Foodservice Equipment Reports

As Goes California?

As the winds blow westerly, so do laws and regulations often move westward from California. Nearly 800 pieces of legislation are sitting on Governor Jerry Brown’s desk, awaiting his signature or veto. Among them are five bills closely watched by the California Restaurant Association; they focus on the employer-employee relationship, including one on parental leave legislation.

The CRA opposes four of the bills:

  • SB 654 would mandate six weeks of parental leave for a new parent at a business with 20 or more employees. It would cover an employee with a new child, adopting a child or receiving a foster care placement. The bill is opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce, and the governor vetoed a family leave bill just last year.

  • SB 1063 seeks to prohibit an employer from paying different rates to workers of different races for substantially similar work. Although it calls the bill well-intentioned, the CRA opposes the legislation because it would open the door for a variety of litigation traps.

  • AB 1843 could inhibit the ability of employers to make safe hiring decisions by prohibiting them from inquiring into any adjudication made in a juvenile court, including criminal records.

  • SB 1167, an attempt to regulate indoor heat, would require CAL-OSHA to establish heat illness and injury prevention standards for restaurants and other workplaces. Since CAL-OSHA already has the authority to adopt such regulations, adding additional mandates would make it more challenging for employers to comply with existing state law.

The CRA does support one bill that its government affairs team helped craft. The bill would allow for five new original special on-sale general alcohol licenses for eating establishments located within a specific area of San Francisco. If signed into law, the bill would serve as a trial project in San Francisco that could expand to other cities.
AB 67, which would have required all employers to pay twice the rate of pay to all employees working on Thanksgiving and Christmas, died in the Assembly prior to its late legislative recess. The bill had been proposed prior to the $15 minimum wage being enacted and, under current law, would have led to a $30 minimum wage on Thanksgiving.

The Governor has until September 30 to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to the legislation.

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