California Attorney General Rob Bonta this month filed three lawsuits protecting citizens’ rights – one pro-labor, one pro-environment and a third pro-transgender rights.
One, filed Nov. 10, sued the manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, commonly referred to as PFAS, for endangering public health, causing irreparable harm to the state's natural resources, and engaging in a widespread campaign to deceive the public.
In the lawsuit, Bonta alleges that these manufacturers, including 3M and DuPont, knew or should have known that PFAS are toxic and harmful to human health and the environment, yet continued to produce them for mass use and concealed their harms from the public.
As a result, these toxic "forever chemicals" are pervasive across California’s bays, lakes, streams, and rivers; in its fish, wildlife, and soil; and in the bloodstream of 98% of Californians, the lawsuit claims.
“PFAS are as ubiquitous in California as they are harmful,” said Bonta. “As a result of a decades-long campaign of deception, PFAS are in our waters, our clothing, our houses, and even our bodies. The damage caused by 3M, DuPont, and other manufacturers of PFAS is nothing short of staggering, and without drastic action, California will be dealing with the harms of these toxic chemicals for generations. Today’s lawsuit is the result of a years-long investigation that found that the manufacturers of PFAS knowingly violated state consumer protection and environmental laws. We won't let them off the hook for the pernicious damage done to our state.”
PFAS are a class of thousands of toxic chemicals. This lawsuit concerns seven common PFAS that have been detected in drinking water supplies, surface waters, and groundwater in California.
PFAS are widely used in consumer products including food packaging, cookware, clothing, carpets, shoes, fabrics, polishes, waxes, paints, and cleaning products, as well as in firefighting foams designed to quickly smother liquid fuel fires. These so-called "forever chemicals" are stable in the environment, resistant to degradation, persistent in soil, and known to leach into groundwater.
Even after 3M ceased manufacturing PFOS in response to pressure from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, it worked to control and distort the science on PFAS and to minimize their dangers to the environment and human health.
Today PFAS are pervasive in California. Data from the State Water Resources Control Board shows that PFAS are in drinking, ground, and surface waters, with especially high levels near airports, refineries, chrome plating facilities, military facilities, and landfills. PFAS have been detected in at least 146 public water systems serving 16 million Californians. These chemicals are also present in aquifers that provide millions of Californians with water through unregulated domestic wells.
In another lawsuit, filed Nov. 11, Bonta joined a coalition of 17 attorneys general in filing an amicus brief in a lawsuit against Indianapolis Public Schools for preventing transgender students from participating in school sports. In the amicus brief, the coalition pushes back on efforts to prohibit a 10-year-old transgender girl in Indiana from playing on her elementary school’s girls’ softball team, highlights the pervasive harms caused by transgender discrimination, and urges the appellate court to uphold the trial court’s decision.
The case, which is currently before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, centers around Indiana’s efforts to implement a new, discriminatory law targeting the ability of transgender women and girls to play school sports. The statute singles out transgender women and girls by categorically barring them from participating in sex-segregated sports consistent with their gender identity.
No poaching of workers
McDonald’s is the target of another Bonta lawsuit, in which he joined a coalition of 21 attorneys general in an amicus brief opposing McDonald’s attempt to evade liability for past alleged efforts to stifle competition and undercut wages through the use of “no-poach” agreements.
No-poach provisions prevent franchise operators from hiring or recruiting the employees of another franchise operator, artificially reducing competition for labor and making it more difficult for employees, many of whom are low-wage workers, to seek better pay and benefits at competing franchises.
In the amicus brief filed in an appeal from a class action case against McDonald’s before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the coalition highlights the harms of no-poach agreements and urges the appellate court to reverse the lower court’s decision.
“No-poach agreements like those employed by McDonald’s in this case stifle competition and directly undercut wages,” said Bonta. “In California, no-poach agreements are not enforceable and members of the public should immediately report them if they see them. At the California Department of Justice, we will continue to fight to support businesses and workers who do things the right way. No corporation is above the law. My office urges the appellate court to follow the law and give the plaintiffs an opportunity to make their case.”
When Bonita isn’t busy doxing gun owners, he has time for this? A real superhero!
What an unserious, virtue-signaling, silly wanker.
