And If California Slides Into the Ocean

By October 1, 2007General

Like the mystics and statistics say it will, the cause will be the steady accretion of new burdens on those who create private-sector jobs there. From our friends at the California Manufacturers and Technology Association:

After much debate and lobbying, both AB 537 (position letter) (Sandré Swanson, D-Oakland) and SB 727 (position letter) (Sheila Kuehl, D-Malibu) reached the Governor’s desk for consideration. If these bills are signed, it will result in the expansion of the California Family Responsibility Act (CFRA) and Paid Family Leave insurance program (PFL). Both of these bills have the potential to dramatically increase absences at the workplace and be an additional burden on employers.

Theses bills do not take into account the current state of our aging workforce and the lack of highly-skilled workers to replace them. The financial impact not being considered in these bills are the indirect costs to the employer. The costs vary by employer but include the cost of recruitment, training, overtime and human resource management. For many larger companies it has also become necessary to enlarge their human resource departments to handle Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and CFRA claims and help manage the replacement of workers. With the increased use of CFRA and PFL, businesses are beginning to feel the fiscal constraints of doing business in California. AB 537 (position letter) and SB 727 (position letter) would just add to that.

In addition, both bills, if signed, would result in a rise of legal disputes. AB 537 (position letter) is a job protected leave, which guarantees the employee a return to his/her job. There are also certain aspects of the PFL that can be disputed with claims filed with the Fair Employment and Housing Department.

CMTA has requested that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger veto these bills and encourage employers to register their concerns as well. Letters may be sent to the State Capitol, First Floor, Sacramento, CA 95814. You may also call the Governor’s legislative unit at (916) 445-4341.

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