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NEW EMPLOYMENT LAWS FOR CALIFORNIA
updated 02/11/14 10:54 AM
Many of Them Took Effect Jan. 1
California enacted a number of new laws in 2013 affecting employment relationships. Here, we highlight some of the key changes for credit unions to take note of as they plan for 2014. Unless otherwise noted, all laws took effect Jan. 1.

Training Time-Off for Reserve Peace Officers and Emergency Rescue Personnel
Assembly Bill 11; Logue—Prior law required California employers with 50 or more employees to provide temporary leaves of absence of up to 14 days per calendar year for employees who are volunteer firefighters for the purpose of fi re or law enforcement training. AB 11 adds reserve peace officers and emergency rescue personnel to this list and expands the law to cover time off for emergency rescue training.

Expansion of ‘Paid Family Leave’
Senate Bill 770; Jackson—California’s Paid Family Leave Program provides a wage replacement benefit that allows eligible employees to take up to six weeks of partially paid leave from their jobs each year to care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner, or to bond with a minor child within one year of the birth or placement of the child in foster care or adoption. Effective July 1, 2014, SB 770 expands the definition of “family member” to allow Paid Family Leave for workers who take time off to care for seriously ill grandparents, grandchildren, siblings, and parents-in-law.

Time-Off for Crime Victims
Senate Bill 288; Lieu—SB 288 prohibits an employer from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against, an employee who is a victim of a specified crime for taking time off from work to appear in any court proceeding. “Victim” means any person who suffers direct or threatened physical, psychological, or financial harm as a result of the commission or attempted commission of a crime or delinquent act. It also includes the person’s spouse, parent, child, sibling, or guardian.

Protection for Military and Veteran Status
Assembly Bill 556; Salas—AB 556 adds “military and veteran status” to the list of categories protected from employment discrimination under the Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Protection for Victims of Stalking
Senate Bill 400; Jackson—Prior law prohibited employers from discharging, or in any manner discriminating or retaliating against, a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault if the victim takes time off to attend to issues arising as a result of the crime. SB 400 strengthens those protections and extends them to victims of stalking. It also adds an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations (e.g., transfer, reassignment, modified schedule, changed work telephone, etc.) for a victim who requests it for his or her safety at work.

Definition of ‘Sexual Harassment’
Senate Bill 292; Corbett—SB 292 amends the definition of harassment to clarify that “sexually harassing conduct need not be motivated by sexual desire.”

Good Samaritan Employee Protection
Assembly Bill 633; Salas—AB 633 prohibits an employer from adopting or enforcing a policy prohibiting an employee from voluntarily providing emergency medical services (CPR). An employer may authorize certain employees trained in emergency services to provide them, but any available employee may voluntarily do so if a trained and authorized employee is unavailable, unable, or unwilling.

Whistleblower Protections
Senate Bill 496; Wright— Employers are prohibited from making, adopting, or enforcing any rule, regulation, or policy that prevents an employee from disclosing information to a government or law enforcement agency when the employee has reasonable cause to believe that the information is a violation of or noncompliance with a local rule or regulation. This also extends to reporting to a person with authority over the employee or to another employee with authority to investigate or address the violation, or from providing information to, or testifying before, any public body conducting an investigation, hearing, or inquiry. An employer is also prohibited from retaliating for same.

 
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NEVADA CREDIT UNION LEADER PASSES updated 06/23/16 12:49 PM
More Information to Follow
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues received word that Doug Schwartz, President and CEO of Elko Federal Credit Union (EFCU), was struck by a car yesterday in Elko, Nevada and passed away early Thursday. Details are still being investigated.

TMG, CO-OP: BLOCKCHAIN STUDIES updated 06/22/16 02:45 PM
Help FIs Evaluate Opportunities
Three influential payments industry players–TMG, CO-OP Financial Services and Mercator Advisory Group–are making progress on their collective plan to create much-needed clarity around the potential for blockchain technology in the community financial institution industry.

