Message from the CEO
This past Friday, our Government Relations Committee met at the Chamber and discussed pieces of legislation coming down the pipeline aimed at businesses. It may only be March, but our committee has already voted to join the opposition efforts on four bad for business bills that we could see on the ballot this November. Three of these are designated as "job killers"- bills that will decimate economic and job growth in California due to erroneous regulations or undue costs levied upon business owners. As some of you may know, the Lodi District Chamber of Commerce is one of 50 politically active chambers in California. We align with CalChamber to lobby against the bills we believe are bad for business, our members, and our community. Advocacy is one of the major benefits of the Chamber of Commerce and it's a benefit our staff and GRC takes seriously. Below are the four bills we are currently opposing. Sadly, this list will grow exponentially before November and it is our hope to continue having a 90% kill rate of these "job killers".
SB 850: (Job Killer) Scheduling- Work Hours This bill requires an employer, which includes retail, restaurants, grocery stores, etc., to provide their employees a 21-day work schedule at least 7 calendar days in advance (essentially, a month before). Month other provisions, the bill would require the employer to pay its employees modification pay for each previously scheduled shift that the employer cancels OR MOVES to another date or time. It also requires modification pay for any previously unscheduled shift that the employer requires an employee to work or for each on-call shift. We are opposed to this bill because it eliminates all flexibility in the workplace for both employers and employees, denies the employees the opportunity to work additional hours- if desired-, and subjects employers to unnecessary layers of penalties and costly litigation.
SB 873: (Job Killer) Pricing of Items- Gender Discrimination This bill prohibits price differences for two substantially similar products that are intended for or marketed to different genders. We oppose this bill because it includes private right of action with a minimum of $4,000 in damages per alleged violation, which will expose small and large businesses to costly litigation for claims that two products are "similar". There is no specific definition of how products are seen as "similar" and the minimum cost for damages would bury businesses. We do not agree with product prices being different if solely based on gender, but the bill does not take any other reasons for the difference in price into account.
AB 345: (Job Killer) Oil & Gas Development Ban This bill threatens to eliminate thousands of high-paying jobs in California resulting in California importing more foreign oil and higher gas prices. By pre-determining arbitrary setback requirements before the agency analyses safety requirements during formal rule making, the bill politicizes and undermines the state agency (California Geological Energy Management Division) responsible for managing gas and oil operations.
AB 2043: Contracted Supervisors- Employer Liability This bill would make an employer responsible for the acts of a "contracted supervisor" with respect to harassment of an employee, applicant, unpaid intern, or volunteer, or person providing services pursuant to contracting in the workplace. It imposes liability despite the lack of knowledge or control over the contracted supervisor- and especially since the passing of AB 5 (in congruence with the Dynamex Decision), contractors must pass a stringent a three-prong test to remain in that capacity.
Again, this is just the beginning. We will do our best to keep members apprised of legislation that will have an impact on their business, but if you would like to get more involved in these efforts, here are some options for you:
Subscribe to the Workplace podcast
Join Impact California- a grass-roots movement for small businesses
or attend a GRC meeting (the Government Relations Committee meets the first Friday of each month from Noon - 1:15PM in the Chamber Conference Room)
Until next week,