AB 1669 by Assembly Labor Committee Chair Roger Hernandez (D) West Covina, will expand a law that we sponsored and got successfully passed about 15 years ago that will now give bidders on contracts to haul solid waste a ten percent bid preference if they agree to retain displaced drivers for a period of at least 90 days when a franchise agreement expires. The existing law applies to displaced transit drivers and has proved phenomenally successful in insuring that our members do not lose employment when new contractors successfully bid on service contracts. It also insures that the new employer has to recognize and bargain in good faith with the incumbent union.
The bill passed its first hurdle in the Assembly Labor Committee. Thanks to our members, Delfino Roa and Juan Casales from Local 396 who came to Sacramento to testify about the devastating impact of job displacement on them and their families after a solid waste contract changed hands.
SB 1362 by State Senator Tony Mendoza (D) Los Angeles, will help our members who work as security guards for the LA Metropolitan Transportation Authority by giving them the limited power to detain suspects. Currently our members are required to be armed and to confront individuals who are engaged in criminal behavior on the transit system without any power to detain them. This leaves them with only the right to perform a citizen’s arrest, which exposes them to legal liability. The bill will also clarify that they can legally carry the weapons which the employer now requires them to carry.
SB 1362 will be heard in the Senate Business & Professions Committee and then will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee.
In the area of health care, where constantly escalating costs threaten to eat up money that could otherwise go to wage increases, we are sponsoring SB 1365 by State Senator Ed Hernandez (D) West Covina, which will prohibit hospitals from charging hospital facility fees when they are seen in an outpatient clinic. Believe it or not, when a hospital owns a doctor’s office, they can charge hospital fees for the use of a hospital room in addition to the cost of seeing the doctor. In the case of one of our members, a hospital based clinic charged a $2000 hospital fee for receiving an injection in an outpatient clinic.
SB 1365 is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Health Committee.
We are also sponsoring, along with the California Labor Federation, AB 2261, also by Assembly Member Roger Hernandez. This bill will strengthen the laws preventing retaliation against immigrants and other vulnerable workers by allowing the Labor Commissioner to go after bad employers rather than the worker being forced to file a lawsuit.
That bill will be heard in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee in the next several weeks.