CUs CONVERGE ON ECONOMY AND STRATEGY updated 06/20/16 03:00 PM
Forecast, Discussion, and Ideas
How can credit unions prepare for 2017 given so many "what if" scenarios on the economy, interest rates, labor force, household demographics, political environment, and consumers?

DIVERSITY: GOOD INVESTMENT FOR CUs updated 06/16/16 02:33 PM
Latest Issue of “The NCUA Report”
In the latest issue of the National Credit Union Administration’s (NCUA) monthly newsletter, an article by the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion outlines how diversity leads to better service, greater innovation and increased membership. These outcomes make credit unions stronger and more sustainable, and ultimately lead to greater strength for the entire credit union system.

CA CUs SURPASS $100B LENDING MARK updated 06/14/16 08:06 AM
Auto Market Under the Microscope
California credit unions just hit a record: they surpassed the $100 billion lending milestone for the first time ever, with used auto loans making a superstar appearance during this historical moment.

FEDERATION AND EQUIFAX PARTNER updated 06/13/16 02:48 PM
Launch Financial Capability Center
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions (Federation) and Equifax Inc. announced a partnership to build the Westside Financial Capability Center. The Center will provide the Atlanta Westside community with affordable banking, alternatives to payday loans, affordable home mortgages, and a suite of financial services designed to empower residents to achieve their financial goals. The search for a physical site has narrowed to several options that will allow the Center to function in coordination with Atlanta area credit unions, community stakeholders and service providers. Equifax has committed $450,000 through 2018 in support of the Center which is scheduled to open in early 2017.

TWO LARGE CALIFORNIA CUs TO MERGE updated 06/09/16 02:33 PM
N. Island Financial CU & Calif. CU
Two California credit unions—the $1.24-billion North Island Financial CU and the $1.6-billion California CU—announced plans to merge.

'JUNTOS AVANZAMOS' ADVANCES FORWARD updated 06/02/16 08:09 AM
Kinecta FCU Becomes 6th in CA
Kinecta FCU and its affiliate, NIX Neighborhood Lending, were recently recognized by the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions and the California Credit Union League with the “Juntos Avanzamos” (Together We Advance) certification—a branding initiative helping credit unions become the preferred financial resource for local organizations serving underserved Hispanic immigrants.

MEETING WITH NCUA REGION V DIRECTOR updated 06/01/16 02:11 PM
Freed Committed to Fair Process
Today in Sacramento, local credit union leaders met with National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Region V Director, Cherie Freed, who succeeds Liz Whitehead.

DEFENSE CREDIT UNION COUNCIL LIAISON updated 05/27/16 10:21 AM
McWatters Named to Represent NCUA
At the request of NCUA Board Chairman Rick Metsger, Board Member J. Mark McWatters will serve as the National Credit Union Administration’s liaison to the Defense Credit Union Council.The agency is committed to supporting service members and hiring veterans.

RMJ LAUNCHES 'BITE OF REALITY' APP updated 05/26/16 02:40 PM
Modernizes, Streamlines Program
The Richard Myles Johnson Foundation recently rolled out an app for its successful Bite of Reality program. The app— believed to be the first of its kind for a credit union-sponsored reality fair program—modernizes Bite of Reality, making it more relatable to young people.

DECISION ENGINE TECHNOLOGY updated 05/24/16 09:57 AM
Get The Most Out of Your Technology
May is an awkward month. It’s as if it is not sure exactly what it wants to be. Somedays in May are more like April; some are more like June. Perhaps that is where we got the word “May”-be? But, one thing that is certain about May is that it is the month of graduation ceremonies, and much like the month itself, graduates are at that awkward point in life, where the future is not quite certain.

MOUNTAIN WEST JOINS 'PLEXCITY' updated 05/23/16 03:22 PM
CU Association is 6th Shared Owner
Mountain West Credit Union Association is purchasing a shared-ownership stake in Plexcity for information technology, accounting/finance, and human resource solutions, adding to the Ontario, CA-based company’s unique story of growing collaboration between credit union trade associations since January 2015.

