August 2012 News


Workers Comp 8.31

The Drama is Almost Over!  Down to the wire, and the politics of workers' compensation reform gets as complicated as SB 863 itself. According to popular workers' compensation blogger, attorney Julius Young of the Boxer and Gerson law firm in Oakland, California Governor Jerry Brown has been very active in the background the past few days working to drum up support for the bill.

Speaker Pérez Previews Calif. Legislature's Final Day If there’s any last-minute wheeling or dealing on this final day of the California legislative session, Democratic Assembly Speaker John Perez will surely be involved. We ask him about the Middle Class Scholarship, pensions and workers compensation.

Opponents of Workers Comp Reform Bill Rally in Echo Park  The sidewalk along the south side of the 1800 block of Sunset was crowded early Wednesday afternoon, surprising folks emerging from Masa and Xoia restaurants after lunch.

Don’t Let Big Insurance Pull The Wool Over Your Eyes! The insurance industry and specifically large self-insured companies are ramping up support in Sacramento for another, as they call it, Workers Compensation Reform – a very bad choice of words as the definition of the word reform means “the improvement or amendment of what is wrong, corrupt or unsatisfactory!”

California bills aimed at better worker conditions head to Gov. Jerry Brown  Lawmakers on Thursday sent Gov. Jerry Brown a pair of bills intended to improve conditions for farmworkers, housekeepers and nannies.

Workers' comp costs in the NFL, campaign finances and California pension reform: Opinion roundup St. Louis Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers reacts to an injury suffered Thursday during an NFL preseason game vs. Baltimore Thursday.

Bill gives domestic workers union-style work rules Nannies, housekeepers, childcare providers and caregivers in California would be eligible for overtime and meal breaks under a bill making its way through the Legislature.

Bill forces farmers to protect workers from heat California Gov. Jerry Brown will consider a bill that would impose fines and jail time on agricultural employers who do not provide enough shade and water to their workers.

If the Labor Movement Doesn't Speak Up for Workers, Who Will? The Koch Brothers?  Maria Isavel Vasquez Jimenez was 17 and pregnant when she collapsed in the arms of her fiancé at a vineyard near Stockton after working all day in 100-plus degree heat. She wasn't allowed breaks to access the nearest water, a ten-minute walk away.


State News 8.31

Walters: Pension overhaul plan falls short  Ten months ago, Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed California's public employee pension system to be "unsustainable" and proposed a very mild, 12-point reform plan.

Legislators pass bills that would revive redevelopment  California redevelopment funding may not be dead after all. Four bills that would expand cities’ and counties’ ability to divert property taxes for local development projects have made it to the final sprint of the state legislative session, which ends today at midnight, and are now on the governor's desk.

Dan Walters Daily: What will end-of-session scramble bring? Dan says it might take months to figure out what the California Legislature has done today, the last day of the 2012 session.


Workers Comp 8.30

My Money is on Reform  California Governor Jerry Brown has said in the recent past that he will not approve piecemeal workers' compensation legislation and that he wants to see a broad reform measure.

AM Alert: Public pensions, parks and workers' comp in the mix As for the push to change the state's workers' compensation system, columnist Dan Morain tweeted Wednesday evening: "Jerry Brown, walking into the Capitol, says he's working on workers' comp overhaul. Says 'deal' remains in play. 'People are still talking.' "

Poll: Confidence for Calif. Workers’ Comp Reform Dropping Confidence in the state government to reform California’s unwieldy workers’ compensation system is falling as Legislators struggle to get buy-in on a bill to increase benefits for injured workers and address escalating costs. … There are solid reasons behind the growing doubt. The bill was introduced Friday, and immediately the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association vowed the fight the proposal because it doesn’t do enough for injured workers. A divide is growing among state Democrats, who gave the bill a lukewarm reception following a first hearing on the bill Tuesday, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Workers Comp Reform Bill is Essential for Small Business  Small Business California, which represents more than 3.2 million small businesses in this state, STRONGLY SUPPORTS SB 863 (De Leon), that will ensure a fair and balanced approach to correcting our costly and inefficient workers’ compensation system.

Teams face workers' comp threat National Football League teams are facing a significant threat to their finances because of a legal option available to nearly every janitor, teacher and cashier in America -- workers' compensation.

Calif. bill gives domestic workers new work rules  Nannies, housekeepers, childcare providers and caregivers in California would be eligible for overtime and meal breaks under a bill making its way through the Legislature. The bill also would require that live-in workers be compensated if their eight-hour rest period was interrupted. Regulations governing their working conditions would be set by the state Department of Industrial Relations by January 2014.


State News 8.30

CalPERS: California public pension reform savings could reach $60 billion  California state and local governments stand to save between $40 billion and $60 billion over 30 years, according to a hasty fiscal analysis of a pension reform measure set for a vote later this week, according to CalPERS.

State overhaul extends to local workers  There are thousands of local government agencies around the state, employing hundreds of thousands of workers covered by a variety of retirement plans. By Friday, the Legislature is scheduled to consider imposing its plan to overhaul public-employee pensions on them.

Skelton: Gov. Brown's proposed tax increase? Yes, it's about pensions too  Despite his earlier rhetoric, the governor gets that Proposition 30 is not just about paying higher taxes; it's about pensions, parks and perceptions.


Workers Comp 8.29

California workers' compensation plan pits unions and employers against workers' lawyers A last-minute plan to overhaul California's workers' compensation system making its way through the Legislature has set up an unusual set of alliances: Unions and employers are together pushing for changes, while lawyers who represent injured workers are trying to stop them. … "The devil is in the details and we didn't get this bill until (Friday), and now we learn today that it's been amended again last night," said Brad Chalk, president of the California Applicants' Attorneys Association.

California workers' compensation overhaul bill races the clock  With just three days left in the legislative session, California lawmakers begin consideration of a 170-page bill to overhaul the state workers' compensation system.

SB 863: Why Are Worker Advocates In Opposition? Today the legislature is holding an informational hearing on SB 863, a comprehensive workers’ comp reform bill. Although the bill has some good elements, has been improved from recent versions and although any progressive workers’ comp reform effort may involve some compromises, SB 863 has too many takeaways for workers and should be rejected.

Will This Be a Debs or Gompers Weekend?  Isn't it a bit ironic that the drama of California's workers' compensation reform debate, now centered on the constantly changing language of SB 863, is coming down to the wire just before Labor Day?

Study: Workers' Comp Bill Cuts Overall Costs, Hikes Total System Costs On Monday, the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau released a study finding that a newly released workers' compensation reform bill (SB 863) could produce savings of about $400 million, the Insurance Journal reports.

