The California State Senate was recently charged with voting on the proposal to increase to increase the minimum wage with future increases tied to the rate of inflation. Democratic Senator Mark Leno supports Governor Brown’s increase last year to raise the California minimum wage to $10 per hour by 2016 and wants even more raises sooner.
The California Chamber of Commerce and the California Restaurant Association oppose all legislation to increase the minimum wage, as well as other legislation they label as “job killers” such as the paid sick leave bill AB 1522, the wage and hours violations bill AB 1897, and the limiting energy development bill SB 1372.
The CalChamber has been urging members to contact their legislators to ask them to vote no on job killer bills and support job creator legislation, both by phone and in writing.
How Did the Bills Fare?
Some of the bills passed and some didn’t in recent voting in the California senate at the end of May/beginning of June. CalChamber has been keeping members and interested individuals informed of the status of the voting on their website and on Twitter.
Minimum Wage Passed
The minimum wage legislation, bill SB 935, sponsored by Democrat Leno, aims to increase the minimum wage to $13 by 2017 and tie future increases to the Consumer Price Index. The business community opposes this bill for mandating what they must pay when they may not have control over cumulative costs or economic factors that make payroll and labor costs an important factor in staying in business. The auto-pilot nature of tying the minimum wage to the CPI is viewed as unfair especially in an uncertain and changing economy. SB 935 passed the Senate vote 21-12.
Paid Sick Leave Passed
The paid sick leave bill, AB 1522, requires all employers to provide paid sick leave and carries with it the threat of statutory penalties and increased litigation for violations. CalChamber opposes AB 1522 as a job killer, saying that mandatory paid sick leave for employee groups who have traditionally not gotten this benefit, including temporary, part-time, and seasonal employees creates a huge employer burden, as well as increasing the risk of increasing legal fees and litigation expense.
CalChamber would prefer that California incentivize employers rather than threaten them with expensive penalties. They propose reducing costs in other areas such as tax credits or exemptions so employers are better able to provide sick leave voluntarily. AB 1522 passed in the Assembly 52-23.
Other Job Killers Stopped
Two other “job killer” bills failed to pass recently in Senate, SB 1132 and SB 1372. SB 1132 proposed limiting in-state energy development with a statewide moratorium on well stimulation until scientific studies are done. SB 1372 threatened financial penalties for increasing contractor workforces outside the U.S. The bill failed in the Senate 19-17.
Keep an eye on the progress of job killers on CalChamber’s website or Twitter and stay up-to-date on how they’ll affect business in California.
Contact PAYDAY for solutions in regards to minimum wage.