One of the more popular public policy issues of late has been an employer’s obligation to accommodate employees who are lactating or expressing breast milk. The federal government, states, and local jurisdictions have been increasingly active on this front in recent years.
As we have previously discussed, one of the hottest gig economy issues to dominate political and public policy debate has been “portable” benefits – the concept that gig economy workers should have flexible, portable benefits that they can take with them from job to job. States and local governments are increasingly moving forward on their own with proposals to explore the provision of benefits to individual performing work in the gig economy. Most notable are proposals that have been set forth in the state legislatures in Washington, New York and New Jersey. The movement also got a boost in January when Uber and SEIU announced a joint call for the state of Washington to develop a portable benefits system that would cover gig economy workers.
As we reported in January, after nearly six years of discussion and debate, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board (Board) approved a standard on “Hotel Housekeeping Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention.” The final regulation was recently approved by the Office of Administrative Law and will be effective July 1, 2018.
The ever-escalating dispute between the Trump Administration and the State of California over immigration policy is starting to resemble a Shakespearean drama.
Recently, the California Fair Employment and Housing Council (FEHC) proposed new draft regulations to implement provisions of two key employment statutes enacted last year.
February 16 was the deadline to introduce new bills in the California Legislature. By that date, nearly 2,200 bills were introduced. While that may seem like a staggering amount of legislative proposals (especially for a legislative body with only 120 members), this number is consistent with the volume of bills that have been introduced in recent years.
We’ll be tracking this legislation all year and updating you on key developments.
As we discussed back in January, sexual harassment appears to be the hot topic for the California State Legislature’s 2018 session. This is certainly not a surprise, as issues related to sexual harassment and the #MeToo movement have dominated discussion across all industries and sectors of business, entertainment, sports, and politics.
Last year Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 450 – the “Immigrant Worker Protection Act” – to prohibit employers from voluntarily consenting to federal immigration agency access to worksites without a judicial warrant, or to specified employee records without a subpoena. As we discussed recently, an uptick in federal immigration enforcement activity may force California employers to deal with the new law’s requirements sooner than anticipated.
If you’re a California employer, perhaps no single law strikes fear into your heart quite as much as the Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA). PAGA allows individual “aggrieved employees” to bring representative actions on behalf of themselves and other aggrieved employees to recover civil penalties for Labor Code violations, sometimes extracting staggering amounts from employers. However, a pair of recent appellate court cases in California granted significant procedural “wins” to employers in PAGA cases. While these are limited victories, California employers should celebrate any good news on the PAGA front.
Immigration has been a major flashpoint between California and the Trump Administration during the past year. In 2017, the California Legislature passed significant legislation impacting how California employers deal with federal immigration authorities. These actions appeared to put California on a collision course with the federal government, with California employers stuck squarely in the middle. A recent escalation in rhetoric between state and federal officials may portend that such a collision may be imminent.