DIR Notes:
Regulatory review, minimum wage, and ergonomics


The Cal/OSHA Standards Board will conduct a special meeting in November to seek general comments on its regulations. The special meeting was called in response to Governor Wilson's call for state agencies to review their respective regulations and identify any regulations that should be eliminated. The special meeting was called to receive public comment on any regulations that should be considered for elimination. It will be held on November 29 at 9 a.m. at the Secretary of State Building, 1500 11th Street in Sacramento. . . .

The Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) continues its statutorily-mandated biennial review of the minimum wage. A final public hearing to receive comments was held November 13 in Los Angeles. Four other hearings were conducted in San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego, and Fresno. At its December meeting, IWC members will vote on whether to proceed with covening a formal wage board to review the minimum wage to submit any recommendations to the IWC or to close the review. . . .

While the Cal/OSHA Standards Board works to develop a new proposed ergonomics standard, legislation has advanced to repeal the mandate requiring such a standard. Assembly Bill 50 (Pringle) would repeal Labor Code Section 6357, which requires the board to adopt an ergonomics standard "designed to minimize the instances of injury from repetitive motion." The bill received approval in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee, which sent it to the Assembly floor. The bill, however, was not brought to a vote before the session adjourned in September; a vote will occur when the Legislature reconvenes. AB 50 had been an urgency bill, which would require a two-thirds vote but be effective immediately upon signature by the Governor. The urgency clause was removed in committee so that a majority vote now is sufficient for approval. If enacted, AB 50 would be effective on January 1, 1997, which coincides with the Standards Board's deadline for adopting an ergonomics standard.