A proposed law authored by one Orange County assemblyman is being called a big favor for big labor, while legislation from another has powerful California business interests lined up against it.
The legislators are Democrats and California Latino Legislative Caucus leaders Jose Solorio of Santa Ana and Tony Mendoza, whose LA County district includes OC's Buena Park.
Let's say you own an office building, and let's say the cleaning crew you've hired to empty the trash and mop the floors at night does a lousy job. As always, you can fire the cleaning crew and hire a new one.
However, under Solorio's Assembly Bill 350, the new contractor would be required to rehire the previous contractors' employees--or, as you the office building owner may refer to them, "the fuck-ups."
Here's how Solorio's website touts "the Displaced Property Service Employee Opportunity Act":
This bill would expand existing law to retain more property services workers when a property service contract has been terminated. The bill would also extend employment with the new contractor from 60 days to 90 days.
There's much more between the lines, according to the editorial boards of various Central Valley newspapers--from the Bees of Sacramento and Modesto to Irvine-based Freedom Communications' Marysville Appeal-Democrat. An editorial in the latter opines:
In the first place, the government has no legitimate right to dictate whom a private business must hire. It boggles the mind to contemplate a private concern that fires a contractor for inferior service being forced to rehire the same incompetent workers through a new contractor.
Assembly Bill 350 is even more pernicious than that. The legislation, backed by a number of unions, also is a thinly disguised way to perpetuate a unionized shop. It would expand on a previous bill passed a decade ago that extended such job protection to janitors. That law never should have been passed, and neither should this one.
Mendoza, who chairs the California Latino Legislative Caucus, has a bill headed for the Senate floor that would ban the use of consumer credit reports in hiring nearly all workers in California. Besides passing the Senate Appropriations Committee with a 5-2 vote Monday, AB 22 also has the support of the California Labor Federation and the Consumer Federation of California, which promotes "justice in the marketplace."
The assemblyman tried twice before to get then-Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign identical bills restricting the use of consumer credit reports in the hiring process. What he got instead from the pro-business Governator were vetoes. And, Mendoza's getting the same blowback as before from such groups as the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Apartment Association, the California New Car Dealers and the California Association of Licensed Investigators.
Business groups complain there are already strong laws in the Golden State forbidding the misuse of credit reports when it comes to job applicants, while claiming that the reports would-be employers rely on are much different than those consumers can obtain from, say, credit score companies.
With its approval in Appropriations, AB 22, could reach the Senate floor by next Monday. It would ban the use of credit reports when it comes to hiring with some exceptions such as with peace officers, employees of the State Department of Justice and managerial positions that require the handling of money.
"A credit report is not a good indicator of a person's trustworthiness or work ethic," Mendoza explains in a statement from his office. "Many Californians are still experiencing financial hardships from the economic downturn including layoffs, increasing unemployment rates, and the continuing foreclosure crisis. All of these things make it harder for people to pay their bills."
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Well, without ways to pay bills, there's always crime. Mendoza's AB 177, which clarifies the intent of the Parental Accountability Act of 2007 to punish parents for certain crimes committed by their children, sailed through the Assembly Monday with a 66-0 vote and it's now headed for Gov. Jerry Brown's desk.
The legislation expands the violations committed by minors that require their parents to attend anti-gang parenting classes. These include acts of vandalism, possession of illegal substances and disorderly conduct.
"Minor acts of delinquency are like gateway activities for gang involvement," Mendoza says in a second statement issued by his office Monday. "Usually, children begin with small acts of rebellion like vandalism, skipping classes repeatedly, joy riding. These things may seem minor to some, but can lead to more trouble later on."
Mendoza has the backing of law enforcement on this one, and his statement suggests that anyone else who agrees with it should contact the governor's office to say so at 916.445.2841.