Doing Business in California is hard. In 2019, your Mom and Pop business weathered the Great Power Apocalypse, that turned off the lights for several days. In 2020, the Wuhan Flu took its toll on businesses from March, April and all the way to the end of the year, as forced lock downs and a scared public made it increasingly difficult to service customers. Many restaurants and bars, gyms were permanently closed as a result.
Now, in the year 2021, when we should all be looking forward to an end to the lockdown mentality, it appears California is not willing to let go
Let's begin Assembly Bill 685, now a new state law that requires businesses to report to the state, when and if their employees have tested positive for Covid(1). Now hearing about this law might make you happy, but please consider that government is a blunt instrument, and sometimes what sounds simple can be very heavy and expensive. This law appears to use OSH-HA as the enforcement mechanism, which will mean an additional layer of bureaucracy that will slow down businesses that have large work forces. Expect the prices of services and goods to spike artificially high this year, as businesses add the chance of additional OSHA-meddling into their bottom line. Who do you think will have to pay the bill when a business has to deal with more government? The costs of doing business are always delivered to the customers.
Silly laws for 2021 continue, with Assembly Bill 979. forcing California based Corporations to make sure they properly diversify their corporate board with a mix or men and women, people of different skin tones and people of different sexual orientation. This is insane, because corporations are about profits and doing business, and this undermines the critical need for corporations to hire the best person for the job. If you know anything about business, then you know that it takes a special set of skills to be a board member, and most of us don't have those skills, adding the diversity requirement will ultimately force yet more large corporations to leave California.
For now, AB 979 is only targeting the publicly-traded corporations. If they get away with this, you better believe they will add more businesses to the list....
And that is where another dopey law comes in, Senate Bill 973, I'll quote the M-S-N report "The law would require employers to report their number of employees by race, ethnicity and sex within a series of job categories. That data could then be parsed for discriminatory patterns. While the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing would keep the reports confidential, employees suing for discrimination may be able to access the reports for legal filings."
The bottom line to these laws is simple. Higher prices for goods and services, and more companies continue to leave California behind as they move to Texas and Florida for greener pastures.