February, 2012 News

Workers Comp 2.29

California insurance regulators take enforcement actions California regulators have settled an enforcement action against GeoVera Insurance Co. after receiving complaints from earthquake insurance policy holders.

 

California starts action against Zurich American  The California Department of Insurance says two insurers, Zurich American Insurance Company and Zurich American Insurance Company of Illinois, have been using a type of workers’ compensation insurance agreement known as a “large deductible agreement” without obtaining review of the agreement by the Department, violating the law.

 

State Compensation Insurance Fund OKs staff bonus program Despite an unprecedented downsizing that has cut jobs and emptied out agency offices around California, the State Compensation Insurance Fund's board of directors has OK'd a new incentive bonus program for employees.

 

County workers union urges closure of two buildings in Orange The union that represents Orange County workers urged the closure Tuesday of two adjacent buildings in the city of Orange, one day after soil testing turned up a toxic chemical under one of them.

 

Court Says Employer Is Liable for Injury Caused by Employee's Vehicle In many legal actions, employers are held liable for the conduct of their employees. Employers are seen as directing the actions of their employees, and are thus required to share in the bad, not just the good, consequences of those actions.

 

State News 2.29

L.A. County labor federation picks its candidates  The influential Los Angeles County Federation of Labor on Tuesday announced its endorsements in this year's congressional and legislative elections--support that can be crucial in hotly contested races.

 

Can you balance California's budget?  When it comes to spending taxpayer money, everyone in California thinks they can do better than the politicians they’ve elected.

 

CalBuzz: Mitt and Santo Muddle As Obama Rallies Blue Collars  Back in November, Calbuzz spelled out the reasons why President Barack Obama will be re-elected, chief among them the old political writers’ adage: You can’t beat somebody with nobody.

 

Corporations healthy, while employment, housing suffer  California’s economic condition is a study in disparity, with corporate earnings booming at the same time that the jobless rate far exceeds the national average and the housing market remains deeply disturbed.

 

Orange attempting to stop day laborers  The City Council will attempt to close legal holes in city laws regarding day laborers who congregate and solicit jobs at the intersection of Tustin Street and Taft Avenue, but legal help could take some time.

 

Workers Comp 2.28

California Labor Commissioner Launches Criminal Investigation Unit The Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE, also known as the Labor Commissioner's Office) today announces the creation of the Criminal Investigation Unit (CIU) designed to investigate employers who perpetrate wage theft and other criminal activities against workers.

 

Workers' Comp Writers Tackle 30% Drop in Rates, Stiff Competition  Workers' compensation writers are taking steps to improve the profitability of the troubled line, industry experts said. From 2006 to 2010, workers' compensation premiums fell by about 30%, while profitability dropped, said Ed Keane, senior financial analyst at A.M. Best Co.

 

Kansas City Chiefs win workers’ comp claim by ex-players in arbitration  The Kansas City Chiefs   Kansas City Chiefs Latest from The Business Journals Chiefs win workers’ comp case filed by players in CaliforniaChiefs win coin toss, will draft at No. 11Report: Former Chiefs Coach Haley will land in Pittsburgh Follow this company earned an off-the-field victory related to workers’ compensation claims that several former players filed in California.

 

State News 2.28

Gov. meets with congressional delegation, still hopeful on Medi-Cal  Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday sounded still hopeful of gaining federal approval for more flexibility in administering the Medi-Cal health insurance program for the poor, even after having been rebuffed by the Obama administration.

 

Walters: Jerry Brown's budget plan looks like a pipe dream  For the past two months, Gov. Jerry Brown has been selling the concept that were the Legislature to approve his proposed budget and voters to approve his tax increase, the state's fiscal house would be repaired.

 

California economy on track for growth  California's post-recession economic recovery, though slower and more grueling that previously expected, now is on track for slow and steady growth over the next few years, says a forecast by the California legislative analyst's office.

 

Workers Comp 2.27

Northern California grocery workers union keeps contract alive Union workers are extending their labor contract with Safeway and Save Mart stores in Northern California on a day-to-day basis, the United Food and Commercial Workers said Friday. The extension takes effect today, the union said.

 

State News 2.27

Jerry Brown takes on Washington Times reporter  At one point Brown, who was defending his earlier tenure as governor and his efforts to bridge the state’s budget gap, asked the reporter: “Are you a Moonie?”

