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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Governor Signs and Vetoes More Labor and Employment Bills

Governor Schwarzenegger has signed and vetoed the following labor and employment law bills.
SB 657 (Steinberg, D-Sacramento). Enacts the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act of 2010. Beginning January 1, 2012, requires certain retailers and manufacturers doing business in California to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains for tangible goods offered for sale.
SB 677 (Yee, D-San Francisco). Permits the seizure of real property used to facilitate human trafficking and forced labor.
SB 1304 (DeSaulnier, D-Concord). Requires private employers to permit certain employees to take paid leaves of absence for organ and bone marrow donation.
AB 569 (Emmerson, R-Hemet). Amends Labor Code Section 512 to exempt employees who are: in a construction occupation; commercial drivers; employees in the security services industry employed as security officers; and employees of electrical and gas corporations or local publicly owned electric utilities; if those employees are covered by a valid collective bargaining agreement containing specified terms, including meal period provisions.

SB 1230 by Senator Mark DeSaulnier (D-Concord) - Employment: posting requirements. Veto message:
This bill requires employers to post information related to slavery and human trafficking, including information related to nonprofit organizations that provide services in support of the elimination of slavery and human trafficking. I support efforts to eliminate human trafficking. However, this measure will burden legitimate businesses while having little to no impact on human slavery. After all, businesses likely to comply with his law are not likely to have employees that would benefit from such postings.
AB 2770 (Monning, D-Santa Cruz) - Employee wages and working hours: violators. Veto message:
This bill would 1) create a pilot program to investigate employment and payment
practices within the swimming pool and spa construction industry; and, 2) require the Employment Development Department, in consultation with the Franchise Tax Board, the Department of Justice, the Department of Insurance, the Labor and Workforce Development Agency, and industry representatives, to develop and implement a set of criteria that, if met by an employer, would trigger a recommendation for an audit or investigation by the appropriate state tax authorities.
My Administration has been committed to vigorously enforcing the laws of this state and maximizing resources to combat the underground economy. As shown in creation of the Economic and Employment Enforcement Coalition, I support implementing targeted systems of coordination. However, as I have repeatedly indicated, legislating that coordination and the adoption of protocols or standards for that is unnecessary. If existing laws impeded this coordination, it would be
appropriate to alter those. However, simply statutorily instructing the respective enforcement agencies to in essence work together does not assist them in a substantive and practical way.
Moreover, I also note that this bill fails to prescribe what it is intended to achieve. Rather than creating a trigger for a tax audit when labor laws are found to have been violated as the bill intends, this bill instructs tax authorities to recommend and
conduct audits or investigations to determine specifically whether labor laws, rather than tax laws, have been violated. Having tax authorities audit and investigate for potential labor law violations is inconsistent with their expertise, and instead is a function of the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement.

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