CONNECTING WITH MEXICAN IMMIGRANTS updated 05/19/16 10:29 AM
Matrícula Consular Online Seminar June 9
Lack of identification is one of the biggest barriers for Hispanic immigrants to access affordable financial services. RSVP for a Juntos Avanzamos online seminar on using the Matrícula Consular to reach unbanked Mexican immigrants. Learn how to use the Matricula Consular as a safe, effective way to open savings and checking accounts.

SUMMER IMPACT OPPORTUNITY FOR CUs updated 05/19/16 03:30 PM
$21M Toward Jobs For Young People
Federal government leaders are working hand in hand with local stakeholders to craft solutions that harness resources across multiple agencies in response to local needs and priorities. Since 2009, more than fifteen Federal agencies have launched dozens of initiatives and partnerships with over 1,800 rural, tribal and urban communities. Federal leaders are working across agency lines and offering hands-on support to build local capacity, provide expertise, and unlock resources to help community leaders achieve their goals.

'IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO' updated 05/17/16 10:16 AM
CFO Professional of the Year
Most new ideas aren’t necessarily new, according to Susan Gruber. They are old concepts with a new twist, and they can have great potential.

WHY ONE SMALL CU RANKS BIG IN TECH updated 05/09/16 08:48 PM
Behind United Catholics FCU
No one was perhaps more surprised to learn her credit union ranked No. 1 on MagnifyMoney’s most recently published list of “most digitally savvy” U.S. credit unions than Lucy Sloan.

FINANCIAL CAPABILITY COLLOQUIUM updated 05/03/16 11:38 AM
Measuring Credit Unions' Impact
Nearly 30 leaders and professionals came together last week at the first Financial Capability Colloquium to discuss how to collectively and effectively measure the individual financial literacy efforts that their credit unions and organizations routinely implement within their communities, and how to use these measurements to tell a powerful story that will resonate with the public.

METSGER APPOINTED NCUA BOARD CHAIR updated 05/02/16 05:17 PM
Plus, CFPB on Arbitration and TRID
President Barack Obama has appointed National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Vice Chairman Rick Metsger to be the ninth chairman of the NCUA Board of Directors, succeeding outgoing Board Chairman Debbie Matz, whose service ended April 30.

TV INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHTS 'PACE' updated 05/02/16 02:39 PM
Protecting Consumers Becomes Crucial
A TV news station in Los Angeles has captured a clear example of consumer protection issues stemming from the “PACE” lending program (Property Assessed Clean Energy) in just one instance of how it is proving financially harmful to homeowners and credit union members across California.

'PACE' PASSES FIRST STATE COMMITTEE updated 04/26/16 08:48 AM
Congressman Sherman Gives Support
In a rare instance of federal and state legislative involvement, Assembly Bill 2693, authored by Assemblyman Matt Dababneh (D-Encino), received two significant boosts yesterday.

INDUSTRY LEADER AND MENTOR PASSES updated 04/25/16 12:43 PM
O'Rourke 'Will be Missed'
Gene O’Rourke—who left a 40-year legacy of helping shape and place leaders in the credit union industry throughout California and the nation—died this past Friday. He was 70.

LEAGUES COMMENT ON OTR, FEE METHODS updated 04/25/16 04:12 PM
Plus, NCUA's 2 New Proposals
The California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues have told the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) that federally insured state-chartered credit unions (FISCUs) and federally chartered credit unions (FCUs) should be treated equitably in their comment letter on the Overhead Transfer Rate (OTR) and Operating Fee Schedule Methodologies.

REG COMMITTEE RESPONDS TO CORDRAY updated 04/19/16 09:31 AM
CU Leaders Express Opinions
In Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director (CFPB) Richard Cordrary’s recent response to a congressional letter that calls on him to fully utilize the bureau’s exemption authority for community financial institutions, Cordray cites examples of how the bureau has already used this authority.