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Opinion: AB 350: A job-killer for California

It is bad enough that California isn’t creating new jobs, but according to a recent study by Economic Modeling Specialists Inc., the state actually lost 4,600 businesses last year. On top of that, our unemployment rate is topping out at more than 12 percent.

 Given the dire state of our economy, the Legislature should be focused on promoting jobs and economic growth, and actively voting against bills that would further hurt our economy. Instead, bills like AB 350 have sailed through legislative committees and the Assembly, leaving the Senate floor as the last chance for legislators to exercise some vestige of reason.

 Assembly Bill 350, by Orange County Assemblyman José Solorio, mandates building service companies (including janitorial, security and food service companies) hire the employees of the previous company that held the service contract. This will force many service companies to fire their own workforce in order to hire the employees of their competitors.

AB 350 doesn’t just hurt workers. It seriously impedes the ability of businesses to run efficient, quality operations. In the highly-competitive service industry, companies win or lose business based on the dependability and quality of work provided by their employees. If they lose control of their employee base, they lose control over their work product.

Not only does AB 350 take away a business owner’s fundamental decisions to hire the people who work for their company, it also creates complicated legal issues by preventing what would otherwise be routine background checks of potential employees. This is particularly concerning with security guard companies whose main job is to protect a building’s tenants, a hospital’s patients, or a store’s customers.

AB 350 is exactly the type of anti-jobs, anti-business regulation that is driving California businesses to shut down or leave our state. And it is not only the business community speaking out against this legislation. Twenty newspaper editorials have opposed AB 350.

The San Francisco Chronicle said, “For an example of why the California Legislature is considered hostile to the realities of the business world, look no further than AB 350, authored by Assemblyman Jose Solorio, D-Santa Ana.”

The Sacramento Bee said, “To require an employer to take on a workforce that is not their own, one that the business owner has not been allowed to vet, is just plain wrong. “

Without creating a single job, AB 350 puts the Legislature in charge of picking winners and losers in the employment market; and it creates unnecessary hurdles for business when our economy can least afford it.  If the Senate fails to kill this bill on the floor, the governor should veto it.


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