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    Alameda County’s efforts to ensure minority-owned and women-owned businesses get a share of public construction contracts violate the U.S. and California’s constitution, according to a lawsuit filed in court against the county this week. Attorneys for a San Diego group called Californians for Equal Rights Foundation say Alameda County’s Public Works Agency and its General Services Agency both oversee similar programs that “force general contractors to discriminate against subcontractors” if they are not minority-owned. “The government should not be picking winners and losers on the basis of race or color,” said Chunhua Liao in a statement. Liao, an Alameda County resident and activist, is a plaintiff in the case. The county programs — which push contractors working on many Alameda County projects to have at least 15% of the work done by minority-owned businesses and at least 5% done by women-owned businesses — amount to “government-sanctioned racial discrimination,” according to the July 25 lawsuit. Wen Fa, an attorney for the Pacific Legal Foundation who filed the complaint, said the programs violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment to...
    The Port of Oakland offered the truckers a "Free Speech Zone" where truckers could "publicly express their opinions" without disrupting shipping operations. A spokesperson for Newsom's office issued a statement to CalMatters on the trucking situation, "California is committed to … ensuring our state’s truck drivers receive the protections and compensation they are entitled to. This administration has employment tax incentives, small business financing, and technical assistance resources to support this essential industry. The state will continue to partner with truckers and the ports to ensure the continued movement of goods to California’s residents and businesses, which is critical to all of us." The protest has caused some shipping vessels to skip the Port of Oakland entirely. The extra vessels are clogging other California ports such as Los Angeles and Long Beach. \u201cAmid continued supply chain backups, a labor dispute on land is taking a toll on ships at sea. The Port of Oakland, one of the nation\u2019s busiest ports, is becoming clogged with undelivered goods as truckers protest a new California labor law.\u201d — CBS Evening News...
    Tax cuts and other reforms are coming to the California cannabis industry as authorities seek to revamp a system that businesses, growers and others say has been stymied by over-regulation. A bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom last week cuts a cultivation tax placed on cannabis growers and shifts excise tax collection from distributors to retail businesses, according to the California Cannabis Industry Assn. “While imperfect, we achieved some significant victories, which we should be proud of,” the association said in a statement. When Californians voted in 2016 to allow the sale of recreational marijuana, advocates envisioned a system of thousands of shops and farms obtaining state licenses. Officials promised “social equity” to those hit hardest by the war on drugs. In Los Angeles a program targeted entrepreneurs with marijuana arrest records, those with low incomes and people who lived in areas disproportionately affected by cannabis arrests. But growth in the legal market was hampered by complex and confusing regulations, high taxes and decisions by some communities to ban cannabis shops. Industry experts and lobbyists have...
    Minimum wage workers in Los Angeles will see their pay increase to $16.04 an hour starting Friday as the new fiscal year begins, and workers across the state could see their pay rise to $18 an hour by 2025 if voters approve a measure on the ballot in November. Workers in unincorporated L.A. County will also see their minimum hourly wage rise, to $15.96, following an increase last year to about $15 an hour. Efforts to increase the minimum wage were spearheaded by L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the city’s hike in February. This city’s increase is expected to benefit over 600,000 L.A. residents, according to Garcetti’s office. “We fought to raise the minimum wage because hard work should always be met with the dignity, respect, and opportunity that fair pay brings,” Garcetti said in a statement announcing the decision. “Our decision to end poverty wages in L.A. caused a ripple effect across the nation, and this additional increase is the latest reason to celebrate today — and a reminder of how our fight for...
    Big Bear Lake has become the latest Southern California city to crack down on people watering their lawns.The city is now severely limiting outdoor water use to just two days a week as a means of battling California's worsening drought.Residents and businesses with even-numbered addresses can water outdoors on Wednesdays and Saturdays.Those with odd-numbered addresses can water on Thursdays and Sundays.Violators will be hit with $500 daily fines.The city of Los Angeles has similar water use restrictions after the city council approved the measures 13-0.RELATED | New restrictions on outdoor watering take effect for Los Angeles residents amid droughtEMBED More News Videos People in the city of Los Angeles will be limited to two-day per week outdoor watering schedules based on street addresses as part of an effort to conserve water amid a historic drought. The areas dependent on water from the State Water Project have the most restrictive measures with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California limiting outdoor water use to just one day a week.
    SAN FRANCISCO —  A Democratic lawmaker who has championed the fight to keep bars, restaurants and nightclubs open late said Friday that he will try again to change state law, arguing that an extended nightlife could have a major impact on tourism, small businesses and local economies. State Sen. Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) announced SB 930, a bill that marks his third time on the subject, which would allow the sale of alcohol from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m. for nightlife establishments in seven cities including San Francisco, West Hollywood and Palm Springs. All of the cities, he said, asked to be included as part of a five-year pilot program. “For too long, we’ve had a one-size-fit-all rule that all alcohol service should end at 2 a.m.,” Wiener said Friday at a news conference in San Francisco’s Castro neighborhood. “We know nightlife is so incredibly important for our culture and for our economy. When you think of why people move to cities, one of them is that they want to have a vibrant nightlife, be able to have fun and...
