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Each year the California Chamber of Commerce releases a list of “job killer” bills to identify legislation that will decimate economic and job growth in California. The CalChamber will track the bills throughout the rest of the legislative session and work to educate legislators about the serious consequences these bills will have on the state.

A number of California Chamber of Commerce-opposed “job killer” bills first identified in 2013 on labor law topics appear to be dead for this year after missing legislative deadlines or being amended.

SB 626 (Beall; D-San Jose) would have resulted in dramatic workers’ compensation cost increases for employers. The bill was pulled from the January 15 hearing agenda for the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee at the author’s request, therefore missing the January 17 legislative deadline for a 2013 bill to pass from policy committee to fiscal committee in the house in which it was introduced. SB 626 would have resulted in employers paying nearly $1 billion in benefit increases to injured workers without an expectation that the increases will be fully offset by system savings.The bill would have distorted the entire balance of the 2012 workers’ compensation reform deal, SB 863 (De León; D-Los Angeles; Chapter 363), that provides injured workers with needed benefit increases, but offsets these increased costs by closing certain loopholes and making California’s workers’ compensation system operate more efficiently with fewer disputes and litigation.

AB 1164 (Lowenthal; D-Long Beach) would have created a dangerous and unfair precedent in the wage-and-hour arena by allowing an employee who claims a wage violation to assert a lien on an employer’s real or personal property, or even a third party’s real or personal property, before any trial or administrative hearing has been held to determine if any wages are actually owed by the employer. AB 1164 was placed on the Assembly Inactive File on January 30, thereby missing the January 31 deadline to pass the house in which it was introduced in 2013.

SB 761 (DeSaulnier; D-Concord) Expansion of Paid Family Leave Program – Would have transformed the paid family leave program from a wage replacement program into a new protected leave of absence that will burden small and large businesses by allowing an employee to file litigation for any alleged retaliation or discrimination as a result of their intent, request, or use of the paid family leave program. The bill has been amended to deal with a different subject.

And now the Chamber has started the “job killer” bills list for 2014. Thus far there is nothing on the horizon of concern for California employers.  The stagnation or removal of the holdover legislation from last year has cleared the deck for this years fight.