Rising crime rates and the prevalence of flash mob robberies in California are a source of consternation for business owners, lawmakers, and law enforcement alike. In response to these recent developments, a proposed bill to prevent workplace violence, Senate Bill 553, was recently passed in the state’s senate on a 29-8 vote.
Introduced by State Senator Dave Cortese (D), SB 553 seeks to protect non-security workers by requiring employers to develop workplace safety plans that include training on how to effectively respond to confrontations. The bill additionally includes provisions to enhance retail security and prevent further assault or shootings within the workplace.
At least that’s how the bill is being sold.
This proposed legislation has sparked much debate and dissent among small business owners, lawmakers, and law enforcement personnel.
If a business tries to stop a shoplifter they can be fined and possibly charged.
California Democrats have proposed Bill 553, which makes it ILLEGAL to confront or fight back against looters, burglars and shoplifters.
You’ll be fined nearly $20K if you attempt to stop these crimes.
It puts every business at the mercy of criminals.
This is totally INSANE! pic.twitter.com/a5nL0n0fFH
— Proud Elephant 🇺🇸🦅 (@ProudElephantUS) September 5, 2023
Specifically, these criticisms have concentrated on the bill’s impact on small business owners that are already grappling with losses incurred through theft and will need to hire security guards to comply with SB 553’s requirements.
El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson condemned the state’s current public policy decisions, claiming that they have inadvertently decriminalized property crime and drug use, urging the need for authorities to hold criminals responsible for their actions.
Meanwhile, a recent rally took place at the state capitol, involving business owners, lawmakers, and law enforcement personnel. Despite their distinctive views, they all voiced their unified concerns regarding the proposed legislation, asking the Assembly Appropriations Committee to reconsider the bill.