Office bill

In a decision certain to impact frontline cleaning crews, Assembly Bill 2364 was recently introduced in California. The implications of the bill include the creation of an advisory committee ran by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement; seven people tasked with calculating an hourly square feet limit for how much custodians can clean within California. Whatever decision the committee came up with would then be enforced as an official state regulation. 

While the bill was sponsored by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), an opinion piece penned by Michele Ware, president of BOMA Greater Los Angeles, cautions against the fallout of such legislation. Among Ware’s chief concerns is the potential for this bill to skyrocket maintenance costs across California, with facilities ranging from downtown office buildings to schools. 

Ware criticizes the proposal to utilize square footage as a viable metric for workloading — citing the World Wide Cleaning Industry Association’s determination that physical exertion can not be solely quantified by any one variable. Additionally, she fears the rise in expense for building maintenance would be inevitable as cleaning crews won’t be able to utilize the full potential of frontline teams capable of cleaning far beyond the predetermined limits,. As a result, facilities and contractors will be required to make detrimental decisions such as reducing cleaning frequencies, delegating higher costs onto tenants, or simply reducing the total amount of space they are able to be tasked with. 

Ware adds that these scenarios could potentially move companies out of their office buildings, further hampering an economy in downturn — and not just in key cities, but across communities statewide in California. With some California vacancy rates currently above 30 percent, combined with almost half of all leases being back up for renewal within the the next two years, the consequences of budget restrictions could lead to real estate values plummeting further and tenants signing off on less office space than before.

For Ware’s entire piece on the implications of the bill, click here.