published on February 26, 2018 - 1:13 PM
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

Here’s another item out of the state legislature that should be cause of concern for reasonable Californians.

AB 2455, authored by Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose), would require private employees working for private organizations to provide their cellphone numbers and home addresses to any union organizer that demands them.

As pointed out by the nonprofit think-tank California Policy Center, the legislation would apply only to new home-care workers, “but sets a precedent that could apply to every type of private employee.”

The state already maintains a registry of home-care workers and applicants to ensure that such workers — who care for our most vulnerable populations in their own homes — have passed a background check and are properly trained and licensed.

Current law keeps the aide’s personal information private, but AB 2455 would require the state Department of Social Services to provide the private contact information to labor organizations.

This isn’t the first time state legislators have acted to provide personal information to benefit organized labor. Gov. Jerry Brown last year vetoed a bill named AB 1513, which was nearly identical to AB 2455, according to the California Policy Center.

As part of Brown’s veto message for AB 1513: “Home care aides have placed their names and personal contact information on the Registry for the purpose of allowing consumers and their families to determine whether an aide has undergone a criminal background check and received training,” the governor wrote. “I am concerned about now releasing the personal information of these home care aides, who joined the registry without knowing that their information would be disclosed as prescribed by this bill.”

Unions are clearly on a downward slope, with the U.S. Supreme Court this week deliberating a case that could eliminate the mandatory payment of union dues.

Unions have a wide latitude — especially in California — for pitching the “benefits” of organization to workers. But this measure goes even further in jeopardizing their right to privacy to benefit the goal of expanding their union membership roles.

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