SB 799, which would allow individuals on strike to collect UI benefits, passes the Assembly Floor.
By News Desk
Senate Bill 799, jointly authored by Assemblymember Chris Holden, Assemblymember Laura Friedman, and Senator Anthony Portantino, would permit individuals involved in a trade dispute to be eligible to collect unemployment insurance or UI benefits after a two-week waiting period
“This is a necessary step in establishing worker security. Every employee should feel at liberty to engage in negotiations without jeopardizing their basic quality of life and this bill will make sure they can initiate these discussions and fight for better conditions without themselves or their families suffering because of it,” said Assemblymember Chris Holden.
“A terrific group of labor advocates have worked tirelessly on this effort and deserve our appreciation. SB 799 will help workers put food on their table when they need it most – in the middle of those important labor negotiations. California has always been a leader in protecting workers’ rights and its time ensure striking workers have the unemployment benefits that other unemployed workers are entitled to. We look forward to getting this bill on the Governor’s desk,” said Senator Portantino.
SB 799 allows for California to join other progressive states in pioneering better job security and allowing individuals on strike to collect UI benefits. In these rare occasions (like the ones we are seeing now with Writers Guild of America and SAG-AFTRA, where the strikes have become extended) this bill would make sure that when negotiations are reached, employees can return to work without extreme deficits.
“SB 799 is essential to ensure that families can afford basic essentials like food and electricity, while they execute their constitutionally protected right to strike. This is not a level playing field, and giant corporations shouldn’t be able to leverage the threat of a worker losing their housing or not being able to put food on their table to force them to accept an unfair contract,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman.
“California is known for moving this country forward. We are known for recognizing a need for change and meeting the demand. Employment and job security are the glue that hold this economy together and if we have a chance to improve it, which we do right now, we should take it,” said Holden.
AB 799 would codify a California Supreme Court Decision (Coast Packing Co. v. California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board (1966) 64 Cal. 2d 76) that found individuals subject to a lockout eligible for UI benefits.
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