I have often said that we would be better off when we elect officials to force them to remove two crappy laws in order to pass any new law.
With that said, they are not going to do it. Why not? Because elected officials rely on lobbyists to govern us and restricting lobbying efforts that payoff special interest groups would be too upsetting to how our government “works”. I put works in quotes because I obviously do not subscribe to the theory that there is anything that is working in either Washington or in the State Capitols across this once great nation.
Enough “venting”. Here is a brief description of new, complex, confusing, and largely (in my humble opinion) unnecessary laws that WILL EFFECT you in 2021. I have also included how our elected officials voted on these new laws-“Welcome to Doing Business in California”!!:
- Assembly Bill No. 685-This bill would require a public or private employer or representative of the employer, except as specified, that receives a notice of potential exposure to COVID-19 to provide specified notifications to its employees within one business day of the notice of potential exposure. The bill would require the employer to provide prescribed notice to all employees, and the employers of subcontracted employees, who were on the premises at the same worksite as a qualifying individual, as defined, within the infectious period, as defined, that they may have been exposed to COVID-19. The bill would require notice to the exclusive representative, if any, of notified employees. The bill would require an employer to provide those employees and any exclusive representative with certain information regarding COVID-19-related benefits and options. The bill would require an employer to notify all employees, the employers of subcontracted employees, and any exclusive representative on the disinfection and safety plan that the employer plans to implement and complete per the guidelines of the federal Centers for Disease Control. The bill would require an employer to maintain records of notifications for at least 3 years. The bill would provide for a specified civil penalty for an employer that violates the notification requirements. The bill would define additional terms for its purposes.
Bill Text – AB-685 COVID-19: imminent hazard to employees: exposure: notification: serious violations.
Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooper, Daly, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, O’Donnell, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Mark Stone, Ting, Weber, Wicks, Wood, Rendon
Bigelow, Brough, Chen, Choi, Cunningham, Megan Dahle, Diep, Flora, Fong, Gallagher, Kiley, Lackey, Mathis, Mayes, Obernolte, Patterson, Waldron
- Assembly Bill No. 979-This bill requires publicly held corporations to have their Board of Directors include more women, more Hispanics, more African Americans, and more Pacific Islander ethnicity on their Board by the end of 2021. The bill would require, no later than the close of the 2022 calendar year, such a corporation with more than 4 but fewer than 9 directors to have a minimum of 2 directors from underrepresented communities, and such a corporation with 9 or more directors to have a minimum of 3 directors from underrepresented communities.
Bill Text – AB-979 Corporations: boards of directors: underrepresented communities. (ca.gov)
Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Smith, Mark Stone, Ting, Weber, Wood, Rendon
Bigelow, Brough, Megan Dahle, Fong, Gallagher, Kiley, Mathis, Obernolte
- Senate Bill No. 1383-This bill expands the Family Leave Act and authorizes up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth of a child to that employee or spouse of the employee.
Bill Text – SB-1383 Unlawful employment practice: California Family Rights Act.
Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gloria, Gonzalez, Holden, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Santiago, Smith, Mark Stone, Ting, Weber, Wicks, Rendon
Bigelow, Brough, Chen, Choi, Cooley, Cunningham, Megan Dahle, Flora, Fong, Gallagher, Gray, Kiley, Lackey, Mayes, Obernolte, Patterson
- Senate Bill No. 973-This bill requires additional record keeping and reporting of companies with fewer than 100 employees in order to close the “gender gap” in pay equity. This bill would require, on or before March 31, 2021, and on or before March 31 each year thereafter, a private employer that has 100 or more employees, and that is required to file an annual Employer Information Report under federal law, to submit a pay data report to the DFEH that contains specified wage information. The bill would require that the information be made available in a prescribed format. The bill would require the DFEH to make the reports available to the division upon request. The bill would authorize the DFEH, if it does not receive the required report from an employer, to seek an order requiring the employer to comply, as specified. The bill would require the DFEH to maintain the pay data reports for a minimum of 10 years and would make it unlawful for any officer or employee of the DFEH or the division to make public in any manner whatever any individually identifiable information obtained from the report prior to the institution of certain investigation or enforcement proceedings, as specified. The bill would require the Employment Development Department to provide DFEH, upon its request, as specified, with the names and addresses of all businesses with 100 or more employees.
Bill Text – SB-973 Employers: annual report: pay data. (ca.gov)
Allen, Archuleta, Atkins, Beall, Bradford, Caballero, Dodd, Durazo, Galgiani, Glazer, Lena Gonzalez, Hertzberg, Hill, Hueso, Hurtado, Jackson, Leyva, McGuire, Mitchell, Monning, Pan, Portantino, Roth, Rubio, Skinner, Stern, Umberg, Wieckowski, Wiener
Bates, Borgeas, Dahle, Grove, Melendez, Moorlach, Morrell, Nielsen
- Assembly Bill No. 3121-This bill forms a committee to study and develop reparation proposals for African Americans due to slavery. This bill would establish the Task Force to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African Americans, with a Special Consideration for African Americans Who are Descendants of Persons Enslaved in the United States, consisting of 9 members, appointed as provided. The bill would require the Task Force to, among other things, identify, compile, and synthesize the relevant corpus of evidentiary documentation of the institution of slavery that existed within the United States and the colonies. The bill would require the Task Force to recommend, among other things, the form of compensation that should be awarded, the instrumentalities through which it should be awarded, and who should be eligible for this compensation. The bill would require the Task Force to submit a written report of its findings and recommendations to the Legislature.
