The Crush February 2023 - 4

by Michael Miiller
For decades, the legislature has passed strict labor laws
relative to collective bargaining, compensation, overtime,
working conditions, etc. In doing so, the legislature has
made it clear that most of those laws do not apply to
For example, in 2016, the legislature passed legislation
requiring ag employees to receive overtime pay.
Although, the legislature is not required to pay overtime.
Additionally, last year the legislature approved card check
legislation to make it easier for unions to organize ag
employees. This, while legislative employees have no
collective bargaining rights whatsoever.
However, this year, all that may change. Two bills have
been introduced to begin applying labor laws to the
employees of elected officials who make those very same
SB 276 (Seyarto, R-Murrieta) would mandate that
California's overtime laws apply to legislative staff.
Currently, most legislative staff are paid a monthly salary
for a work week that is no less than 35 hours per week.
On the surface, this may appear to simply provide for an
8-hour day with a paid one-hour lunch break.
However, in practice, legislative staff often work nights
and weekends staffing the assemblymember or senator in
meetings and events in the district or around the capitol.
Additionally, during the most hectic times of the year,
staff will often work 12 to 16-hour days preparing for
hearings at all hours of the day and night. Additionally, the
legislature prohibits compensated time off (CTO) whereby
an employee could work 60 hours one week and then 20
hours the next week without having to take vacation pay.
If SB 276 becomes law, it will either result in fewer hours
worked (increased numbers of staff to do the work) or
a substantial increase in compensation for legislative
AB 1 (McKinnor, D-Los Angeles) would also give legislative
employees collective bargaining rights. In justifying cause
for the bill, legislative staff claim they often must run
personal errands for the elected official or are required to
" volunteer " for political campaigns in their private time.
Staff complain that they receive no compensation for
campaign work, travel to all parts of the state, are gone
for days or even weeks at a time, and must share hotel
rooms with other staff (often with someone they don't
even know).
Staff also assert that long hours in the office affect their
work/life balance. Additionally, work stress can become
toxic and sleep deprivation eventually affects the quality
of the work produced. Keep in mind, legislative staff
who work for individual lawmakers are employees of the
Senate and the Assembly. The Rules committees of both
houses have the final authority on hiring and management
decisions and actions in their respective houses.
Therefore, staff believes that collective bargaining is
needed as they assert that lawmakers do not have the
authority to solve these institutionalized management
Conclusion: It would be interesting to see how AB 1 and
SB 276 would change the workplace in the legislature and
in political campaigns. If the legislature were required to
comply with the labor laws it passes, it may view those
very laws very differently.
CAWG Foundation Golf
May 16 - Chardonnay Golf Club,
Napa Valley
Join the CAWG Foundation for
our 4th Annual Scholarship Golf
Tournament. The scholarship program
is specifically for high school seniors
whose parent/guardian(s) are
employed by a CA winegrape grower.
The tournament will begin at 8:30 AM, with
registration and the practice range. The shotgun
start will be at 9:30 AM. The tournament will be a
four-person scramble. The day will consist of fun and
games, a hole in one contest, and an awards reception
with prizes, drinks, and hors d'oeuvres.
Thank you to Allied Grape Growers and ACIP Energy
Consulting for sponsoring the golf tournament.
Additional sponsorship opportunities are available.
Please contact Jenny Devine -
Page 4 | February 2023

The Crush February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Crush February 2023

The Crush February 2023 - 1
The Crush February 2023 - 2
The Crush February 2023 - 3
The Crush February 2023 - 4
The Crush February 2023 - 5
The Crush February 2023 - 6
The Crush February 2023 - 7
The Crush February 2023 - 8
The Crush February 2023 - 9
The Crush February 2023 - 10