While people have many questions and concerns arising from last week’s presidential election, one thing is for sure: California remains entrenched in a very deep blue bubble.
To say that California leans democratic is an understatement, and the votes on progressive issues showed it. Californians voted to extend progressive tax rates, restrict ammunition sales, legalize recreational marijuana (although you can’t buy it until the state licenses distributors, so no lighting up yet!), increase the cigarette tax, repeal English-Only education, and ban plastic bags.
Here in Los Angeles, voters approved a ½ cent sales tax for improvements to public transportation (Measure M). Voters also approved a $1.2 billion dollar bond measure to facilitate the construction of up to 10,000 units of affordable housing for the city’s estimated 28,000 homeless people (Measure HHH). More money went to improve schools, community colleges, and parks.
Moreover not only do we have a Democratic Governor, but according to the Los Angeles Times, voters elected a two-thirds super-majority of Democrats to the state Assembly, and pending one more district’s vote count, the state’s Senate as well.
What does this mean for employers in the Golden State? Well, it almost assuredly means progressive employment laws on both the state and local levels will not only remain, but may even increase to keep California in its trend-setting position. At last count, seven cities have enacted their own paid sick leave ordinances to supplement the three day minimum provided under state law. State and local organized labor activity remains strong, as shown by its influence on the state’s minimum wage increase and local ordinances like the LA Hotel Minimum Wage Ordinance. While rumor has it that the NLRB will ultimately turn more pro-business in a Republican administration, and perhaps even put the break on some key pro-labor initiatives (such as micro-units, the Persuader Rule, and maybe even its assault on class action waivers in arbitration agreements as a violation of Section 7 rights), changes on the state and local level are unlikely (at least in the short term).
So while the national post-election map looks very red, California remains very blue — as do its employment policies — and as are the majority of its voters.