Allan Zaremberg, the President and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce will be speaking in Oxnard on December 1. He'll be addressing the Annual Meeting of the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties.
Mr. Zaremberg will be joined at the podium by Fred Main of ClearAdvocacy, LLC. Fred is the Alliance's lobbyist in Sacramento.
The Alliance is a collaboration of local chambers of commerce whose mission is to build consensus to advocate for public policies that will improve the region’s business climate. Geographically, the Alliance membership stretches from Thousand Oaks/Westlake through Santa Barbara.
The Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, December 1, from 11:30 to 1:30 at the Tower Club. Click here for details and to register.
Over the next couple of months the Oxnard Chamber will be running a series of articles about changes in employment laws for 2018. Since California has a fulltime legislature which introduces thousands of bills every year, there is certainly no shortage of new laws that all employers must comply with. Today we will look at hiring practices.
Employers will need to update their employment application questions. One of the most significant changes for 2018 came into existence via AB 168. The legislation bans employers from asking about a job applicant's salary history, including information on compensation and benefits. Employers are also banned from seeking the information through an agent, such a third-party recruiter.
This new law also prohibits employers from relying on salary history information as a factor in determining whether to hire the applicant or how much to pay the applicant. However, an employer may consider salary information that is voluntarily disclosed by the applicant without any prompting. AB 168 further requires an employer to provide a job applicant, upon reasonable request, with the pay scale for the position.
AB 1008 is “ban-the-box” legislation that prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about criminal history information on job applications and from inquiring about or considering criminal history at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made. There are limited exemptions for certain positions, such as those where a criminal background check is required by federal, state or local law.
Once an employer has made a conditional offer of employment, it may seek certain criminal history information; however, some criminal history information, such as sealed or expunged convictions and juvenile crimes, is still off limits.
If an employer intends not to hire the applicant because of a prior conviction, the employer must first conduct an individualized assessment to determine whether the conviction has a direct and adverse relationship with specific job duties that justifies denying employment. The employer must consider specified factors in making this assessment.
Any preliminary decision not to hire because of a conviction history requires written notice to the applicant, who must be given the opportunity to respond. A specific timeline and process must be followed. The employer must consider any information provided by the applicant before making a final decision.
If the employer makes a final decision to deny employment in whole or in part because of the criminal conviction, written notice to the applicant is again required. Specific information must be included in the final determination notice.
Take note that the Department of Fair Employment and Housing passed criminal history regulations earlier this year. To the extent that this new law conflicts with those earlier regulations, the new law takes precedence.
In addition to AB 1008, Governor Brown signed a number of criminal justice reform laws, including SB 393, which authorizes record sealing and removes barriers to employment for those arrested but never convicted of a crime.
The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) — part of a package of bills the governor signed to create a “sanctuary state” — provides workers with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job.
AB 450 prohibits employers from:
An employer that provides access in violation of AB 450 can be fined anywhere from $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
Regarding Form I-9 inspections, AB 450 requires employers to:
An employer that fails to follow these notice requirements can be fined between $2,000 to $5,000 for a first violation and $5,000 to $10,000 for each subsequent violation.
This bill also makes it unlawful for employers to re-verify the employment eligibility of current employees in a time or manner not allowed by federal employment eligibility verification laws. Federal law already prohibits unlawful re-verification practices, such as re-verification of unexpired documentation. However, this bill adds an additional state civil penalty of up to $10,000.
Finally, AB 1221 requires bartenders and other alcohol servers to receive mandatory training on alcohol responsibility and to obtain an alcohol server certification. Businesses with a license to serve alcohol must ensure that each alcohol server they hire or employ has the certification. The training will include such topics as how alcohol impacts the body, drunk driving laws and how to prevent service to intoxicated patrons. These requirements go into effect in 2021, after the course is developed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. (Note: The city of Oxnard already has a Responsible Beverage Server program and certification.)
As always, employers with questions about new and existing employment laws should seek the advice of legal counsel. The Oxnard Chamber strives to keep its members informed about new laws that could affect their business operations.
Last month, in celebration of “National Energy Awareness Month,” representatives from California Resources Corporation, Aera Energy, Oxnard College, LULAC and El Concilio presented at a Ventura County Board of Supervisors’ meeting the “Moment of Inspiration” where a “Careers in Energy” program was highlighted that recently took place at Oxnard College.
