Independent contractors

Sep 19, 2018

(Ed's Note: Due to technical difficulties, today's Roundup was delayed.)

Just who is an independent contractor? Who is an employee?


From Capitol Weekly's LISA RENNER: " sweeping new California Supreme Court ruling restricting who is an independent contractor is shaking up an exceptionally diverse range of industries."


"The ruling, issued in April, affects an estimated 2 million independent contractors working in healthcare, beauty salons, gig economy jobs like Uber and Lyft, journalism, music, real estate, education, financial planning, agriculture, construction, technology, insurance, transportation and more."


"The decision is praised by the California Labor Federation as offering workers protections like minimum wage, unemployment, workers’ compensation and disability insurance. But some independent contractors say they like their freedom and have no interest in being employees."


California bill to increase fire safety passes state Legislature


Daily Californian's ALYSSA BERNARDINO/CLARA RODAS: "A state bill to increase fire safety and accountability in California cities unanimously passed the state Legislature in August and now awaits Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature."


"SB 1205 would require fire departments to report annually their compliance with safety building inspection requirements to administering agents, such as city council or district boards. According to a press release, state Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, introduced the bill after a Bay Area News Group report showed that many schools and apartment buildings in the Bay Area did not receive their annual required fire inspection at least once from 2010 to 2017."


"Reporter Thomas Peele of the Bay Area News Group conducted the investigation into building inspections after the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire in 2016, which killed 36 people."


Jerry Brown vetoes bill to ban per-signture payments on ballot petitions


The Chronicle's MELODY GUTIERREZ: "Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill Tuesday meant to discourage aggressive or misleading tactics used by signature gatherers working to qualify an initiative for the ballot."


"AB1947 by Assemblyman Evan Low, D-San Jose, would have prohibited signature gatherers from being paid for every signature they collect on petitions for an initiative, referendum or recall. The bill would have allowed signature gatherers to be paid by the hour or daily."


"Low said paying by the signature creates an incentive to mislead voters or forge signatures."


To manage future water shortages, California must update its water grid


Water Deeply's ELLEN HANAK/JEFFREY MOUNT: "CALIFORNIA’S CLIMATE IS changing, and droughts are becoming more intense. Five climate pressures will seriously stress the state’s water system: warming temperatures; shrinking snowpack; shorter and more intense wet seasons; more volatile precipitation; and rising seas. While California is making good progress in addressing some areas of climate vulnerability, a more focused plan of action is needed."


"Climate pressures will make future droughts more intense and affect the water system in the following ways:"


READ MORE related to Energy & EnvironmentMonsoon storms, key to recharging groundwater, may become less common -- Water Deeply's MATT WEISER


SF city employees' union objects to new tests for bilingual pay perk


The Chronicle's MATIER & ROSS: "The city’s biggest labor union is crying foul over City Hall’s demand that bilingual workers take a test in the language that they are being paid extra to speak."


"It’s no small matter."


"According to the city controller, San Francisco paid out about $2.7 million in incentive pay last year to police, firefighters, social workers, clerks and staffers who are fluent in Chinese, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Vietnamese and other languages needed to better communicate with the city’s various immigrant populations."


A landmark 2016 law praised as an 'unbelievably powerful tool' against gun violence remains scarcely used


LA Times's MARISA GERBER: "Two weeks after a gunman in Parkland, Fla., zigzagged from one classroom to another in his former high school, killing 17 people, a Beverly Hills High employee dialed 911 to report a stranger mumbling to himself and following her as she left campus."


"Police confiscated a loaded handgun in the man’s glove box and arrested him. But they felt compelled to do more. What if he was a copycat killer inspired by the Parkland shooting and obtained another gun after posting bail? Beverly Hills officers decided to try something they’d never done before and persuaded a judge to temporarily bar the man from having guns."


SF Supervisor Mandelmans wants more care facilities approved more quickly


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "In an attempt to provide seniors and the disabled with more places to live, San Francisco Supervisor Rafael Mandelman introduced legislation Tuesday that would make it easier to open new residential care facilities."


"Increasing services for the homeless, mentally ill and disabled is a top priority for Mandelman, whose mother suffered from severe mental illness. He and his team spent the past two months touring mental health facilities, shelters and nonprofits around the city."


"During these tours, he said he learned that the city has “a shocking number of seniors and people with disabilities or severe illnesses living in our shelters without a guaranteed path to housing."


SF Supervisor Peskin wants to limit ground-floor offices in Union Square


The Chronicle's TRISHA THADANI: "As demand for traditional brick-and-mortar retail dwindles, San Francisco’s Union Square is peppered with vacant storefronts and partially empty buildings. Meanwhile, there’s plenty of demand to fill the vacancies another way — office space."


"But Supervisor Aaron Peskin bristles at the idea of the historic shopping mecca becoming overrun with desks and computers. So in an attempt to insulate Union Square as a place for retail, he proposed legislation Tuesday that would ban new offices from occupying the first three floors of buildings in the area."


"Contrary to the emerging thinking and reporting, retail is not dead,” Peskin said. “And San Francisco is really getting ahead of the curve and making sure that we preserve some of the best destination retail spaces that San Francisco and urban America has."


Sacramento County cleared homeless camps all year. Now it has stopped citing campers


Sacramento Bee's CYNTHIA HUBERT: "After aggressively clearing homeless camps on the American River Parkway this year, Sacramento County park rangers have suddenly stopped issuing citations altogether after a federal court ruling this month."


"The decision in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may also force Sacramento police to reconsider their practice of ticketing homeless people who sleep outdoors."


"The court ruled in a case brought by homeless plaintiffs in Boise, Idaho, that cities cannot punish homeless people for sleeping outside if no shelter beds are available to them. Doing so, said the Ninth Circuit, would be a form of cruel and unusual punishment, a violation of the Eighth Amendment to the Constitutioccn."


