Opinion – National Federation of Independent Businesses says today’s signing of SB 1383 seals the fate of most small businesses; expanded family leave law destroys Main Street, offers little help for those without a job

California Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of Senate Bill 1383 late this afternoon came as little surprise to the state’s leading small-business association, which, along with more than 100 other business groups, warned against it.

“Tragically, previous vows from the governor and lawmakers to help devastated small business owners crawl out of this virus-ravaged economic recession have proven to be a pile of empty, election-year bluster,“ said John Kabateck, California state director for NFIB. “Our capitol leaders continue to lack any rudimentary understanding of small business economics or a hint of compassion for the job creators that are broke but now expected to subsidize another costly government mandate.”

The law now allows an employee:

  • To take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid, job-protected leave during a 12-month period for specified family care and medical leave reasons.
  • Reinstatement to the same or comparable position.
  • To continue group health coverage during the duration of the leave.
  • The governor often states his record of being a small business owner and entrepreneur. We would encourage the governor to rediscover his roots when assessing future legislative priorities.

And, most devastating of all, SB 1383 hits small employers especially hard by lowering traditional thresholds for compliance to five-or-more employee firms — the heart of most small businesses.

“Businesses have been shuttered, re-opened and shuttered again. Many are hanging by a thread through no fault of their own,” said Kabateck. “Government-imposed closures and restrictions have severely limited the operation and viability of most small businesses. Senate Bill 1383 will force our already fragile mom-and-pop owners to lay people off and shut their doors forever.

“The most insulting aspect of this law is that it is simply unnecessary — 73 percent of small-business owners already offer their employees paid time off and for any reason, and California is already home to more than 10 employee-leave benefit programs. The sad truth is that this is another classic example of Sacramento policymakers choosing to place the well-being of organized labor and trial lawyers above the hard-working, small-business owners who drive our economy and jobs. Sad.”


About NFIB

For more than 77 years, NFIB has been advocating on behalf of America’s small and independent business owners, both in Washington, D.C., and in all 50 state capitals. NFIB is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and member-driven association. Since its founding in 1943, NFIB has been exclusively dedicated to small and independent businesses and remains so today.

For more information, visit nfib.com.