We demonstrated first-hand how we are working with local private and public education, non-profits, governmental organizations, labor and others to introduce careers in the energy field. These careers run the gamut from engineers to geologists to helicopter pilots; all under the auspices of STEM which is science, technology, engineering and math curriculum.
By working together, we aim to equip our youth with the tools they need to become the leaders of tomorrow. By designing career programs with our neighbors, communities and the environment in mind, we hope STEM education will help guide them as they lead the Golden State in meeting our growing energy needs in an economically responsible and environmentally sustainable way.
Being socially conscious means recognizing the needs of our ethnically diverse communities. The opportunity to earn a solid paycheck without a four-year degree is being eliminated. However, one industry that is providing that much-needed economic mobility is the oil and gas industry. In fact, one-third of the industry’s workforce has a high school degree or less and an average annual wage of $84,000.
The oil and gas industry supports an all-of-the-above energy approach which means safely developing our energy resources to support everything we do at home, work and play. We believe in having a fact-based and balanced conversation about the critical role that energy – all forms of energy – plays in every aspect of our society, economy and daily lives.
“Careers in Energy” programs like this and other industry workforce opportunities focus to empower all our students in Ventura County.
The California Chamber of Commerce has released a report of California legislators’ floor votes for the first year of the 2017-18 legislative session, focusing on priority bills to the state’s business community.
View the 2017 Vote Record
This is the 43rd vote record the CalChamber has compiled in response to numerous requests by member firms and local chambers of commerce that would like a gauge by which to measure the performance of their legislators.
To help readers assess legislators’ vote records, the charts group bills into nine areas: contracting out, environmental regulation, health care costs, housing and land use, industrial safety and health, labor and employment, legal reform and protection, privacy and telecommunications, and workers’ compensation.
No vote record can tell the entire story of a legislator’s attitude and actions on issues of importance to business. To fully evaluate your legislative representative, consult the legislative journals and examine your legislator’s votes in committee and on floor issues.
You can view these via links at www.calchambervotes.com.
Many anti-business bills were rejected by legislators in policy or fiscal committees, thus stopping proposals before they reached the floor for a vote. The vote record does not capture these votes.
Most bills in this report cover major business issues that are of concern to both small and large companies.
The CalChamber recognizes that there are many bills supported or opposed by business that are not included in this vote record and analysis.
The CalChamber considers the following factors in selecting vote record bills:
Best Business Votes
A “Best Business Votes” section lists legislators according to the percentage of times they voted with the CalChamber position on the bills selected for the vote record. Votes when a legislator was absent are not included in calculating percentages.
For more details on how the vote record is compiled and descriptions of the bills included, Click here.
80% or more with CalChamber