    The FBI has abandoned its attempt to confiscate more than $1 million in cash that was seized from armored cars transporting the money for state-licensed marijuana businesses in California. The FBI’s return of the money signals a retreat by the U.S. Justice Department from an aggressive legal move that could have disrupted the operation of marijuana outlets that are legal under California law but violate federal law. The FBI initially alleged that the $1.1 million, seized last year from armored cars pulled over by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies in Barstow and Rancho Cucamonga, was tied to federal drug or money-laundering crimes, but nobody was charged. The cash seizures — and another from the same armored-car company in Kansas — gave rise to suspicions the Justice Department under President Biden was working to thwart the operations of licensed marijuana businesses in California and the 36 other states that have legalized pot possession. Empyreal Logistics, the company whose armored cars were carrying the seized currency, sought a court order in January to force the FBI and Sheriff’s Department to stop...
    (CNN)Facing "drought conditions unlike anything we've experienced before," Southern California officials are demanding businesses and residents in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties cut outdoor watering to one a day week."For the summer, we have half the water that we need right now in these communities," said Rebecca Kimitch, program manager for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.The move comes as California faces persistent climate crisis-fueled dry conditions that have led to major water shortages, despite record snow in early winter. Last summer, the state saw its most severe drought in its 126-year record.Size of drought in US increased by the area of California in the past monthThe new restrictions must be implemented by June 1, with water district member agencies expected to enforce them, Kimitch said. Some 6 million people live in the affected areas and rely on water piped down from Northern California.The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power -- which has had watering restrictions for more than a decade -- will work with water district and city officials as the emergency drought...
    Similar legislation has been introduced at the federal level by U.S. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.). Garcia, one of the state bill's sponsors, told the Los Angeles Times that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for Americans to rethink what work should look like. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 47 million Americans quit their jobs in 2021, and many transitioned to working from home during the pandemic. “We’ve had a five-day workweek since the Industrial Revolution,” Garcia said, “but we’ve had a lot of progress in society, and we’ve had a lot of advancements. I think the pandemic right now allows us the opportunity to rethink things, to re-imagine things.” Democrats claim that a 32-hour work week would actually increase productivity and profits, citing pilot programs at companies like Kickstarter as evidence the idea could work. They also point to case studies from Iceland that found companies that reduced their work week to 35 or 36 hours maintained the same level of productivity and service while workers reported being happier. “The...
    Los Angeles City Council members took the first step Wednesday toward lifting vaccine verification requirements at many indoor businesses, the latest in a slew of rule relaxations as the Omicron surge steadily fades. While not yet final, the move would have a sweeping impact in the City of Angels: removing the mandate that establishments such as restaurants and bars, hair salons, gyms and movie theaters screen whether their indoor patrons are vaccinated against COVID-19. Under an ordinance that will be drafted and come back to the council for final approval at a future meeting, verifying whether indoor customers are vaccinated would be voluntary. Operators of major outdoor events in L.A. also would no longer need to check if attendees are vaccinated. The council voted 12 to 0, without discussion, to draft an ordinance amending the city rules. Opponents of the vaccination rule, including leaders of the Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County, had been pushing to roll back the mandate through a ballot measure. Angela McArdle, chair of the county party, said if the rule is repealed, her...
    OAKLAND (KPIX) — Voters later this year may get to decide if California will increase the minimum wage to $18 per hour but some in the business community said this is not the right time given their struggles during the pandemic. “There’s not a single Californian right now who’s working for $15 minimum wage who’s earning enough to afford life’s basic needs. Not a single one,” said Joe Sanberg, the chief proponent behind the movement to increase California’s hourly minimum wage. The wealthy Los Angeles investor and anti-poverty activist is financing the signature-gathering process to qualify the Living Wage Act of 2022 ballot initiative for the November election. “People understand the wages in California are piss-poor and I am sick of it. This is personal for me. I grew up in situations where my mom raised me by herself. She often worked multiple jobs,” Sanberg said. His team has until April to collect at least 700,000 signatures from registered voters. He hopes to get a million signatures. “We’re going to get it done, in part because this is a popular...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California would mandate that all businesses require their employees and independent contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under legislation announced Friday by Democratic state lawmakers that was immediately criticized by Republicans as government overreach.Employees or contractors who qualify for medical or religious exemptions would have to be regularly tested under a planned amendment to the bill. New employees would have to get at least one dose by the time they start work and the second dose within 45 days of being on the job.Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced her bill months after delaying an original proposal last fall. The previous version would have allowed workers to submit to weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, but that is not an option in her new proposal.Vaccines mandates are highly controversial and there have been many rallies at the state Capitol in Sacramento opposing such requirements.Wicks and other supporters said the mandate is needed even as California moves to ease other requirements and anticipates moving into a new "endemic" phase that accepts the coronavirus is here to stay but...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would mandate that all businesses require their employees and independent contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under legislation announced Friday by Democratic state lawmakers that was immediately criticized by Republicans as government overreach. Employees or contractors who qualify for medical or religious exemptions would have to be regularly tested under a planned amendment to the bill. New employees would have to get at least one dose by the time they start work and the second dose within 45 days of being on the job. READ MORE: Robbery At Gunpoint In Lathrop, Three ArrestedAssemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced her bill months after delaying an original proposal last fall. The previous version would have allowed workers to submit to weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, but that is not an option in her new proposal. Vaccines mandates are highly controversial and there have been many rallies at the state Capitol in Sacramento opposing such requirements. Wicks and other supporters said the mandate is needed even as California moves to ease other requirements and anticipates moving into...