 

Jerry Brown takes on Washington Times reporter  Video

 

Skelton: GOP to Democrats: Gotcha  Republican legislators made a smart move when they backed Brown's pension proposal. Now his own party needs to step up.

 

Walters: Why would the California Teachers Association back Jerry Brown's tax measure?  The California Teachers Association stands alone among major public education groups – at least so far – in supporting the tax-increase ballot measure Gov. Jerry Brown says is needed to prop up public schools.

 

CalBuzz: Newt: “Human Concerns” Crucial on Immigration  While the California Republican Party over the weekend held another “Latino Town Hall” where its leaders sidestepped the central issue that alienates Latino voters, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich spelled out for Calbuzz an immigration plan that would offer the GOP at least a chance with this huge electoral bloc.

 

Workers Comp 2.24

Labor Lauds California Domestic Worker Bill, Critics Warn of Costly Care Labor leaders have come out in support of a controversial California bill that would provide workplace protections for in home caregivers. But critics say the cost to clients would be too high.

 

Carl Kanowsky: Location takes legal precedence for independent contractors Udders ‘R’ Us (“URS”) delivers milk to supermarkets in Southern California. It’s owned and controlled by a Georgia corporation. URS is run by that most dangerous of all professionals — someone who attended law school but never passed the bar.

 

State News 2.24

Poll finds majority support for two of three California tax increase measures  Housing woes and high unemployment continue to burden California pocketbooks, but voters say they support higher taxes – albeit mostly on the rich – according to a new Field Poll.

 

Defying Jerry Brown, tax proponents launch campaign  Backers of a $10-billion income tax hike to fund California public schools launched a petition drive on Thursday to qualify the measure for the November ballot, brushing off a poll by Gov. Jerry Brown's political operation that showed their effort is deeply unpopular with voters.

 

Podcast: Retirement, Realignment, Republicans  No word seems to dominate the political lexicon these days more than "optics," the acknowledgement that how something looks can sometimes be more important than what it really turns out to be.

 

Walters: California Republican Party is an endangered species  Were California Republicans a biological genus rather than a political one, they could demand special protection under laws protecting endangered species like the kangaroo rat, to wit

 

Workers Comp 2.23

Solidarity: The Next Generation The goal was to draw attention to a decision in San Jose that could have stripped collective bargaining rights from workers. So about 25 members of the Next Generation Bay Area group donned zombie gear, marched down to a music event at a city park and held a flash mob. Then they camped overnight in support of workers.

 

Back Injuries Account for 26 Percent of Workers' Comp Payments in California Back Injuries Account for 26 Percent of Workers' Comp Payments in California

 

California: Billing for medical only must use standardized forms  The Division of Workers' Compensation explained that medical providers are required to bill using standardized paper billing forms effective Oct. 15, 2011.

 

Trumka: ‘Domestic Worker Rights Are Human Rights’ Veronica, a young domestic worker from Southern California, took her heart in her hands to speak to a barrage of television cameras and microphones, in a hearing room in the state Capitol building in Sacramento. She wasn’t afraid, though, she said, because she felt the strength of unions behind her.

 

Teamsters Testify About Workers' Rights Violations at Loomis Teamsters and legal and security experts testified about workers' rights violations by Loomis, an armored car guard company, before a public hearing at the UC Berkeley Labor Center on Tuesday. The hearing was held by UNI's Swedish Commission of Inquiry into the Labor Practices of Loomis.

 

Union forges a new alliance with carwash workers Organizing low-wage employees reflects movement's future, AFL-CIO chief says Union membership is on the wane, but not at the Vermont Carwash and Nava's Carwash in South Los Angeles.

 

State News 2.23

Poll: Jerry Brown's tax can pass, but not with rivals on ballot  Gov. Jerry Brown's political aides on Wednesday continued a public campaign to convince rival tax proponents to back off, releasing a poll summary that showed that none of three proposed ballot measures will pass if they're all before voters in November.

 

Myers: Simple Tax Initiatives, Not So Simple Impacts  "We have a message that is pretty simple and pretty powerful," Molly Munger told a group of political reporters after a recent appearance in Sacramento promoting her education tax initiative.

