New Legislative Session
The California Legislature convened its 2017-18 session on December 5, 2016 with the Democratic party in control of a ⅔ super majority in both houses. This means urgency bills (which go into effect immediately) and tax increases can be approved without any Republican support. The Democrats can also place constitutional changes on the ballot without Republican support and override a Governor’s veto. But that doesn’t happen very often, in fact despite the fact that Article Four of the state Constitution gives legislators the power to override a veto with a two-thirds vote of both houses, that option hasn’t been used since 1979, when a pair of Brown’s vetoes were overturned. Former Assemblyman S. Floyd Mori, a Democrat who took part in the employee compensation override, said the Legislature at the time was “willing to speak up when we needed to speak up.” But that was the last time. “If it were purely on policy merits, there would be the votes to override the veto,” said Thad Kousser, a political science professor at the University of California, San Diego. “But here’s why they’re so rare: A veto override is a full-frontal assault on a governor’s authority, and the cost of taking on a governor, the political cost of taking on a governor, usually far outweighs the policy gain that would come from overriding their veto.”
One new bill that PHCC will be looking at is AB 5 (Gonzalez, Kaira, Chu and Mark Stone) which requires employers with 10 or more employees in this state to offer additional hours of work to an existing employee who, in the employer’s reasonable judgment, has the skills and experience to perform the work before hiring any additional employees or subcontractors, including hiring an additional employee or subcontractor through the use of a temporary employment agency, staffing agency, or similar entity. It would not require an employer to offer this work if it would result in overtime pay. It allows private suit to enforce the provisions. So let’s say you have a service and repair business in the Bay area, have technicians working less than full time in San Francisco but need more capacity in San Jose. You would, under AB 5, have to offer these hours to your San Francisco staff before hiring anyone new in San Jose. AB 5 seems a nightmare for employers. PHCC of California will keep you posted on further developments!