    SACRAMENTO (AP) — California would mandate that all businesses require their employees and independent contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under legislation announced Friday by Democratic state lawmakers that was immediately criticized by Republicans as government overreach. Employees or contractors who qualify for medical or religious exemptions would have to be regularly tested under a planned amendment to the bill. New employees would have to get at least one dose by the time they start work and the second dose within 45 days of being on the job. READ MORE: UPDATE: 2 Arrested in Fatal September Shooting Outside Pittsburg 7-11; 3rd Suspect SoughtAssemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced her bill months after delaying an original proposal last fall. The previous version would have allowed workers to submit to weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, but that is not an option in her new proposal. Vaccines mandates are highly controversial and there have been many rallies at the state Capitol in Sacramento opposing such requirements. Wicks and other supporters said the mandate is needed even as California moves to ease other...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California would mandate that all businesses require their employees and independent contractors to receive the COVID-19 vaccine under legislation announced Friday by Democratic state lawmakers that was immediately criticized by Republicans as government overreach. Employees or contractors who qualify for medical or religious exemptions would have to be regularly tested under a planned amendment to the bill. New employees would have to get at least one dose by the time they start work and the second dose within 45 days of being on the job. Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks introduced her bill months after delaying an original proposal last fall. The previous version would have allowed workers to submit to weekly testing as an alternative to getting vaccinated, but that is not an option in her new proposal. Vaccines mandates are highly controversial and there have been many rallies at the state Capitol in Sacramento opposing such requirements. Wicks and other supporters said the mandate is needed even as California moves to ease other requirements and anticipates moving into a new “endemic” phase that accepts...
    According to Politico, Wicks considered introducing the vaccine mandate bill last year but never followed through with her idea. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has blocked President Joe Biden's federal vaccine mandate on businesses with more than 100 employees from taking effect, she says state lawmakers have an opportunity to act. Workplaces of all sizes, as well as contractors, would fall under the mandate. Exemptions would only be permitted for religious or medical reasons. New hires would have to show proof of having at least one vaccine dose by their start date and show documentation of a second dose within 45 days, according to Politico. Wicks' bill would not include a testing option for workers who do not want to get vaccinated, addressing concerns about who would pay for the tests. If the bill passes, California workers at every business would be given an ultimatum: et jabbed or get fired. The Democrat also said lawmakers are considering vaccine legislation that would affect customers entering businesses.
    California businesses big and small would have to require all workers to get vaccinated against COVID-19 under a new bill unveiled Friday by East Bay Assemblymember Buffy Wicks. If lawmakers approve the proposal, the Golden State would become the first state to implement such a sweeping mandate, which would apply not only to employees but also independent contractors. “People are craving stability,” the Oakland Democrat said. “We can make that stability happen together.” The move comes after the U.S. Supreme Court blocked a nationwide vaccine mandate for large employers the Biden administration had hoped to implement. That decision, Wicks said, put the onus on Sacramento to act. “It’s up to the states to decide,” Wicks said. “We feel very strong about our legal footing here.” Assembly Bill 1993 would allow for limited medical or religious exemptions, but require testing for anyone who remains unvaccinated. The bill would require new hires to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by the time they start, and a second dose within 45 days. Businesses that do not comply would face a...
    Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday signed into law a measure that provides most California workers with up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave, marking a major victory for labor unions and a pivotal step that policymakers hope will continue the state’s downward trend in new coronavirus cases. “Businesses cannot thrive in a world that’s failing,” Newsom said during a news briefing at Oakland restaurant NIDO’s Backyard. “That’s why sick leave is foundational, and keeping people healthy, keeping partons safe is so important.” The move comes after months of labor unions and their employees calling on the California Legislature and Newsom to reinstate the state’s sick leave mandate amid the rapid surge of the Omnicron variant. The state’s previous sick leave policy expired last September, leaving workers with only the state minimum requirement of three paid sick days. The new law will be retroactive to Jan.1 and expire Sept. 30 — a provision that will especially benefit workers who were infected at the height of the Omicron surge. It features many of the same components as the 2021 policy...