Stop CA AFL-CIO Leadership & Corporate Attack On Injured Workers-IWNN Statement On SB 863 The Injured Workers National Network is opposing the anti-injured worker SB863. This bill would seriously hurt injured workers and their right to legal representation.

Insurer Groups Question Savings in California Workers' Comp Reform Bill Proposed workers’ compensation reform legislation introduced in the California state legislature is getting a thumbs down from insurance trade groups.

California temp workers are twice as likely to be poor, study says  California temporary workers are twice as likely to live in poverty than direct-hire employees, according to a UC Berkeley study released Tuesday.

Heat illness still a problem despite progress  Arcenio Lopez hasn’t been a farm worker since 2003, but the Oaxaca, Mexico native still remembers what it feels like to work a full day under the California sun.


State News 8.29

California Pension Reform: Governor's Plan Met With Partial Victory  With election politics in play, Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday announced systemic reforms to save billions of dollars in California's underfunded pension systems but dropped key changes he had sought to avoid a showdown with labor allies.

Employees Pay More, Get Less Under Brown Pension Plan State legislators have only two days to examine the details of the pension plan announced by Gov. Jerry Brown and approved by a legislative committee Tuesday night.

Walters: California Legislature saturated with deals  A late-blooming, business-backed drive to significantly alter the 42-year-old California Environmental Quality Act died late last week when it crashed into a wall of opposition from influential environmental groups.


Workers Comp 8.28

California workers' compensation bill faces difficulties  Advocates for low-income injured workers and the attorneys who represent them are furiously rejecting a proposed overhaul of the state's complex, costly workers' compensation insurance system. … "We oppose this last-minute rush to jam through workers' com

Workers Comp Bill Blasted By Disabled and Attorneys California disabled workers and their attorneys are angered by a new workers’ compensation bill circulating through the Capitol. The groups argue it harms severely injured workers the most.

SB 863: Real Workers’ Comp Reform to Reduce Costs and Help Injured Workers Arnold Schwarzenegger rode into the Governor’s office in 2004 on the campaign promise to “fix” the workers’ compensation system. Every day in 2004, the media hammered home Schwarzenegger’s talking points that California’s highest-in-the-nation workers’ co

Am I Missing Something? Yes, Politics...  “Today’s WCIRB report shows there is much more work to be done in reining in California’s workers’ compensation costs and in re-balancing the system financially.” That was the statement of Marjorie Berte, western region vice president of the American Insu

California Workers’ Comp Losses, Expenses Reach Over $12B A report issued last week by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute shows workers’ comp insurers’ loss and expense payments rose to nearly $12.5 billion in 2011, an increase of over $1 billion.

California’s temporary workers face increased likelihood of poverty, says new study California’s temporary workers are twice as likely as other employees in the Golden State to live in poverty, receive food stamps and be on Medicaid, according to a new report from UC Berkeley’s Center for Labor Research and Education.

State News 8.28


Steinberg: Lawmakers consider cap on pensions, not hybrid  Lawmakers charged with overhauling California's state and local public pension law are considering a plan to cap defined benefit pensions that would not include a second 401(k)-style component common in so-called "hybrid" retirement plans.

AM Alert: Day of reckoning for pensions? A plan labor unions and business owners have hashed out to overhaul California's workers compensation system will get its first public airing today when the Assembly Insurance Committee meets at 8:30 a.m. in room 437. It's a complex issue to tackle with j


Workers Comp 8.27

Impermissible Legislature Interpretation of the Constitution  Section 4 of Article XIV of the California State Constitution states in part that the "Legislature is hereby expressly vested with plenary power, unlimited by any provision of this Constitution, to create, and enforce a complete system of workers' compensation, by appropriate legislation

California Workers’ Comp Overhaul Happening in Secrecy California’s Workers’ Compensation is facing major changes if a bill scheduled for this week comes up for debate and then passes. Veteran Sacramento Bee columnist Dan Walters says renegotiating of workers’ comp benefits for injured workers happens about every ten years with the current battle no different from the divisive fight in 2004. … The injured workers’ organization, Voters Injured at Work, and the California Applicants Attorney Association, who represent injured workers, were not involved in the creation of this bill. 

Calif. workers compensation reform bill would increase costs by $300 million A workers compensation reform bill introduced in the California Senate last week would result in a $300 million increase in comp costs for insurers and employers by 2014, according to analysis by the California Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.

Workers' comp bureau recommends 12.6% average rate hike Worker's compensation insurance rates are again starting to worry California businesses. The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau has recommended a 12.6% increase in the average pure premium rates effective Jan. 1, 2013.

California lawmakers are racing to deadline California lawmakers head into their final deadline rush this week with some of the most pressing legislative matters still to be resolved, or even publicly revealed.

Guardian voices: Finally, rights for domestic workers The national domestic workers’ movement is on the cusp of making history in California. Any day now, the state’s Domestic Bill of Rights (AB 899) – only the second such piece of legislation in the country – could be passed on the Senate floor, finally bringing respect and recognition to 200,000 workers who have been systematically excluded from labor laws for 74 years.

Actress Amy Poehler Stars in California Domestic Workers Bill of Rights PSA Earlier this month the New York Times endorsed the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights that would to extend basic labor rights to domestic workers: the nannies, cooks, housekeepers and other caregivers who have long been excluded from many of the fundamental protections most other workers receive under federal labor law.


State News 8.27

California public pension reform legislation deadline looms  Lawmakers have a deadline to send pension reform legislation to Gov. Jerry Brown by Friday. The buzz around the Capitol is that Democrats met through the weekend, but as of this morning it looks like specific terms are still being debated.

California Legislature sets ambitious agenda in last week of session  Lawmakers will consider changes in pension, workers' compensation and tax policy, likely setting the stage for the governor's campaign to raise taxes to close the deficit.

Walters: Fire, police unions use their clout in California's Capitol  The police officers and firefighters we taxpayers employ to protect us are, sad to say, bullies in the political realm.


Workers Comp 8.24

Lawyers Aren't the Problem; Everyone Is the Problem  There is furious activity in Sacramento as the clock winds down towards deadlines to accomplish workers' compensation reform in the Golden State.

Reworked Workers’ Comp Proposal Surfaces What appears to be a cut down and reworked version of a workers’ compensation proposal has been put into bill form and is being circulated around the state capital. The “tentative draft SB 863” proposal as it’s being called appears to be intended for insertion into Senate Bill 863, a piece of legislation regarding workers’ comp liens authored by Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee Chair Ted Lieu, D-Torrance, that was taken off the active file.

