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On April 19, during the CalSHRM Advocacy Day in Sacramento, three SHRM members from California testified on behalf of SHRM and CalSHRM on three separate bills heard in the Assembly Committee on Labor and Employment.
Patti Blosser, SHRM-CP, PHR-CA, CalSHRM's state director (2nd from right), testified in opposition to A.B. 5 and A.B. 450. A.B. 5, introduced by Assembly Member Lorena Gonzalez, would require employers with more than 10 employees to offer additional hours of work to existing qualified nonexempt employees with the skills and experience to perform the work before hiring additional employees or subcontractors. SHRM and CalSHRM believe the bill would reduce flexibility for both employers and employees, since many employers need to hire limited, specialized or part-time workers in a short time frame, which in turn stimulates job creation and growth.
A.B. 450, introduced by Assembly Member David Chiu, imposes onerous requirements on employers with regards to compliance activities taken by federal immigration agency personnel. An employer, for example, would be required to alert state officials of an upcoming federal immigration investigation or face significant fines for failing to do so. SHRM and CalSHRM argue that the bill would create many logistical and legal challenges for employers, and could possibly force human resource professionals to decide between abiding by federal law or by state law.
In addition to Blosser's testimony, Michael Kalt, CalSHRM's government affairs director (4th from right), and Trisha Zulic, SHRM-SCP, SPHR (4th from left at back), testified in support of A.B. 353. This bill, introduced by Assembly Member Randy Voepel (R-Santee, center) and sponsored by SHRM and CalSHRM, would allow private California employers to establish a voluntary preference for the hiring of veterans. Kalt and Zulic informed the committee that A.B. 353 updates an outdated law which currently only allows for a business to create a preference for Vietnam War-era veterans, and that similar bills have recently been enacted into law in 37 other states.
All three bills passed out of the committee and are now pending before the Assembly Appropriations Committee. SHRM's government affairs staff member in California, Jason Gabhart, will work directly with CalSHRM to advocate on these and other bills pending before the Legislature that will have an impact on the workplace.
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