NFIB California Main Street Minute, March 11-15


From your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento

Welcome to the March 11-15 edition of the NFIB California Main Street Minute from your small-business-advocacy team in Sacramento.

Model Workplace Violence Plan Released

  • Lost in last week’s noise about the Primary Election was something more important for small businesses: release by Cal/OSHA of a model Workplace Violence Prevention Plan that almost every employer is now required to have handy for viewing by July 1 at the latest. There’s no grace period.
  • NFIB vigorously opposed Senate Bill 553, creating this onerous new regulation, arguing, in a business coalition letter to members of the Senate Labor Committee, that “it would interrupt an ongoing regulatory process and create wasteful obligations for all employers – regardless of size – that will not prevent workplace violence.”
  • According to the measure’s language, “This bill would require an employer, as specified, to also establish, implement, and maintain, at all times in all work areas, an effective workplace violence prevention plan containing specified information. The bill would require the employer to record information in a violent incident log for every workplace violence incident, as specified. The bill would require the employer to provide effective training to employees on the workplace violence prevention plan, among other things, and provide additional training when a new or previously unrecognized workplace violence hazard has been identified and when changes are made to the plan. The bill would require records of workplace violence hazard identification, evaluation, and correction and training records to be created and maintained, and violent incident logs and workplace incident investigation records to be maintained, as specified. The bill would require certain records to be made available to the division [Cal/OSHA], employees, and employee representatives [unions], as specified. The bill would make these requirements operative on and after July 1, 2024.”
  • In spite of the business industry’s unified opposition, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 553 into law September 30, last year. Although NFIB cannot vouch for their responses, two employment law firms, OgletreeDeakins and SHRM, answer some questions about the law here and
  • SB 553 is another example of California racing to be the first state in the nation with such a law, without fully considering its effects unintended or otherwise. Our lawmakers like a running start to mount a horse only to see it gallop off before they’re in the saddle. Still, it is the law and must be complied with by July 1.

Cheer Up!

  • According to the committee’s sparse agenda, it will be an “Informational Hearing: Happiness: An Overview.” No scheduled speakers are listed, but then neither are any staff for the select committee listed on its webpage.
  • The committee is the idea of former Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon who, we guess, is channeling the spirit of the late Assemblyman John Vasconcellos, whom the Los Angeles Times reminds us,
  • “It was his idealism that in 1987 launched what officially was known as the California Task Force to Promote Self-Esteem and Personal and Social Responsibility.
  • “Vasconcellos, who believed that low self-esteem was at the root of crime, drug addiction, teen pregnancy and other problems, persuaded fellow lawmakers and Gov. George Deukmejian to allocate $735,000 for a statewide commission to explore the idea. Almost overnight, ‘self-esteem’ became a national punch line, a code phrase for a peculiarly Californian kind of craziness.
  • “In his ‘Doonesbury’ comic strip, Garry Trudeau lampooned the idea for weeks, making his warrior-channeling, hot tub-dwelling airhead starlet Boopsie Boopstein a member of the commission.”
  • For any good it would do, we would like to point out that such “Public Policy Outcomes” like workplace violence plans mentioned above do not make for happy small business owners.

Special Thanks to Our Leadership Council Chairman

  • It’s not easy for any small business owner to break away from his or her enterprise for a few hours, let alone a whole day. So, the staff of NFIB California is thankful for the time our Leadership Council Chairman, Max A. Ordonez, took out of his busy week to fly up from Southern California last Monday (March 4) to help us lobby for the small business agenda with legislators or their staffs.
  • Thankful because no one can deliver the small business message better than a small business owner. And, what a meeting-packed day it was, as Ordonez met directly with a bipartisan group of seven legislators and the chiefs of staff of three others. More about the day, including the list of lawmakers, can be read here.

Speaking of the Legislature …

  • Some of the issues Ordonez spoke out for or against can be found in this updated bill list. Right now is a quiet time, as legislators are busy digesting the bills and analyses on the measures they think will get the most traction. A Spring Recess is close by, so look for legislative action speed up on lawmakers return on April 1.

… And Speaking of Spring Recess

  • Legislators will be back in their districts March 21 through March 31, a good time for NFIB members to pay them a visit to discuss some of the bills on our list. Let us know if we can help with any of the meetings and let us know how they went.

Calendar

  • March 21-31 Legislature on Spring Recess
  • May revise of the governor’s 2024-2025 proposed state budget. Date TBD
  • May 24 deadline for bills to pass their house of origin (Assembly, Senate)
  • June 15, midnight, constitutional deadline to pass 2024-2025 state budget
  • June 27 deadline for ballot measure to qualify for November
  • August 31 deadline for bills to have passed Legislature and sent to governor
  • September 30 deadline for governor to sign bills into law
  • November 5, General Election Day

National

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

  • NFIB Files Lawsuit Against Biden DOL Independent Contractor Rule– On Tuesday, NFIB joined a lawsuit in federal court challenging DOL’s new rule that adds to the confusion over the proper classification of independent contractors and will irreparably harm the small businesses that depend on the indispensable work of contractors. In the lawsuit, NFIB asks the federal court to declare DOL’s new independent contractor rule unlawful and stop DOL from enforcing it. The Washington Post and other media outlets, including Bloomberg, covered the lawsuit. Our press release is here.
  • On March 6, NFIB sent a press release announcing an NFIB Key Vote in support of H.J.Res. 98, Providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the National Labor Relations Board relating to “Standard for Determining Joint Employer Status.”
    • Senior Vice President of Advocacy Adam Temple said, “The current NLRB rule complicates the determination for joint employer status for small business owners, especially for those who are franchisees. The standard now allows workers to collectively bargain with national franchisors, instead of local franchisees, which may require franchisees to abide by a collective bargaining agreement to which they did not agree. In addition, we are concerned the current standard will unknowingly subject small business owners to new liabilities for labor law violations. Small businesses are pleased the U.S. Senate recognized the difficulties of the current standard and are working to rescind the rule.”
  • Writing an Employee Handbook is Easy Using NFIB’s FREE Template – NFIB’s March webinar and most recent episode of the Small Business Rundownpodcast both promoted NFIB’s updated Model Employee Handbook. The webinar and podcast provide tips for creating the best employee handbook for small businesses. Watch the webinar here and listen to the Rundown here!

Next Main Street Minute March 18.

From left to right: NFIB State Director John Kabateck, NFIB Leadership Council Chairman Max A. Ordonez, Assemblyman Jim Wood, and NFIB Legislative Director Tim Taylor

 

 

 





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