    California’s Legislature passed a bill that would give workers up to two weeks of paid time off if they should get sick from COVID-19. The legislation will offer additional paid sick leave for COVID-19 on top of workers’ regular three days of sick leave. A previous statewide program giving extra paid time off ended in September. “By extending sick leave to front-line workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive,” said California Gov. Gavin Newsom. WATCH: NIKKI HALEY SAYS SHE DOESN'T LIKE THAT PENCE SAID TRUMP WAS 'WRONG' The new leave program will be retroactive to Jan. 1 and last until Sept. 30. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER Newsom is expected to sign the bill after it passed the state Assembly with a 55-7 vote and the state Senate with a 30-7 vote Monday. News California Legislation Workers Coronavirus
    SACRAMENTO (AP) — When Crystal Orozco got sick with the coronavirus last month, she missed nearly two weeks’ worth of her salary as a shift leader at a fast food restaurant and had to ask family members for a loan to help pay her rent. “My check was literally $86,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god.’” READ MORE: 'Power of the Dog,' 'Dune' Leads Oscar NominationsNow, Orozco is likely to get that money back. The California Legislature passed a bill Monday requiring many companies to give workers up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus. The bill is retroactive to Jan. 1, so Orozco could be eligible for backpay for the days she missed when she was sick. At the start of the pandemic, state and federal laws required most employers to give workers paid time off for the coronavirus. But many of those laws expired as more people got vaccinated and case numbers declined. California’s law expired in September. Since then, omicron — a more contagious version of the coronavirus...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — When Crystal Orozco got sick with the coronavirus last month, she missed nearly two weeks’ worth of her salary as a shift leader at a fast food restaurant and had to ask family members for a loan to help pay her rent. “My check was literally $86,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh my god.’” READ MORE: California To Lift Mask Mandate For Some As Omicron Cases FallNow, Orozco is likely to get that money back. The California Legislature passed a bill Monday requiring many companies to give workers up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus. The bill is retroactive to Jan. 1, so Orozco could be eligible for backpay for the days she missed when she was sick. At the start of the pandemic, state and federal laws required most employers to give workers paid time off for the coronavirus. But many of those laws expired as more people got vaccinated and case numbers declined. California’s law expired in September. Since then, omicron — a more contagious...
    SACRAMENTO —  California lawmakers passed legislation on Monday to provide most workers with up to two weeks of COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave, a move policymakers hope will slow the spread of the coronavirus across the state. “We all are quite aware of the surge of COVID-19 cases, and this act will help ensure that those employees that are sick can take the paid sick leave that they need so all of us are protected,” said Sen. Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley). For months, labor unions lobbied legislators and Gov. Gavin Newsom to renew the state’s sick leave mandate that expired in September. The new policy includes many of the same provisions of the 2021 law with some new rules negotiated by the business community to prevent abuse of the system. The Legislature passed the proposal in conjunction with several other bills that provide companies with relief from unrelated tax limits the state placed on businesses in the early stages of the pandemic, and give Gov. Gavin Newsom an additional $1.9 billion in state budget funds for testing and vaccinations,...
    As many California businesses continue struggling under the pandemic, members of Congress are pushing for antitrust legislation that would break up digital tools and online services that assist small enterprises. While this misguided legislation targets large tech companies, consumers and small businesses will suffer. The current package of antitrust bills in the House, aimed at a select number of tech companies, would prohibit certain platforms from promoting their products on their own sites, break up integrated services offered by large companies, and prohibit mergers of a certain size. California businesses are uniquely vulnerable to this legislation. Our tech industry supports more than 1.8 million jobs and accounts for more than a quarter of America’s nearly $2 trillion innovation economy. For example: Many of the 2 million businesses that use Amazon as a sales channel would lose customer access. Local restaurants would no longer appear on Google maps or in business reviews because those features would be considered as unfairly competing with rival services. Golden State consumers would also suffer. Historically, antitrust policy has focused on protecting the consumer, including access...
    California workers will soon again have access to as much as two weeks paid time off for COVID-related sick leave, under a deal announced today by the governor and legislative leaders. The agreement comes amid the continued omicron surge and the resulting labor shortage across the state’s workforce, including health care, schools and public transit. And it may be just in time: The number of Californians who were not working in the last month because they or a family member had COVID-19 increased by 320%, according to a California Budget and Policy Center analysis of census data. California workers have been without extra paid time off for COVID – on top of just three days of regular paid sick leave – since a statewide program ended Sept. 30. But the pandemic has peaked again since then. And labor groups and advocates have been lobbying for months to restore it. Under the deal negotiated by Gov. Gavin Newsom, Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, the new leave program will be retroactive to Jan. 1 and extend...
    A thief known for his unique approach - slithering into businesses to avoid motion-activated alarms - has been caught wriggling into a gold exchange and making off with $50,000 worth of silver. Surveillance footage shows the so-called 'snake burglar' crawling on the carpet of Crown Gold Exchange in Riverside, California, about 55 mi east of Los Angeles, sometime last week. The thief broke into a vacant storefront next door, used a hammer to break the drywall, and wriggled into Crown Gold Exchange. He then spent five minutes rummaging through the back room, owner Cesar Meyer told KTLA. The burglar's approach is virtually the same as the one used in at least six robberies in Riverside in recent months, police say. At Body Tan Salon and Spa in November, a man kicked in a side window at ground level and cut through sheet rock before sliding in and emptying the register. California has been plagued by smash-and-grab looters and rising property crimes during the past year. Scroll down for video  Surveillance footage shows the so-called 'snake burglar' crawling on the carpet of Crown...
    SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California workers would get up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus while businesses would get up to $6 billion in tax cuts and other assistance under a proposal endorsed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state's top legislative leaders.California had a similar law in place last year, but it expired in September as the spread of the virus slowed significantly. But since then, a more contagious version of the virus has spread quickly through California and the rest of the world. Labor unions - major donors to Democratic politicians in California - have pressured state officials to bring the paid sick leave law back.Business groups have opposed the extra sick leave as many industries are already struggling to retain workers during the pandemic. Last year, businesses could get a federal tax credit to offset some of the costs. But that tax credit is not available this year.Instead, Newsom and legislative leaders have agreed to end some some tax increases on businesses. These tax increases were imposed in 2020...
    California Gov. Gavin NewsomGavin NewsomCalifornia bill would require all schoolchildren to be vaccinated against COVID-19 Virginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media Equilibrium/Sustainability — Solar-powered cars on the EV horizon MORE (D) has reached a deal with the state legislature to require employers to provide workers with up to two weeks of paid COVID-19 sick leave.  The new legislation, announced on Wednesday, will apply to all businesses with 26 or more employers.  According to The Los Angeles Times, the state legislature passed a similar law last year that provided 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for workers. It expired on Sept. 30.  The previous plan did not require a positive COVID-19 test to use all of the benefits and when it expired, state workers were left with a state minimum of three paid sick days. Employers will be required to provide up to 40 hours of flexible paid leave to full-time workers who are sick or caring for a family member and require proof of a positive test to qualify for an additional 40 hours of time off.  Part-time employees...
    SACRAMENTO (AP) – California workers would get up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus while businesses would get up to $6 billion in tax cuts and other assistance under a proposal endorsed Tuesday by Gov. Gavin Newsom and the state’s top legislative leaders. California had a similar law in place last year, but it expired in September as the spread of the virus slowed significantly. But since then, a more contagious version of the virus has spread quickly through California and the rest of the world. Labor unions – major donors to Democratic politicians in California – have pressured state officials to bring the paid sick leave law back. READ MORE: Procession Carries Fallen Elk Grove Officer Ty Lenehan Through Neighborhood He ServedBusiness groups have opposed the extra sick leave as many industries are already struggling to retain workers during the pandemic. Last year, businesses could get a federal tax credit to offset some of the costs. But that tax credit is not available this year. Instead, Newsom and legislative leaders have...
    LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — With COVID-19 cases still at record highs in California, lawmakers have reached a deal to bring back COVID sick pay for workers through the end of September. Supplemental paid sick leave for California workers, which applied to businesses with 26 or more employees, had expired last September. But with COVID infections fueled by the Omicron variant at a new high, labor unions and workers had called for its return so people who tested positive could afford to stay home. With Omicron surging in California and the potential of other variants right around the corner, we can’t waste any time in reinstating COVID paid sick leave.#CALeg & @CAgovernor @GavinNewsom, lets get #PaidSickDaysNow done! pic.twitter.com/pVyo4ezHCV — California Labor Federation (@CaliforniaLabor) January 25, 2022 Tuesday’s deal, which would be retroactive to Jan. 1, will require employers to provide up to 40 hours of paid leave to full-time workers who are sick or caring for a loved one. Proof of a positive test would be required to qualify for an additional 40 hours of paid leave. The deal provides...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – Amid the omicron surge, COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave is poised to return to California under an agreement between Gov. Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders. According to a statement from Newsom’s office, the agreement would restore the supplemental paid sick leave through September 30, after the program expired late last year. READ MORE: Oakland Police Arrest Suspect In Violent Shoving of Elderly Woman In Chinatown“Throughout this pandemic, we have come together to address the immediate impacts COVID-19 continues to have on millions of California families, both at home and at work,” Newsom said. “By extending sick leave to frontline workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce, while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive.” Under the program, workers would have up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave for COVID-19 reasons, when caring for oneself or a family member who is infected or told to quarantine. The leave applies to all employers with 26 or more employees, including those with...
    Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers said Tuesday they have worked out a deal to bring back paid COVID-19 sick leave. The agreement, which comes after a similar law passed in 2021 expired several months ago, would give workers access to supplemental paid sick leave through Sept. 30. The framework, according to the Los Angeles Times, would provide two weeks of leave to full-time workers at businesses with at least 26 employees. It would cover workers who are sick with the coronavirus and those caring for loved ones with COVID-19. The leave would be retroactive to Jan. 1. The deal also proposes restoring suspended tax credits in a bid to help businesses shoulder the costs of the extra paid leave. The legislation is expected to reach Newsom’s desk in the coming weeks. “By extending sick leave to frontline workers with COVID and providing support for California businesses, we can help protect the health of our workforce, while also ensuring that businesses and our economy are able to thrive,” Newsom said in a join statement with Senate President pro Tempore Toni...
