Costly Employee Retention Mandate Passes Senate Labor Committee

JopKillerA California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bill that denies employers the basic choice of whom to hire passed the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee this week.

AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego) 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 passed the full Assembly on May 26, 46-27.

The CalChamber considers AB 359 a job killer because it:

• Subjects employers to multiple threats of litigation.

• Denies employers the basic choice of whom to hire in their workforce.

• Eliminates an employer’s opportunity to investigate applicants before hiring.

• Undermines the at-will presumption in order to protect the incumbent union.

• Forces an employer to adhere to terms of a contract to which it is not a party.

• Does not provide stability or reduce unemployment in the grocery industry.

• Discourages investment in grocery establishments and jeopardizes jobs.

• Offers no evidence that it preserves health and safety standards.

Key Vote

Senate Labor and Industrial Relations passed AB 359, 4-1, on June 24.

Ayes: Mendoza (D-Artesia), Jackson (D-Santa Barbara), Leno (D-San Francisco), Mitchell (D-Los Angeles).

No: Jeff Stone (R-Temecula).

Staff Contact: Jennifer Barrera

Previous articleCalChamber Applauds U.S. Senate for Passing Bipartisan Trade Promotion Bill
Next articleJapan-California Trade/Investment Ties in Spotlight at Annual Business Gathering
Jennifer Barrera took over as president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce on October 1, 2021. She has been part of the CalChamber team since 2010 and stepped into the top position after serving as CalChamber executive vice president, overseeing the development and implementation of policy and strategy for the organization, as well as representing the CalChamber on legal reform issues. Barrera is well-known for her success rate with the CalChamber’s annual list of job killer legislation, efforts to reform the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) and leadership working with employers on critical issues, including most recently those arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, she advises the business compliance activities of the CalChamber on interpreting changes in employment law. 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. See full bio