 

Workers Comp 2.22

Union forges a new alliance with carwash workers Union membership is on the wane, but not at the Vermont Carwash and Nava's Carwash in South Los Angeles. The two businesses have agreed to collective bargaining agreements with their workers, who are members of the United Steelworkers union. Wages at the firms will be $8.16 an hour, organizers said, an increase of about 2%.

 

Day laborers win Supreme Court free-speech case Day laborers in Western states including California scored a legal victory Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a lower-court ruling declaring that cities violate free speech when they make it a crime to seek work from passing drivers.

 

State News 2.22

California's top labor official quits  Ronald Yank told Department of Personnel Administration staff on Tuesday that he's leaving. The Brown administration, which hadn't named a successor to the key post as of late Tuesday afternoon, declined to make Yank available for an interview.

 

Herdt: The perils of two routes to tax increases  Here's the scenario: You're in a bunker with your allies and there are two routes out that lead to the place you all want to go. One route is narrow, uphill and intersected by two rivers that will be treacherous to cross. The other is wide and has no visible obstructions, but very likely is booby-trapped. Which one do you take?

 

Brown bound for Washington, will meet with Obama  Gov. Jerry Brown, who has rarely left the state since taking office last year, will travel to Washington this weekend to meet with President Barack Obama and governors at the National Governors Association's winter meeting.

Workers Comp 2.21

 

Meaningful Legislation That Saw The Round File Governor Brown has spoken and has vetoed some important bills that relate to Workers Compensation. Let’s see what he simply wouldn’t sign into law.

 

The Farm Workers' Filipino American Champion The birth date of Cesar Chavez, the late farm workers' leader, will be celebrated next month, and rightly so.  But it's well past time we also celebrated the life of probably the most important of the other leaders who played a major role in winning union rights for farm workers and otherwise helping them combat serious exploitation.

 

Day Laborer Meeting in Los Angeles Three hundred immigrant day laborers and activists from around the country are meeting this week in Los Angeles to exchange labor organizing tactics, and to discuss immigration.

 

The Buzz: Proposal to make it harder to discpline unionized California state workers takes heavy fire A proposal to give unionized California state workers first dibs on government work and make it tougher to discipline them has taken heavy fire from newspaper editorial boards all the way from Redding to San Diego.

 

State News 2.21

Walters: Democrats set to boost state Senate clout  When Republican Assemblyman Cameron Smyth decided to leave the Legislature rather than run for the state Senate this year, it virtually guaranteed that Democrats will achieve a two-thirds supermajority in the Senate, changing the Capitol's political dynamics.

 

State News 2.20

Skelton: It still should be a full-time job  A freshman assemblywoman is pushing to drastically downgrade the Legislature. Instead, lawmakers should upgrade their act.

 

Walters: Jerry Brown and Gray Davis a study in contrasts  If Californians believed that electing Democrat Jerry Brown as governor would mean a big break with Republican predecessor Arnold Schwarzenegger, they must be disappointed.

 

Workers Comp 2.17

Advocates for domestic workers bill stay stubborn and strong for equal rights While employed as a “home-care worker,” Teresa, a Mexican national, often returned to her own home after a day of work demeaned and discouraged.

 

State News 2.17

Walters: Territorial poaching a symptom of government dysfunction  One symptom of California's political dysfunction is the ceaseless infighting among governmental entities over power and money, which are often synonymous.

 

$2 million boost for campaign to require two-year state budget  A signature-gathering drive received a $2 million boost today in its bid to place before voters a constitutional amendment that would require the state to transition to a two-year, performance-based budget cycle and make numerous other changes.

 

Workers Comp 2.16

Survey: Nearly 6 percent of California workers employed by state About six in 100 workers in California are employed by the state, according to a new Gallup Daily Tracking survey.

 

CA Labor Commissioner Reaches $316,000 Settlement for Unpaid Wages SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 15, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su reached a $316,000 settlement in eight wage cases that were filed to recover unpaid minimum wage and overtime wages at Pho Clement and Pho Clement 2 restaurants in San Francisco. 

 

State News 2.16

Skelton: Little initiative for change  California's century-old ballot initiative system is cherished and cockeyed. What began as political reform — giving citizens the power of direct democracy — has become a tool of special interests and a plaything for nut jobs.

