Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.
With a new year means new attempts in Sacramento to pass job-killer legislation that targets employers.
A bill, AB 67, requires double the “regular rate” of pay for work on Thanksgiving. The bill unfairly targets two classifications of employers (retailars and grocers) by increasing their costs and creating a competitive disadvantage with, for example, online retailers.
The bill’s author, San Diego Democrat Lorena Gonzalez, has argued the bill is needed to compensae employees who are forced to give up their family time to work on Thanksgiving, though recent amendments to the bill indicate otherwise. It now targets only two industries — retail and grocery stores. According to the California Chamber of Commerce, which opposes the bill, the bill is really intended to punish retail and grocery stores.
In addition, the bill requires a doubling of the employees “regular rate” of pay, which is different than the employee’s hourly rate. Regular pay includes hourly earnings, salary, piecework earnings, commissions, certain bonuses and the value of meals and lodging. This sets up plenty of opportunities for good faith errors as to what types of renumeration should be included in the calculation.
The bill has passed the Assembly, and is headed to the Senate for policy committee hearings. Be sure to contact your elected official in Sacramento to voice your opinion.