California’s Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued an order this week that drivers for transportation network companies (TNCs) qualify as employees under the hotly debated AB-5 law, which specifically makes it more difficult for companies to classify workers as independent contractors. Contractors do not receive paid leave or healthcare, nor has Lyft and Uber needed to abide by minimum wage laws.
Many watched with concern as the United States Supreme Court appointees have become increasingly conservative with a strong push from the president and the Republican U.S. Senate. So civil rights advocates were pleasantly shocked when the court handed down a 6-3 ruling that protects gay and transgender workers from discrimination in the workplace.
The world is facing its largest economic crisis since the Great Depression. This is, of course, tied to the coronavirus and the stay at home order embraced by governors around the country. Many businesses closed, perhaps never to reopen, leaving upwards of 15 million to file for unemployment as of May.
State governments around the country are grappling with decisions about reopening businesses. Nevertheless, it is the businesses themselves that will have the final say on if or when they will reopen.
The California State Compensation Insurance Fund announced a series of initiatives to support policyholders and workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The group has earmarked a $50 million Essential Business Support Fund for workplace safety initiatives to keep employees safe while they are at work. This is on top of $165 million already established to aid workers and policyholders in California.
The director of the Department of Health and Human Services’ Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) was recently removed from his position as a leader in the search to find a cure for COVID-19. The doctor claimed in a statement that the reason for this reassignment to a narrower job at the National Institutes of Health was his refusal to dedicate money toward the use of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for the virus.
There is a lot of concern about what the world will look like once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Many workers wonder if they will be able to hold onto their job or get it back. Many businesses are hanging on, hoping the company is strong enough to survive this unprecedented (in modern times) challenge.
Pregnancy is a time of celebration and hope for many expectant mothers (and their partners). However, pregnancy is also stressful for many people, whether couples face financial uncertainty or women experience health problems during the course of their pregnancy. Unfortunately, some people experience discrimination during this important time in their lives.
California is often an outlier in favor of the employee when it comes to employment law and employee rights. One example is the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), a law from 2004 that enables a plaintiff of a PAGA-only claim to sue their employer on the state’s behalf to get unpaid wages. The unions backed the idea because it was a way to hold employers more accountable to labor codes. As recently as last year, this meant that employees netted $88 million from California businesses, including $10.7 million to 99,000 current and former Walmart cashiers.
Internships have been around in one shape or another for ages. The arrangement these days ideally involves enabling the intern to learn through doing rather than from a textbook. It also allows businesses to scout young new talent that they wish to hire at a later date.