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Each year the California Chamber of Commerce releases a list of job killer bills to identify legislation that it says will decimate economic and job growth in California. Earlier this month, CalChamber released its 2023 Job Killer List which includes bills dealing with labor and employment issues, taxation, housing costs, and climate and energy policies, and it expects several additions to the list in the coming weeks.

The CalChamber has named the following as job killer bills for 2023 under the category of Labor and Employment, along with it’s summary of the impact on employers and jobs that they expect.

– – AB 524 (Wicks; D-Oakland) Expansion of Litigation Under FEHA. Exposes employers to costly litigation under the Fair Employment and Housing Act by asserting that any adverse employment action was in relation to the employee’s family caregiver status, which is broadly defined to include any employee who contributes to the care of any person of their choosing, and creates a de facto accommodation requirement that will burden small businesses.

– – AB 1156 (Bonta; D-Alameda) Expands Costly Presumption of Injury. Significantly increases workers’ compensation costs for public and private hospitals by presuming certain diseases and injuries are caused by the workplace and establishes an extremely concerning precedent for expanding presumptions into the private sector.

– – SB 525 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Costly Minimum Wage Increase. Imposes significant cost on health care facilities and any employer who works with health care facilities by mandating increase in minimum wage to $25.

– – SB 365 (Wiener: D-San Francisco) Undermines Arbitration. Discriminates against use of arbitration agreements by requiring trial courts to continue trial proceedings during any appeal regarding the denial of a motion to compel, undermining arbitration and divesting courts of their inherent right to stay proceedings.

– – SB 399 (Wahab; D-Hayward) Bans Employer Speech. Chills employer speech regarding religious and political matters, including unionization. Is likely unconstitutional under the First Amendment and preempted by the National Labor Relations Act.

– – SB 616 (Gonzalez; D-Long Beach) Costly Sick Leave Expansion on All Employers. Imposes new costs and leave requirements on employers of all sizes, by more than doubling existing sick leave mandate, which is in addition to all other enacted leave mandates that small employers throughout the state are already struggling with to implement and comply.

– – SB 627 (Smallwood-Cuevas) Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process to hire employees based on seniority alone for nearly every industry, including hospitals, retail, restaurants, movie theaters, and franchisees, which will delay hiring and eliminates contracts for at-will employment.

– – SB 723 (Durazo; D-Los Angeles) Onerous Return to Work Mandate. Imposes an onerous and stringent process for specific employers to return employees to the workforce for specified industries, including hotels and restaurants that have been disproportionally impacted by this pandemic, and removes guardrails on existing law by making mandate permanent and significantly broadening the applicability of the law.

– – SB 809 (Smallwood-Cuevas; D-Los Angeles) Prohibits Consideration of Conviction History in Employment. Prohibits nearly every employer from considering conviction history of an applicant or existing employee in employment decisions and imposes cumbersome process on employers that are legally not allowed to hire individuals with certain convictions.

“California’s robust private sector economy creates and maintains more than 17 million jobs, paying $1.6 trillion in annual wages and salaries,” said CalChamber President and CEO Jennifer Barrera. “Yet, cost pressures, workforce challenges, litigation threats, and California’s pernicious housing shortage are an ever-present threat to our continued success. Costly policies – like the ones on CalChamber’s job killer list – stifle job creation, reduce investment in our economy, and drive outward migration. Job killing policies make California unattractive both to current employers and entrepreneurs who, incidentally, generate the preponderance of the state’s tax revenue, and to those who might want to come here to invest in our future economy.”

The CalChamber tracks the bills throughout the rest of the legislative session and works to educate legislators about the serious consequences these bills will have on the state. Over the last five years, the outcome of bills on the past Job Killer Lists were as follows:

– – 2022: 19 Job Killers identified, 2 sent to Governor Gavin Newsom, 2 signed;
– – 2021: 25 Job Killers identified, 2 sent to Governor Newsom, 1 signed, 1 vetoed;
– – 2020: 19 Job Killers identified, 2 sent to Governor Newsom, 1 signed, 1 vetoed;
– – 2019: 31 Job Killers identified, 2 sent to Governor Newsom, 1 signed, 1 vetoed;
– – 2018: 29 Job Killers identified, 1 sent to Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr., 1 vetoed;
– – 2017: 27 Job Killers identified, 3 sent to Governor Brown, 2 signed, 1 vetoed;