Partnership supports Career Pathway grants, opposes anti-business legislation

The Partnership’s Legislative Committee voted this week to support an extension of California’s Career Pathways grant program, an important funding mechanism for career technical education in K-12 schools. The Committee also opposed two key bills that would open businesses to needless litigation and subject them to harsh regulations.

The Partnership supported AB 445, which extends the Career Pathways Grant Program for an additional three years and makes available $300 million in funding through a competitive grant program. School districts may use this funding to expand and augment their efforts to expose students to skilled trades and career experience in a variety of industries.

The Partnership opposed SB 306, which empowers the state Labor Commissioner to initiate punitive actions against employers who are accused of retaliating against whistle-blowing employees without having to prove retaliation has actually occurred in a court of law. The bill allows the Labor Commissioner to punish companies only on the basis of “reasonable cause” without requiring clear evidence and the due process required by law.

The Partnership also opposed AB 1209, a bill that requires companies of over 250 employees to report to the state the pay data for male and female employees with the same job titles and post that information on their website, opening these businesses to litigation if there appears to be discrimination based on gender. Current law, however, requires that job duties be substantially similar for pay differentials to indicate discrimination and not just job titles. This bill exposes businesses to increased litigation and subjects them to an onerous state mandate.