Congratulations to Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin on the unanimous vote of support for her legislation to help employers curb sexual harassment cases. AB 2770 passed out of the Assembly with full support of both Democrats and Republicans on May 7. The bill will enable businesses to avoid hiring repeat sexual harassment offenders, ending the cycle of harassment in industries across California.
The bill also protects employees from defamation lawsuits for reporting sexual harassment allegations to employers or official agencies.
Alleged harassers are not only suing victims, but also filing suit against employers for defamation. Such lawsuits put employers in an impossible position as they have an affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct harassment.
Worse, if the alleged harasser’s employment is then terminated, or the alleged harasser resigns, employers are put in an even more difficult position. The company has knowledge of the harassing activity and yet its hands are tied.
If the company tells a potential employer that the employee was accused of harassing conduct, the company is on the hook for a defamation claim. If the company stays silent, the harassers are then free to victimize more individuals at their next job without anyone at the new company ever knowing about the unacceptable behavior.
By addressing this situation, AB 2770 will reduce frivolous lawsuits and allow an employer to use the financial resources that would have been diverted to litigation to grow its workforce instead.
AB 2770 will be heard in the Senate before (hopefully!) becoming law.
The bill was sponsored by the California Chamber of Commerce and supported by employer groups and local chambers of commerce throughout the state.
Thank you, Assemblymember Irwin!!
A delegation of business leaders will be headed to Sacramento May 22-24 to voice concerns over pending legislation deemed harmful to the economy and the ability for business to prosper and create jobs.
The Capitol visit will be in conjunction with the members of the Chambers of Commerce Alliance of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties. The Alliance's Sacramento-based lobbyist will coordinate a series of meetings with our legislators and their staff, as well as key committee chairs.
In addition to the meetings in the Capitol, the California Chamber of Commerce will be delivering a legislative briefing and hosting keynote speakers. CalChamber President and CEO Allan Zaremberg will also render remarks.
On Thursday morning the Governor will address the business group, as has been the tradition for more than 100 years. This will be Governor Brown's final appearance at this annual event.
Oxnard Chamber members are invited to join the delegation. Our schedule will be:
The Oxnard Chamber's voice in Sacramento is critical to make sure our elected officials understand the impact of their votes on local businesses.
Message from our CEO
The trends in the Oxnard tourism industry are quite sunny!
I’m fortunate to serve on the board of directors for the Oxnard Convention & Visitors Bureau. The experience affords me the opportunity to keep up with how our hoteliers are doing and what the trends are in the tourism sector of our local economy. I’m happy to report we have started 2018 on a high note!
Granted there are a lot of factors that affect hotel statistics, and certainly the Thomas fire and Montecito mudslides had a big impact on our region. But for the month of January Oxnard was on top of the occupancy rate and in second place for average daily rate. Here is the data:
Occupancy rates for January 2018
Thousand Oaks 64.7
Ventura County 69.0
Santa Barbara County 64.7
Los Angeles 67.5
Average daily rates for January 2018
Thousand Oaks 116.1
Ventura County 126.2
Santa Barbara County 152.7
Los Angeles 127.9
All of this hotel activity certainly impacts other businesses in Oxnard. Our restaurants, entertainment, and retail all benefit from increased hotel business. But let’s not forget about local government. The transit occupancy tax every hotel guest pays generates more than $5 million annually for the city’s coffers. That’s a substantial number and it doesn’t take into account what our hotels pay in property tax each and every year.
So next time you have out of town guests or you are planning a corporate meeting, utilize the great selection of hotels in Oxnard and generate some revenue for other local businesses and the city.
In 2016-17 the Oxnard Chamber was fortunate to participate in a statewide grant for the development of youth employment and to prepare today’s students for tomorrow’s jobs. We added a part-time staff member and developed some exciting programs. Working with the Oxnard Union High School District (OUHSD) and the Ventura County Civic Alliance, we partnered to hold Intern Boot Camps, a Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineer, and Math) day, and an “Entre to Employment” dinner to highlight careers in the hospitality industry. Unfortunately, that grant ended June 30, 2017.
However, we are continuing our efforts in 2018 with an intern-ready certification program. Working with the OUHSD, we are developing criteria for students to qualify to earn a certificate acknowledging they have completed coursework, workplace tours, job shadowing, and career exploration.
Once a student has obtained the intern-ready certification, employers can be certain they will benefit from providing internships. We are looking for businesses who will embrace this program and guarantee interviews for certified students. Not only is this a great way to look for prospective workers, but it is a great way to invest in our future workforce.
If you are interested in this new program, please give me a call (805-983-6118 x 4) or email me. Thanks!!
Oxnard sure has more than its fair share of challenges these days. With the city council recall looming, the city being threatened to create electorate districts, and changes in the top management at city hall it’s a wonder anything gets done. But aside from all of the distractions, we should count our blessings.
Last month when the Thomas Fire was raging, I remember saying to myself on numerous occasions, “I am so lucky to not be threatened by this fire and can sleep in my own bed without concern that a disaster is going to strike me.”
Oxnard is not vulnerable to wild fires. The risk is low because we don’t have vegetation-covered hillsides. Kind of makes the Oxnard Plain a bit more appealing. Likewise, we don’t have to worry about the devastation of mud and landslides. I’m still trying to comprehend what happened in Montecito.
I’m not sure what I will be saying after the “Big One” hits Southern California when we could be subject to liquefaction or a tsunami. But for now, I am really happy I both live and work in Oxnard!
Now, if we could just do something about the politics in our city…