Western Electrical Contractors Association, Inc.

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Labor Law UpdateThursday, March 21, 2019
Medical Leave: How and Why Chipotle Prevailed in a High-Stakes Pregnancy Discrimination Trial After an eight-day trial, a Southern California jury has decided that Chipotle Mexican Grill did not unlawfully discriminate when it fired a manager after she suffered a miscarriage and failed to return from a 12-week medical leave. The plaintiff claimed that she needed additional time off because of mental strain. The jury agreed that the plaintiff was suffering from a mental impairment but decided that the impairment itself did not entitle her to additional protected medical leave. More
 
Appeals Court Decision Challenges Independent Contractor Definition A recent California Court of Appeal decision indicates that the state is trending away from unifying its independent contractor law and leaving employers with even more questions than they had before. Now more than ever, employers need to be careful about how they classify their workers as different standards may apply to different industries, different statutory schemes, and beyond. More
What We're ReadingThursday, March 21, 2019

Contractors team with AI company to improve workplace safety Nine major construction companies have partnered with software firm Smartvid.io to develop predictive analytics that can prevent accidents and improve safety throughout the industry. Suffolk, which will serve as chair of the council, contributed 10 years of project data and photos to the predictive model, and other partners will contribute data anonymously as the system develops. More
 
Thanks for the Help Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon responded to Vice President Mike Pence, who had wished Rendon a productive session: "I would have to say you and the President have already done quite a bit to help us with that. Thanks to your policies, voters in California added five Democrats to the Assembly in the last election. In addition, one Republican has decided to jump to the Democratic party, citing the President's extreme positions." Read the letter here.
 
Lawyers Brace for Porter's Questions During Hearings: Freshman Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.), a former law school professor, has asked questions that have tripped up Wells Fargo and Equifax executives since she arrived in Congress and nabbed a seat on the House Financial Services Committee. Porter beat incumbent Mimi Walters in November. Her approach, according to The National Law Journal's C. Ryan Barber "has forced white-collar defense lawyers who specialize in congressional hearings to grapple with how to prepare clients for questioning that uses a company's own legal arguments against its top executive. Her repeated, effective use of that approach promises to make her a starring figure in preparations that have been known to include mock hearings, with lawyers playing the part of lawmaker during rehearsals. This tactic is a new and particularly effective example of what has long been the risk for a corporate executive, the face of a company, testifying in Congress," said David Leviss, a former senior investigative counsel for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee who's now a partner at O'Melveny & Myers, in a Journal story.
 
And Then There Were None Sarah D. Wire from the LA Times profiles the now-unified force of Democrats representing the previous GOP bastion of Orange County. "Four of the newest members defeated Republicans in November to secure their seats. They joined Rep. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) who holds a seat that flipped to Democratic control in the mid-'90s, and Rep. Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach), one-third of whose constituents are O.C. residents." Story (registration may be required)
 
Thank You for being my Friend California's new online community college director, hoping to quickly establish her executive team, pushed Monday to grant a no-bid contract of up to $500,000 to an executive recruiter who is a friend and has long has been a part of San Francisco's political scene. Heather Hiles, president of the nascent online college, has a goal of starting classes this fall. The community college board approved Hiles' choice of executive recruiter Carolyn Carpeneti, even though some community college board members abstained, contending the contract should have been put out to competitive bid. Before becoming an executive recruiter, Carpeneti was a political fundraiser whose clients included then-San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown. Brown and Carpeneti became romantically involved and had a daughter in 2001. In 2003, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that "nonprofit groups and political committees controlled by the mayor and his allies" paid Carpeneti $2.33 million over a five-year period. Story
California State Capitol

Merit Shop Advocacy for California

Richard Markuson, WECA Lobbyist

Richard Markuson

"Merit shop electrical contractors throughout California are under pressure from a political system that limits their ability to compete for and win public works contracts. Through our coordinated efforts to further the interests of the merit shop community, we will make doing business in California fair and profitable again."

WECA Government Affairs

Political Advocacy and Government Affairs

WECA is the only organization in California that focuses exclusively on the needs of electrical contractors and their employees. We are proud to represent thousands of electricians and hundreds of contractors. Our members believe that fair and open competition is the key to a robust and growing economy. Our members embrace the idea that political action is not simply prudent, but essential to preserving and enhancing their ability to pursue business opportunities in both the public and private marketplace.

The WECA governmental affairs staff works hard to protect the rights of merit shop business owners and their employees throughout California, but our efforts cannot succeed unless those in the merit shop community get involved.

Routine activities of the GA staff includes:

  • Monitoring all State Legislative and Regulatory proposals for beneficial and detrimental changes
  • Regular interaction with other business and construction groups in California and nationwide
  • Maintenance of a regular presence in Washington DC through membership in the US Chamber of Commerce and trips to Capitol Hill to lobby on Federal initiatives
  • Maintaining close working relationships with other merit shop groups such as CFEC, ABC chapters, AGC, ASCA, and Calpasc
  • Routinely monitors more than 305 local agencies including Cities, Counties, School Districts and other Special Districts
  • Evaluates state-wide ballot measures and candidates and recommends support for those causes and candidates that support WECA’s core values
  • Encourages appointment of state and local officials who will approach their assignments without prejudice
  • This website is designed to both educate our members and to empower them to have the greatest possible impact when it comes to effecting political change on the local, state and federal levels. Check out the latest political news and action alerts, learn more about the WECA Political Action Committee (WECA-PAC), and take a moment to visit the partner organizations we work with.

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WECA Political Advocacy