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Loosening of State Occupational Licensing Laws, CA’s ‘Right to Disconnect’ Bill & More

April 24, 2024 (2 min read)

States Loosening Occupational Licensing Laws

In an effort to boost their workforces, states are advancing legislation to loosen their occupational licensing laws. For example, the Louisiana House passed HB 933, which would end licensure requirements for florists. Illinois’ Senate passed SB 3740, which would make it easier for real estate brokers licensed in other states to practice in Illinois. And Maine’s Legislature passed HB 1364, which, if signed by Gov. Janet Mills (D), would add the state to an interstate social worker licensure compact that seven other states have already joined. (PLURIBUS NEWS, LEXISNEXIS STATE NET)

CA Assembly Panel Advances ‘Right to Disconnect’ Bill

The California Assembly Labor and Employment Committee approved a bill (AB 2751) that would require employers to provide employees specific work hours and prohibit employers from requiring workers to respond to communications outside of those designated hours, unless there’s an emergency or scheduling change. If the measure is enacted, California would become the first state with such a “right to disconnect” law, although over a dozen other countries, including Australia, France and Mexico, have passed such laws. But California’s measure still has a long way to go, and major business groups, including the California Chamber of Commerce, oppose it. (SACRAMENTO BEE, BLOOMBERG LAW)

UAW Notches Win in Anti-Union South

Workers at a Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tennessee voted decisively last week to unionize, with nearly three quarters of the over 3,600 ballots cast showing support for joining the United Auto Workers. The UAW scored big wins against the Big Three Detroit automakers last year, but the VW victory gives it a toehold in the South, which historically has been unwelcoming to unions. The next test will come in May, when workers at a Mercedes-Benz plant outside of Tuscaloosa, Alabama will vote on whether to join the UAW. (TENNESSEAN)

LA House Panel Advances Pro-Employer Bills

The Louisiana House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee approved multiple bills that would benefit employers at the expense of workers. HB 156 would repeal a law requiring employers to give workers who are minors lunch breaks. HB 119 would shorten the length of time workers can collect unemployment benefits. And HB 529 would change the way workers’ compensation wages are calculated, potentially reducing the amount some injured workers receive. (NEW ORLEANS TIMES-PICAYUNE)

—Compiled by SNCJ Managing Editor KOREY CLARK

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