The second year of the 2017-2018 California legislative session has advanced beyond the deadline for bills to be voted out of their house of origin. Listed below are several key labor and environmental bills that Western Growers has been actively lobbying this year.
- AB 1745 (Ting, D-San Francisco) – Oppose
This bill would have placed a ban on the original registration of passenger and commercial vehicles having a combustion engine beginning on January 1, 2040. Western Growers was part of a large coalition in opposition to this bill. AB 1745 failed passage out of the Assembly.
- AB 1913 (Kalra, D-San Jose) – Oppose
This bill would have unnecessarily made farm labor contractors who recruit for and employ H-2A workers also subject to California’s new foreign labor contracting law. Our state already has robust farm labor contracting regulations that are protective of farmworkers. Western Growers led a large business and agricultural coalition in opposition to this bill because it would be duplicative of existing law. The bill failed passage in the Assembly.
- AB 2069 (Bonta, D-Alameda) – Oppose
AB 2069 would have required employers to provide a reasonable accommodation to employees who use marijuana for a disability or medical purpose. Employers would have been subject to litigation when terminating an employee who has created a safety hazard in the workplace. Western Growers was part of a coalition in opposition to this bill. AB 2069 was held in the Assembly.
- AB 2613 (Reyes, D-Grand Terrace) – Oppose
AB 2613 would have added yet another layer of penalties on employers for both intentional and unintentional violations of the Labor Code. The bill would have also imposed personal liability on individuals working for that business for payroll violations, however minor and unintentional those violations might be. This bill did not come up for a vote in the Assembly thereby missing the deadline to pass out of that house.
- AB 2841 (Gonzalez Fletcher, D-San Diego) – Oppose
This bill would have significantly expanded California’s paid sick law by requiring employers to now provide five days of sick leave instead of the current three. Western Growers was part of a large coalition of business interests in opposition to this bill. AB 2841 was held in the Assembly Appropriations Committee and therefore failed passage out of the Assembly.
- AB 2946 (Kalra, D-San Jose) – Oppose
AB 2946 would have extended the statute of limitations for a person to file a complaint alleging workplace retaliation with the Labor Commissioner from six months to three years. This bill also contained a one-sided attorney’s fee provision that would have unfortunately resulted in incentivizing additional litigation. AB 2946 failed passage out of the Assembly.
- SB 1284 (Jackson, D-Santa Barbara) – Oppose
SB 1284 will require employers with 100 or more employees to submit employee pay data to the Department of Industrial Relations. The bill does not consider the bona fide factors that explain wage disparities and therefore creates a false impression of wage discrimination or unequal pay where none exists. Employers will be faced with additional risk of civil litigation. SB 1284 passed out of the Senate and will now be heard in the Assembly.
For more information, contact Matthew Allen at (916) 446-1435.