Posts Tagged: contract

Opinion

For many workers, ‘gig economy’ has a dark side

A delivery person -- an independent contractor? -- on the job. (Photo: Davide Bonaldo, via Shutterstock)

The expanding gig economy in California is often praised for giving workers flexibility and independence. Be your own boss, set your own schedule, companies tout, and these companies would like us to think that drivers, cleaners and personal shoppers actually prefer the gig economy to traditional employment. The rosy spin ignores the reality for California’s low-wage workers.

News

Lease-a-dog? You’re kidding, right?

Bubba, a dog who found an owner after a year in a shelter. (Photo: Photography by Adri, via Shutterstock)

Should customers be able to lease dogs and cats in the same way they rent cars, apartments or furniture? California legislators think not. Both houses overwhelmingly approved Assembly Bill 1491, which would outlaw the practice beginning Jan. 1. The bill is now awaiting final action from Gov. Jerry Brown.

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Stem cell agency loses key executive

Synthetic cells, a 3D illustration. (Jurik Peter, via Shutterstock)

The $3 billion California stem cell agency said it is losing one of its top leaders, James Harrison, one of the authors of the measure that created the agency and who most recently is serving as its “unflappable” general counsel.

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Pension initiative draws unions’ fire

School workers at a labor rally in Bakersfield. (Photo: Richard Thornton, Shutterstock)

A union coalition contends that a proposed initiative is being falsely portrayed as only a potential cut in pensions for new employees, when in fact it could cut or eliminate pensions earned by current employees for work done in the future. One of the initiative authors, former San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed, disagrees with the union reading of the proposal. But it’s a key pension reform issue that could lead to another disputed initiative title and summary.

News

Legislative legacy: Big bucks for retirees’ health care

Cannery Row workers of the 1950s depicted in an artistic cutout. (Photo: Mr. Interior/Shutterstock)

The debt or “unfunded liability” state Controller John Chiang reported last week for state worker retiree health care, $72 billion, is larger than the unfunded liability for state worker pensions reported by CalPERS in April, $50 billion. It’s a legislative legacy, a debt for state worker services received by one generation that lawmakers decided to let the next generations inherit.

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Brown vetoes hospital merger bill

As a deadline loomed, Gov. Brown struck down legislation to grant state Attorney General Kamala Harris more authority over nonprofit hospital mergers. The attorney general — a position he once held — already has sufficient authority, he said Monday in his veto message.

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Hospitals see ‘chilling effect’ in A.G.’s power over mergers

LInda Vista Community Hospital in Los Angeles, formerly Santa Fe Coast Lines Hospital. (Photo: Downtowngal, Wikimedia)

State Attorney General Kamala Harris wants unprecedented authority over contracts dealing with nonprofit hospitals, after a deal in Southern California caused abortion-rights activists to cry foul. On the governor’s desk is a bill that would give the attorney general’s office more time, from 60 to 90 days, to review such deals.

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Legal questions trail pension ruling

But a series of state court rulings are widely believed to mean that the pension offered current workers on the date of hire becomes a vested right, protected by contract law, that can only be cut if offset by a new benefit of comparable value. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Patricia Lucas said in her ruling the question before her court is “one of law, not of policy,” referring to a state Supreme Court response to city and county briefs on an Orange County attempt to cut retirement costs.

News

Power politics at OC transit board

A shift in power at the Orange County Transportation Authority board in part reflects a dispute over power in the largest town in OCTA’s jurisdiction – Anaheim. Major issues are at stake, as OCTA is a significant entity in O.C. ruled by a politically savvy, 17-member board.

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