NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: May 09, 2022

For the legislative and political week May 9-13

Welcome to the May 9-13 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

One Big Deadline Passed, Another Up Ahead

  • The deadline for fiscal bills to move out of policy committees was April 29. NFIB helped stop a few bad measures from advancing, effectively killing them for the year, including:
    • single payer universal health care
    • mandatory vaccinations of all employees
    • the four-day workweek
    • two new leave bills
    • a workplace privacy proposal that would have assessed egregious penalties for the most minor technical violations.
  • The next big deadlines coming up are:
    • May 20, the last day for fiscal committees to hear and report to the floor, bills introduced in their house

    • May 27, the last day for each house to pass bills introduced in that house.
  • After May 27, all will become clear on what NFIB has to train its guns on or raise the flag in support of. Lawmakers will break for summer recess on July 1 and return for work on August 1. August 31 is the scheduled adjournment date for the 2022 session.

Unsafe Workplace?

  • Speaking of legislative deadlines, NFIB and its business coalition partners would love to see Senate Bill 1044 fail to meet the May 20 cutoff. It “would prohibit an employer, in the event of a state of emergency or an emergency condition, as defined, from taking or threatening adverse action against any employee for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace within the affected area because the employee feels unsafe.”

  • In another letter of opposition, this time to the Senate Appropriations Committee, the business coalition points out, “Workers have significant protections under current law, including a right to refuse dangerous work. All California employers have a legal duty to ensure that the place of employment is safe and healthful. Employers may not require workers to be at a location that is not safe or healthful and must do everything reasonably necessary to protect the life, safety, and health of employees.”

Family Responsibilities Discrimination

  • Another measure NFIB and its business coalition partners are working to prevent from meeting the May 20 deadline is Assembly Bill 2182, which, according to the Assembly Judiciary Committee’s staff analysis, “Expands the list of protected characteristics, for purposes of defining unlawful employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA), to include ‘family responsibilities.’”

  • It passed the Judiciary Committee 7-2 on May 3 and now resides in the Assembly Appropriations Committee. It would apply to businesses with five or more employees.

  • In a coalition letter of opposition sent to Assembly Member Buffy Wicks, the bill’s author, in March, it pointed out that “Adding a new classification to the list under FEHA limits an employer’s ability to enforce employment policies, including attendance policies. Any action taken by the employer could be challenged as discrimination based on ‘family responsibilities’ … even if the employee did not request time off as an accommodation and simply took time off, whenever they wanted, scheduled or unscheduled, the employer could not discipline or terminate the employee for the time off without facing potential litigation under FEHA for discrimination based on family responsibilities.”

NFIB Victories

  • Find it all with just one click. The Victories tab on the NFIB California webpage has been refreshed to include 2022’s accomplishments to date, followed by 2021’s achievements.

State Budget

  • From Politico, “Next on the schedule is the governor’s May budget revision, where the administration tweaks, adjusts and focuses the priorities laid out in Newsom’s initial January budget proposal. We’re not sure just what that will entail yet, but you can expect the revised budget to include updated revenue figures and adjustments based on inflation.”

  • The governor’s state budget revisions are expected this week or next. The Legislature has until June 15 to pass a spending plan for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023.

NFIB California in the News

  • State Director John Kabateck explains to listeners of KRLA-AM 870 radio news how a now dead-for-the-year legislative proposal calling for a four-day workweek would have been bad for small business. “Reduce the workweek by one day but require employers to pay for that day, or pay overtime for that time past four days, and that’s going to put small businesses out of business.”

Nationally

Highlights from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara’s weekly report.

  • On May 5, NFIB Research Center released the Jobs Report, which showed open positions and labor quality continue to plague small businesses. Read the accompanying news release here.
    • Forty-seven percent (seasonally adjusted) of all owners reported job openings they could not fill in the current period.

    • Of those owners hiring or trying to hire, 93% of owners reported few or no qualified applicants for the positions they were trying to fill.

    • A net 46% of owners reported raising compensation, down three points from March. A net 27% of owners plan to raise compensation in the next three months.
  • On April 28, the U.S. House Financial Services Committee held a hearing with Acting Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Director Himamauli Das. NFIB sent a letter in support of H.R. 7623, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Improvements Act, sponsored by Rep. Warren Davidson (OH-8). Web story here.

Next Main Street Minute May 16.

Photo snip courtesy of the California State Senate website

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