As of Jan. 14, the National Labor Relation Board’s (NLRB) infamous “ambush election rules” had been in effect for three quarters. The NLRB recently conducted a review and analysis of union election data during those quarters and published its findings. The report offers data related to the new rules from April 14, 2015, through Jan. 14, 2016, and compares that data against petitions and elections that occurred under the prior rules from April 14, 2014, through Jan. 12, 2015. Interestingly, union win rates are slightly down under the new rules (down to 68 percent in union representation elections from 70 percent), and the number of total petitions has not increased drastically (up to 1624 from 1608). However, one critical change has occurred: the median time from petition to election has been truncated significantly.

Under the old rules from April 14, 2014, through January 12, 2015, the median time from a union petition being filed to election was 38 days. Under the new rules from April 14, 2015, through January 14, 2016, the median time from petition to election was 24 days – two full weeks shorter. In other words, that’s two weeks less time for companies to vet the issues giving rise to a petition and to implement a communications plan neutralizing those issues in order to remain union free.

AB 2116 by Assembly Member James M. Gallagher would require the governing board of a school district to obtain reasonable and informed projections of assessed property valuations from an independent third party not associated with the bond measure before placing a bond measure on a ballot. The media has covered the outrageous behavior of some school districts and their lack of fiduciary responsibility.

AB 2286 by Assembly Member Kevin Mullin would increase various CSLB fee limitations and would additionally provide that the application fee to add personnel to an existing license be no more than $150. The bill would also increase the delinquent renewal penalty.

AB 2302 by Assembly Member Matthew Harper would urge the regents to refrain from forming a labor institute at the University of California, Irvine. The UC funds labor institutes at UCLA and UC Berkeley. Apparently, Mr. Harper believes two state-funded labor institutes suffice. Maybe Irvine should look at the UC itself. The Dean of UC Law School was sued for sexual harassment by his assistant. "The suit, filed in Alameda County Superior Court, claims that between September 2014 and March 2015 Choudhry sexually harassed Sorrell - and that when she told supervisors, they first failed to stop it and then tried to retaliate against her for complaining...Berkeley Law officials declined comment, saying it was "a personnel issue." UC reportedly ordered Choudhry to write a letter of apology and docked his pay for a year!

SB 1209 by Senator Mike Morrell would require that disclosure of citations issued by CSLB also appear, for the period of disclosure of the citation, on the license record of any other license that was issued, or was associated with the license subject to the citation, on or after the date of the act or omission that led to the citation and the other license includes a member of the personnel of record who, at the time that the act or omission occurred that led to the citation, was identified as a qualifier of the license subject to the citation.

Under existing law, the Division of Occupational Safety and Health has adopted regulations establishing a heat illness prevention standard for outdoor workers. SB 1167 by Senator Connie Leyva would require the division, by July 1, 2017, to propose to the standards board for its adoption, a heat illness and injury prevention standard applicable to indoor workers that provides equal or greater protection.

Current law allows parents to take up to 40 hours of unpaid, job-protected time off for school activities and school-related emergencies. AB 2405 by Assembly Member Mike Gatto, will require that 24 hours of those 40 be paid time off for each calendar year.

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