Business Journal: Drought, Worker's Comp, Downtown Vacancy Sacramento Business Journal Editor Jack Robinson's review of the region's top economic news begins with the Midwest drought. Jack says it creates an opportunity for California agriculture...but only to a degree.

Pressure builds for more workers’ comp reform  Practically no one’s happy. California employers are paying more for workers’ compensation insurance as they struggle with lingering economic challenges. Permanently disabled workers have been waiting for a promised benefits boost since the last workers’ comp system reform. And insurers are losing money.

California Senate approves police-fire death benefits bill A highly controversial bill to make it easier for survivors of police officers and firefighters to collect workers' compensation benefits was approved Thursday by the California Senate. Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez is personally carrying the measure, Assembly Bill 2451. It would double the time period in which benefits could be claimed for deaths linked to a number of conditions, such as cancer, that are presumed by current law to be job-related.

California labor bill goes to governor It’s that time again in California. A bill that would give farm workers overtime pay after eight hours seems likely to reach Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk.

CA Chiropractors Object to Proposed Workers Compensation Reforms The California Chiropractic Association (CCA) objects to the state Legislature trying to fast-track a controversial workers’ compensation deal through the waning days of the session, knowing the proposed changes would lead to unreasonable denials of cost-effective treatment for Californians injured on the job.


State News 8.24

'Use it or lose it' budget practice common in California government  State workers call it "use it or lose it," a practice in which departments try to spend every last penny rather than save for the good of the overall California budget.

No California legislative session is complete without a medical turf war  No session of the California Legislature would be complete without at least one "scope-of-practice" bill. What's that?

Dan Walters Daily: It's 'transmogrify' time at the Capitol Dan comes up with a new way to describe the the legislative "gut-and-amend."


Workers Comp 8.23

CA Reform: Disassociate PD with RTW  The proposed California reform is getting a lot of attention, particularly from those who oppose it. Some may believe that I oppose it too. Let me be clear: I am not particularly opposed to the proposed reform bill. In my opinion there are some parts that are good for the system and some parts that have not been well though out.

Poll: Little Faith for Lasting Workers’ Comp Reforms in Calif. People overwhelmingly believe workers’ compensation premiums will rise if no reforms come out of a bill currently in the works in state Legislature to increase benefits for injured workers and reduce waste in the system to the tune of more than $1 billion.

Calif. farmers could face jail for heat violations Farmers could be tossed in jail and fined thousands of dollars if they fail to provide field workers with adequate water and shade under a bill that passed the state Senate on Tuesday.

California Domestic Workers Ask for a Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T Domestic workers such as nannies are the heroes of many households, handling everything from burping babies to making sure grandma takes her medicine. Now they're adding another talent to their skill set: flashmobbing. A new video published by Mujeres Unidas Y Activas helps train California domestic workers to make a splash in public places with a song and dance number.

Lodi City Council, firefighter at odds over worker’s compensation bill  If a police officer or firefighter dies of a work-related injury or illness within 4 years and 8 months of retirement, their family can currently file for a hefty worker's compensation payment.

Court: Ex-NFL punter eligible for workers comp Longtime-NFL punter Tom Tupa is eligible for workers compensation for a career-ending back injury he suffered while warming up for a preseason game in 2005 at FedEx Field while playing for the Washington Redskins, Maryland's highest court ruled on Wednesday. The court rejected the idea that football injuries should not be considered accidental because of the rough nature of the sport.

Payment for lost wages doesn't trigger cap on temporary disability  In California, a payment to an injured worker for lost wages while he attended a qualified medical examination does not trigger the cap on temporary disability benefits.


State News 8.23

Voters prefer Gov. Jerry Brown's Prop. 30 tax measure over Molly Munger's Prop. 38, but 'prospects are partly cloudy'  Voters continue to prefer Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative solidly over wealthy civil rights attorney Molly Munger's, but a new poll shows signs that the governor's measure may be vulnerable to attack ads.

Can Brown win tax vote with doomsday talk?  There's no mystery about the conventional path to getting voters to say yes to a ballot initiative: sell them on all the good things the measure does.

CEQA overhaul amended into Senate bill  A business-labor-government coalition's proposed overhaul of the landmark California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) has been amended into a Senate bill, the group announced late Wednesday.


Workers Comp 8.22

Calif. Workers’ Comp Losses, Expenses Reach Over $12B A report issued on Tuesday by the California Workers’ Compensation Institute shows workers’ comp insurers’ loss and expense payments rose to nearly $12.5 billion in 2011, an increase of over $1 billion.

Open Talks Needed on Workers' Compensation This week in Sacramento, your legislators are attempting to do once again what they did successfully in 2004 — to impose massive 'reforms' on the California workers' compensation system through back room deals, under cover of night, at the last minute, without public comment.

Our Voice: State should get tough to protect farmworkers  The California Legislature is right to get tougher with farmers who don't provide adequate shade and water for farmworkers. Fortunately, The Desert Sun believes this is a rare case. Most farmers care for their workers and do their best to protect them from heat stress. After all, they can't succeed without them.


State News 8.22

Walters: A 'Hearing' That Was A Charade The Bee published a lengthy article recently about the proliferation of special committees in the state Senate that rarely, if ever, meet, just as rarely produce worthwhile research and appear to exist mainly to give senators extra, off-the-books staff.

Three-Strikes' Battle Returns To Fall Ballot In California  Stanford legal minds conceived the measure. A prosecutor from Los Angeles vetted it. The godfather of its original design is fighting it. Come November, California voters will decide if it stands.

Morain: Brown Hopes Voters Tune Out Dems' Antics Gov. Jerry Brown hopes that voters don't focus on the $68 billion for high-speed rail, or on the debacle in which the state Department of Parks and Recreation hid $54 million.

Prop 32: The Billionaires' Bill of Rights Billionaire corporate interests and other well financed anti-labor forces are waging a major drive to stifle the political voice of workers and their unions in California that is certain to spread nationwide if not stopped ­ and stopped now.


Workers Comp 8.21

CA Reform Interests Other States  Speculation in the California workers' compensation system is that the anticipated proposed reform bill will be formally released and introduced into the Legislature today with just 10 days to go in the legislative session.

State renews fight over workers’ comp Roughly once a decade, the California Capitol’s perpetual skirmishing over the system that compensates workers for job-related disabilities erupts into open war — and it’s happening this month.

State needs to protect farmworkers Enjoying the taste of a local summer peach or juicy plum is one of the best things about living in California. Protecting the agricultural bounty of the state, however, requires us to protect the health of the workers who harvest it.

You Tell Us: Can California’s Workers’ Comp System Be Fixed? How do you contain upwardly spiraling costs, battle growing use and prescription of opioids, fight fraud, de-incentivize bad actors, all while sailing directly into political headwinds flowing from all the compass headings?

