2017 Legislative Agenda

Labor’s Fightback Agenda 2017:
Resist and Rebuild

Download Labor’s 2017 Legislative Agenda and Fact Sheets (PDF)
Working people are under attack.  Twenty-eight states have passed “right to work” laws to weaken public and private sector unions. In Congress, bills have been introduced to take away our bargaining power, eliminate prevailing wage, and impose national right to work. Anti-Labor forces continue to go to the courts seeking to weaken unions and undermine workers’ rights. And a Trump Administration could roll back a century of worker protections and union rules.

Workers need unions today more than ever. Income inequality is at a record high. Across our state, employers continue to cheat workers out of wages, outsource their jobs, and misclassify them as independent contractors. Automation is accelerating and increasingly eliminating good jobs. The Trump Administration is promising a flood of worksite raids to deport immigrant workers. Now, more than ever, we must stand united and advance a shared agenda to build stronger unions and protect basic workers’ rights.

Advancing the Right to Organize
– Strengthen protections for whistleblowers who face retaliation: SB 306 (Hertzberg) will allow for immediate injunctive relief when workers face retaliation for acting as whistleblowers and require the court to consider the chilling effect on other workers from retaliatory actions.

Require new employee orientation: AB 52 (Cooper) will create a new employee orientation in the public sector and give unions the opportunity to participate.

Restrict public employers from union busting: SB 285 (Atkins) will protect public workers from pressure or harassment from employers to discourage union

– Oppose attacks on Labor: This resolution will highlight the crucial role of the Labor Movement in building the middle class and condemn attacks on Labor.

Resisting National Anti-Worker Attacks
– Protect immigrant workers from worksite raids: AB 450 (Chiu) will require that an immigration enforcement agent have a judicial warrant before entering a private business and have a subpoena before getting access to employee records, while also requiring the employer to notify the Labor Commissioner of imminent worksite raids or immigration audits.

Make it easier to enact worker safety regulations: In the face of the federal attacks on worker safety regulations, SB 772 (Leyva) will make it easier to pass worker protections at the state level by exempting workplace health and safety standards from a duplicative and time-consuming regulatory process.

– Codify federal overtime rule: AB 1565 (Thurmond) will keep workers from being unfairly exempted from overtime by raising the salary threshold for a worker to be exempt as proposed by former President Obama.

– Preserve federal wage and safety standards: SB 49 (De León) will allow California workers to continue to enforce federal labor, safety, and public health standards, even if repealed at the federal level.

– Control costs of prescription drugs: With no federal action on prescription drugs coming, SB 17 (Hernandez) will help control escalating health care costs by requiring that pharmaceutical companies provide advance notice of price increases.

Protecting Workers from Workplace Injury and Wage Theft
– Increase resources to worker safety: This action will ensure that if all funds are not spent on worker safety in a given budget year, the money stays with the department for increased enforcement the next year.

– Increase funding for labor law field enforcement: This action will allocate additional resources to field enforcement and will give the agency tools needed to enforce the law more effectively.

– Enhance safety on public transit: AB 673 (Chu) will make public transit safer for all by improving safety features on buses to protect workers and riders.