READ MORE related to Homelessness & HousingHousing prices are resegregating the Bay Area, UC Berkeley study finds -- The Chronicle's KIMBERLY VEKLEROV


OP-ED: All dialysis patients should have access to care


DOMINGOS DIAS in Capitol Weekly: "Senate Bill 1156 on Gov. Jerry Brown’s desk could potentially disrupt life-saving treatments for thousands of kidney patients like me and put the future of our care – and even our lives – at risk."


"Gov. Brown should veto SB 1156 and send a clear message that all dialysis patients should have access to the care we need, even if we need charitable help to cover our insurance costs."


School-based health care a low priority in California


EdSource's DAVID WASHBURN: "California ranks at or near the bottom of all states when it comes to the percentage of students with access to health and mental health care at schools. Yet, with $90 in added annual spending per student — which would total about $600 million — the state could provide basic care at all public schools, according to a new report."


"The report, written by Columbia University economics professor Randall Reback and issued this week as part of the Getting Down to Facts project, pointed to research that shows that school-based healthcare and mental health services have multiple benefits. These include better behavior at school along with improved attendance, lower rates of depression, fewer emergency room visits, fewer teen births and higher rates of educational success."


"Currently, California has approximately one school nurse for every 2,240 students and ranks 39th on that measure compared to other states. California has one school counselor for every 1,000 students, ranking it last nationally, according to the study, which is part of the “Getting Down to Facts II” report series released this week."


READ MORE related to EducationUC Berkeley diversity plan sparks criticism from Asian American advocacy group -- Daily Californian's MANI SANDHU/JULIE MADSEN


BLM protest clashes with police backers one day after deputy's death


Sacramento Bee's SAM STANTON/DARRELL SMITH/MOLLY SULLIVAN/HECTOR AMEZCUA: "One day after a Sacramento sheriff’s deputy was slain by a gunman in Rancho Cordova, Black Lives Matter protesters took to the streets of downtown Sacramento Tuesday, blocking traffic, clashing loudly with pro-police demonstrators and marching in the name of Stephon Clark, the 22-year-old unarmed black man killed by Sacramento police exactly six months earlier."


"As many as 200 protesters began gathering outside the Sacramento Convention Center at J and 13th streets in the morning, ostensibly to shut down a meeting of law enforcement officers from around the state gathering for an annual meeting."


"Clark’s brother, Stevante, said he and his relatives wanted to “show solidarity and try to promote accountability on all sides. It’s not just about law enforcement, it’s about accountability on the city level, the district attorney’s level, accountability on the black community as well as accountability across the board."


READ MORE related to Prisons & Public SafetyPolice 'trample' coffins laid out by BLM protesters -- Sacramento Bee's MICHELLE INEZ SIMONCoast Guard uses helicopter hoist to rescue woman from cruise ship 35 miles from Golden Gate bridge -- The Chronicle's STAFFPolice  Commissioner Matt Johnson, who spearheaded key LAPD reforms, to step down -- LA Times's CINDY CHANG


Take the No. 5 train to Santa Monica? LA Metro may rename its rail lines


LA Times's LAURA J NELSON: "Instead of taking the Blue Line to Long Beach, how about the A Train? Or how about catching the No. 5 line to Santa Monica Pier?"


"With an unprecedented number of rail and bus projects planned — and a dwindling number of hues to choose from — Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials are considering an overhaul of the transit map that would replace the system’s color names with letters or numbers."


Kavanaugh's accuser wants FBI to investigate before hearing


AP's ALAN FRAM/LISA MASCARO: "Christine Blasey Ford wants the FBI to investigate her allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh before she testifies at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing next week, her lawyers said in a letter to the panel."


"The lawyers wrote that Ford, who is now a college professor in California, wants to cooperate with the committee. But in the days since she publicly accused Kavanaugh of the assault when they were teens at a party 35 years ago, the lawyers said, she has been the target of “vicious harassment and even death threats.” Her family has relocated, they said."


"An FBI investigation “should be the first sstep in addressing the allegations,” the lawyers wrote in the Tuesday letter, which was obtained by The Associated Press."


READ MORE related to SCOTUSGOP rejects calls to delay hearing until FBI reviews sexual assault allegation against Kavanaugh -- LA Times's JENNIFER HABERKORNTrump and Kevin de Leon agree Feinstein blew it. Did she have another way? -- The Chronicle's JOHN WILDERMUTH/JOE GAROFOLIChristine Blasey Ford's colleagues describe her as honest and rigorous -- LA Times's MAYA LOU/JACK DOLAN


North Korea agrees to dismantle main nuclear site if US takes steps, too


ERIC TALMADGE/KIM TONG-HYUNG: "North Korean leader Kim Jong Un agreed to permanently dismantle his main nuclear complex at Nyongbyon if the United States takes corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae In said Wednesday after the two leaders held summit talks in Pyongyang to try to sustain nuclear diplomacy with Washington, which has been pushing hard for stronger disarmament moves from the North."


"The Korean leaders also said the North would dismantle a missile engine test site and launch pad in the presence of outside inspectors, and would seek to host the 2032 Summer Olympics together. Moon also said Kim would try to visit Seoul this year."


"Washington wants North Korea to outline the entirety of its nuclear program, and its response to Wednesday’s joint statement from the Koreas remains to be seen. While the declaration appears to fall short of what Washington wants, President Trump has maintained that he and Kim have a solid relationship, and both leaders have expressed interest in meeting again after their June summit in Singapore. North Korea has been demanding a declaration formally ending the Korean War, which was stopped in 1953 by a cease-fire, but neither leader mentioned it as they read the statement."


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