Workers’ Comp State Legislation Battles to Watch The lazy, hazy days of summer are about to give way to a frenetic presidential campaign season for the most powerful political position in the world. Lost in all the hype surrounding this national political drama are hundreds of barely watched and little noticed campaigns for legislative seats in statehouses across the U.S.

Bill extends overtime pay protections to California farmworkers  The measure, requested by the UFW and approved by the state Senate, would give farm laborers the same overtime pay benefits enjoyed by workers in other industries. It now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown.

No Loss-of-Consortium Claim Under Power-Press Exception—S.C. The spouse of a worker who sues an employer because the worker was injured by a power press that lacked a proper guard cannot sue for loss of consortium, the California Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday.

State Fund Taps Marjorie Hutchings as Chief Information Officer State Compensation Insurance Fund today announced the selection of Marjorie Hutchings, a versatile infrastructure engineering and internet operations professional, as its new Chief Information Officer.

Conflicting Signals: Making Sense of the Latest Workers’ Comp Data The 2012 edition of the National Council on Compensation Insurance’s (NCCI) annual State of the Line report, evaluating Workers’ Compensation fundamentals and conditions, reveals a market characterized by a number of countervailing indicators as to its forward trajectory.


State News 8.21

Walters: Overhauling CEQA now a hot topic  For years – even decades – business groups have complained that the California Environmental Quality Act's complex provisions were being misused to block worthwhile projects, often for reasons that had nothing to do with the environment.


Workers Comp 8.20

Ratios, Rates, Risk Allocation and Benefits Delivery  In June the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau (WCIRB) released its overall combined ratio analysis for carriers in California. The ratio had climbed from 117% for years 2009 and 2010 to 122% in 2011.

Walters: Job injuries war looms in Capitol  Roughly once a decade, the Capitol's perpetual skirmishing over the system that compensates workers for job-related disabilities erupts into open war – and it's happening this month.

California expected to consider retooling workers’ compensation A bill supported by California Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to be introduced into the California State Assembly this week, calling for the retooling of the state’s workers’ compensation program.

California weighs tougher heat rules for farmworkers  With temperatures in the Central Valley recently surpassing 110 degrees and state regulators investigating two possible heat-related deaths in the fields, the California legislature is considering new laws that would strengthen rules for protecting farmworkers from heat.

ANOTHER ROUND OF BAD WORKERS COMPENSATION REFORM FOR CALIFORNIA INJURED WORKERS On February 24, 2004, I wrote then editorial for the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin detailing how SB899 was a bad bill for injured workers. Unfortunately I was right, SB899 left devastation in its wake for injured workers and their families over the last eight years. Injured workers with career ending injuries were left with a miniscule settlements and rampant treatment denials thus having to shift their burden to the taxpayer through Social Security Disability, California State Disability Insurance and public health programs.

Another View: Bill resets public safety workers' death clock Michael Reddell, a member of Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522, is responding to the Aug. 8 editorial "Yet another benefits boost at the Capitol?" and the Aug. 12 editorial "Summer giveaway must be stopped."

Our View: Pricey pandering to public safety unions Legislators should not mindlessly ratchet up personnel costs for government. But a low-profile bill in the Legislature would offer an egregious handout to politically powerful public safety unions, at taxpayer expense. The Senate should kill this irresponsible legislation — and if the Senate fails, the governor should veto it.

California’s Workers Compensation Bureau proposes rate hike California's Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau will recommend a 12.6% average pure premium rate increase that would be effective Jan. 1, 2013, for new and renewing policies.

Brown administration backs proposed workers' comp overhaul  California Gov. Jerry Brown is supporting an ambitious effort to overhaul the state's system for giving medical care and compensation to injured workers.

California adds jobs amid nationwide weak job market, but farmers report labor shortages California has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation at 10.7 percent, which is down from 12 percent at the height of the economic downturn. Job growth has trailed behind the nation overall, but in the past three months, growth has reached 2.6 percent, which is nearly twice the national rate.

Attack on Napa hospital worker leads to change in policy for safety device  Napa State Hospital workers said they scored a victory Friday, one that could keep them safer. The administration at the Napa Psychiatric Hospital backed off one of their directives Friday that required hospital workers to wear their new personal security devices attached to lanyards around their necks.

Domestic-Worker Rights Thank you for your Aug. 10 editorial on behalf of domestic-worker rights and my bill A.B. 889. Yes, we are in California, but the life of an average domestic worker here is less glamorous than that of the nannies, cooks and housemaids depicted by our state’s movie and TV studios. And despite what opponents have tried to say, the bill isn’t about casual teenage baby sitters.

Spotlight on Disability Pay for CA Firefighters, Police Orange County's largest police and fire agencies have paid more than $55 million in wages over the past 5 1/2 years to public safety workers on leave because of job-related illnesses or injuries.

Skilled Work, Without the Worker At the Philips Electronics factory on the coast of China, hundreds of workers use their hands and specialized tools to assemble electric shavers. That is the old way.


State News 8.20

Dan Walters Daily: Ten days left, and big issues remain Dan says there are several major issues pending as the California legislative session draws to a close.


Workers Comp 8.17


Reformists' Secrecy and Departmental Lobbying Confirming that it is a political entity rather than an unbiased state agency, the California Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) formally announced support of the proposed reform - a deal that the department had a strong hand in brokering. 

Dirk Stemerman: Efforts to reform workers' comp insurance In a study published in the April issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, UC Davis researchers found that workers' compensation insurance is not used nearly as much as it should be to cover workplace illnesses and injuries. Approximately 80 percent of these costs are paid by employer-sponsored health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, employees and other payers.

Department of Industrial Relations Backs Workers' Compensation Reform Plan -- The California Department of Industrial Relations today announced support for a comprehensive plan to reform California's workers' compensation system to protect employees while preventing sharp increases in the cost of doing business in the state.

AM Alert: Domestic workers bill pending in California Senate Dan Walters mulls whether the California Legislature will push through public pension changes during the last two weeks of its session. Find his latest report at this link. After Thursday's flurry of bills, consider today the uneasy calm before a storm. Both houses of the Legislature are adjourned until Monday.

Serving Justice – new food label certifies workers’ rights on U.S. farms In the early morning hours at Swanton Berry Farm in Pescadero, Calif, president Jim Cochran ensures each farm worker completes a half-hour of strength exercise before a day of strawberry picking. And just five minutes down the Camarillo Highway, apprentices at Pie Ranch reside in cool yurts and meet regularly with the owners for “honey millet,” where they share their good (honey) and bad (millet) experiences on the farm.

