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2 state bills would choke businesses

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Over the years, California has earned a reputation of not being friendly to business interests, and thus we have seen states like Texas come try to pry businesses to move out of our state. California has earned this reputation with the increasing number of business taxes and regulations being placed on businesses as well as its residents.

It is well known that the cost of doing business in California continues to go up as the state, counties and cities grapple with budget deficits, an aging infrastructure, underfunded pension payments, crowded jails, water resource projects and a myriad of other issues.

This unfriendly atmosphere for businesses is about to get even more unfriendly if a couple of bills now working their way through the state Legislature get passed and signed by the governor.

AB 2416 would allow any employee to record a lien on an employer’s real property or any property where an employee “performed work” for an alleged, yet unproven, wage claim. Talk about opening the door for unnecessary lawsuits and a step that could interfere with the sale of real estate property across the state, this is it. And this can be done with no burden of proof of any wage or hour-law violation.

AB 1897 would mandate that businesses are liable to third-party workers for any unpaid wages, worker’s compensation coverage and occupational health and safety requirements, despite having no control over their work. This change would reverse years of common-law doctrine in which a third party may be liable for the labor obligations of another employer but only if they exerted control over the worker conditions.

These two bills need to be defeated. They make no sense and unfairly jeopardize all businesses in this state with additional burdens not needed. If they pass, our state legislators will again prove California is unfriendly to business and force more companies to look to move out of the state while filling the courts up with unnecessary lawsuits.

With time running out in the current legislative session, it’s imperative that our state Assembly members and state senators know the public’s view. To voice opposition to these bills, Auburn-area residents should contact state Assemblyman Frank Bigelow’s office at (916) 319-2005, and state Sen. Ted Gaines at (916) 651-4001. If you live outside the Auburn area and aren’t sure who your Assembly and state Senate representatives are, go to findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/