CSP Legislative Advocacy
Strong and effective legislative advocacy is one of the many benefits of membership in the California Staffing Professionals (CSP) offers. CSP represents the State’s entire staffing industry in Sacramento, to provide effective governmental advocacy on its behalf. The CSP Government Affairs Committee, made up of industry volunteers, works with the professional lobbying team, Edelstein, Gilbert, Robson, and Smith who have represented the staffing industry for nearly two decades in Sacramento.
For years, the staffing industry has been under attack by labor unions. Organized labor is a powerful force in California politics and their interests hold great sway in the California Legislature. CSP has worked diligently over the years to defend against legislation which had the sole purpose of destroying the industry. Through the hard work of the lobbying team working inside the halls of the Capitol, and through its grass roots advocacy efforts outside the Capitol, CSP has beaten back all industry-specific hostile legislation and has successfully passed legislation that will strengthen our industry; allowing us to continue serving our clients well and enabling us to work fairly with our employees. A sampling of CSP’s legislative success includes:
Defeat of Special Tax on Staffing Industry
One of CSP’s greatest legislative victories came in 2004 when we defeated AB 880 by Assemblyman Manny Diaz. This legislation would have forced staffing companies to pay a 5% tax on the gross wages paid to temporary employees. Had this bill passed, staffing firms across the state would have been forced to close their doors as the cost of doing business would have been too high. This was the ultimate example of the industry coming together to defeat organized labor as hundreds of letters were sent to legislators and dozens of business owners trekked to Sacramento to testify against this bill. This combined effort contributed to the bill’s demise.
Clarify Payment of Wages Upon Discharge
Halting a growing list of lawsuits against staffing companies, some of which were seeking class-action status, CSP clarified the California law governing payment of wages upon discharge for the industry. SB 940, passed in 2008, mitigated the effect of the infamous L’Oreal Decision that implied that a staffing company must issue a paycheck immediately upon completion of an assignment by an employee. A legal obligation to pay employees immediately upon completion of an assignment would have led to continuing litigation and would have placed an unworkable burden on staffing companies. SB 940, signed by Governor Schwarzenegger, clarified that as long as employees were paid weekly, immediate payment would not be required upon completion of an assignment.
Challenges to Employer of Record
In 2002, CSP defeated two union sponsored bills aimed at eliminating the value a staffing company provides its clients as the Employer of Record for certain payroll taxes. AB 2771 would have made staffing industry clients the employer of record for purposes of unemployment and disability insurance, while a separate bill would have made licensed contractors responsible for the workers’ compensation coverage of temporary employees provided by staffing companies. Together, these bills would have had a devastating impact on the industry. Fortunately, CSP was able to rally its members and engage in the legislative process to defeat these bills.
Because CSP has been an active and engaged trade association, we have benefitted from expert representation in Sacramento. Because of this representation, CSP was in the unique position to defeat legislation that would have required staffing companies to disclose to its employees the amount of compensation it receives from the client the employee is being sent to. This was another labor-backed effort that our lobbying team learned of before the ink was put to paper. Effective lobbying and education of the legislator considering the bill resulted in the idea being shelved before it saw the light of day.
Many business owners, especially those in the staffing industry, are struggling to stay in business. Owners are letting their social and networking memberships idle. However, membership in your trade association is needed now, more than ever. In today’s political climate, industries that do not organize and advocate for themselves are at risk of being regulated out of existence. In order to continue advocating successfully, we must be able to both fund our efforts and show strength in numbers when necessary. Your CSP membership provides greater strength to our voice and will help us advocate more effectively on your behalf.