The answer to this question is actually fairly straightforward: Restrictive covenants have been illegal in the Golden State for nearly a century and a half, and they will probably remain illegal for at least the next century and a half.
The National Labor Relations Board recently ruled that graduate students who work at private universities as either teacher or research assistants are considered employees. The NLRB ruling gives these graduate students the opportunity to form and join unions that private university administrators must now recognize.
Under Federal and California state law, employees are guaranteed the opportunity to be offered reasonable accommodations if they request them as part of a recognized disability or medical condition. So, if you are a California employee and have the ability to work in a given position with a reasonable accommodation, you should be afforded an accommodation by your employer that would allow you to perform your job as long as that accommodation does not unduly harm your employer's business practices.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently issued some proposed revisions to processing and investigating workplace retaliation charges, which would offer new protections to employees. Because retaliation claims continue to be the most common of all workplace discrimination charges (33,800 were filed in 2015), the new guidelines are sorely needed - especially since the retaliation guidance hasn't been updated since 1998.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published a transgender employee fact sheet on Monday that concludes it's a civil rights violation to deny transgender workers the right to use gender-identity appropriate bathrooms. This is a step in the right direction in giving transgender individuals the freedom to be themselves without fear of being subjected to workplace discrimination.
January was a big month for employment and labor law litigation, settlements, and proposed legislation. Most notably, workplace sexual harassment lawsuits took over news headlines throughout the nation, including an announcement of a proposed bill that would address the prevalent sexual harassment problem in astronomy.