Opposition Stops More Holdover Job Killer Bills

Several job killer bills that remained eligible for consideration this year failed to advance in the Assembly this month.

Falling short of votes needed to pass an Assembly policy committee was a bill that would have reduced rental housing supply, AB 1506 (Bloom; D-Santa Monica).

Held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee were an unfair scheduling mandate, AB 5 (Gonzalez Fletcher; D-San Diego and Kalra; D-San Jose), and a targeted tax on contractors, AB 43 (Thurmond; D-Richmond).

AB 1506

AB 1506 would have discouraged new construction and decreased the rental housing supply by allowing cities and counties to adopt rent control measures without any limitations through the repeal of the Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act (a California law that created a statewide formula for local governments to follow if they elect to implement rent control) and expanding rent control to single-family homes and condominiums.

Key Vote

AB 1506 failed to secure enough votes to pass the Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee on January 11.

Ayes: Bonta (D-Oakland), Chiu (D-San Francisco), M. Stone (D-Scotts Valley).

Noes: Choi (R-Irvine); Steinorth (R-Rancho Cucamonga).

No votes recorded: Chau (D-Monterey Park), Wood (D-Healdsburg).

AB 5

AB 5 would have burdened small and large employers with a scheduling mandate that requires employers to offer additional hours of work to employees before hiring a new employee or contractor and exposes employers to multiple threats of costly litigation for technical violations that do not cause an employee any harm.

The mandate would have applied to small employers with as few as 10 employees, creating a host of complications and concerns, including:

• Mandating the employer to offer additional hours of work to employees in facilities where the employee does not work;

• Mandating an employer to contact an employee who may have explicitly told the employer he/she was not interested in the additional hours of work; was unavailable; or the additional hours of work would have required the employee to work overtime, thereby increasing the cost to an employer;

• AB 5 fails to indicate what an employer actually has to do to satisfy the “offer” requirement of additional hours;

• The requirement to use a “transparent and nondiscriminatory process” to pick among numerous available employees to receive the additional hours of work exposes the employer to threats of litigation, fines and administrative complaints when one employee is given the additional time over the other;

• Imposing an unreasonable document retention mandate on employers.

AB 43

AB 43 would have unfairly targeted one category of taxpayers to fund a benefit for all of the state by imposing a tax on contractors for the privilege of doing business with the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, and requiring the contractor to absorb the cost while maintaining a price of lowest responsible bidder.

In announcing that Assembly Appropriations would be holding AB 43, the chair said the committee encourages the author to reintroduce the proposal with language that will limit the scope of the state’s liability.

January 19 was the deadline for bills introduced last year to be sent along for consideration by the entire Assembly.

Staff Contacts: Jennifer Barrera, Laura E. Curtis, Marti Fisher

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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