The elections are over and Jerry Brown will soon be replacing Arnold Schwarzenegger as governor. What impact will that have on employment law in California? Plenty.
As the Fresno Bee reported, consultant Peter Detwiler compiled statistics on over 40 years of California gubernatorial vetoes. And during that time, no one was freer with the veto pen than Governor Schwarzenegger. [Sometimes, such as when a legislature that hadn’t passed a budget sent him a bill to remove an apostrophe, he even included humorous messages with his vetoes.] This year, he rejected 28.77 percent of the bills that reached him. In 2008, he vetoed a record-setting 35.17 percent. In recent months, he vetoed bills increasing the amount of liquidated damages in wage claims (AB 1881), adding to the already onerous penalties for late payments to departing employees (AB 2187), mandating bereavement leave (AB 2340), banning the use of credit reports in background checks of employees (AB 482), and extending the statute of limitations for collection actions by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (SB 903).
What can we expect from the decidedly more liberal Governor-elect Brown? Well in his last year as governor (1982) he vetoed just 1.79% of the bills that reached his desk. So brace yourselves for a change.