Anderson, Joel (R) 16-0
Bates, Patricia (R) 16-0
Berryhill, Tom (R) 16-0
Fuller, Jean (R) 16-0
Gaines, Ted (R) 16-0
Morrell, Mike (R) 16-0
Nguyen, Janet (R) 16-0
Nielsen, Jim (R) 16-0
Stone, Jeff (R) 16-0
Vidak, Andy (R) 16-0
Moorlach, John (R) 15-0
Cannella, Anthony (R) 15-1
Wilk, Scott (R) 15-1
40%-59% with CalChamber
Glazer, Steve (D) 9-7
Roth, Richard (D) 8-7
Less than 40% with CalChamber
Dodd, Bill (D) 4-12
Newman, Josh (D) 3-12
Hueso, Ben (D) 3-13
Pan, Richard (D) 3-13
Portantino, Anthony (D) 3-13
Allen, Ben (D) 2-14
Hernandez, Ed (D) 2-14
Hertzberg, Bob (D) 2-14
Bradford, Steven (D) 1-14
Galgiani, Cathleen (D) 1-14
Atkins, Toni (D) 1-15
de León, Kevin (D) 1-15
Hill, Jerry (D) 1-15
Lara, Ricardo (D) 1-15
McGuire, Mike (D) 1-15
Skinner, Nancy (D) 1-15
Wiener, Scott (D) 1-15
Mendoza, Tony (D) 0-15
Mitchell, Holly (D) 0-15
Stern, Henry (D) 0-15
Beall, Jim (D) 0-16
Jackson, Hannah-Beth (D) 0-16
Leyva, Connie (D) 0-16
Monning, Bill (D) 0-16
Wieckowski, Bob (D) 0-16
80% or more with CalChamber
Allen, Travis (R) 15-0
Bigelow, Frank (R) 15-0
Brough, Bill (R) 15-0
Chen, Phillip (R) 15-0
Flora, Heath (R) 15-0
Harper, Matthew (R) 15-0
Kiley, Kevin (R) 15-0
Mayes, Chad (R) 15-0
Obernolte, Jay (R) 15-0
Patterson, Jim (R) 15-0
Voepel, Randy (R) 15-0
Gallagher, James (R) 14-0
Acosta, Dante (R) 14-1
Fong, Vince (R) 14-1
Mathis, Devon (R) 14-1
Melendez, Melissa (R) 13-0
Chávez, Rocky (R) 13-2
Lackey, Tom (R) 13-2
Steinorth, Marc (R) 13-2
Waldron, Marie (R) 13-2
Cunningham, Jordan (R) 12-2
Dahle, Brian (R) 12-2
Grayson, Tim (D) 12-3
Choi, Steven (R) 10-1
60%-79% with CalChamber
Gray, Adam (D) 11-4
Frazier, Jim (D) 10-5
Maienschein, Brian (R) 10-5
40%-59% with CalChamber
Baker, Catharine (R) 8-7
Cooper, Jim (D) 8-7
Salas, Rudy (D) 8-7
Daly, Tom (D) 7-8
Less than 40% with CalChamber
Arambula, Joaquin (D) 5-10
Irwin, Jacqui (D) 5-10
O’Donnell, Patrick (D) 5-10
Rubio, Blanca (D) 5-10
Cervantes, Sabrina (D) 4-11
Cooley, Ken (D) 4-11
Ridley-Thomas, Sebastian (D) 3-11
Aguiar-Curry, Cecilia (D) 3-12
Caballero, Anna (D) 3-12
Dababneh, Matt (D) 3-12
Gipson, Mike (D) 3-12
Levine, Marc (D) 3-12
Quirk-Silva, Sharon (D) 3-12
Bocanegra, Raul (D) 2-13
Burke, Autumn (D) 2-13
Medina, Jose (D) 2-13
Muratsuchi, Al (D) 2-13
Quirk, Bill (D) 2-13
Rodriguez, Freddie (D) 2-13
Eggman, Susan Talamantes (D) 1-11
Chu, Kansen (D) 1-13
Gloria, Todd (D) 1-14
Gonzalez Fletcher, Lorena (D) 1-14
Jones-Sawyer, Reginald (D) 1-14
Low, Evan (D) 1-14
McCarty, Kevin (D) 1-14
Nazarian, Adrin (D) 1-14
Santiago, Miguel (D) 1-14
Weber, Shirley (D) 1-14
Chau, Ed (D) 0-13
Garcia, Eduardo (D) 0-13
Berman, Marc (D) 0-14
Bloom, Richard (D) 0-14
Bonta, Rob (D) 0-14
Calderon, Ian (D) 0-14
Friedman, Laura (D) 0-14
Holden, Chris (D) 0-14
Limón, Monique (D) 0-14
Mullin, Kevin (D) 0-14
Rendon, Anthony (D) 0-14
Reyes, Eloise (D) 0-14
Wood, Jim (D) 0-14
Chiu, David (D) 0-15
Garcia, Cristina (D) 0-15
Kalra, Ash (D) 0-15
Stone, Mark (D) 0-15
Thurmond, Tony (D) 0-15
Ting, Phil (D) 0-15
Gomez, Jimmy (D)* 0-5
*Jimmy Gomez elected to U.S. House of Representatives; took office July 11, 2017.
Californians are anxious.
The economy is growing, the state budget is balanced and the rains have resumed. Yet California voters are apprehensive about the future. They worry that state leaders are not addressing the issues that truly concern them, according to the third annual CalChamber Poll.
For the first time in three years of polling, slightly more voters say that California is headed down the wrong track (52%) than in the right direction (48%). Their assessment for the nation is even worse: twice as many voters have a negative outlook on the country’s direction than have a positive impression.
