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Potential Job Killers on the Horizon

California is a tough place to be an employer. And it seems like the legislature is intent on making it even tougher for businesses. The California Chamber of Commerce has recently issued a list of "Job Killers" for 2015, classified as the "worst of the worst" for employers. Below is a summary of some key potential legislation:

  • AB 357 - This law imposes a one-size-fits-all, two-week notice scheduling mandate on some retail and fast food employers. This law would penalize affected employers with "additional pay" for making changes to an employee's schedule with less than two weeks notice.
  • SB 3 - This law seeks to raise the minimum wage by $3.00 over the next 2.5 years, with automatic increases tied to inflation beginning after 2017.
  • SB 406 - This law would change the definition of "employer" under the California Family Rights Act to include all employers with at least 5 employees within 75 miles of the employee's worksite. Today, the Act excludes employers with fewer than 50 employees within a 75-mile radius. The law would also further expand the categories of employees who are entitled to take leave.
  • SB 563 - The current law forces employers to establish a utilization review process to review doctors' requests for medical treatment for injured employees. This new law would prohibit the utilization review process for certain treatment recommendations, thus increasing workers' compensation costs for employers.
  • AB 465 - This law would prevent employers from mandating as a condition of employment any waiver of a legal right or procedure. As a practical matter, this would prohibit employers from requiring employees to sign arbitration agreements, which many employers use to avoid protracted and expensive civil court litigation.

These laws, if passed, would result in sweeping change for many employers throughout the state. While some of these law would only affect certain industries (retail, fast food, etc.), some would affect virtually all employers in some way (minimum wage increase, prohibition of arbitration agreements). Stay tuned.

This article is for education and information purposes only; it should not be construed as legal advice. If you have an employment law question for inclusion in a future article, contact Brett T. Abbott at Gubler & Abbott LLP (bta@thecalifornialawyers.com). For specific employment law advice or other legal assistance, contact Gubler & Abbott LLP, (559) 625-9600, 1110 N. Chinowith St., Visalia, CA 93291 ( www.thecalifornialawyers.com).

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