 

Study: Calif. taxes high, but not the highest  By some measures, California’s tax burden lands the state in the nation’s top 10 – but you can’t blame Sacramento alone for the ranking.

 

Workers Comp 2.15

Report Evaluates State’s Injury Prevention Program  An evaluation of the state’s I2P2 suggests that the initiative has not significantly reduced worker injuries and deaths. The requirement has been on the books in California since 1991. The federal government is currently considering a similar requirement.

 

SEIU workers accuse California hospitals of 'price gouging' Health care workers from SEIU urge health care reform in Los Angeles.

 

Oakland Fire Department Joins DIR, Cal/OSHA to Launch Initiative Aimed at Reducing Confined Space Fatalities in California OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 14, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today launched a confined space awareness campaign, with assistance from the Oakland Fire Department, to educate the public on the risks associated with working in a confined space. 

 

State News 2.15

Myers: Getting On Ballot Only Half the Battle  As every smart politico knows, there are two distinct stages of direct democracy in California: getting your proposition on the ballot and then getting voters to actually ratify your proposition.

 

Walters: Misplaced budget priorities abound in California  The Save Mart supermarket chain unveiled a plan Tuesday to keep Sacramento's public swimming pools open this summer and thus provide recreation for thousands of youngsters whose families can't afford backyard pools.

 

The Costs of Brown's Pension Plan... In Money and Politics For weeks, the conventional wisdom around the Capitol has been that Governor Jerry Brown's proposal to create a hybrid pension/401(k) system for future government employees faced long odds with legislative Democrats.

 

Workers Comp 2.14

 

Redding woman named to state panel Marguerite Sweeney, 60, has been the principal attorney at the law office of Marguerite Sweeney since 1990.

 

On-site worker rescue plan urged for confined spaces BERKELEY — Many employers are mistakenly relying upon public fire departments to rescue workers from confined spaces, such as water and sewer pipes, manholes and tunnels, according to an analysis by University of California, Berkeley, health researchers of hundreds of deaths in the United States over 13 years.

 

California lawmaker writes 'Public Employees Bill of Rights' Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, D-Sacramento,(right) has introduced legislation that would give unionized state workers more workplace discipline protections and first dibs on state government work.

 

State News 2.14


Walters: Jerry Brown has a big problem with tax measures  When Jerry Brown goes into his bunker – or monk's cell or man-cave – and issues cryptic messages, you know he's up to something.

 

 

Workers Comp 2.13 

 

 

 

Los Angeles's $100,000 Carpenters Show Clout of Utility's Union The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had the highest-paid public employees in the city, earning on average 40 percent more than other municipal workers, even those with identical job titles.

 

State News 2.13 

 

State employee unions aren't counting on generous contracts from Democrat Jerry Brown  Contract talks kicking off this month between the state and four employee unions present Gov.

 

 

Workers Comp 2.10 

Ex-Bee employee guilty of workers' comp fraud  By Cathy Locke A Yolo County jury on Wednesday convicted a West Sacramento resident and 25-year employee of The Sacramento Bee of workers' compensation insurance fraud. Linda Vela, 58, was convicted of seven counts of workers' compensation insurance ...

 

Firefighter secures benefits for trimming wisteria at home In California, a worker's injury that occurs while performing a personal chore that is also benefitting his employer is compensable under the dual purpose ...

 

GOP lawmaker takes aim at Democrats' state budget power – Sac Bee Capitol Alert  A Republican assemblyman announced Thursday that he will propose a constitutional amendment to require a supermajority vote by the Legislature to pass budget bills and to require the state controller to withhold lawmakers' pay if an approved budget is not balanced.

 

State News 2.9

Toxic Money: Big Chem, Dirty Politics, and the Poison in Your Couch -- By Valerie Pacino – In the California Progress Report Clausewitz said that war is politics by other means. Big Chem knows that politics can be business by other means. You’ve got to hand it to them: they’ve used politics with astounding effectiveness to secure their bottom line. The result is literally toxic for the rest of us.

 

Workers Comp 2.9

Cal/OSHA Issues Hazard Alert and Launches Confined Spaces Emphasis Program OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) today launched a statewide Confined Space Special Emphasis Initiative to focus attention on preventing worker deaths and injuries in confined spaces in worksites across the state.