For the purpose of this comment, I am self-identifying as a progressive. Therefore, I am immune from any criticism.😂.
Instead of focusing on soaring crime, smash& grab looting/ theft, drug dealing/ drug use and vagrancy fostered through Prop 47 and DAs like Bonta, this idiot focuses on so-called “citizens rights” attacking employers and meddling in other states valid concerns for the safety of their children.
Stores, businesses and employers are closing and regularly fleeing this non-serious state run by inept bureaucrats and office holders voted in by the ‘low information’ electorate.
Even a simple tax rebate (MCTR) of earnings returned back to over-taxed residents ends up being a waste of funds and a hassle for some residents. Over 50% of a return of taxpayers earnings through the MCTR was contracted to be via Debit Cards.
Some 3.6 Million debit cards were mailed out to residents, debit cards contracted to a community bank in New York, to access the return of taxpayers earnings the individual needs to register an account with this NY Bank providing the bank your Social Security Number and agreeing to the schedule of fees, personal information sharing and restrictions.
How much did the California bureaucrats pay to this NY Bank to mail out and manage these 3.6 million accounts and debit cards?
Just another massive waste of taxpayer funds and a hassle for residents to share more information and open themselves up to another avenue for identity fraud and/or theft.
Most of these debit cards have been mailed out already, but you have the option to reject the card and the NY Community Bank hassle and request a paper check.
For more information this article provides the phone number to call to cancel the debit card account and request a check payment in full.
“Did you get a California Middle Class Tax Refund debit card? Here’s how to use it, avoid fees”
(KCRA 3, Nov 23, 2022)
“What if you want a check instead of a debit card?
If you received a card, you can call 800-542-9332 and select option 9 to speak to an agent.
You can then say “customer service” to speak to a representative.”
Just an Observation
I cannot wait until the attorney can in effect sue all fast food restaurants for violating the new laws. And I know that the ant-poaching lawsuit will win because the tech business got caught doing the exact same thing and lost. They had the best attorneys money could buy.
Nothing by complaints, and no one providing any better alternatives. Saying NO is not leadership. Provide a better solution or stop complaining.
How is this for a solution: Let the market solve the problem. Stop all this legal harassment.
Just an observation,
If the public policy is NOT complied with, it is NOT LEGAL HARRASSMENT.
The market is dictated by PUBLIC POLICY forces, a contract is invalid if it violates any PUBLIC POLICY that regulates it.
The MARKET fails so badly that it FORCES public policies to remedy its failures. If the MARKET was so good, these rules would not be necessary. Talking as a person with 2 Business Degrees.
Just like the PRIVATE housing market, most other markets in the state of CA are based on not outperforming competitors, it is based on trying to find any loophole to cheat either your workers or your customers, right?
What better alternative can you provide with PROOF that it will work?
I am also a business owner and I second JAFO’s comment.
Local business advisors at SCORE and the SBDC advised me to subcontract my jewelry assembly to sheltered workshops that pay Disabled workers below minimum wage so I can undercut my competitors who are paying market wages in California.
That loophole in minimum wage laws is based on the premise that if a Disabled worker’s productivity is, for example, 50% of a free market worker’s productivity, they should get 50% of minimum wage so it won’t cost 2x as much to get the same amount of productivity. In practice, however, the ratio is frequently calculated using an unreasonably high benchmark. That is why the below-market wages can be such a good bargain that it’s cheaper to use the sheltered workshops for assembly, envelope stuffing, etc. even when the contractor’s overhead is included. That was true even when it was possible to hire non-disabled people at minimum wage instead of needing to offer a higher living wage. And if a Disabled person doesn’t have access to the open job market (because they live in a group home or family situation where they can’t just search job ads and go to interviews, etc.) then they are trapped in the sheltered workshop system.
Likewise, prisoners are also used for cheap forced labor thanks to the exemption of prisons from the 13th Amendment banning slavery in the US.
Just an Observation,
On top of what was described above, companies are PAID money to hire disabled people through the Federal Rehabilitation Act. So not only can they pay less, but they get paid a bonus.
On top of possibly STATE funded subsidies to hire under appreciated people with the SAME productivity as able bodied workers. These companies will NOT hire less productive workers.
I finally feel a little comfort knowing at least there is 1 more honest person reading this website