California Labor's 2013 Legislative Agenda
In the 2012 election, working families sent a strong message: Let’s start investing in California’s future. No more attacks on workers. No more reckless tax breaks for big corporations that steal our jobs. No more devastating cuts.
We have a vision for a better California. We see a state that will protect the rights of workers to earn fair wages, to work safely, and to join a union for a better life if they choose. We believe that those who have worked hard for our economy should have a path to citizenship. We intend to crack down on the underground economy, create a level playing field for responsible businesses and generate new revenue.
The Labor Movement has a plan to invest in California’s future. For the first time in over five years, California is no longer running a deficit. But we can’t grow our economy unless every corporate tax break is put through the jobs test. If tax giveaways don’t create jobs, we should reform or eliminate them.
This is the year to move forward and build the California we believe in, with good jobs, strong communities, and a vibrant economy.
Enterprise Zone Tax Giveaway reform (SB 434 – Hill). This out-of-control tax giveaway program not only drains the state budget of over $700 million a year to create few new jobs, it is being used to eliminate good union jobs. The EZ program is growing by 32% a year, eating away at state dollars that could be better spent investing in California’s future. We must reform this program to create good, middle class jobs for workers and our economy. Learn more.
Fair share health care (AB 880 – Gomez). More and more employers are cutting worker hours to evade obligations under the federal Affordable Care Act. Big corporations now cut hours and reduce pay so that their workers qualify for the publicly funded Medi-Cal program – at taxpayer expense. We will require California’s large employers to pay their fair share for dumping their health care obligations onto taxpayers. Learn more.
Initiative reform (AB 857 – Fong). The initiative process was intended to give everyday people a voice against the powerful, not to allow a few billionaires to buy elections that further their own agendas. We must return the initiative process to its original intent so that it can never again be hijacked by a wealthy and dangerous few. Learn more.
Crack down on misclassification (AB 1138 – Chau). Misclassification of workers is spreading quickly. It brings down wages and working conditions in many key unionized industries. It also puts responsible contractors and other employers at a competitive disadvantage. We increased penalties for misclassification in previous legislation, now we need to improve enforcement. We will require that employers list the workers that are covered by their workers’ compensation insurance policies in order to expose who they employ off the books or misclassify as independent contractors. Learn more.
Anti-retaliation protection for immigrant workers (AB 263 – Hernandez, AB 524 – Mullin, and SB 666 – Steinberg ). Too often, workers who speak out about unfair or unsafe working conditions face intense employer retaliation. For immigrant workers, retaliation is even more serious since it comes with the threat of immigration consequences, federal raids and even deportation. We will pursue legislation to protect immigrant workers from this type of retaliation and strengthen retaliation protection for all workers. Learn more.
- Increase accountability on contracting out (SB 556 – Corbett). Subcontracting is undermining the middle-class, creating low wage jobs that lower standards in the public and private sector. Increasingly, companies and even public agencies are requiring contract workers to wear their uniforms, as though they actually work for that entity. Yet when a worker doesn’t get paid or a consumer is harmed, that company or agency denies all responsibility. We will hold companies accountable for the treatment of workers and consumers. Learn more.