Cal/OSHA reminds employers to stay on the alert during high heat With a protracted heat wave in many regions of the state over the past week that is slated to continue through this week, the California Department of Industrial Relations' (DIR) Division of Occupational Safety and Health (commonly referred to as Cal/OSHA) is urging employers to protect outdoor workers from heat illness and allow for new workers to adjust to changes in weather (also known as acclimatization).   


State News 8.17

California legislators shelve dozens of bills  A gift ban on lobbyists, two proposals to regulate fracking and a bid to exempt Olympic medals and the honorariums that go with them from state income taxes are among the measures tabled.

Tax measures rise in poll, could ballot labels be why?  Ask any political scientist or campaign consultant, and they'll tell you that voters rely heavily on the small summary of an initiative that appears on the actual ballot.


Workers Comp 8.16

Assemblyman Jose Solorio Urged to Reform California’s Workers’ Compensation Laws Amid Pending Bill In the face of new legislation surrounding workers’ compensation that is being ‘drafted in secret,’ insurance brokers Jamie Reid and Gabe Erle at are urging Assemblyman Jose Solorio to reform the ineffective workers’ compensation laws that frame California regulations before the new bill is passed.

The Great California Trade Off 2012 SACRAMENTO -- A proposed overhaul of California's workers' compensation insurance is running into heavy resistance even before it's been formally introduced in the waning weeks of the legislative session.

The Great California Trade Off 2012 Rumors spread like wildfire this week as alleged secret back-room dealing continued in an effort to reform the failing California workers compensation system, yet again. The great trade-off of 2012 appears to be a major move to control and limit medical delivery and disability benefits at all cost.

Rating Bureau committee to recommend raising workers' comp rates  Sacramento Business Journal by Kelly John son, Staff Writer The organization that advises the state’s insurance commissioner on workers’ compensation rates says an increase is needed. The Governing Committee of the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California voted Wednesday to recommend an average base rate of $2.68 per $100 of payroll for policies renewing or starting on the first day of next year. That’s 12.6 percent higher than the average base rate of $2.38 that insurers filed as of July 1, the Rating Bureau said in a news release.

Analysis: Recent California newspaper editorials Aug. 10 The Orange County Register: "Don't 'nudge' millions of Californians into new pension system" As many as 6.3 million private-sector California workers have no retirement plan through their employers, apart from Social Security. But that doesn't justify the state government forcing California businesses to provide employees with retirement options or face a financial penalty, or coercing their employees into enrolling.

Thousands line up for right to work legally in US Nathaly Uribe has all the papers she needs to get a work permit — something the 17-year-old daughter of a construction worker only dreamed of growing up as an illegal immigrant in the United States.

Nurses' Union: Legislature Should Set Charity Care Level For Nonprofit Hospitals A nurses' union urged state lawmakers Wednesday to set a minimum level of charity care for all nonprofit hospitals in exchange for their lucrative, tax-exempt status.


State News 8.16

Brown Moves Tax Campaign To The Classroom, Downplays Parks Scandal  Gov. Jerry Brown, starting to campaign in earnest for his Nov. 6 ballot initiative to raise taxes, labored Wednesday to put the state parks scandal and other potentially damaging developments at the Capitol behind him, hoping to refocus public attention on schools.

Assembly Speaker Vows Action On Public Pensions, 'Regulatory Reform'  Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles) said Wednesday that the Legislature would end its two-year session this month by passing measures to overhaul the state's public pension system and enact a series of "regulatory reforms" to make California more attractive to businesses.

Obama Needs Labor - Again Organized labor, which played a major role in President Obama's 2008 election campaign, thankfully has launched what seems certain to become an even greater and perhaps decisive effort in behalf of Obama's re-election this year.


Workers Comp 8.15

Workers' compensation deal faces fierce opposition A proposed overhaul of California's workers' compensation insurance is running into heavy resistance even before it's been formally introduced in the waning weeks of the legislative session. A special hearing of the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee scheduled for Wednesday at the state Capitol was postponed and no new date has been set.

Dan Walters Daily: The return of workers' compensation Dan Walters says nothing goes untouched when the workers' compensation issue hits the Capitol.

Opposition Grows, Informational Workers' Comp Reform Hearing Canceled  Opposition to a proposed reform package is increasing as physicians in the workers' comp system are coming out against the tentative plan negotiated by big business and big labor. And now the Senate Labor and Industrial Relations Committee is cancelling a planned informational hearing on the issues surrounding the planned reallocation of resources.

Unions circulating draft of workers' compensation overhaul  Labor unions are making a late-blooming effort to raise long-frozen benefits for workers with job-related illnesses and injuries and promising employers enough administrative savings to pay for them. Dan Walters SacBee Capitol Alert

Applicant Attorneys Move To Quash Workers' Comp Reform Plan  A tentative proposal to cut workers' comp costs in California by $1.4 billion in exchange for a reported $700 million increase in permanent disability benefits for injured workers' is creating a rift between two traditional allies -- big labor and the attorneys who represent injured workers. A formal plan for reallocating the dollars in California's workers' compensation system is not yet in print, but the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) is already mobilizing an effort to kill the proposal. They have the power to likely be successful.

Lawyers Throw Workers’ Comp Deal on the Rocks A highly sheltered workers’ comp reform proposal being quietly passed around California’s capitol has the potential to make some noise when and if it ever gets introduced. … So far the only known opposition against the proposal is the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association, which sent out an email to members on Tuesday blasting the proposal, stating that “workers will get less than they do under current law.”

Unions Circulating Draft of Bill To Boost Workers' Compensation Benefits Lobbyists for labor unions are circulating a summary of proposed legislation to increase workers' compensation benefits, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports (Walters, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 8/14).

Draft of workers' comp bill shows big changes  Since our blog this morning, the Business Journal has obtained the summary and rough draft of the proposed workers’ compensation reform bill.

Bruce Matthews case gives players a path to California workers’ compensation benefits For years, the NFL and the NFLPA have been squabbling in a variety of court systems regarding the ability of injured players to pursue workers’ compensation benefits in California. 

Feds sue Santa Ana car wash for allegedly underpaying workers A Santa Ana car wash company is being sued by the U.S. Department of Labor for allegedly repeatedly failing to properly pay employees for all their hours worked.

Young illegals mull new work permits  Thousands of young illegal immigrants will get a rare chance starting Wednesday to apply for work permits, an opportunity that advocates celebrate as historic - but also say requires caution.


State News 8.15

Environmentalists, unions fear last-minute CEQA changes  Environmentalists and labor unions are raising concerns that state lawmakers will use the final weeks of this year’s legislative session to make sweeping changes to California’s landmark environmental law.

