This June, ASA took a big step toward impacting policy at the state level when leaders in distribution and manufacturing took part in ASA’s first-ever Sacramento Fly-In.
Thanks, in part, to ASA’s advocacy and that of other concerned stakeholders, real change happened. According to our partners at CalChamber, the business advocate and HR compliance resource for California employers, the California State Assembly ended with legislative highs and lows, as one might come to expect from the Golden State.
For businesses of all sizes and industries, the most significant impacts will come from the expansion of the state’s carbon (greenhouse gas) reduction program. Although the new limit on greenhouse gases impacts the industries that emit carbon today, the law’s implementation will expand the costs far beyond those industries. The new emissions limit is concerning due to the command-and-control approach that fails to take into consideration population growth, cost, lifestyle and economic impacts. How the mandate is implemented could have serious implications for the mobility of Californians, goods and services, as well as affordable housing. The minimum wage also is rising; over seven years it will reach $15 an hour on Jan. 1, 2023.
One item, which ASA lobbied directly against, was SB 654, which passed the legislature. If signed into law, it would have created a new protected leave of absence for employers with as few as 20 employees.
California already requires employers with five or more employees to provide up to four months of protected leave for an employee who suffers a medical disability because of pregnancy. The bill would have added another six weeks of leave for the same employee, totaling more than five months of protected leave. This legislation also exposed small employers to costly litigation, which is why we’re thankful Governor Brown ultimately vetoed this costly and burdensome bill.
More to come on ASA’s activity in California and how it impacts your business.
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