NFIB California Main Street Minute

Date: September 26, 2022

For the legislative and political week September 26-30

Welcome to the September 26-30 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your NFIB small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Topline

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom has until this Friday (September 30) to act on legislation sent to him.
  • NFIB members share their experiences with Amazon and other Big Tech gatekeepers (see national section below).

Plastic Containers

New Marijuana Law 

  • So, now what?
  • NFIB and its coalition partners had sent a veto-request letter to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Assembly Bill 2188, but to no avail. He signed it into law September 18. 
  • “… even with recent amendments, AB 2188 will create a protected status for marijuana use in California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act … and California employers may face liability when they take legitimate disciplinary measures against their employees,” said the letter. “Put simply: marijuana use is not the same as protecting workers against discrimination based on race or national origin and should not be in FEHA. California employers should not have to fight out proper, impairment-based terminations in FEHA. Moreover, employers must be able to keep their workplace safe by disciplining employees who arrive at work impaired.
  • Reports The Sacramento Bee, “Assembly Bill 2188, by Assemblyman Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, prohibits employers from discriminating in hiring, firing or setting conditions of employment based on cannabis use off the job and away from the work place. It specifically bars employers from testing hair, blood, urine or other bodily fluids, though exceptions are made for employees in the building and construction trades or positions requiring a federal background investigation or clearance.”
  • The law takes effect on Jan. 1, 2024. In the meantime, NFIB California will be assisting efforts to clarify this complicated measure, either administratively or legislatively, so small-business owners are held as harmless as possible.

So, What Remains to be Decided?

  • The governor still has still not acted on the following bills, all but one of which NFIB opposes. His decision on AB 2183 (see below) will probably draw the most media attention.

Assembly Bill 1041 would expand the class of people for whom an employee may take paid and unpaid leave for.

Assembly Bill 1601 would penalize a call center employer for relocating his or her operation

Assembly Bill 1949 adding another reason to request leave time—bereavement.Assembly Bill 2164, which NFIB supports, would provide small businesses with a financial pathway to become more accessible to the handicapped.Assembly Bill 2183 would thwart the secret ballot election process in union elections.  This will be the media’s marquee issue since President Biden has urged it be signed into law. Reports are Newsom was none too happy with him butting in.

Assembly Bill 2693 would extend COVID-19 notice requirements that are no longer appropriate as the state moves into the endemic phase of COVID-19 in 2023. — Senate Bill 1044 would prohibit an employer from acting against an employee who left work because he or she felt unsafe.Senate Bill 1127 would fundamentally alter longstanding rules and timeframes for determining eligibility for workers’ compensation claims. 

How’s California Doing?

  • NFIB California State Director John Kabateck participated in a roundtable discussion (September 23) with other business association leaders and Dee Dee Myers, senior advisor to the governor and director of the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), and her GO-Biz team. A variety of issues were discussed about the California economy.
  • Kabateck told Myers that small business owners still face a massive wall of uncertainty as they attempt to “crawl out of the COVID hole,” and he urged the Administration to pave, and not block, their way to economic recovery. Myers assured Kabateck the Governor will not be raising taxes and committed to working with NFIB to develop a road map to help job creators better understand and comply with state laws and rules.  
  • NFIB California was one of the first associations Myers reached out to when she was named to the post.

NFIB California in the News 

  • Kabateck shared his thoughts on legislation and the upcoming election with the Northern California Record, and, as he did with its sister publication, the Southern California Record, heaped more scorn on Assembly Bill 257.
  • “By creating a panel that allows non-elected bureaucrats and political appointees on the left to decide wages, benefits and other aspects of work agreements, it completely eviscerates the entrepreneurial dream of the private sector and Main Street as we know it,”

NFIB National

Highlight of the week from NFIB Legislative Program Manager Caitlin Lanzara

  • On September 22, NFIB hosted a briefing for Capitol Hill staff, “The Small Business Case for Big Tech Antitrust Protections.” The briefing featured Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) and a panel of NFIB members sharing their experience with Amazon and other Big Tech internet gatekeepers. NFIB supports S. 2992, the American Innovation and Choice Online Act. Watch it here.

Next Main Street Minute October 3.

California-State-Capitol-graphic-8-23

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