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2014 California laws: Blessings for employees and immigrants

Posted On 2014 Jan 07
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by : Rey Andres

EDITH Z. DI VOLUNTEERS TO CELEBRATE A MILESTONE: Friends and family joined Edith Zambrano-Dimaculangan (CEO of Books ‘En More) and her husband Manny,  celebrate her 50th birthday by volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank last Dec. 28 and fulfilling her passion to fight hunger in the community.    The kind-hearted business entrepreneur is shown third at the 2nd row, left, kneeling, with her fellow volunteers.

EDITH Z. DI VOLUNTEERS TO CELEBRATE A MILESTONE: Friends and family joined Edith Zambrano-Dimaculangan (CEO of Books ‘En More) and her husband Manny, celebrate her 50th birthday by volunteering at the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank last Dec. 28 and fulfilling her passion to fight hunger in the community. The kind-hearted business entrepreneur is shown third at the 2nd row, left, kneeling, with her fellow volunteers.

Californians woke up January 1st greeted by new laws many see as a bundle of blessings and protections for “vulnerable low income workers, immigrants who are in the country illegally, domestic care givers and farm workers.” Also benefitting from new laws are transgender students, same sex couples, women seeking abortions, the homeless, prison inmates who committed crimes as juveniles and celebrities with young children.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed 805 bills into law in 2013 and said no to 96 others. The Democratic leaders of both the Assembly and the Senate had in mind the protection of the workers who are reeling from recession. The labor front has considered the year 2013 as a banner year for workers with the benefits of the laws being felt immediately and has established California as a “national leader in protecting the rights of workers.”

The Republicans saw the new laws in a different perspective claiming they “will harm California’s business climate.”

In a dramatic and far-reaching move, minimum wage workers will be paid $9 starting July pushing the base of the two-dollar –an-hour boost to $110 base wage by 2016 and “giving the state of California one of the nation’s highest rates.”

Under the new law, domestic workers must be paid time-and-a- half if they work more than nine hours in a day or more than 45 hours in a week. Baby sitters, however, are exempt from the law.

Workers in the agriculture and landscaping industries will now get rest breaks during hot weather.

ALL FILIPINO CHRISTMAS AT JACOBS: The Filipino work-force of Jacobs, one the world’s largest  engineering firms, held an all-Filipino Christmas celebration at the residence of Dione and Benny Bunnao, the first time ever for the Filipino engineers, technical staff  and their families to gathered  in the spirit of camaraderie to celebrate the event.  The party was also turned into a fundraising event for Yolanda Supertyphoon victims in the Philippines.

ALL FILIPINO CHRISTMAS AT JACOBS: The Filipino work-force of Jacobs, one the world’s largest engineering firms, held an all-Filipino Christmas celebration at the residence of Dione and Benny Bunnao, the first time ever for the Filipino engineers, technical staff and their families to gathered in the spirit of camaraderie to celebrate the event. The party was also turned into a fundraising event for Yolanda Supertyphoon victims in the Philippines.

In protecting the immigrants who are in the country illegally, they now enjoy new rights and protections by making it a  crime “for employers to report workers to immigration authorities as a form of retaliation for worker-related complaints” and for anyone extorting money from those in the country illegally by threatening to report their legal status.

Moreover, local law enforcement agencies can no longer detain immigrants for deportation if they are arrested for a minor crime and are eligible to be released from custody. They are also prohibited from requiring immigration or citizenship papers before releasing crime reports and other public records.

A new law that takes effect in 2015 grants immigrants the added mobility they have long fought for by giving a right to have a driver’s license.

Other laws in effect add job protections for victims of domestic violence and other crimes; prohibiting employers from firing an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking or dismiss a victim of certain crimes who takes time off for a court hearing.

The 800 new state laws also deal with electric cars and low-emission vehicles, celebrities on paparazzi limits, neglect of children and child abuse, crimes, drugs, environment, gender, government, guns and health.

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