 

Grocery Workers Resist Introduction of Walmart Grocery Stores SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb 08, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Unionized grocery workers in Northern California have come out against the introduction of Walmart neighborhood markets into the region. Walmart stores has announced its intent to build up to thirty neighborhood markets, stores averaging thirty to forty thousand square feet which will compete directly with unionized companies like Safeway and Luckys.

 

Union launches effort to cap pay of El Camino Hospital executives -- The union that represents 1,200 El Camino Hospital workers formally kicked off an effort Wednesday to qualify a measure for the November ballot that would slash the pay of the health care provider's top brass. Jason Green in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/9/12

 

In Small California Hospitals, the Marketing of Back Surgery HAWAIIAN GARDENS, Calif.—Consuelo Solorio, a middle-aged tomato-cannery employee, traveled three hours from her home in the San Joaquin Valley to have spine surgery here for an injury from tumbling off a ladder. BY JOHN CARREYROU, TOM MCGINTY AND JOEL MILLMAN

 

Firefighter secures benefits for trimming wisteria at home In California, a worker's injury that occurs while performing a personal chore that is also benefitting his employer is compensable under the dual purpose rule. Case name: Warner v. Workers' Compensation Appeals Board, No. B232190 (Cal. Ct. App. 12/27/11, unpublished). Ruling: In an unpublished decision, the California Court of Appeal held that a firefighter's injuries were compensable.

 

State News 2.9

Skelton: Time for a truce on tax-hike initiatives If the California Capitol were a classic movie, the governor would be telling his consigliere to arrange a meeting with the heads of the five families. "This war stops now." George Skelton in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/9/12

 

Assembly speaker wants to trade tax breaks for scholarships Assembly Speaker John Pérez announced Wednesday he will push to end corporate tax breaks in order to lower tuition by two-thirds for middle-class, California students at state universities. Chris Megerian in the Los Angeles Times Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury Timm Herdt in the Ventura Star John Myers Capitol Notes -- 2/9/12

 

Part-time Legislature a bad idea, ex-leader Dario Frommer says Former Assembly Majority Leader Dario Frommer does not share the nostalgia of those who want the California Legislature to return to being a part-time body. Patrick McGreevy LA Times PolitiCal -- 2/9/12

 

Californians (slightly) more optimistic about state economy Almost two-thirds of Californians say their personal finances are improving, 52% think the state’s economy is on the mend and 51% believe the jobs picture is brightening, according to the Citibank survey. Overall, according to the survey, nearly half of California residents say 2012 will be a better year than 2011. Walter Hamilton in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/9/12

 

Source: NY, California to sign mortgage settlement  New York and California have agreed to sign the proposed settlement between U.S. states and the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses, according to a source close to the negotiations. MICHAEL VIRTANEN AP NELSON D. SCHWARTZ and SHAILA DEWAN in the New York Times -- 2/9/12

 

Workers Comp 2.8

Fair Pay for Home Health Aides By PAULA SPAN February 8, 2012 – NY Times - Home care workers provide a crucial bulwark between older adults and assisted living or nursing homes. They help seniors bathe and dress, make their meals and do their laundry, take them shopping or escort them to appointments, and do a host of other chores that allow them to live at home for as long as possible.

 

Go West NFL Man; Stake Your (Workers’ Comp) Claim in California There are three National Football League teams in the state of California, and at a glance they seem to have a terrible safety record – worst in the league. Over 3,700 NFL players have filed workers’ compensation claims in that state. I’m amazed the 49’ers made the playoffs this year. Their injured list must fill an entire section of the stadium.

 

Los Angeles’s $100,000 Carpenters Show Influence of Water Department Union The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had the highest-paid public employees in the city, earning on average 40 percent more than other municipal workers, even those with identical job titles.

 

California Independent Contractor Law May Be Liability for Agents, Brokers A new California labor law designed to punish employers for misclassifying workers has broad legal language that can possibly impact insurance agents and brokers who knowingly advise clients on employee classifications to the tune of thousands of dollars per misclassified worker.

 

Chiropractor jailed, fined for workers' comp fraud A Salinas chiropractor was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $5,000 on three misdemeanor counts of workers' compensation fraud Tuesday, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo announced. Robert Schreiner, 59, was sentenced to three years probation by Judge Marla Anderson and was ordered to pay $1,977 in restitution to an insurance trust fund.

