State Republican lawmakers on Wednesday are expected to unveil a “jobs package” of legislation that includes a familiar target: employment litigation.
Sen. Minority Leader Dennis Hollingsworth has already introduced early drafts of two bills. Although the bills’ specifics are still being worked out, SB 990 would amend laws guaranteeing meal breaks to workers while SB 988 would change alternative work week rules.
“The main purpose is to spur job creation and to help businesses with less regulation,” said Hollingsworth spokesman Hector Barajas. Republicans will pursue their package of 15-20 bills separately from budget negotiations, Barajas said.
Business groups have long sought changes to the state’s meal-and-rest laws and wage rules, both of which have been used by worker-plaintiffs to secure costly class action settlements. Majority Democrats and their labor allies, however, have blocked most attempts to ease the laws.
A recent analysis (.pdf) of six years of class action litigation by the Administrative Office of the Courts found that the overall number of filings decreased after 2004 but employment class actions increased – by 314 percent – between 2000 and 2005.
Other bills that were recently put into print include:
• AB 1697, which would shift courthouse security funding decisions to local courts and away from the AOC. The bill is co-sponsored by the California State Sheriffs’ Association. “This isn’t about the AOC,” said the association’s lobbyist, Nick Warner. “Our goals is to have the money go directly to the end user.”