During Lawsuit Abuse Awareness Week, it is important to recognize that lawsuit abuse hurts us all – not just the business sued or the employees whose hours may be cut to help pay the costs of the lawsuit, but everyone in the community.

As the owner of a successful media company who has traveled, done business with and spoken to minority business owners all over California, I have seen how immigrant communities have shaped California, opening businesses and growing our economy.

Sadly, I have also seen how minority-owned businesses are especially affected by abusive lawsuits, hurting entire communities. Unscrupulous lawyers target these businesses for a number of reasons, including language barriers and cultural values that discourage public disagreements. For these lawyers, minority-owned businesses are seen as easy targets, where a few thousand bucks can be made with little hassle.

And whether these are restaurants, convenience stores, hotels or any other kind of business, when they face abusive lawsuits, the entire community suffers. These lawsuits can force businesses to delay plans for expansion and hiring, make them lay off workers, or even cause them to shut down altogether. And when any of these things happen, communities as a whole suffer. Income and sales taxes decrease, hurting local public safety and public education.

If California wants to become a job-creating machine again, it needs to stop the abusive lawsuits that are hurting businesses – especially minority-owned businesses – in our state. Our elected leaders need to pass laws that create jobs, not lawsuits.