Job Killer Bills Clear Policy Committees

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JopKillerSenate and Assembly policy committees have sent several California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bills to the next step of the legislative process.

If passed, the proposals will increase meritless litigation and labor costs, reduce the availability of affordable housing and interfere with employment arbitration.

Meritless Litigation

Now awaiting action by the entire Senate is SB 899 (Hueso; D-San Diego), a job killer that will lead to increased meritless litigation costs.

If approved, SB 899 will drive up consumer costs and increase frivolous litigation similar to the disability access lawsuits in California, by prohibiting a retailer or grocery store from discriminating against a person on the basis of gender with the price of goods and subjecting them to a minimum $4,000 of damages for each violation.

SB 899 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 12, 5-1.

Maternity/Paternity Leave

To be considered next by the Senate Appropriations Committee is SB 1166 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which imposes a new maternity and paternity leave mandate.

The bill unduly burdens and increases costs of small employers, with as few as 10 employees, as well as large employers with 50 or more employees, by requiring 12 weeks of protected employee leave for maternity or paternity leave, and exposes all employers to the threat of costly litigation.

SB 1166 passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on April 19, 4-2.

Housing Affordability/Availability

Also due to be considered next by Senate Appropriations is SB 1318 (Wolk; D-Davis), which erodes housing affordability. The bill inappropriately leverages necessary affordable housing in order to solve infrastructure issues with the consequence that the housing won’t be built by imposing requirements on water or waste water districts to serve certain communities first. SB 1318 passed the Senate Environmental Quality Committee on April 20, 5-2.

SB 1150 (Leno; D- San Francisco), eroding housing availability, passed the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee on April 20, 4-3, and will be considered next by Senate Judiciary. The bill increases liability risk and the cost of residential loans by allowing a party not on the mortgage loan to interfere with appropriate foreclosures and creates a private right of action for violations of overly complex and burdensome requirements.

Employment Arbitration

AB 2879 (M. Stone; D-Scotts Valley), dealing with employment arbitration agreements discrimination, will be considered next by the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

The bill unfairly discriminates against arbitration agreements and is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act, which will lead to confusion and litigation, by prohibiting an employer from requiring an individual who is a member of the military to sign a mandatory arbitration agreement as a condition of employment.

AB 2879 passed the Assembly Judiciary Committee on April 19, 7-3.

Updated Sample Letters

As new hearings are scheduled on the job killer bills, updated sample letters will be available on the CalChamber grassroots website at calchambervotes.com.

More Information

For more information on these and other job killer bills, visit cajobkillers.com.

Staff Contacts: Jennifer Barrera, Valerie Nera

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Jennifer Barrera
About Jennifer Barrera
Jennifer Barrera, senior policy advocate, works with the executive vice president in developing policy strategy and represents the CalChamber on labor and employment, taxation and legal reform issues. Before joining the CalChamber in September 2010, she worked at a statewide law firm that specializes in labor/employment defense. She also advised small and large businesses on compliance issues, presented seminars on employment-related topics, and authored articles in human resources publications. Barrera earned a B.A. in English from California State University, Bakersfield, and a J.D. with high honors from California Western School of Law.