California Has A New Governor, But How Will This Impact Employment Law?

By: JML Law | November 8, 2018.
California Has A New Governor, But How Will This Impact Employment Law?

Jerry Brown, the longest-serving California governor, has recently finished his fourth term in office (1975-1983 and 2011-2019), which leaves employers and employees in the Golden Stateuncertain about their future.

How will Governor-Elect Gavin Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco and state lieutenant governor, reshape California’s employment law? This is the question on everyone’s mind nowadays, and our Los Angeles employment law attorney is going to predict the future of California’s legislature during Newsom’s term in office.

Before we get started, do keep in mind that Brown was not a big fan of pro-employer laws and regulations, though he did protect employers in certain cities from radical anti-employer measures by vetoing legislature that was often sent to him for signature.

Based on Newsom’s rhetoric and actions, it is unlikely that the new California governor will divert the state from its current pro-employee and union-friendly course. However, there are quite a few laws and regulations California employers and employees should keep an eye on in the next few months or so.

Newsom’s approach to anti-harassment laws

Inspired by the #MeToo movement and several anti-harassment laws and regulations that have already been passed into law in California, Newsom has previously announced his plans to strengthen workplace protections for employees in the state by establishing hotlines for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace, encouraging transparent, unbiased, and independent investigations, as well as introducing harsher legal penalties for harassers, abusers, and gropers at work.

Not long ago, some of the biggest companies in the United States, including Google, Uber, and Microsoft, have ended mandatory arbitration of employee sexual harassment claims. “Meaning: from now on, employees of these companies have a legal right to sue their employers or coworkers in state of federal court,” explains our experienced employment law attorney in Los Angeles.

Some experts argue that Newsom could put an end to statewide employee arbitration and promote transparency in order to help employees all across Californiaseek justice for being victims of sexual harassment at work.

Former California Governor Brown has repeatedly vetoed proposed legislation that prohibited mandatory arbitration in employment agreements, arguing that such legislation would be inconsistent with and preempted by federal law. Despite this, experts expect the new governor to give the green light to the proposed legislation that prohibits mandatory arbitration in employment agreements in California.

The new Governor’s plans on introducing wage insurance to those who lose jobs to automation

Governor Newsom’s approach to reshaping California’s employment law during his four-year term can be predicted based on his website statements about the California economy, which he proudly calls “the future of work.” One of the many proposed conditions of Newsom’s program is introducing wage insurance to those who lose their jobs to automation and robots. Also, the new California Governor calls for an expansion of the earned income tax credit.

What many California residents do not realize is that Newsom’s campaign for governor was largely funded by contributions from labor unions. Thus, it comes with no surprise that his actions as governor will be directed toward benefitting those same unions.

Former Gov. Brown has taken multiple steps to limit the rights of government employees who refuse to join or wish to leave a union, and the new California Governor is expected to keep the state on its union-friendly course.

Besides the above-mentioned, Gov. Newsom is expected to introduce quite a few other changes to California’s employment law. Speak to our Los Angeles employment law attorney at JML Law to hear more predictions regarding Gov. Newsom’s term in office. Get a free consultation by calling 818-610-8800.

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