Legislature rejects higher minimum wage proposal

By CMTA Staff

Capitol Update, July 3, 2014

The Assembly Labor and Employment Committee defeated a measure that would have resulted in a sharp hike in the State’s minimum wage. This action took place only days before the newly approved $1 per hour increase took effect July 1, 2014. 

SB 935 by Senator Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) would have replaced the current augmentation and imposed a steeper increase to $13 per hour over the next three years, at which point, it would have adjusted annually based on inflation.

The bill was one vote shy of passage with two Democrats – Assembly Members Luis Alejo (D-Watsonville) and Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) – staying off. Defeat of the bill centered on two points: the recent passage of a two-year increase authored by Alejo (AB 10, Chapter 351, Statutes of 2013) that had not taken effect yet and the commitment made to the business community during those legislative discussions not to index the wage increase to inflation.

We appreciate the Committee’s wisdom in not moving SB 935 forward, however, there are still several other labor priority bills moving through the legislative process. CMTA opposes these bills:

AB 1522(Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego)
Requires an employer to provide paid sick leave to an employee who has been on the job for 30 days or more at an accrual rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked.

AB 1792(Jimmy Gomez, D-Los Angeles)
Requires the Employment Development Department to collaborate with the Department of Health Care Services, the Department of Social Services and the Department of Education to develop a list of employers with 50 or more employees utilizing Medi-Cal, CalFRESH and CalWORKS. Requests the Department of Finance to develop a report from this data that reflects the annual cost to the State to provide public assistance to these employees, by employer, and publish it on their website.

AB 1897(Roger Hernandez, D-West Covina)
Makes an employer legally liable for the wage and hour violations, workers’ comp coverage and workplace injuries of workers obtained through a third-party contractor to perform labor or services as part of the employer’s usual course of business.

AB 2416(Mark Stone, D,-Scotts Valley)
Allows an employee or his or her representative to record a lien on an employer’s real property or any property where the work was performed for alleged unpaid wage disputes.

All of these bills have been approved by the Assembly and have passed out of their respective Senate policy committees. They will now be heard in the Senate fiscal committee once the Legislature returns from its summer recess on August 4.

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