Julie Su, former California Labor Commissioner (2011 – 2018) and Secretary for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate (50-47) as Deputy Secretary of Labor. Known as a recognized expert on workers’ rights and civil rights, employers nationwide can expect Su to continue enforcement efforts on behalf of vulnerable workers. Supported by union and worker advocacy groups Su will join former union leader and Boston mayor Marty Walsh in the number 2 top position at the labor department. 

Teresa McQueen

On July 9, 2021, President Biden signed an Executive Order “Promoting Competition in the American Economy” (Order) encouraging the Chair of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) “to consider working with the rest of the Commission to exercise the FTC’s statutory rulemaking authority…to curtail the unfair use of non-compete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may unfairly limit worker mobility.” Ultimately, the Order seeks to push higher wages and better benefits for workers and to restrict, reduce, and even ban certain types of non-compete agreement; those that may unfairly limit work

In anticipation of another heavy wildfire season employers are reminded that wildfire smoke and subsequent cleanup efforts present unique workplace hazards.

In California, Cal/OSHA mandates protective equipment (e.g., N95 masks) as a wildfire season necessity in areas where the current Air Quality Index (current AQI) for airborne particulate matter 2.5 micrometers or smaller (PM2.5) is 151 or greater[1], and where employers should reasonably anticipate that employees could be exposed to wildfire smoke.

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