One of the more controversial bills introduced in the California Legislature in 2017, which was eligible to be brought up this month, has been held and will not move forward.
AB 5 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher (D-San Diego) sought to enact a statewide version of recently-adopted local “Opportunity to Work” ordinances that require employers to provide additional hours of work to part-time employees. AB 5 would have applied to employers with 10 or more employees in the state, and would have required such employers to offer additional hours of work to an existing employee before hiring any additional employees or subcontractors, including hiring an additional employee or subcontractor through the use of a temporary employment agency, staffing agency, or similar entity.
As we discussed back in May, the author decided to “park” the bill in the Assembly Appropriation Committee. However, the bill remained eligible as a “two-year bill” and could have been brought up in the Assembly this month.
The bill was heard in the Assembly Appropriations Committee on January 18, but was held under submission in the Suspense File, meaning the bill will not move forward.
Assemblywoman Gonzalez Fletcher, the author of AB 5, is also Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee. Therefore, the decision to hold the bill in committee was clearly intentional on her part. And at the beginning of the hearing, the Chair stated that a number of bills were being held that represented “good policy,” was would be more appropriate to introduce as new bills in 2018.
Therefore, it appears likely that the author will introduce a new version of the “Opportunity to Work Act” before the February 16 deadline to introduce new bills.