    SACRAMENTO —  Gov. Gavin Newsom and state lawmakers reached an agreement Tuesday to again require employers to provide workers with up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to recover from COVID-19 or care for a family member with the virus. The legislation, which lawmakers would likely fast-track to the governor in the coming weeks, would apply to all businesses with 26 or more employees. A similar law from 2021 that provided 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave expired Sept. 30. Labor unions pushed the new proposal at the Capitol as California grapples with the rapid spread of the Omicron variant. State officials hope the deal, which also boosts early budget funding for COVID-19 response to $1.8 billion, will encourage workers with the virus to stay home and help slow transmission. Companies across California would have to absorb the costs of additional paid time off for workers. In an attempt to help some businesses, the agreement includes separate proposals to restore tax credits that were suspended and capped two years ago when state officials feared the pandemic...
    CONCORD (KPIX) — New Cal OSHA COVID guidelines for the workplace that will go into effect soon have some concerned about additional demand on testing sites. For the most part, California’s COVID rules remain the same, though there are some changes to masking and testing requirements. READ MORE: Sentencing Of Elizabeth Holmes In Theranos Fraud Case Delayed Until Late September“Well the new rules will slow business for me, that’s what it means” says Habib Jacifi, owner of Concord’s Luna Ristorante. “A lot of my customers are nervous to come inside the restaurant.” While pandemic fears continue to be a drag on business, Luna Ristorante is prepared for the new guidelines. Masks must be surgical or medical grade. Or if a cloth mask is being used, it must have at least two layers. “We do have plenty of masks,” said Jacifi. “We have backups for our guests as well.” A change regarding testing is raising more concerns. The state is trying to avoid people passing off someone else’s negative at-home test as their own. That means someone who needs to be...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A new California law for tree trimming companies doubles their workers’ compensation insurance rates for those using the state fund. It will impact thousands of companies in the industry across the Golden State and their options. Max Echols is on the hunt for a new insurance policy for his tree care business after workers’ compensation rates went up 100%. READ MORE: WATCH: Stockton Police Release Video Of Fatal OIS Outside Headquarters“It’s just going to be ridiculous,” he said. “It could put businesses under.” Echols used to pay the state fund $25 for every $100 he pays his employees. As of 2022, that rate jumps to more than $50. “As a small business, I can’t afford something like that,” Echols said. “I’m not going to name any names, but I know a number of companies that have people off the books because they have to.” The state workers’ compensation fund is the insurer of last resort. Echols has been in business long enough that other companies will provide coverage. “This is a huge decision from them because they...
    Five years after Californians voted to legalize cannabis and create the world’s biggest regulated marijuana market, many owners of cannabis businesses say they’ve reached a breaking point. On the one hand, California’s licensed cannabis industry is delivering more tax money to the state than forecasters projected in 2016. Normalization of the industry also continues, with the first state-sanctioned cannabis competition coming in 2022. And new laws will kick in that are intended to help some cannabis entrepreneurs and medical marijuana patients. But even as the legal industry is growing, California’s illicit cannabis market remains at least twice as large as the regulated one. As a result, licensed cannabis operators — who are undercut by illicit operators — are threatening to withhold tax payments if regulators don’t come up with a fix. Corporations also continue to gobble up smaller marijuana businesses, as the window to change cannabis laws on a federal level while Democrats control Congress inches shut. Here are five things to watch for in California’s cannabis industry in 2022. New laws kick in Of the 30 or so cannabis bills...
              by Cole Lauterbach   Copper State small business owners appear to have embraced the local colloquialism “Don’t California my Arizona,” according to results of a new survey. The Arizona chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business released its annual poll of Main St. entrepreneurs Monday. NFIB got responses to three questions from 247 small business owners across the state this month. The first of those questions was about California’s use of the “ABC test” to determine whether an employee is eligible as an independent contractor or a higher-priced full-time worker entitled to benefits and leave. The legal test asks if the worker “is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business;” and whether the worker is “customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as that involved in the work performed.” The test was implemented with the...
      Two men smashed display cases and fled with products from a T-Mobile outlet in the 1200 block of North Lake Avenue in Pasadena on Monday night, Dec. 13, police said. (Image courtesy of Google Maps)  As if recovering from the mammoth jolt of the COVID-19 pandemic wasn’t tough enough, the holidays for retailers have been further complicated by a wave of violent smash-and-grab robberies. The crimes have alarmed retailers and consumers during the peak shopping season and sent law enforcement and elected officials for solutions and the money to fund them. Over Thanksgiving weekend, 20 people swarmed a Nordstrom store at The Grove shopping center, using a sledgehammer to smash the store’s window and stealing thousands of dollars in goods. Days later, a group of thieves broke into Westfield Topanga mall’s Nordstrom in Canoga Park, assaulting a security guard and fleeing with $25,000-worth of merchandise. In one stunning robbery at a Home Depot in Lakewood last month, a group of at least eight young men bolted into the store to grabs tools, including hammers, crowbars, wrenches and sledgehammers, according...
