California has a new ‘student loan bill of rights.’ Here’s how it will help borrowers

Four million Californians owe nearly $150 billion in student loans, according to LendingTree. Those borrowers now have more rights under a law that went into effect this year and gained teeth this month with a new ombudsman’s office empowered to review complaints about student loan providers. The law caps excessive late fees, and loan providers will be required to process payments in the best interest of borrowers under the law. Here’s what to know about the law, which advocates called the “s

How can you find a good job now that California is reopening? Here’s what to know

The pandemic has led many Californians, by force or choice, to hit a reset button in their career. The state lost more than three million jobs between February and April of 2020, the peak of the pandemic. Many of those lost jobs have come back. But California’s labor market is still more than 1.3 million jobs short of where it was before the pandemic. As California lifts most of its restrictions on June 15, labor experts and career coaches expect the state to continue to regain lost jobs.

California’s latest COVID workplace safety rule is coming: No masks for the fully vaccinated

Fully vaccinated California workers won’t have to wear masks at work, according to the latest update to the state’s COVID workplace safety rule released Friday. Those workers, as well as those who are not vaccinated, will also not have to practice social distancing. Masks will be required for those not fully vaccinated when working indoors or in vehicles. The rule also recommends masks for those not fully vaccinated if they work outdoors and can’t maintain physical distancing.

California workers caught between CDC and state guidance on masks: ’Extremely draining’

John Gomez, a Safeway worker in Napa, is anxious about what’s to come when California lifts its pandemic restrictions on masks and social distancing this month. He’s already seeing more people come into his store unmasked since federal health officials said fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear masks. That conflicts with California rules that people still have to wear face coverings in public until at least June 15.

Is Newsom trying to be Robin Hood? What his budget means for wealth inequality in California

Gov. Gavin Newsom is proud of the prosperity of California’s upper class, which he says has never done better. But he also wants to use some of their success to help lift up California’s working-class residents. “We have the resources,” said Newsom, referring to his family who earned $1.7 million in 2019. “I’m proud of the fact that some of the dollars that I’m putting back into the California coffers, as a taxpayer, are going to help those single moms out there.”

Rural California could lose thousands of jobs as prisons close. What can the state do?

Just days after Gov. Gavin Newsom’s administration announced a plan to close a prison in Susanville last month, dozens of “for sale” signs for homes began popping up in a rural Lassen County town. “We went from a market where there were no homes,” said Patricia Hagata, executive director at the Lassen County Chamber of Commerce. “To where we have an overload of homes.”

Fact check: Did the U.S. House just pass a federal version of California’s gig economy law?

The U.S. House last week passed a bill that could be the biggest overhaul to labor law in decades if it can clear the Senate and reach President Joe Biden. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act, known as the PRO Act, contains a number of provisions that would make it easier for workers to organize. The bill, for instance, would change the definition of “employee,” allowing millions of gig workers such as rideshare drivers the right to organize and form a union.

California job seekers found new careers with help from a rent relief program. Here’s how

Pandora Crowder over the last few months felt like she was jumping off a cliff as she prepared to take on a full-time job for the first time since 2007, moving to a position as a special projects coordinator for the Reinvent Stockton Foundation. Her rising income made her ineligible for CalFresh food stamps. She had to figure out how to get to her office. She had to figure out how to care for her 9-year-old daughter. Her rent at Conway Homes, a 436-unit public housing development in south Stockton, is usually tied to her income — meaning the more she made, the more she had to pay in rent.

Guaranteed work: California commission calls for government jobs program after pandemic

California labor and economic leaders in a new report are calling for a “social compact” for workers, including ideas such as generating a million new jobs in clean energy and providing a federal and state jobs guarantee by 2030. Those were few of the ideas outlined in a report published Tuesday by the state’s Future of Work Commission, a group of leaders appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2019 to look at how California can prepare its economy for the next decade and beyond.
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