 

State News 2.8

Democrats gear up to fight part-time Legislature measure --  Political consultant Steve Maviglio, former spokesman for Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez, said today that he has joined forces with Burbank attorney Dario Frommer, a former Assembly majority leader. Fundraising has not yet begun, Maviglio said. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/8/12

 

California Gov. Jerry Brown denies parole for 71  California Gov. Jerry Brown pardoned 21 people in his first year in office and rejected parole for 71 first- and second-degree murderers who had been recommended for release by the parole board. Anthony York in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/8/12

 

Jerry Brown affirming more releases of killers than Schwarzenegger, Gray  Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown is far more likely to allow the release of paroled killers from prison than either of California's two previous governors, newly released records show. Jim Sanders in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/8/12

 

Proposition 8 lawyer vows to appeal 'one way or the other'  The fight over California's same-sex marriage ban has been presumed for years to be destined for the U.S. Supreme Court, and a lawyer for Proposition 8 backers confirmed today that they'll appeal this morning's decision "one way or the other." David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/8/12

 

CalBuzz: Hank Plante on Prop 8: The Arc of History is Clear  Tuesday’s court victory upholding same-sex marriage in California should come as no surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to changing public opinion on gay rights. Hank Plante CalBuzz -- 2/8/12

 

California green jobs more recession resistant, study says  While many industries in California were buckling under the weight of the recession, so-called green businesses were struggling too -- just not as much, according to a new report. Tiffany Hsu in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/8/12

 

Workers Comp 2.7

Long-time California Lobbyist Looks to 2012 Legislation That May Impact Insurance John Norwood is one of California’s best known legislative advocates for the insurance and financial services sectors. Norwood, principal of Norwood & Associates, has garnered recognition for his political work dating back to the early 1980s, including political battles to amend the state’s insurance rate regulations, and reforming insurance agents and brokers licensing laws.

 

Proposal to establish rights for domestic workers splits lawmakers  Maria Moctezuma's workday began at 6 a.m. and often ran until midnight when she was nanny, housekeeper and cook for a family of four in Rancho Cucamonga. Patrick McGreevy in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/7/12

 

Unions representing California state engineers, scientists, continue furlough fight While two unions have settled the last remnants of their legal battles against state worker furloughs, two others continue to fight. Professional Engineers in California Government and California Association of Professional Scientists filed opening arguments against furloughs in Alameda Superior Court on Friday. The unions are asking the court to set aside the furlough orders "to the extent that they were unlawful and the employees represented by Petitioners should be made whole for unauthorized reductions in their compensation."

 

State News 2.7

Competing California tax measures move ahead without Brown's blessings  But Brown, whose plan would raise income taxes on those making $250,000 or more and hike the sales tax by a half cent, is feeling the heat from the left: two other groups who are seeking to place tax-hike initiatives on the November ballot made it clear Monday they are in the race for the long haul. Steven Harmon in the San Jose Mercury John Myers Capitol Notes Wyatt Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/7/12

 

Evans: No pink dome support this year, despite Komen actions  The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation's efforts to diffuse controversy surrounding its funding dispute with Planned Parenthood hasn't improved the breast cancer charity's standing with the California Legislative Women's Caucus.

 

Workers Comp 2.6

The Right-Wing Zombie Lie About Public Workers That Just Won't Die With the new year, we've seen a new round of attacks on working people. Just last week, Arizona Republicans introduced a bill attacking public workers that makes Wisconsin's look mild by comparison. And just in time to add fuel to the fire, the Congressional Budget Office released a study on government employees' earnings that has the Right buzzing – and even some progressive pundits repeating the myth that government workers are “overpaid.”

 

Nurses flex their political muscle in Sacramento and across California Rose Ann DeMoro is always ready for another fight. And why not? During the past decade, the leader of the California Nurses Association has won so many of her battles.

 

Unions Create TV Ad To Appeal To Young People A new TV ad recently test-launched by the AFL-CIO discusses work, but never mentions unions specifically. At a time when young activists from Zucotti Park to Tahrir Square have shown what the Internet and social media can do to help organize people, some American unions have been taking notes.