Morain: Using CEQA as bait, Pérez muscles tax bill  On Monday, Assemblyman Brian Nestande, a Palm Desert Republican, broke with the GOP and voted for Assembly Speaker John A. Pérez's $1 billion tax hike to fund "middle-class scholarships."

State lawyers told of hidden funds  A former California state parks employee says she told state attorneys that her department was hiding about $20 million in a special fund several months before officials announced discovering the surplus money, according to a sworn declaration filed in court Tuesday.


Workers Comp 8.14

Workers' comp reform bill expected soon  Efforts to reform California’s workers’ compensation system are taking shape this week, but details are sketchy. Language of the proposed bill could be released as early as today. The state Senate Industrial Relations Committee is scheduled to hold an informational hearing on it at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Domestic workers demand Bill of Rights in California The majority of domestic workers in California face abuse, compensation below minimum wage and long hours with little recourse. But now they're fighting back. They feed the kids and clean the floors, but domestic workers and caregivers are often maligned by a system that allows their abusive employers to fly under the radar.

The Heartache of the Migrant Nanny Domestic workers: the nannies, cooks and cleaners that make many families’ lives so much better, are at a high risk of being abused and exploited. Because the work they do takes place in private homes, they are invisible and often can’t get government protection.On Aug. 6, the International Labor Organization’s Convention on Domestic Work was ratified – setting international standards to protect the world’s 50 million to 100 million domestic workers.

Use of Schedule II narcotics decreases among California injured workers  It seems the recent attention on opioid abuse is paying off. A new study shows the use of these narcotics to treat pain among injured workers has dropped in the last year. The California Workers' Compensation Institute looked at data from more than 9.2 million prescriptions dispensed in the state's workers' comp system from 2002 to 2011. The results show the lowest level of Schedule II prescriptions since 2007 and the first drop in 10 years.

Workers Outside Take Precautions During Hot Days Temperatures well into the 100’s are causing people who work outside to take extra precautions.


State News 8.14

Assembly Republican, Independent, join Democrats to pass tax hike  By a razor-thin margin, the California Assembly passed legislation today to raise a billion dollars annually for middle-class college scholarships by altering tax law for numerous out--of-state corporations.

Walters: Sneakiness revs up in California Legislature  Once upon a time, the favored method of sneaking something through the Legislature was the so-called "conference committee."

Dan Walters Daily: Steinberg apologizes for TV blackout  Dan Walters notes that the Senate's Democratic leader issued an apology on Monday.


Workers Comp 8.13

Workers' comp reform may be on tap in Sacramento With a little more than three weeks remaining in the legislative session, state lawmakers are gearing up for a potential vote on sweeping reforms to the California’s workers’ compensation system — and an Orange County lawmaker is helping to lead the effort.

Employers, unions close to deal to reform California workers comp system Employers and labor unions are close to cutting a deal to reform California’s workers compensation system while boosting disability benefits, according to reports published Thursday.

Latest crackdown on local sweatshops State and federal investigators are looking for Southern California garment factories that don't pay minimum wage or overtime and that don't register their businesses. Typically, Investigators find that garment workers are paid not by the hour but by the piece.

Mixed message on grocery labor in Sacramento Back to the drawing board. With Save Mart Supermarkets employees rejecting a proposed contract by a wide margin this week, Northern California's unionized grocers are back where they were when negotiations began 10 months ago.

Business interests wary of tangling with labor over California's Proposition 32  Sacramento boasts a cottage industry of political message massagers, but when a chance to become the spokesman for a controversial initiative on the coming November ballot surfaced last year, none of the local firms stepped up.


State News 8.13

Legal pension hikes: air time, golden handshake  If the Legislature attempts pension reform this month, one of the targets may be “air time,” a decade-old policy that allows CalPERS and CalSTRS members to boost their pensions by buying up to five years of additional service credit


Workers Comp 8.10

Dan Walters Daily: New war looms for California workers comp Dan Walters talks about the latest effort to change California's workers compensation

California Court Dismisses Lawsuit against Dole Brought by Philippine Plaintiffs Claiming to Be Banana Workers NYSE:DOLE) today announced that the Los Angeles Superior Court dismissed with prejudice the case Macasa v. Dole. The lawsuit, which was filed last year, had been brought by 2,935 Philippine plaintiffs claiming to be banana workers who had been injured from alleged exposure more than 30 years ago to the agricultural chemical DBCP. The plaintiffs had filed an identical lawsuit 13 years earlier in the Philippines, which was ultimately dismissed by the Philippine Supreme Court.

Rights for Domestic Workers The California Legislature is considering a bill to extend basic labor rights to domestic workers: the nannies, cooks, baby sitters and other caregivers whose labor allows households to function smoothly, thus contributing to the larger economy. Domestic workers toil long hours for low pay, but have long been excluded from many of the fundamental protections most other workers enjoy under federal labor law.

Mark Twain's Workers' Compensation The one thing about statistics is its all about how the data is gathered and interpreted. Which is why Im not terribly excited about the latest published study from the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI) which claims that employers on average paid less for workers compensation insurance and injured workers collected less in benefits in 2010 than in 2009.

Area labor group asks Williams to explain contribution from Walmart  The Tri-Counties Central Labor Council, the umbrella group for labor unions on the Central Coast, has demanded a meeting with Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, asking him to explain why he accepted a $7,800 campaign contribution from Walmart — a company he once fought in a labor-backed campaign to prevent the opening of a store in Ventura.


State News 8.10

Lies, sloppiness alleged at Capitol budget hearing  It often feels good to vent your anger and frustrations, and so it shouldn't be surprising that assemblymembers wanted to do the same Thursday afternoon on the state parks saga that's fueled questions about all kinds of government accounting practices.

Walters: Censorship rears its ugly head in California Senate  Let's not mince words about what the state Senate's Democratic leader did Wednesday. It was self-serving censorship, the sort of thing that one expects from tinpot dictators, not from those who fancy themselves to be progressive civil libertarians.


Workers Comp 8.9

California unions pushing end-of-session workers comp bill California labor unions and a few employers are pushing for an end-of-session bill that would change the workers compensation system by increasing payments to permanently injured workers and limiting the fees that can be charged in processing claims.

Deal on California workers' compensation overhaul appears likely Hopes for a last-minute agreement to overhaul the state's $11-billion workers' compensation system are growing as the end of the 2012 legislative session approaches.

Labor Unions Stump for Last-Minute Workers' Compensation Bill  California labor unions are pushing for the introduction of an end-of-session bill that would increase workers' compensation payments to permanently injured workers and limit the fees that can be charged in processing claims, the Sacramento Bee's "Capitol Alert" reports.

