The only problem with holding a contest to decide the worst bill introduced in the Legislature this year is:  How do you pick just one?

Well, I have a contender for you!

AB 5, authored by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez-Fletcher (D-San Diego) and Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San Jose) prohibits California businesses with as few as 10 employees from hiring part-time help until those work hours have been offered to existing employees.

Under this bill, if a company has offices in Northern and Southern California and the office in Irvine has a growing workload and needs to hire extra help they would be precluded from doing so until the extra hours were offered to existing employees in Lodi.  Yes, this is an actual bill and two Legislators put their names on it.

Even if an employee has told their employer they are not interested in extra hours or are not available on the day or time the extra hours are available, under AB 5 the work must be offered to them.

Under AB 5 employers would need to keep documentation regarding offers of additional hours of work, employee work schedules and employee written statements indefinitely.

AB 5 fails to specify what an employer must do to satisfy the “offer” requirements of additional hours.  What AB 5 DOES specify are the multiple enforcement mechanisms for technical violations of the proposed new law setting up well intentioned employers for more lawsuits and financial penalties.

It’s no wonder AB 5 quickly found itself on the California Chamber of Commerce’s List of Job Killers!

AB 5 has passed out of the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and is awaiting a hearing in the Assembly Appropriations Committee with a deadline of next Friday, May 26.

On the bright side, if the bill stalls in the Assembly this year and becomes a two-year bill we’ll already have a front-runner for the 2018 Worst Bill of the Year!