 

Unions Create TV Ad To Appeal To Young People A new TV ad recently test-launched by the AFL-CIO discusses work, but never mentions unions specifically. At a time when young activists from Zucotti Park to Tahrir Square have shown what the Internet and social media can do to help organize people, some American unions have been taking notes.

 

Opinion: A Year of Opportunity for Agents It seems that 2012 is starting out as a year filled with opportunity for agents in the workers’ compensation world. With the two largest rating bureaus making big changes, agents’ chances to outsmart, rather than outprice the competition have never been better.

 

California Pulls Builder’s License After Worker Death State officials have suspended the license of the builder of a Milpitas home where a carpenter was buried alive last weekend.

 

Weekly Workers’ Roundup: Bay Area Nurses Walk Out, Puget Sound Truck Drivers Protest Every weekend, Working In These Times highlights a few labor struggles and protests that contributors weren't able to cover during the preceding week. Nurses at Kaiser Permanente in California walked off the job Tuesday, expressing solidarity with optical workers and mental health specialists in the midst of contract negotiations. Union representatives argue that recent proposals would slash workers' benefits significantly and render staffing levels insufficient.

 

State News 2.6

Budgets were tight, but some California lawmakers got extra money last year  With California billions behind on its budget and public services shrinking, the Assembly collectively tightened its belt last year – but not all of its members did. Records released under court order show that Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez boosted the budgets of six members by tens of thousands of dollars apiece despite the fiscal emergency. Jim Sanders and Phillip Reese in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/6/12

 

California negotiating with banks over mortgage settlement  California is back at the negotiating table to potentially take part in a multi-state deal with the nation's largest mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure practices. Alejandro Lazo in the Los Angeles Times -- 2/6/12

 

CalBuzz: Jerry’s Fast Train: A Big Idea That Could Crash  With the California Federation of Teachers, the California Nurses Association, the Courage Campaign and civil rights lawyer Molly Munger all mucking up his plans for a ballot measure seeking a temporary tax hike (not to mention some disgruntled unions bitching about where he’s getting funding for his measure), you gotta wonder why Gov. Jerry Brown has also taken on high speed rail as a cause. Jerry Roberts and Phil Trounstine CalBuzz -- 2/6/12

 

Workers Comp 2.3

Nearly half of California jobless workers considered 'long-term' Not only does California have more than 2 million unemployed workers, but nearly half of them have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, according to new data assembled by the state Department of Employment Development.

 

Hospital union backs initiatives on prices, care Sacramento -- Hospitals in California and their union employees are poised for battle in November over the prices hospitals charge to patients and the amount of charity care they provide.

 

SAN ONOFRE: Worker at nuclear plant fell into reactor pool last week A worker at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station fell inside the plant's Unit 2 reactor pool last week, but officials determined he did not suffer significant radiation exposure.

 

Worker Firings at a California College Spur Immigration Debate Pomona College, one of the lauded Claremont Colleges in California, has come under fire for dismissing 17 dining hall employees because they could not produce proof of legal residency. Students and school officials alike are questioning whether dismissing the workers betrays the school’s liberal ideals.

 

California worker denied kidney transplant due to immigration status In a situation that highlights the backward character of immigration restraints, a 35-year-old California man, Jesus Navarro, was denied a kidney transplant because he is an undocumented immigrant.

 

State News 2.3

Nearly half of California jobless workers considered 'long-term' Not only does California have more than 2 million unemployed workers, but nearly half of them have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, according to new data assembled by the state Department of Employment Development.

 

'Millionaires tax' plan to hit streets with nurses union's  A "millionaires tax" initiative spearheaded by the California Federation of Teachers and the Courage Campaign received petition language today, as well as backing from the powerful California Nurses Association. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/3/12

 

Unions howl at details of Jerry Brown's pension overhaul  Gov. Jerry Brown laid out a detailed plan to alter California's state and local public retirement systems on Thursday – and immediately drew fire from his core labor constituency. Jon Ortiz in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/3/12

 

Workers Comp 2.2

Construction subcontractors in California applaud announcement by insurance commissioner Jones California insurance commissioner Dave Jones has made an announcement regarding the 57 felony charges that were laid against a business owner in Millbrae, including workers’ compensation insurance fraud and payroll theft.