California rating bureau eyes increase in workers compensation pure premium advisory rates The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California is considering a 7.6% increase in workers compensation pure premium advisory rates next year, just months after the state approved a midyear workers comp rate hike for California employers.

California Labor Commissioner Partners with U.S. Department of Labor; Joint Inspections Conducted in the Heart of L.A. Garment District California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su today released the results of the unannounced joint-agency enforcement action conducted yesterday, between the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE) and the U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) Wage and Hour Division, of garment manufacturing businesses in Los Angeles.

Calif.’s 9th Circuit Hands Former NFL Player Worker’s Comp Loss Retired National Football League offensive lineman Bruce Matthews’ attempt to collect workers’ compensation benefits in California was slapped down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, which ruled he failed to show sufficient contacts with California.

Column Extra poll: Furloughs versus layoffs in California Our State Worker column today looks at why state employee unions may agree to speed up the layoff process in exchange for a no-furlough guarantee when labor contract talks commence next year.

Split vote on Save Mart contract offer further muddles labor picture A tentative labor contract at Save Mart Supermarkets was supposed to bring clarity to the labor drama gripping Northern California's supermarket industry.

Can a Tennessee Titan Seek Workers' Comp in California? Football is a violent game, and many of the warriors who play it professionally find their careers cut short by brutal injuries.  Even those players who are able to complete an entire career without incident may find themselves plagued by disabling pain and lingering injuries during their retirement years. 


State News 8.9

Prop. 30 opponents raise money, release online-only anti-tax ad  The campaign against Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes released an online-only ad today criticizing Brown and the Legislature for their approval of California's high-speed rail project and for the recent state parks scandal, suggesting the state does not take care of the money it has.

Critics blast state retirement for private workers  Opponents of a bill that would create the nation's first state-run retirement program for private-sector workers testified Wednesday that California taxpayers cannot afford to take on the potential for billions of dollars in new liabilities at a time when the state's public pension systems already are facing massive shortfalls.

Dan Walters Daily: Senate hearing 'like a tree fell in the forest' Dan Walters says that the California Senate's last-minute decision Wednesday not to let the California Channel broadcast a hearing on four November ballot measures meant that few people had a chance to hear proponents' and opponents' arguments.


Workers Comp 8.8

California labor commissioner seeks unpaid wages from farm contractor  California labor regulators are seeking $635,000 in back wages, penalties and damages from a San Joaquin County farm-labor contractor.

Paid Sick Leave May Reduce Work Injuries A new study suggests that offering paid sick leave might reduce the rate of nonfatal injury among workers and improve the bottom line at the same time.

Calif.’s 9th Circuit Hands Former NFL Player Worker’s Comp Loss Retired National Football League offensive lineman Bruce Matthews attempt to collect workers’ compensation benefits in California was slapped down by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal, which ruled he failed to show sufficient contacts with California.


State News 8.8

Group backing Prop. 30 pledges $1 million to boost turnout  Left-leaning supporters of Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot measure to raise taxes said Tuesday they will spend more than $1 million in a side campaign targeting minorities and infrequent voters.

Walters: Three California cities' bankruptcy cases reverberate  The back-to-back bankruptcy filings of Stockton and San Bernardino, following Vallejo's insolvency a few years earlier, have sparked finger-pointing about causes and speculation about whether more cities may go under.


Workers Comp 8.7

CA Division of Workers’ Compensation Seeks Nominations for Medical Guideline Advisory Committee The Division of Workers’ Compensation (DWC) is seeking nominations for its Medical Evidence Evaluation Advisory Committee (MEEAC). This committee will, under the guidance of the DWC executive medical director, use the hierarchy of evidence set forth in the division’s medical treatment guideline regulations to systematically review evidence and make recommendations to the DWC administrative director on revising, updating or supplementing the treatment guidelines.

Workers' Compensation Insurers Might Have To Increase 2013 Rates Workers' compensation insurers in California might need to increase their rates beginning in 2013, the Sacramento Business Journal reports. On Aug. 15, the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California's governing committee is scheduled to consider how it will advise state Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones (D) on rates for workers' compensation insurance next year.

Ex-NFL Player Can't Seek Workers' Comp in Calif. The 9th Circuit on Monday blocked Tennessee Titans offensive line coach Bruce Matthews from seeking workers' compensation in California based on his 19-year career in the National Football League. The three-judge panel in Pasadena, Calif., upheld an arbitration award barring the NFL Hall of Famer from pursuing his workers' compensation claim under California law.

20,000 AT&T workers strike; company says customers 'a priority' The company's contracts with two major branches of the Communications Workers of America expired in early April, leading to months of acrimonious negotiations. Now, 17,000 wireline employees in California and Nevada and 3,000 employees in Connecticut have decided to strike, AT&T said in a statement.

California Sen. Darrell Steinberg second-guesses pay raises The leader of the state Senate said Monday that he had “a few sleepless nights” during lawmakers' summer break worrying that pay raises given to legislative staffers could undermine Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative in November.

Steinberg says labor allies won't be happy after California achieves pension reform  Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg said Monday that legislative Democrats will deliver on "comprehensive" pension reform over the next four weeks, even if their labor allies don't like it.


State News 8.7

Walters: Big money dominates final days of California Legislature session  The California Legislature operates in two distinct planes – public policy and private interest – and that syndrome emerges most strongly during the final, hectic weeks of any session.


Workers Comp 8.6

California: Board spells out rules for lien claims  The Workers' Compensation Appeals Board adopted rules regarding lien claims, which went into effect on May 21. Procedures were established for dismissing a lien claim for a lack of prosecution. The procedures become operative on Aug. 1. The filing requirements for lien claims were amended to provide that only original liens are required to be filed and not amended liens, and no supporting documentation is required to be filed.

Workers, supporters picket Hyatt to further global boycott  In the days following a July 23 UNITE HERE hospitality workers' union-initiated press conference announcing the launch of a global boycott of the Hyatt hotel chain, pickets and rallies were held at numerous Hyatts around the United States. The Grand Hyatt in San Francisco and Hyatt Regency Santa Clara saw demonstrations July 26 and July 28 that drew more than 300 and 250 participants, respectively.

Worker shortage threatens state crops A plaintive, years-long cry from California farmers worried about an adequate supply of harvest laborers now is being heard statewide as the prediction – often scorned by critics — begins to materialize.

Workers' comp insurers may need to charge more in 2013  California workers’ compensation insurers might need to start charging somewhat more for coverage starting next year. The organization that advises the state’s insurance commissioner on rates is still reviewing the results of insurers, but data appears to show that insurers need to boost base rates given rising costs.


