Two key CRA victories were with regard to onerous and unworkable employee scheduling mandates and penalties and a proposal to force holiday double pay.
AB 357 (Chiu) Restricted Employee Schedules and Employer Penalties
One of CRA’s top priority bills to oppose was, AB 357 (Chiu), which would have required employers with 500 or more employees and 10 or more locations in the United States to provide employees with two week work schedule notice and any changes made seven days or less would subject employers to financial penalties in the form of additional compensation to the employee. The penalties varied depending on when the changes to hours or shifts occurred or when shift were cancelled. Furthermore, employers would have been required to compensate employees for being “on-call.” Additionally, the bill would have created an additional provision under the Labor Code, therefore, subjecting employers to likely costly litigation under the Private Attorney General Act (Private Right of Action). The bill faced a dismal vote count on the Assembly floor so the Author abandoned the effort, effectively killing the proposal for the year.
AB 67 (Gonzalez) Holiday Double Pay
Even though the bill was scaled back, it would have required all employers, except for a few industries and some collective bargaining employees, to pay their employees twice the regular rate for working on Thanksgiving Day. The bill would have also mandated that “tipped” employees receive double pay. Originally, the bill included Christmas as a “family holiday,” but was amended in the Appropriations Committee. However, the amendments still didn’t address the concerns of the restaurant industry. AB 67 failed on a 29-28 vote in the Assembly.
On the wage front, it was disappointing to see the additional minimum wage measure advance out of the State Senate.
SB 3 (Leno) Additional Minimum Wage Increase - $13 by 2017
SB 3 by Senator Mark Leno from San Francisco received a majority vote in the democratically-controlled State Senate to send his bill to the Assembly. SB 3 (Leno) seeks to make an additional increase to the state’s minimum wage. This bill would increase the minimum wage to $13 per hour by 2017 and starting 2019 would force upward indexing tied to the Consumer Price Index. Existing law will raise the minimum wage to $10 per hour starting January 1, 2016. The final implementation of AB 10 (Alejo) has not even taken place yet and the impacts to businesses and job growth have not been analyzed or studied. Sb 3 includes no mitigating measures such as a “total compensation” provision that would acknowledge tipped income or provide for a teen wage. The CRA will continue to advocate for “total compensation” measures and the establishment of a “teen or youth” wage on separate tracks from SB 3.
This bill will be a top priority, if not, the priority and focus of the CRA. The CRA and coalition partners will engage with and lobby Assembly members.