Among this voluminous contingent of would-be laws, there are five undecided bills that the CRA either opposes or supports – with parental leave legislation being a priority of most business groups.
SB 654 would mandate six weeks of parental leave for a new parent at a business with 20 or more employees. That includes an employee with a new child, adopting a child or receiving a foster care placement.
The bill has been labeled a “job-killer” by the California Chamber of Commerce, and the governor vetoed a family leave bill just last year. Nevertheless, Brown remains tough to pin down on the issue and largely unpredictable.
Continuing the theme of regulating the relationship between employers and employees, SB 1063 seeks to prohibit an employer from paying different rates to workers of different races for substantially similar work. Although the bill is well-intentioned, the CRA is in opposition to Sen. Isadore Hall’s (D-Compton) legislation because it would open the door for a lot of litigation traps.
Another bill tackling employment is Asm. Mark Stone’s (D-Monterey Bay) AB 1843, or the so-called, “ban the box” legislation. The CRA is opposed to the Assemblymember’s measure as it could inhibit the ability of employers to make safe hiring decisions. AB 1843 would prohibit employers from inquiring into any adjudication made in a juvenile court – including criminal records of murder, rape and other dangerous crimes.
There is also SB 1167, introduced by Sen. Tony Mendoza (D-Artesia), which is an attempt to regulate indoor heat. The bill would require CAL-OSHA to establish heat illness and injury prevention standards for restaurants and a number of other workplaces. Since CAL-OSHA already has the authority to adopt such regulations, the CRA is opposed to a new law. In this case, adding additional mandates would only make it more challenging for employers to comply with existing state law.
Now onto a bill the CRA supports. Our government affairs team has worked with Sen. Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) to craft a bill that would allow for five new original special on-sale general alcohol licenses for eating establishments located within a specific area of San Francisco. If signed into law, the bill would serve as a trial project in San Francisco that could expand to other cities.
The Governor has until September 30 to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to all remaining legislation, and you can follow the CRA on Twitter to stay current on the latest updates.