In 2015 the CRA was successful in halting the progress of a number of, including legislation to again increase the statewide minimum wage and a proposed law to restrict employee scheduling flexibility. Nevertheless, the following two-year bills (some will be amended) could potentially move forward for a floor vote by the January 31st deadline, except for tax levy bills which are not subject to this deadline, with the opposition of the CRA:
- AB 357 (Chiu-D) Restrictive Scheduling: Forces “general retail and food establishments” with more than 500 employees in California and 10 or more locations nationwide to provide employees with a restrictive, two-week work schedule and imposes substantial penalties on the employer if changes are made.
- AB 820 (Stone-D) Seafood Menu Labeling: Requires restaurants to stop using federal and state approved market names for seafood, and instead use the species names. Additionally, the bill requires restaurants to “identify at the point of sale” whether seafood was wild caught or farm raised.
- AB 1357 (Bloom-D) Sweetened Beverage Tax: Seeks to place a two-cent per ounce tax on bottled sweetened beverages or sweetened beverages produced from concentrate.
- AB 2X 18 (Bonilla-D) Restaurant Cocktail Tax: Imposes a five-cent tax per person, per drink on distilled spirits beverages served in restaurants, requires a prescriptive line item on the receipt and attaches the tax to the consumer price index for annual increases.
- SB 3 (Leno-D) Minimum Wage: Raises the minimum wage to $11 in January 2016 and further raises the wage to $13 by 2017 without providing for a total compensation structure to include tipped workers or a youth wage. Beginning in 2019, the wage would be set on auto-pilot for annual increases.
The upcoming November elections will also loom large over the new legislative session. While presidential politics have made the minimum wage and family leave trending topics on the campaign trail, the current roster of ballot initiatives could be equally influential. There are currently two separate union-backed $15 minimum wage measures slated for the November 2016 ballot.