BLOG: ‘Job killer’ bill lets workers walk out if they feel unsafe

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published on March 25, 2022 – 13:38
Written by Gordon Webster, Jr.

The California Chamber of Commerce has identified a new job-killing bill that could hamper emergency response and workplace safety.

SB 1044 by Sen. Maria Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), allows employees to leave work or refuse to report if the employee subjectively feels unsafe, regardless of existing health and safety standards or whether employers have provided health and safety protections.

According to CalChamber, employers could face costly lawsuits under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) if they challenge the employee’s decision or need another employee to take over. relay.

The bill was passed Monday by the Senate Labor, Public Employment and Pensions Committee.

In a letter to the sponsor of the bill, CalChamber pointed out that SB 1044 allows essential workers to skip shifts without prior authorization or planning, which can compromise public safety. Nor does it require workers to consider the safety of others in their workplace.

One of the concerns – SB 1044 contains no exceptions for essential services such as healthcare workers, police or firefighters. It also broadly defines the term “state of emergency”. It also gives employees wide discretion to leave a totally safe workplace, with the employer having little recourse without risking litigation.

SB 1044 is just one of many unbusiness-friendly bills rolling out of Sacramento. It penalizes companies that have worked to provide the tax surplus that lawmakers are so eager to spend. He should be stopped.

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