Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. vetoed the two California Chamber of Commerce-opposed job killer bills on his desk this week. In 2015, CalChamber identified 19 job killer bills and stopped 18 of them from becoming law.
On October 11, the last day for the Governor to act on legislation sent to his desk, the Governor vetoed AB 465 (R. Hernández; D-West Covina), which would have increased litigation, and SB 406 (Jackson; D-Santa Barbara), which would have significantly expanded the California Family Rights Act.
“We appreciate the Governor’s thoughtful approach and attention to the adverse consequences of overly broad legislation,” said Allan Zaremberg, CalChamber president and CEO. “These vetoes will help establish the certainty that California businesses need in managing their workforce and will be a positive factor in promoting California job creation.”
AB 465: Increased Litigation
The CalChamber argued that if signed into law, AB 465 would have worsened the litigation environment and hurt job creation because it precluded mandatory employment arbitration agreements, which is likely pre-empted by the Federal Arbitration Act.
Governor Brown agreed with CalChamber, writing: “California courts have addressed this issue of unfairness by insisting that employment arbitration agreements must include numerous protections to be enforceable, including neutrality of the arbitrator, adequate discovery, no limitation on damages or remedies, and a written decision that permits some judicial review and limitation on the costs of arbitration.”
On the issue of pre-emption, the Governor wrote that “recent decisions by both the California and United States Supreme Courts have found that state policies which unduly impede arbitration are invalid.”
Expansion of Family Rights Act
SB 406 (Jackson; D–Santa Barbara) was identified as a job killer because the bill would have increased costs and the risk of litigation.
The bill would have created inconsistencies with federal law by expanding the family members for whom leave may be taken, which would have provided a potential 24-week protected leave of absence for employers to administer.
The Governor agreed with CalChamber’s assessment of SB 406, pointing out that the bill “could require employers to provide employees up to 24 weeks of family leave in a 12-month period.”
The Governor continued that he is “open to legislation to allow workers to take leave for additional family members that does not create this anomaly.”
Job Killer Signed
One job killer bill, AB 359 (Gonzalez; D-San Diego), dealing with grocery workers, was sent to the Governor in August and was signed into law.