State News 8.6

California lawmakers face a mountain of work  Eight-hundred bills on issues such as pension reform, student aid and gun control await action between Monday and the end of the session in four weeks.

CA legislators taking on pension reform  After a monthlong break, the Legislature returns to work at the Capitol on Monday to take on one of the Golden State's thorniest issues: public employee pensions.

Walters: Private-sector pension proposal sets off lobbying war in California  This is not the first time that state Sen. Kevin de León has proposed a state-sponsored pension system for the more than 6 million California workers whose employers don't offer retirement benefits.


State News 8.5

Caltrans' records show problems with tests on Bay Bridge, other bridges  A special team within Caltrans has uncovered problems with safety testing far broader than previously known.

Walters: Hot August at the Capitol as Legislature reconvenes  The Legislature reconvenes this week for what promises to be a typically hectic end-of-session maelstrom of power politics, horse-trading and deal-making – all in the guise of serving the public good, of course.

Labor Leader: Consumer Groups Shouldn't Throw "Regulatory Grenade" on Broadband Regulation With the California Assembly set to approve SB 1161, legislation by Senator Alex Padilla (D-Los Angeles) that would ban overzealous regulation of the state's fast growing broadband internet industry by the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC), one of the nation's leading labor leaders says he believes that keeping the Internet regulation-free will help create jobs and allow the industry to continue its expansion.


Workers Comp 8.3

Rite Aid Workers Authorize Strike  If the strike moves forward, it would affect the store in Lynwood and those in neighboring areas. Workers at Rite Aid stores throughout Southern California voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if no progress is made in contract talks, their union announced Tuesday.

Temporary workers in high demand during slow economy California has the third highest unemployment rate in the nation. In Kern County, 14 percent of people are out of work. But, more unemployed workers are finding success through temporary jobs.

Slow Recovery Affects Workers' Compensation Benefits and Costs Workers' compensation benefits declined to $57.5 billion in 2010 according to a report released today by the National Academy of Social Insurance (NASI).  The drop in workers' compensation benefits was largely due to a 2.1 percent drop in medical benefits for injured workers.  Employers' costs for workers' compensation also fell by 2.7 percent in 2010.  As a share of covered wages, employers' costs in 2010 were the lowest in the last three decades.


State News 8.3

California reaches deep into special funds to pay for schools, prisons, social services  California drivers pay fees for smog checks, vehicle registrations and new tires, all supposedly for programs that benefit roadway use.

Jerry Brown invokes New Testament in Prop. 30 tax campaign  Gov. Jerry Brown this afternoon offered a biblical foundation for his November ballot measure to raise taxes, saying the wealthiest Californians have been blessed with an increasing share of the population's income and can afford to pay more.

Nurses' union gives $1 million to support Gov. Jerry Brown's tax measure  Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday collected the California Nurses Association's endorsement, a $1 million contribution and a pledge of boots on the street to support his tax-hike measure on November's ballot.

Walters: California's 'wall of debt' has risen even higher  Jerry Brown devoted the first months of his second governorship last year to dickering with Republicans on placing a multibillion-dollar tax increase before voters.


Workers Comp 8.2

Healthcare Solutions to Present at the 10th Annual California Workers' Comp Forum Healthcare Solutions, the parent company of Cypress Care, a leading provider of pharmacy and specialty healthcare services, today announced that Jim Andrews, R.Ph., senior vice president of pharmacy services for Healthcare Solutions, and David Theron Smith, divisional vice president of risk management for Family Dollar, Inc. will present at the 10th Annual California Workers' Comp Forum conference in San Diego.


State News 8.2

California fiscal analyst: 'Hundreds of millions' at risk from Facebook slide  The state's Legislative Analyst's Office said Wednesday that "hundreds of millions" of dollars in assumed tax revenues may never materialize due to the continued slide in Facebook's stock price.

Skelton: There's no excuse for hoarded cash  It's entirely believable that Gov. Jerry Brown — and his predecessors — didn't know about hidden cash in several state departments. But that doesn't make it OK.

Workers Comp 8.1

Workers comp claim frequency remains elevated in California California workers compensation indemnity claims frequency remains elevated after experiencing its first increase in more than a decade during 2010, according to the Workers’ Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California.

CSU, Faculty Reach Tentative Contract Union officials are urging their members to approve the four-year agreement…even though it does NOT include pay raises. "This was a tough one. We were not successful in getting wage increases."

California farmers fear labor shortage The lush rows of Bartlett pear trees appear boundless from where Pasqual Aragon stands. They make his small crew's fruit-picking mission seem impossibly daunting. "The truth is that there's a lot of work and not enough people," said Aragon, 26, as a dozen men beside him hoisted ladders and stuffed pears into heavy pouches strapped over their shoulders.

Assembly bill calls attention to domestic workers' working conditions While the bill she coauthored lingers in the state Senate Appropriations Committee, a San Francisco assemblywoman took on the role of a domestic worker Tuesday to highlight the need for regulation in the industry. Fiona Ma, assemblywoman for the 12th District, walked Nikki Brown-Booker's service dog around her North Oakland neighborhood in an attempt to be a domestic worker for a day and build support for AB 889.

Calif. settles prison workers' privacy case California and state prison employees have reached a settlement in a lawsuit alleging inmates at Pelican Bay State Prison in Crescent City got access to employees' personal information, including Social Security numbers.


State News 8.1

Unions raise nearly $10 million to fight Prop. 32  A coalition of California labor unions has raised nearly $10 million to fight Proposition 32, far outpacing the backers of the November ballot measure that promises to eliminate special-interest money in politics.

Dozens of lawmakers donate to Gov. Brown's tax initiative  More than two dozen Democratic state legislators have contributed thousands of dollars apiece to help pass Gov. Jerry Brown's multibillion-dollar tax initiative, according to disclosure documents filed Tuesday.

Walters: Years-long tax fight takes turn in California  Capitol politicians have been wrangling for decades over taxing multistate and multinational corporations doing business in California.

Brown raises $6.3 million for tax campaign  Gov. Jerry Brown's November ballot initiative to raise taxes collected $6.3 million in the first half of the year, with $5 million in cash hand at the end of June, the campaign reported today.

Former Service Employees International Union leader indicted  Not long ago, Tyrone Freeman was a rising young star in the national labor movement, already the head of California's biggest union local and a force in Democratic politics from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.


Here is the latest CAAA News Release.  Per CAAA’s Terms of Use “We encourage you to reproduce, redistribute and repost our public communications with credit to CAAA as the source, and include a link to that will send those interested in our messages to our website."

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