In the overall scheme of things, one has to wonder what’s happening in and to California. Aside from expanding the scope of family and medical leave mandates on employers and the rolling blackouts it’s experienced this year, the state is clearly going in different directions from the rest of the country. A new version of the California Family Rights Act (CFRA), signed by the Governor on September 17 and becoming effective on January 1, 2021, requires employers of 5 or more workers to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave and job protection to care for a sick qualified family member. Currently the application threshold is 50 or more employees! Further, the new law expands the definition of family members for purposes of the CFRA and in some cases allows employees to take as much as 24 weeks leave in a 12-month period. In his battle against greenhouse emissions, the governor went to a whole new level on September 23 when he signed an executive order phasing out the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles over the next 15 years, and completely banning their sale by 2035! In signing Executive Order N-79-20, Newsom also ordered the state to develop its Zero-Emission Vehicle Market Development Strategy by the end of January, 2021. This week, Newsom signed AB 979 which requires publicly traded companies to include at least one person on the Board of Directors from “underrepresented communities” by December 2021. The new quota mandate defines “underrepresented communities” as those that self-identify as Black, African American, Hispanic, Latino, Asian, Pacific Islander, Alaska Native, Native American, Native Hawaiian, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. This comes on the heels of California shutting down the state unemployment agency for a two-week “reset” – yes, in the midst of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and its economic chaos – during which time the agency will not accept any new claims for unemployment insurance!