[According to Chamber of Commerce] the regulations create a new ‘unclassified’ workplace violation, giving the state agency the ability ‘to strong-arm employers for higher penalties.’
Proponents of the bill never provided any evidence that increasing penalties or allowing more lawsuits would actually reduce injuries or illnesses in the workplace. What is certain is that employers in California will now face far greater penalties for alleged safety and health violations than employers any-where else in the nation. Undoubtedly, this will lead to much greater litigation of Cal/OSHA citations.
Its appropriate name should be the 'Be an Employer, Pay a Massive Penalty' Act.
AB 1127 would unfairly hold an employer liable for violations of independent contractors over whom they had no control. This is not only unfair, it makes no sense. And, as a result, AB 1127 will discourage employers from hiring independent contractors, who are often small and minority-owned businesses.
This bill would have a severe economic impact on local, family businesses like the beer wholesalers by exposing them to increased liability and the potential for costly litigation claims.
It is doubtful that doubling criminal provisions and the imposition of exorbitant fines will proportionally improve worker safety. Provisions to impose larger potential fines on corporations are also unfair and unjustified.
AB 1127 … would place a powerful hammer in the hands of over-zealous prosecutors to intimidate businesses into pleading to lesser Labor Code violations when threatened with Penal Code prosecution.
Additionally, in a construction setting, where the type of work is inherently more dangerous than an office setting, it will be difficult to hire managers and supervisors for fear that they would be held criminally liable for accidents.
The provisions of this bill are extremely open-ended, and encumber both employers and Cal/OSHA with many unreasonable administrative burdens and costs.
Under this measure, accidents will have devastating effects on employers. Encouraging lawsuits is good for attorneys, bad for business, and ultimately, bad for employees.