    California restaurants and grocery stores have filed a lawsuit to stop the implementation of a new farm animal welfare law. The proposed law would improve the conditions of breeding pigs, egg-laying chickens, and veal calves, making sure that they have ample space to live in and are treated humanely. The law was voted on and approved in 2018 but has suffered a 3-year delay due to grocers trying to stop it from going into effect. This new law has faced so much backlash because food retailers worry that it may result in pork products being more expensive or in shorter supply, due to the cost of meeting the law’s requirements.  Josh Balk, who leads farm animal protection efforts at the Humane Society of the United States, has tried to reassure worried California residents. Although grocers are pushing the fear that there will be no pork available in California under the new law, Balk says that there is no reason for California residents to fear the “pork industry claims of the apocalypse.” Experts state that the price increase would be...
    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Though California has again mandated masks in indoor public settings, the state granted exemptions to Contra Costa, Marin and San Francisco counties for gyms and other businesses already requiring all patrons to be totally vaccinated. The previous mandate was lifted Nov. 1. But rising case numbers statewide and the looming threat of the new Omicron variant prompted the state to again require masks in most public places, at least until Jan. 15. READ MORE: Ex-Worker Accused Of Embezzling $2M From Marin County Emergency Rental Assistance Program“The limited exceptions we made are for very low-risk scenarios where everyone is vaccinated,” Dr. Chris Farnitano, health officer for Contra Costa County, said in a statement. “Our community already understands and is following these rules and it would be confusing to change them for just one month.” Those scenarios include office settings, commuter vehicles, religious gatherings, and college classes where certain criteria are met. Those present must be fully vaccinated, there should be no more than 100 people present, the site shouldn’t be open to the general public,...
    Two California businesses reported threats of arson over enforcing local and state COVID-19 restrictions and vaccine mandates. Body Kinetics Health Club, a gym located in San Rafael, and the Papermill Creek Saloon, a restaurant located in Forest Knolls, have received similar threatening notes over their enforcement of certain coronavirus restrictions and mandates, according to ABC7 . The notes both threatened to "burn" the businesses to the ground if certain restrictions weren't removed. "You're going to have a few people who don't like it, but no one has gotten weird like this behind it," said David Wilson, the owner of the Papermill Creek Saloon. NEW JERSEY GYM OWNERS REOPEN UNDER THREAT OF LOSING BUSINESS LICENSE Wilson said he was unlocking the restaurant when a man dressed in black clothing and a ski mask entered the building and dropped a note. "If the vaccine passport isn't removed by this time next week, this place will burn," the note reportedly read. The health club received a similarly worded threat the following evening, with the handwriting appearing...
    A California-based private security company has said that they are having difficulties keeping up with the demand for their services as small businesses "panic" to acquire protection amid an onslaught of smash and grab crimes. During an appearance on "Fox & Friends First," Omni Private Security Services CEO Joseph Farag said many of the small businesses aren’t able to afford their services. "Sometimes we have to do it at cost even just to get these businesses covered, and then they can’t even keep us for that long. And it’s really, really disheartening, but we’re just trying to keep up with the demand." SMASH-AND-GRAB ROBBERIES PLAGUE CITIES WITH LIBERAL DISTRICT ATTORNEYS Farag went on to describe the influx of calls as a "tough situation" that has put his guards and other business’ customers at risk and laid the blame squarely on liberal policies in cities across the U.S that provide "no consequences" for criminals. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 13: Products are displayed in locked security cabinets at a Walgreens store that is set to be closed in the coming...
    SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Thousands of athletes hit Sacramento tonight ahead of the 38th annual California International Marathon. The race, which took a year off due to the pandemic, is now a much-needed multi-million-dollar boost for local businesses. With 9,000 runners and 1,000 relay-runners in the area, businesses are already starting to see an uptick in sales. READ MORE: 'Thousands Of Dollars In Damage;' Sacramento Sideshow Organizer Arrested In North NatomasIt’s not just hotels and restaurants, but other businesses particularly along the racecourse are seeing a flood of customers. Because the course goes through Folsom, Orangevale, Fair Oaks—just to name a few—it’s not only downtown Sacramento that is benefitting from the crowds. READ MORE: Tracy City Council To Consider Appointing New City Manager At Upcoming Council MeetingWith upwards of 10,000 runners in town, the estimated financial impact for the region is in the area of 10 million dollars. This comes from a combination of an estimated 7,500 hotel bookings as well as other forms of tourism and dining. Set to start at 7 a.m. on Sunday, the racecourse is already buzzing...
