Check out what's going on with CFMA!
 
April 2018 
Newsletter
UPCOMING EVENTS


Join HFRG at their upcoming golf classic and support this year's honoree: CFMA member Coaster Fine Furniture! This event benefit's the Wounded Warrior Program and includes lunch, dinner, and hosted drinks on the course. 
May 15, 2018
10:00 check-in
12:30 - shotgun start
Oak Creek Golf Club
One Golf Club Dr., Irvine 

More information is here. A golf application is here
Furniture Industry Social Event 

Please join us  for CFMA's  Baseball Event at Angels Stadium. 

Angels vs. Blue Jays
June 21, 2018
5:00- Appetizers at the Saint Archer Brew Pub in right field 
7:05 - Game time

Webinar: #MeToo - What Employers Need to Know
Sponsored by Drinker Biddle

Please join  three California-based lawyers from Drinker Biddle's cross-over  California HR Team  as they provide a complimentary one-hour webinar on #MeToo: What Employers Need to Know Now.
 
Related topics to be discussed during the one-hour presentation include:
  • The impact of the #MeToo movement on the legal landscape, including recent lawsuits and proposed legislation.
  • An update on employers' obligations to investigate and correct from a legal and practical perspective.
  • Other concerns related to sexual misconduct in (and outside) the workplace, including corollary claims, confidentiality and publicity
Plus, an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.

Thursday, May 10 at 12:00
Call-in instructions will be sent upon registration 


INDUSTRY NEWS
Trump targets smog standards, ordering  EPA 
to make it easier for companies to comply

Los Angeles Times

President Trump took aim at federal air quality standards Thursday, directing the Environmental Protection Agency to relax restrictions on state governments and businesses that have been key to cutting smog.
In  a memo, the president instructed EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to more quickly review states' smog-reduction plans, make it easier for businesses to get air quality-related permits and to evaluate health-based smo
g and soot standards to determine whether they "should be revised or rescinded," among other directives.Trump's  mandates came at the request of industry, which has long complained that federal air pollution rules are too strict and have sought the reversal of tougher Obama administration policies.

A statement  by the EPA said the changes are necessary "to ensure efficient and cost-effective implementation" of air quality standards, and to further the administration's push to slash environmental regulations. The actions will reduce "unnecessary impediments to new manufacturing and business expansion essential for a growing economy," according to the memo signed by Trump.  Environmentalists warned the president's directives would allow for increased air pollution, more cases of asthma and other respiratory diseases. They also questioned the legality of those actions, saying some are in violation of the federal Clean Air Act.
Marijuana in the Golden State: California Lawmakers Seek to Protect Medical-Marijuana Users in the Workplace

LaborSphere

Although California legalized medical marijuana use in 1996 and recreational use in 2016, California employers have always been free to maintain zero-tolerance policies against all users. That could change soon as a result of Assembly Bill 2069 ("AB 2069"), which would amend the California Fair Employment and Housing Act to create a new class of protected persons: medical marijuana cardholders.

Specifically, the legislation would "prohibit an employer from engaging in employment discrimination against a person on the basis of his or her status as, or positive drug test for cannabis by, a qualified patient or person with an identification card." The legislation, however, would not protect employees who are "impaired on the property or premises of the place of employment or during the hours of employment because of the use of cannabis." Likewise, it would not protect recreational users or employees whose employers would lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations should the employers hire or fail to discharge a medical-cannabis user. AB 2069 is part of a trend among state lawmakers, and certain courts, to go beyond merely legalizing marijuana use, particularly medical marijuana, and provide employment-related protections for medical marijuana users.

With air-quality standards, is the cure worse than the disease?

Opinion: Orange County Register

Have we reached the point where air pollution regulations are harming people more than air pollution itself?  That's the question at the heart of the dispute between the Trump administration and California about the Environmental Protection Agency's air pollution program known as NAAQS, the  National Ambient Air Quality Standards .

President Trump recently issued an executive memorandum directing EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to take steps that will make compliance with the regulations less burdensome.  California objected immediately. Mary Nichols, chair of the state  Air Resources Board  (CARB) issued a statement saying, "This order caves to a minority of industries who claim Clean Air Act standards are too strict, too costly and too burdensome. The truth is a large body of research shows the Clean Air Act dramatically improves public health, especially among our most vulnerable populations. The consequences of inaction are irresponsible - unhealthy people, shortened lives, and greater demands on our health care system."

But the truth about CARB's use of that "large body of research" is very much in question. The agency's credibility was permanently damaged in 2008, when the board adopted a costly new regulation for diesel truck and bus engines based on an analysis by CARB staffer Hien Tran. His study claimed to document a risk of premature death from airborne fine particulate matter, like dust and soot, which regulators call PM2.5.  It came out later, although some at CARB knew at the time, that Tran's doctoral degree in statistics was purchased from a diploma mill for $1,000.



If I'm known for anything in California, it's been for my studies about companies leaving the state because of its punishing tax and regulatory policies. Sadly, new political antics will likely cause my future reports to reflect further deterioration in the state's business climate.  I say that 
because a new California Tax Foundation analysis found that lawmakers this year have introduced 33 measures that, if enacted, would hit individuals and businesses with tax and fee increases of about $269 billion annually.

As I look at the actions of legislators in Sacramento - most of whom have never run a business - I see no tax relief in the future. If out of this legislative avalanche only a few new business taxes pass, I believe more companies will leave the state.  When corporations like Toyota, Nestle USA and Hilton Hotels move their headquarters out of California, journalists rush to interview employees at the doors of soon-to-close facilities.

But small businesses relocate out of state all the time and the media rarely notice. Hence, I'll go out of my way to draw attention to my departure from Irvine - where I ran my business for ten years - to Cranberry Township, a growing suburban community near Pittsburgh.
In running my site selection consulting practice, I've identified favorable out-of-state locations for California-based firms. The more I experienced greener pastures elsewhere, the more I was interested in moving to take advantage of benefits that are increasingly elusive in California.
CFMA Board of Directors

Pascal Benyamini, Director
Drinker Biddle & Reath, LLP
Chris Burgess, Treasurer 
Arcadia Chair Company 
Brian Edwards, Past President
Alpine Furniture
Burt Grimes, Director 
Pacific West Furniture   
Kurt Haines, Director 
Ashley Furniture
Richard Masters, Director
Andreini & Co.
Ben Neilsen, Director
Cambridge Furniture 
Michael Genrich, Director
Furniture of America
Gary Stafford, Director
Terra Furniture 
Scott Sandberg, President
Sandberg Furniture
Andrea Messina
Executive Director
Richard Cazares, Vice President 
RC Furniture 


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