Each year CalChamber analyzes all of the bills introduced to determine which of those are worthy of the Job Killer title. The label is not just slapped on to each and every bill that may harm business. Rather, the bill must satisfy a specific criteria – does the legislation make California employers less competitive, forcing them to reduce employee benefits, reduce their workforce, or discourage them from investing or expanding in California.
This year there were over 3,000 bills introduced. Out of those only 13 received the Job Killer tag (the list also includes eight bills that were identified in 2017 as Job Killers and are still eligible to move through the legislative process this year). The bills identified as Job Killers range from:
- Higher taxes on businesses, even though California has a surplus budget;
- Public shaming of companies that have done nothing unlawful;
- Preventing an employer from terminating an employee who is under the influence of marijuana and creating a safety hazard in the workplace; and
- Banning settlement agreements and arbitration for all labor and employment claims.
For a full list, see the 2018 Job Killer list.
The reaction by authors of bills that have been labeled as a Job Killer varies. Some wear the label as a badge of honor while many others agree to immediately work on substantive amendments to remove the label. The willingness to work on amendments to avoid or remove the label is likely due to the proven success of the Job Killer tag. Since starting the Job Killer list in 1997, 92 percent of the Job Killers identified were defeated or significantly amended to remove the Job Killer tag.
Why does the list continue to be so successful? Several reasons. First, no matter if the legislator is a Republican or Democrat, they want to maintain jobs in their district to create opportunities and economic prosperity for their constituents. Voting for legislation that jeopardizes jobs is unpopular. Second, CalChamber works hard at maintaining the credibility and integrity of the list. While there are many bad bills introduced that we oppose, it does not necessarily mean those bills satisfy the Job Killer criteria. Third, CalChamber and the business community engage in aggressive lobbying efforts on Job Killers through coalition building, grassroots, and written/oral advocacy.
Here’s to another year of success on defeating Job Killers and maintaining California’s economic prosperity!