Aguiar-Curry, Arambula, Bauer-Kahan, Berman, Bloom, Boerner Horvath, Bonta, Burke, Calderon, Carrillo, Cervantes, Chau, Chiu, Chu, Cooley, Cooper, Daly, Friedman, Gabriel, Cristina Garcia, Eduardo Garcia, Gipson, Gloria, Gonzalez, Gray, Grayson, Holden, Irwin, Jones-Sawyer, Kalra, Kamlager, Levine, Limón, Low, Maienschein, McCarty, Medina, Mullin, Muratsuchi, Nazarian, O’Donnell, Petrie-Norris, Quirk, Quirk-Silva, Ramos, Reyes, Luz Rivas, Robert Rivas, Rodriguez, Blanca Rubio, Salas, Santiago, Smith, Mark Stone, Ting, Weber, Wood, Rendon
Bigelow, Brough, Choi, Cunningham, Megan Dahle, Fong, Gallagher, Kiley, Mathis, Obernolte, Patterson, Waldron
That’s all folks!
Covid -19 Facts
I sent a message to Jason Cunningham who runs the West County Health Department for Sonoma County, and I specifically asked about folks that have previously tested positive for Covid-19 and why they are not recommended to go in and get retested after their positive test. I know several friends who did just that, and they tested positive several months after, which led to some confusion to them and their friends and fellow employees as to whether they should be concerned with that positive test. Here is the facts from someone who knows!
Question: If someone had a positive test some weeks or months ago, and quarantined for 10 days after their onset of symptoms or the positive test, can they still be contagious?
To answer your specific questions: no need for repeat quarantine.
- After a natural infection, for some individuals, non-infectious viral particles can shed for weeks or months. The COVID-19 PCR test amplifies the genetic material from the virus and makes it very sensitive at picking up very small viral fragments and therefore can be positive for weeks to months after the infection, even though the person is not actively infected or contagious. Because of this, it is too confusing to retest at any time and don’t recommend people get tested if they have had a laboratory documented COVID-19 infection.
- Generally use the rule of thumb of 10 days after onset of symptoms (or date of initial COVID-19 test if asymptomatic) as the period in which someone could be contagious or spreading the virus to others. Afterwards, that person should be able to rest assured they are no longer a risk of spreading the disease or contracting the disease.
- Although there has been a recorded case of an individual who was reinfected with a documented different viral strain, it is so exceedingly rare to be non-existent and I think the science will show a long-term immunity with the natural infections. It may turn out to be true that mild or minimally symptomatic infections give people a shorter immunity and therefore we are recommending vaccination even if someone has had the natural infection because we have clear science behind the immune response (and likely long-term protection).
The ECA Spec Committee has continued its work over the Christmas Holiday period in order to benefit contractors, design engineers, and developers regarding private fire line permitting. To reiterate, the ECA has continued to push our accomplishments with the City of Santa Rosa and Fire Marshall Ian Hardage to address two main issues:
- Getting a Building Permit and Encroachment Permit issued hinges on getting Fire Marshall approval for private fire lines on a project. Often, the GC has not even been selected, or the GC has not selected the fire line installation contractor this early in the project. So, finding singular responsibility for design and construction of the fire line is a problem. The ECA has worked diligently with Ian Hardage and Gabe Osborn to cultivate an understanding that the Fire Marshall could approve an early design for private fire line design and permitting if it is based upon standard details and construction/design notes that the ECA promotes and stands behind with the understanding that this early approval will then allow the Building Permit to be issued as well as the Encroachment Permit. This allows the money (construction loan) to flow and project start can break ground.
- Getting the actual permit is difficult if Engineering firms or GC’s do not have a track record of exactly what the Fire Marshall will sign off on regarding private fire line permits. This is a separate issue from #1 above and the ECA will produce guidelines that project designers and GC’s can utilize and assist with the successful issuance of the Fire permit.
The ECA Spec Committee formed a small committee to gather notes and standard drawings and put them into an acceptable presentation to then offer to Ian Hardage a draft of the presentation for private fire line application permitting on or about January 12, 2021. After Ian Hardage has reviewed our presentation, we will convene a meeting between our Spec Committee and Ian Hardage (now scheduled for January 19, 2021). Once we have buy in from Ian Hardage, it was decided that TCC would, on Jan 21, 2021, meet with Gabe Osborn and Jessee Oswald for the City of SR, to get them to buy off on the early application for private Fire Line conditional design approval on private construction projects and our #1 goal will have been solved.
Special thank you to Chair Dave Weller of RCX, Geoff Coleman of BKF, Antonio Mencarini of Ghilotti Construction Company, Mark Neumann of Oak Grove Construction, Craig Lawson and Mike Fitzpatrick of CALCBS should be acknowledged and appreciated and I am doing so right here! Theirs is a selfless effort to benefit the industry and they are giving their own time and their company produced experience, details, notes and expertise to provide that benefit. This is selfless, generous, and should be commended by all. We do not pretend that all applicants will immediately utilize our efforts on their projects, but when we cross the finish line (hopefully Jan 21, 2021) the benefits of being an ECA member could be a selling point for engineers and contractors alike in making their pitch to developers as we will have the “magic sauce” to get the project going ahead of others, Thank you guys!
And Finally-so that we can end the year with a little humor, from my good friend Keith Woods, I include a video from a guy who simply wanted to have a “December to Remember” December to Remember Car Commercial – SNL – Bing video