 

Will UCLA And a Professor Be Punished For Causing the Death Of a Lab Tech, Or Is UC Above The Law? UC attorneys and spinmeisters are working overtime to defend the regents, UCLA, and a UCLA chemistry professor in Superior Court against felony charges for willfully violating workplace health and safety standards resulting in the death of a 23-year-old lab assistant. The arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, February 2, and safety advocates fear that a plea bargain will be entered at that time with an inappropriate sentence.

 

Study: California Workplace Safety Program Only Superficially Enforced An occupational safety program that requires California businesses to eliminate workplace hazards only works when it’s adequately enforced. That revelation comes from Santa Monica, Calif.-based think tank RAND Corp., which recently released a study evaluating the California Injury and Illness Prevention Program.

 

California Employers Reminded to Post Work-Related Injury and Illness Summary OAKLAND, Calif., Feb. 1, 2012 -- /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The California Department of Industrial Relations' Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DIR/DOSH), also known as Cal/OSHA, is reminding all employers that the annual summary of all work-related injuries and illnesses (Form 300A), must be posted at their place of business from February 1 through April 30.

 

State News 2.2

California to reap taxes from Facebook IPO, but unclear when  California stands to gain hundreds of millions of tax dollars after Facebook goes public, but fiscal analysts say it's hard to predict when that money will flow into state coffers. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert JUDY LIN AP -- 2/2/12

 

Construction subcontractors in California applaud announcement by insurance commissioner Jones California insurance commissioner Dave Jones has made an announcement regarding the 57 felony charges that were laid against a business owner in Millbrae, including workers’ compensation insurance fraud and payroll theft.

 

Jerry Brown: California no worse than elsewhere in manufacturing losses  Gov. Jerry Brown said this evening that California is losing manufacturing at a rate no faster than the rest of the country, telling the TV show host and former Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm the problem is a national one. David Siders SacBee Capitol Alert -- 2/2/12

 

Lawmakers decry action vs. Planned Parenthood  Some Bay Area House members are going bananas over the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation’s decision to stop funding breast-cancer exams through Planned Parenthood health centers. Josh Richman Political Blotter -- 2/2/12

 

Workers Comp 2.1

Job-related injuries and illnesses estimated to cost nation $250 billion per year UC Davis researcher recommends expanded prevention measures to reduce harm to workers

 

Report: California Workers’ Comp Insurers Returns Improved in 2010 After declining for four consecutive years, California workers’ compensation insurers’ return on net worth showed signs of improvement in 2010. That’s according to the data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which was compiled, analyzed and released by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute on Tuesday.

 

Thousands of Kaiser workers wage one-day  As striking workers circled outside Kaiser Permanente medical centers throughout Northern California on Tuesday, hospital and union leaders traded allegations about the motivations behind the bitter dispute. Sandy Kleffman in the San Jose Mercury -- 2/1/12

 

RIVERSIDE: Court bans most workers from taking part in one-day strike A judge Monday barred 248 health-care workers from joining a one-day strike by members of Riverside County’s second-largest union.

 

State News 2.1

Controller: State to run out of cash in March without action  California will run out of cash by early March if the state does not take swift action to find $3.3 billion through payment delays and borrowing, according to a letter state Controller John Chiang sent to state lawmakers today. Kevin Yamamura SacBee Capitol Alert Chris Megerian LA Times PolitiCal Wyatt Buchanan in the San Francisco Chronicle -- 2/1/12

 

Job-related injuries and illnesses estimated to cost nation $250 billion per year UC Davis researcher recommends expanded prevention measures to reduce harm to workers

 

Walters: Jerry Brown plans to cut back high-speed rail to save it  Gov. Jerry Brown is scaling back the state's highly controversial bullet train project to keep it alive. Dan Walters in the Sacramento Bee -- 2/1/12

 

Myers: Political Inside Game, Outside Game... All in One Day  You don't get many political multi-tasking days like this one: heated debate over legislation down to its final day to survive, a new alarm over the state's finances, and public disclosure of all the campaign cash raised by candidates and campaigns in 2011. John Myers Capitol Notes -- 2/1/12

 

SEIU pushes supervisors to reopen talks  More than 1,000 Riverside County workers took to the streets Tuesday protesting benefit reductions and warning that additional strikes could be on the way if county officials don’t reopen contract negotiations. DUANE W. GANG and DUG BEGLEY in the Riverside Press -- 2/1/12

 


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