Federal Judge Enjoins Provisions of AB 450

As previously reported here and here, earlier this year the Immigration Worker Protection Act (commonly referred as “AB 450”) went into effect, putting employers in a precarious position attempting to juggle federal immigration laws and state law. In response, Attorney General Jeff Sessions filed a lawsuit against the State of California seeking a preliminary injunction. Sessions argued that several immigration laws, including the provisions of AB 450, were unlawful based on the theory that they were preempted by federal immigration laws.

High Heat and Wildfire Advisories from Cal/OSHA

On Thursday, California’s Department of Industrial Relations published two safety-related advisory news releases titled “Cal/OSHA High Heat Advisory for Employers with Outdoor Workers in Central and Southern California” and “Cal/OSHA Issues Advisory for Worker Safety in Wildfire Regions.” Both of these advisories are directed at employers to ensure that proper precautions are being taken during the heat of the summer.

Recently, the California Court of Appeals held in Huff v. Securitas Security Services USA, Inc., that an employee alleging a single violation of the California Labor Code under the Private Attorneys General Act (“PAGA”) may also bring PAGA claims against the employer for all other alleged Labor Code violations, even those suffered by other employees of the same employer. According to the decision, an employee affected by at least one Labor Code violation may pursue penalties on behalf of the State for unrelated Labor Code violations by the same employer.

In a highly anticipated decision in Janus v. AFSCME, the United States Supreme Court held today, by a 5-4 margin, that government workers can’t be forced to contribute to labor unions that represent them in collective bargaining. The high court reasoned that non-consenting union members (i.e. employee who do not support union representation) being forced to pay union agency fees is a violation of public workers’ free speech rights. This decision has overturned 41 years of precedent that found such union fees constitutional and allowed public employers to require non-consenting workers in union-represented bargaining units to pay agency fees to cover the cost of collective bargaining so long as those fees were not used for a union’s political activity.

Fairness for Farm Workers Act

By: Hannah Fortin

On Monday, U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) announced that she, along with an assortment of other senators, proposed a bill known as the Fairness for Farm Workers Act. According to the Fairness for Farm Workers Act One Pager published by Senator Harris, this bill would amend the FLSA to grant overtime protections to farm workers who work more than 40 hours a week and eliminate most remaining exemptions to the minimum wage for agricultural employers. The bill is supported by several unions and worker advocate organizations, including Farmworker Justice and United Farm Workers.

Summer is Here! DIR Issues Statewide Heat Illness Prevention Warning

On June 21, 2018, the California Department of Industrial Relations issued a news release on behalf of Cal/OSHA reminding employers throughout California to protect outdoor workers from heat illness, as the temperatures in those areas are expected to reach triple digits, starting Thursday June 21, 2018, in Southern California and beginning today in Central and Northern California. These temperatures are expected last throughout the weekend. You can read the full news release here.

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