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In the latest sign of an increased emphasis on harassment, the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently announced filing seven lawsuits against various employers charging them with harassment. Five of these claims involved alleged sexual harassment, two alleged racial harassment, and one also included a claim of harassment based on national origin.

On August 9, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of independent drivers challenging a 2015 ordinance by the City of Seattle that allows ridesharing drivers to organize.

The “right-to-work” movement has been on a roll of late, as an increasing number of states (especially in the Midwest) have adopted laws putting such provisions on the books.  Right-to-work laws generally make it unlawful to require a person to be or become a union member, or pay union dues, as a condition of initial or continued employment.

Since the election of President Trump, the California Legislature has been vocal and active in efforts to resist announced or anticipated actions of the Trump administration.  This includes efforts to make California a “sanctuary state,” measures to protect California’s environmental standards, legislative resolutions and statements against the travel ban and other Trump proposals, and actions to provide services and support to immigrants in California.

A trio of bills introduced recently in the California Legislature seek to involve the lodging industry in efforts to combat human trafficking.

With the February 17 deadline to introduce bills in the California Legislature having come and gone, now is a good opportunity to take stock of what the coming year portends for labor and employment legislation in California. In short, the message for California employers is: “hang on – it’s going to be an interesting ride.” 

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