Southern California Record

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Reform bill for working lactating mothers could set businesses up for PAGA lawsuits, observers say

Legislation

By Tomas Kassahun | Aug 24, 2019


The California Chamber of Commerce is expressing concerns about Senate Bill 142, which aims to expand the rights of lactating mothers in the workplace. | pexels.com

SACRAMENTO – The California Chamber of Commerce is expressing concerns about Senate Bill 142, which aims to expand the rights of lactating mothers in the workplace.

CalChamber's Capital Insider said in a post that the bill goes too far in creating burdensome and unnecessary penalties, “opening the door to vexatious litigation.”

According to the chamber, the law would require employers to make building accommodations for a lactation area, which could cost $30,000 to $100,000, and force $100 penalties for violations.


California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Regional Director Maryann Marino | Photo courtesy of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

The bill requires employers to keep track of break times allotted for expressing breast milk and creates another way for employers to be subject to Private Attorneys General Act liabilities, opponents of the bill stated.

Maryann Marino, regional director of California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse, said lawmakers should protect business owners and make it easier for them to grow in California instead of setting them up for lawsuits.

"The employers are scared of the Private Attorneys General Act,” Marino said. “Instead of introducing legislation that would only increase the opportunities for PAGA (litigation), they should be protecting our business owners, especially small business owners, from these shakedown lawsuits."

Marino said that there aren’t "cookie-cutter solutions" to problems.

“You don't know how a business is set up and how they use their space and what the best way is," Marino said. “Instead of setting them up for a Private Attorneys General Act class-action lawsuit when nobody's ever hurt, I think we need to come up with ways to help employers to put (the policy) into place."

SB 142 was introduced by Sen. Scott Wiener (D-District 11).

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Organizations in this Story

California Chamber of Commerce California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse

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