Paid-leave and nutrition disclosure mandates make advances in the California Legislature

Paid-leave and nutrition disclosure mandates make advances in the California Legislature

SACRAMENTO CALIF. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

Assembly Bill 2716, approved by a 45-33 margin May 28 but without a single Republican vote in favor, would require employers to pay full- and part-time workers during leaves of up to nine days per year that they could take after 90 days’ employment to deal with personal or family illnesses or certain crises. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

Separately, AB 2572, passed by a 46-15 vote May 29, would oblige chains with 20 or more California branches to post nutrition data in various optional ways. That bill, by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford, is supported by the California Restaurant Association [2] as a way to avoid varying municipal regulations statewide. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

Both measures moved to the state Senate for action there. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

Meanwhile, the Senate voted 21-17 on May 22 to revive a menu-labeling mandate passed by the Legislature last year but vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. SB 1420, whose provisions for mandatory on-menu posting of nutrition contents are virtually the same as those in last year’s scuttled measure, is scheduled to come up for a hearing in the Assembly’s health committee June 17. The bill is by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

The CRA favors the more lenient AB 2572 because its rules allow passive disclosure—through brochures, for example—and would supersede San Francisco’s strict on-menu posting requirements. CRA president Jot Condie praised the Parra bill, saying it would keep chain operators from having to struggle with conformance to “a patchwork of local regulations.” —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

However, even the less stringent nutrition disclosure measure would require affected restaurants to determine and reveal calorie, fat, carbohydrate and sodium information for each standard menu item. But restaurants would be able to display that data on menus or food packaging, table tents, tray liners, posters, brochures or electronic kiosk displays. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

Support for such a sweeping mandate by the nation’s largest and oldest state restaurant association is not unprecedented. The CRA previously favored the 1998 extension of California’s statewide ban on workplace smoking, enacted in 1994, to bars and restaurants. The reason then was the same as given now for nutrition disclosure: to avert a patchwork of varying municipal ordinances and to level the competitive landscape for operators located near boundaries with potentially more lenient jurisdictions. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

“The flexibility in how this information is provided to guests will alleviate an unnecessary burden while achieving the desired result: comprehensive nutrition information in every covered restaurant,” the CRA has stated of the Parra bill. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

The paid-leave legislation, authored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, would let workers accrue one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked, up to nine days a year. Businesses with fewer than 10 workers would have to provide up to five days of paid leave a year. Under the bill, workers could begin taking paid leave after 90 days of employment in order to care for their own illness or that of a relative, or to recover from domestic violence or a sexual assault. Schwarzenegger has not stated a position on the measure. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.

CRA officials said they oppose the paid-leave measure. They are optimistic that expected late-June Senate action on the Parra bill allowing passive disclosure of dietary data would lead to its passage, and that Schwarzenegger—who had called for flexibility when vetoing the stricter measure last year—would sign it into law. —A proposed paid-leave mandate and a pair of nutrition disclosure bills have advanced in the California Legislature by gaining approval in the state Assembly and Senate.