The key witnesses that are being used as the face of the effort to push the bill are three employees from the retail and grocery sectors who claim they were forced to work on holidays in order to avoid termination. The California Restaurant Association along with the California Chamber of Commerce and other employer groups have expressed strong opposition to the legislation for a number of reasons, including: the unavoidable increase in costs, constitutional issues and legal traps, just to name a few. Additionally, the legislature would be very likely to come back in later years to add a lengthy list of other holidays to be covered by the law.
Many CRA members have said this law, if enacted, will force them to evaluate the feasibility of keeping their doors open on those two holidays. If the math doesn't add up, some may simply chose to not open, which will negatively impact the available work shifts and keep businesses from providing a service to the consuming public.
This legislation comes at a time when employers are already faced with higher labor costs, especially when, cumulatively, you take into account the upcoming additional increase to the minimum wage, costs and compliance with the Affordable Healthcare Act, and the impending paid sick leave law that will go into effect July 1, 2015. These cost pressures continues to make it challenging for the restaurant community
Members of the committee approved the proposal on a party line vote with democrats voting in favor of the bill and republicans in opposition. The bill will next go to the Assembly Appropriations committee where it will, undoubtedly, face much greater scrutiny and will be examined with the financial costs to state and local governments as the key focal point.