By Cindy Trillo
Putting The Pieces Back Together – Elk Grove, Sacramento Health And Safety
Laguna, Elk Grove, and the wider Sacramento area are facing the same challenges from climate change that much of California is at risk of experiencing. The storm that recently doused the area, well-prepared for by local authorities, is an example of that. While the question of repair is difficult enough for residents to address, it’s harder again for businesses, who face not only the destruction of their properties, but the impact of the shifting regulatory landscape over where their liability starts and ends. Hybrid working has changed a lot of norms, and it’s important that businesses know where they stand in the health and safety stakes.
Improving workers comp
Underpinning the ability of workers to have a little bit of security while working is the existence of workers compensation. California has relatively generous workers compensation terms, with a wide range of schemes that enable most employees to obtain the right level of support during injury – such as those caused by extreme weather. However, according to a report by the Work Loss Data Institute, the state is inefficient in dealing with claims though they are far from the worst. With extreme weather raising the risk of injury, and the workplace starting to become both office and home-based, it’s crucial that more is done – and, to the credit of Elk Grove city authorities, there is a concerted effort to increase compensation rates and improve their flexibility, according to EG Citizen.
Navigating hybrid working
Hybrid working has become a fact of life for many workers and their companies amid the benefits to be had in work/life balance – but the economic reality of the modern economy is starting to hit, too. Indeed, one Elk Grove employer was among the top thirty companies in terms of the number of individual layoffs through 2022, according to the Wolf Street journal. The question over whether remote working spaces count as offices, and the implications of that on cover, is problematic, and something that companies need to resolve. Elk Grove should take a progressive view on the matter – as California has.
Chamber of Commerce pressure
There is broadening pressure across the political spectrum to embrace more progressive views towards remote and hybrid working and to expand worker protections and rights more comprehensively across those fields. As the California Chamber of Commerce highlights in their recent opinion profile of labor laws – that they ‘must’ be fixed in order to support the remote economy – there’s genuine efforts from across the state to make changes. Elk Grove can provide a leader in this regard, given the highlighted efforts of the city authority to make more of an effort in their own backyard.