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February 14, 2012 > Corbett recognized for consumer protection and workers' rights

Corbett recognized for consumer protection and workers' rights

Submitted By Andrew LaMar

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (D-San Leandro) has received a 100-percent score from the California Federation of Consumers for supporting key consumer bills in 2011.

Corbett, who has long championed consumer rights as a lawmaker and as an attorney, is one of only two senators with a 100-percent life-time voting score from the organization. The Federation assessed legislators' votes on 18 pieces of legislation to produce its annual scorecard.

Some of the most high profile consumer bills backed by Corbett included a ban on the sale of expired baby food and over-the-counter medicine, a prohibition on prospective employers from using consumer credit reports in the hiring process and a requirement that patients have access to their electronic health records and any information deleted or changed in them.

"I thank the Consumer Federation of California for doing this scorecard and making clear to everyone where state legislators stand on important consumer issues," Corbett said. "Protecting consumers and their rights has been a passion of mine for decades. In this day of rapidly advancing technology and powerful multi-national corporations, it's crucial that we remain vigilant and continue to fight for consumers."

She is also one of only four state senators to receive a perfect score on the California Labor Federation's voting scorecard for 2011.

Corbett, who has fought for workers and their rights, earned the recognition for her votes on 30 separate pieces of legislation last year. The Labor Federation applauded Corbett for showing "an unwavering commitment to the California labor movement's agenda of creating better jobs, stronger communities and greater opportunity for workers."

In particular, the Senator supported bills to help laid off workers gain the skills they need by setting minimum requirements for publicly funded retraining programs (SB 734) and allow workers, who have been paid less than minimum wage, to get the same recovery they would in court from the Labor Commission's wage claim process (AB 240).

Corbett also authored SB 459, legislation signed by the governor cracking down on the "erroneous" classification of workers as independent contractors by creating new penalties, improved enforcement and expanded liability for employers involved in the illegal practice.

"It's imperative we protect workers and their rights," Corbett said. "I take seriously my commitment to help generate jobs, provide workers with the support they need and safeguard basic labor rights for every Californian."

The scorecards can be viewed at www.ConsumerCal.org and www.CaliforniaLabor.org

For more information, visit www.sen.ca.gov/corbett

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