    FOLSOM (AP) — The Hampton Inn in Folsom, California, has 147 rooms but General Manager Enid Baldock could only rent 117 of them recently because she did not have enough workers to clean them. “I was turning people away with 30 rooms (available). Ridiculous,” she said while stuffing bedsheets down a laundry chute to help our her skeleton housekeeping staff. At the Palladio, a nearby shopping center with 85 stores and restaurants just off a busy highway, businesses appeared more focused on attracting workers than customers as “now hiring” signs outnumbered Black Friday fliers. Mac, a cosmetic retailer, was advertising a $1,500 bonus for anyone who would agree to work full time. Businesses struggled to get through the Great Recession more than a decade ago with minimal staff because low demand forced them to lay off workers. But the opposite is playing out in the pandemic, this time with lots of demand but fewer workers willing to return following government-imposed lockdowns. Experts point to a number of factors, including the high cost of child care, more generous government benefits and...
    FOLSOM (AP) — The Hampton Inn in Folsom, California, has 147 rooms, but General Manager Enid Baldock could only rent 117 of them recently because she did not have enough workers to clean them. “I was turning people away with 30 rooms (available). Ridiculous,” she said while stuffing bedsheets down a laundry chute to help out her skeleton housekeeping staff. READ MORE: CBS13 Poll: Did You Do Any Black Friday Shopping This Year?At the Palladio, a nearby shopping center with 85 stores and restaurants just off a busy highway, businesses appeared more focused on attracting workers than customers as “now hiring” signs outnumbered Black Friday fliers. Mac, a cosmetic retailer, was advertising a $1,500 bonus for anyone who would agree to work full time. Businesses struggled to get through the Great Recession more than a decade ago with minimal staff because low demand forced them to lay off workers. But the opposite is playing out in the pandemic, this time with lots of demand but fewer workers willing to return following government-imposed lockdowns. Experts point to a number of factors,...
    The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration suspended Wednesday its requirement that large employers nationwide ensure their workers are either vaccinated against COVID-19 or tested weekly for the virus by Jan. 4, throwing President Biden’s controversial mandate into doubt. The decision followed a stay the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans granted Friday in a lawsuit seeking to block the mandate filed on behalf of various companies, religious groups, private citizens and the states of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Utah. The court granted the stay after concluding the mandate is “fatally flawed” and the lawsuit likely to succeed. “Its promulgation grossly exceeds OSHA’s statutory authority,” the court ruled. OSHA said Wednesday that since the court ordered that it “take no steps to implement or enforce” the mandate “until further court order,” the agency “has suspended activities related to the implementation and enforcement” of the requirement “pending future developments in the litigation.” “OSHA remains confident in its authority to protect workers in emergencies,” the agency said. Though California is outside the jurisdiction of the 5th Circuit...
    The city of Los Angeles is moving toward dropping malls and shopping centers from its recently implemented COVID-19 vaccine verification requirements. With no discussion, the City Council voted 10-0 Friday to ask the city attorney to revise the local ordinance to make that change, as well as to specify that the rules would apply only to those who are at least 12 years old. It’s unclear, however, when those revisions might go into effect. Any tweaked language would have to go back to the council for consideration at a later date. Until then, the existing rules remain in place. California L.A. won’t immediately ticket businesses that violate strict vaccine mandate rules Like Los Angeles County as a whole, city officials say they will initially focus on education and outreach to bring facilities into compliance. The city’s program, dubbed SafePassLA, is among the strictest in the nation, requiring proof of full COVID-19 vaccination to enter not just indoor shopping centers, but indoor restaurants, movie theaters, hair and nail salons, coffee shops, gyms, museums, bowling...
    VACAVILLE (CBS13) — At least one person died in a crash along Interstate 505 near Vacaville Thursday night, the California Highway Patrol said. The CHP said the crash was reported just after 10:45 p.m. in the southbound lanes of the freeway just north of Midway Road. READ MORE: No More Wire Hangers? Supply Chain Crisis Now Impacting Businesses You Least ExpectMultiple vehicles were involved, though investigators did not say exactly how many cars or people were involved in the crash. READ MORE: Will Outdoor Ice Rink Help Bring Downtown K Street Businesses Back?As of 11:15 p.m., all southbound lanes of the highway were closed in the area and at least one northbound lane was closed due to debris in the roadway. The closure was expected to be in place for an extended period of time. MORE NEWS: UC Davis Study Says Animal Crossings Could Save California BillionsThe identity of the deceased has not yet been released.
    WALNUT CREEK, Calif. (KGO) -- It's a Friday night and Ryan Wagner decided to take his kids to Putters Putt Putt, an outdoor mini golf course in Walnut Creek."We were looking for things to do that were outside," he said.Throughout the year, his kids were not eligible for the vaccine. However, that is now changed. He plans to get his kids vaccinated this weekend."They will be getting their vaccinations tomorrow," he said. "It's going to be great to finally return to some sense of normalcy."RELATED: Excitement, and some outrage: Bay Area parents react as kids become eligible for COVID-19 vaccineWagner mentioned he soon will not have issues taking his kids to indoor places. That is potentially good news for child centered businesses."I think with the vaccine it will change things," said Sean Evans, the manager at Q-Zar, a laser tag center and arcade in Concord. "We did have issues with parents not taking their kids to birthday parties or being uncomfortable around strangers."Evans said it's been a long process recovering from the pandemic. His hope is with more children getting...