigation by allowing a private right of action and by requiring any successor grocery employer to retain employees of the former grocery employer for 90 days and continue to offer continued employment unless the employees’ performance during the 90-day period was unsatisfactory.

The bill has been designated a “job killer” because it unfairly forces grocery employers to hire a predecessor’s employees, undermines the at-will employment presumption in California, ensures continued union representation, despite any change in employers, and subjects employers to litigation.

AB 567 (Gipson; D-Carson), dealing with change of ownership, specifies that the fact the change of ownership statement has been filed with the Board of Equalization (BOE) or that the BOE has issued a determination on change of ownership is not confidential.

There is no valid reason to begin violating the fundamental principle of taxpayer confidentiality. More and more tax information that should remain confidential is indiscriminately made available to the public. The benefits to be derived from such disclosures are speculative at best, and do not warrant taking the risk of inaccuracies or other adverse consequences that may undermine public confidence in the tax system.

AB 1017 (Campos; D-San Jose) threatens employers with civil and criminal prosecution for failing to set forth in a verbal or written offer the minimum rate of pay for each job position and precludes employers from seeking relevant employment history when interviewing candidates.

The bill may limit job opportunities for those who are less qualified, will potentially reduce applicant wages, and expose employers to additional litigation.

AB 1157 (Nazarian; D-Sherman Oaks) extends the sunset date for the current lead assessor process for property valuation of commercial aircraft, which subjects aircraft companies to uncertainty and administrative burdens including the filing of multiple tax-related documents in numerous counties where they operate, inconsistent assessments, and ultimately, litigation. Instead of continuing with this model, commercial aircraft carriers would prefer a centralized method that is consistent and uniform.

In Senate

SB 226 (Pavley; D-Agoura Hills) prematurely makes changes to the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act passed last year before it is completely implemented. Clouds the issue of expedited adjudication.

SB 331 (Mendoza; D-Artesia) creates new contracting requirements that will drive up the cost for vendors, suppliers and local government agencies for contracting if the local agency has adopted a civic openness in negotiations (COIN) ordinance in regards to the collective bargaining process. While some local agencies see value in transparency for the collective bargaining process and have adopted COIN ordinances, the same principles are not easily applied to contracting for goods and services.

SB 379 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), dealing with general plan safety elements, creates an additional parallel process, with unclear definitions, in order to incorporate adaptation and resiliency into the planning process. Because climate change, adaptation and science and policy are rapidly evolving, new terms must be clearly defined so there is no ambiguity about what is required.

SB 501 (Wieckowski; D-Fremont) drastically reduces the ability of judgment creditors to recover on valid, court-issued judgments, and may result in harming the very consumers the bill is trying to protect.

SB 570 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara) unnecessarily creates new litigation exposure on employers for insufficient breach notices and expands costly breach mitigation service requirements without providing any additional benefits to the consumer.

Action Needed

The CalChamber is urging members to contact your Assembly and Senate representatives and ask them to oppose these bills.

See the CalChamber letters opposing these bills at www.calchambervotes.com.

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