Parents are uneasy about their kids’ futures. Of the 28% of voters with children living at home, 61% agree that their children will have a better future if they leave California. Reasons include the high cost of living here, high taxes and worry about landing a good job.
This is the Cal Exit to worry about.
On jobs, where you live determines your perception of reality.
San Francisco Bay Area voters see a strong job creation climate in their region, with nearly a quarter of voters seeing “a lot of new jobs” in the area, and nearly eight in ten seeing “a lot” or “some” new jobs. Elsewhere, the perception is dimmer. Coastal southern Californians see a moderate number of new jobs in their regions, while voters in the Inland Empire and Central Valley are more pessimistic, with only 5% seeing “a lot” of new jobs and less than two in five even seeing “some” new jobs.
When asked about the quality of these new jobs, among voters who respond that “a lot” or “some” new jobs are being created, a majority statewide believe that most of these new jobs “tend to be dead ends that don’t lead to the middle class,” while a minority say the new jobs are “the type that lead to higher pay and middle class living.”
Regional differences also are stark here. Most SF Bay Area voters believe the new jobs will lead to higher pay and the middle class, while – by a two-to-one margin – Inland Empire and Central Valley voters believe most new jobs will be dead end jobs.
Crime is also increasingly on the minds of the public.
Voters overwhelmingly agree that elected officials in Sacramento are not spending enough time on reducing crime (86%) or expanding police powers to limit panhandling, homelessness and public drug use in city parks (66%).
They would be more likely to support legislative candidates who take a tough-on-crime approach, such as expanding the list of violent crimes for which early release is not an option, such as felony domestic violence and child sex trafficking (92%), reinstating DNA collection for certain misdemeanors to help law enforcement solve cases (77%), and revise upward the threshold for serial theft to be a felony (76% support).
While most voters have heard a great deal about making California a “sanctuary state,” by a nearly two-to-one margin they believe elected officials are spending too much time on the issue.
Democratic gubernatorial candidates may face calls to support a “single-payer” health care system, but voters are simply not impressed. Voters strongly support subsidies for people who cannot afford their own health care (75%) and for those who have pre-existing health conditions (81%), but are not ready to embrace government-run health care. Voters overwhelmingly prefer to keep their current health insurance (71%) over switching to a single-payer approach (29%).
Voters feel disconnected from their elected leaders, agreeing that the Legislature (82%) and Governor (63%) are “out of touch with the issues that are important to people like me.”
Issues that voters care about but believe the Legislature is not spending enough time on include crime, job creation, keeping energy prices low and building more highways.
Speaking of transportation, considering alternatives to the gasoline tax, voters prefer a mileage-based user fee (29%) to other choices, such as a tax on carbon emissions (20%), issuing state bonds (19%), raising the state sales tax (9%) or reducing spending on schools, colleges and health care (9%).
Voters were very supportive (61%) of paying for road repairs by replacing the gasoline tax with a mileage fee, in the context of increasing automobile fuel efficiency and the increasing number of vehicles that don’t use gasoline at all.
Voters are far less supportive of other fees and taxes on driving.
Only 37 percent support extension of the cap-and-trade program if it caused a fifty-cent-a-gallon hike in the price of gasoline. A $1.50 price increase drives support down to just 30% of voters.
The news is even worse for advocates of mileage fees to reduce driving. By a three-to-one margin, voters oppose legislative limits on driving, such as new fees, purposely designing roads to be more congested, or not expanding highway capacity at all.
Voters do not support (40%) banning gasoline-powered cars by 2030, although younger voters (67%) and voters in the San Francisco Bay Area (50%) seem intrigued by the idea.
On the quintessential California tax issue, voters still vigorously embrace the Proposition 13 property tax reforms.
Across the board, California voters (81%) have a very or somewhat favorable view of Proposition 13. This view is consistent, whether voters own their homes (85%) or rent (72%), and whether they are Democrat (75%), Republican (90%) or no party (83%).
The CalChamber poll demonstrates that voter anxiety and disconnection is as present in California as elsewhere in the country, notwithstanding the steadfast dominance of Democrats in political leadership.
The CalChamber poll was conducted online by Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) from October 4 to October 6, 2017 among n=1,000 definite California voters. The margin of error is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level.