California Update

CalSHRM and SHRM Again Advocate for the Adoption of Workflex in Sacramento

Jan 15, 2016

On Jan. 13, California SHRM (CalSHRM) State Director Mike Letizia traveled to Sacramento to maintain the drumbeat in support of advancing the concept of workplace flexibility in California workplaces. CalSHRM and SHRM over the past four years have testified before both chambers of the California General Assembly in strong support of workflex legislation that would benefit both employees and employers.

Letizia and CalSHRM were invited by Senator Tom Berryhill (pictured here, at right, with Letizia) to testify in support of Berryhill’s workplace flexibility bill (S.B. 368) under consideration by the Senate Labor & Industrial Relations Committee. As currently drafted, the bill would permit a nonexempt employee in California to request an employee-selected flexible work schedule providing for workdays of up to 10 hours per day within a 40-hour workweek without the employer needing to pay the employee overtime for hours worked in excess of 8 per day. Currently, such schedules would require a two-thirds majority vote of a work unit (both union and nonunion) before it could be implemented in the organization.

Since more and more employees are requesting flexibility to better meet the demands of work and personal life, Letizia explained to the committee how employees would benefit from a flexible work schedule allowed under S.B. 368. He also testified on the need to amend the most onerous and excessive wage and hour laws in the country—laws that severely limit an employer’s ability to embrace workflex in California.

Following the hearing, the bill was defeated in committee by a straight party-line vote. However, Letizia, CalSHRM and SHRM applauded Senator Berryhill for his continued efforts to advance in the California Senate workflex legislation that would benefit thousands of lower-paid, nonexempt employees in the state. CalSHRM and SHRM will continue to work with Senator Berryhill and Assemblyman Brian Jones, the author of workflex legislation in the Assembly, in hopes of enacting a reasonable and effective workplace flexibility proposal in 2016.

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