On March 29, 2022 the Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commere OPPOSED SB 1162, which has been labeled as a JOB KILLER. One of the main concerns with the bill is that it seeks to oversimplify data and use it to make comparisons. An example where this would be problematic is that many job titles would fall within the category of "professionals", however, the nature of the positions in that category would be vastly different. If the data was then used to compare all the salaries within the 'professional' category as a benchmark for setting salary standards many businesses could be unfairly negatively impacted. In many cases, the comparisons would be apples to oranges and create increased liability to employers.
Ashley Hoffman, Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce wrote the attached letter regarding opposition to this bill. To read a portion of the letter that Ms. Hoffman wrote, continue below:
Hoffman says, "SB 1162 would encourage new, burdensome litigation against employers based on the publication of broad, unreliable data collected by the state. Further, this bill undermines employers’ ability to hire, imposes administrative and record keeping requirements that are impossible to implement, and subjects employers to a private right of action and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). The additional burdens and costs this proposal would create will limit an employer’s ability to offer higher wages and benefits to new or existing employees and discourage growth or expansion in California."
Hoffman continues by saying, "SB 1162 Seeks to Publicly Criticize Companies Based on Broad Data That the EEOC Has Acknowledged Does Not Accurately Compare Pay Between Similarly Situated Workers:
Less than two years ago, the California Legislature enacted SB 973 (Jackson). SB 973 requires all California employers with 100 or more employees to report pay data by sex, race, ethnicity, and job category to the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH). 2021 was the first year this information was reported. DFEH is permitted to use those reports to publish aggregate data regarding the workforce as a whole. SB 973 specified that those reports are confidential and not subject to Public Records Act requests.
The reports were modeled after the proposed federal EEO-1 form. Employers must categorize employees within ten job categories and identify the number of employees that fall within twelve pay bands. The job categories are exceptionally broad. For example, a multitude of various job titles would fall under the broad category of “professionals”.
In responding to concerns about the usefulness of the reports, the EEOC explicitly stated that these reports are not useful for identifying disparities in pay between two similarly situated workers:
“Opportunities for Promotion.” SB 1162 requires businesses of all sizes to post “any opportunity for promotion” and the accompanying pay scale for all current employees prior to making a promotion decision. “Opportunity for promotion” as defined is problematic. It would include an actual vacancy or anticipated vacancy. Not only is this a significant administrative burden, but also this would require a company to publicly expose an employee who has put in their notice or wishes to resign without other employees knowing.
Further, “opportunity for promotion” encompasses every single vacancy that a business has or may have."
Letter written by:
Ashley Hoffman, Policy Advocate for the California Chamber of Commerce
For these and other reasons, we respectfully OPPOSE SB 1162 as a JOB KILLER.
Advocating FOR Business,
Acting CEO, Bari Smith
IVRCC Government Affairs Committee
Imperial Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce Board