Government Relations Blog

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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. This flurry of enforcement activity follows a similar push in June, in which the EEOC sued eight employers, alleging unlawful employment harassment.…
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. As we have covered extensively in our Gig Employers Blog, the Seattle ordinance has been the subject of intense legal action and a flurry of activity by the courts.  Back in May, the same Ninth Circuit revived an antitrust challenge…
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. However, the resurgence of right-to-work laws suffered a recent defeat as Missouri voters overwhelmingly rejected a right-to-work…
Does the Ban on Salary History Inquiries Violate the First Amendment? Ruling on Philadelphia Bill May Impact New York  On May 4, 2017, New York City joined the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the City of Philadelphia when the Mayor signed legislation that bans employers from inquiring about the salary history of job applicants. These laws, which have the stated aim of reducing pay inequity along racial and gender lines, could have a wide-ranging influence on the…
California Bill Puts Employers Smack in the Middle of National Immigration Debate 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…
A trio of bills introduced recently in the California Legislature seek to involve the lodging industry in efforts to combat human trafficking. Assembly Bill 260 by Assemblymember Miguel Santiago (D-Los Angeles) would amend current law that requires certain businesses to post a human trafficking notice to include the lodging industry. Existing Civil Code Section 52.6 requires certain business establishments (including airports, rail stations, bus stations, truck stops, and massage parlors) to post a notice that…
The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: A Quick Primer On Proposed California Employment Legislation In 2017 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.”  As a preliminary…
Late yesterday, the Trump administration revoked Obama-era federal guidelines that had instructed public schools to permit transgender students to use bathrooms that match their gender identity. This action comes less than two weeks after the Department of Justice withdrew its objection to a federal court injunction barring the implementation of that previous policy. Yesterday’s Dear Colleague letter not only reverses course from the Obama administration’s position, but establishes that transgender bathroom policies are determinations to…