Assembly Committee To Consider Employee Wellness Benefits Bill
On Tuesday, the Assembly Business and Professions Committee will hear a bill (AB 2360) by Lloyd Levine (D-Van Nuys) to require companies that bid on state contracts to provide wellness benefits for employees, the Sacramento Bee reports.
The requirement would apply to companies bidding on contracts worth more than $1 million and with 10 or more employees. Businesses could comply with the requirement by subsidizing memberships for fitness clubs, installing fitness facilities, sponsoring employee athletic teams or providing employees with health information.
Levine says that the bill would help reduce health care costs by promoting healthy lifestyles but acknowledges that it "may not necessarily become law" this year because of the state budget deficit.
No legislative committee has analyzed the legislation's potential costs, but the requirement could apply to hundreds of state contracts. The bill would apply to state contracts awarded by the Department of General Services, including consulting contracts, contracts for supplies and materials, as well as IT and telecommunications contracts.
Supporters said that the bill is a "modest proposal" and that compliance would not be cost-prohibitive for companies.
Opponents of the bill maintain that it would deter small businesses from seeking state contracts (Rojas, Sacramento Bee, 4/26).