This year’s annual Job Killer list from the California Chamber of Commerce grew to 31 bills the organization believed would harm the state’s economic growth and job creation if passed.
Out of the 31 bills on this year’s list, only five made it past a key deadline this month.
From AB 40, the gas-powered vehicle ban bill, to the targeted tax on sweetened beverages, there were a variety of issues the Legislature tried to address, some having more of chance than others.
“These bills represent some of the worst policy proposals affecting California employers and our economy currently being considered by Legislature,” said CalChamber President Allan Zaremberg. “Some of these bills have been rejected time and again by the Legislature or vetoed by the previous Governor. Legislators should, instead, focus on removing impediments to economic growth and creating upward mobility for all Californians.”
These are the five bills still alive:
AB 1080 California Circular Economy and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act
This bill establishes a policy goal for the state that would require manufacturers and retailers to achieve a 75% reduction of waste generated from single-use packaging and products sold in the state through source reduction, recycling or composting by 2030.
It would also require that the Department of Resources, Recycling and Recovery adopt regulations mandating those reductions to commence by 2023.
The CalChamber identified AB 1080 as a job killer bill for 2019, saying it would increases costs to manufacture and ship consumer products sold in California and lead to burdensome taxes on business and employers.
Senate Bill 54 is virtually identical to AB 1080, also mandating a sharp reduction in the use of plastic packaging by 2030.
AB 51 Employment Discrimination Enforcement
Assembly Bill 51 would prohibit an employer from requiring job applicants or employees to waive rights for filing labor and employment claims as a condition for employment. It would also prohibit an employer from threatening, retaliating or discriminating against, or terminating a job applicant or employee, because of their refusal to sign arbitration agreements.
The CalChamber identified AB 51 as its first job killer of 2019, saying that it will increase costs for employers as a result of more litigation and expenses of delayed dispute resolutions.
AB 1066 Unemployment Insurance
This bill would restore eligibility for unemployment benefits after the first four weeks of a trade dispute for an employee who left their job because of the dispute. It would also codify specified case laws that maintain that employees who left work because of a lockout by the employer, regardless if it was in anticipation of a trade dispute, would still be eligible for benefits.
AB 1066 was identified as a job killer by the CalChamber because it would increase costs on employers in a trade dispute by allowing employees to receive unemployment benefits if the strikes lasts more than four weeks, which could lead to incentivized strikes.
SB 1 Federal Clean Air Act
This bill would require certain agencies to take specified actions in regards to federal requirements and standards pertaining to air, water and protected species. With the imposition of new duties on local agencies, SB 1 would also impose a state-mandated local program.
It would also require specified agencies to take actions regarding certain requirements and standards pertaining to worker’s health and safety.
The CalChamber identified SB 1 as its second job killer of the year, saying that the bill would give broad discretion to state agencies to adopt rules and regulations that are more stringent than federal rules and regulations adopted after January 2017.
According to the CalChamber, the bill is a job killer because of its vague language and lack of due process in the rulemaking process. Because of the costs and anticipated litigation associated with SB 1, companies doing business in the state might have difficulty hiring more workers or expanding their operations in the state.