Partnership Opposes Paid Family Leave Extension in Budget Trailer Bill, Vehicle Miles Traveled Implementation
IRWINDALE - This week, the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership weighed in with lawmakers to oppose an onerous paid family leave trailer bill that was tied to the budget. The Partnership also sent a letter to Governor Newsom, asking him to delay the implementation of the Vehicle Miles Traveled provision of SB 743 as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
"These two items are critical for the California economy moving forward," said Partnership President & CEO Bill Manis. "While the intentions of paid family leave may be well meaning, the result is a regulatory nightmare for small business owners, especially here in the San Gabriel Valley where roughly 93% of our businesses have less than 20 employees. Similarly a delay in the implementation of the Vehicle Miles Traveled regulation is only common sense given how the coronavirus has disrupted ordinary traffic and public transit ridership."
Administering leaves of absence is extraordinarily difficult for small businesses who do not have a dedicated human resource person or an in-house attorney. Under the proposal in the budget trailer bill, an employee can take the 12-weeks of leave in as small an increment as two hours. An employer must track and document the leave as "CFRA" or it does not count against the 12 weeks. An employee could take two hours of leave on Monday and another two hours on Thursday, for essentially an entire year. The burden is on the employer to document the time, document the reason for leave, adjust work schedules to cover the time off in a moment's notice, and still run their business. Tracking leaves of absence is challenging for larger employers let alone a harried small business owner.
The regulations to track Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) are due to go into effect on July 1st, as part of previously passed legislation in SB 743. The Partnership requested a year's delay in implementing the VMT due to the massive disruptions in traffic and public transit ridership caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which completely distorts the regular flow of traffic and congestion under ordinary circumstances. VMT would have a significant impact on local city governments as part of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and a delay would allow the state to address the post-pandemic conditions throughout California.
For more information, contact Brad Jensen, Director of Public Policy at the Partnership, firstname.lastname@example.org.