New PierPass Program Delayed Until Fourth Quarter

PierPass Inc. announced today that revisions to its OffPeak Program, which regulates truck traffic to marine terminals within the San Pedro Bay ports, are likely to go into effect in the fourth quarter. The revised program, often referred to as PierPass 2.0, was originally expected to debut in August. The 12 members of the West Coast Marine Terminal Operators Agreement, which is sanctioned through the Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) and governs the OffPeak Program, met on June 21 to begin compiling information about the revisions requested by the FMC. PierPass 2.0 will institute a new fee structure and implement truck appointment systems to help prevent congestion.


National Board To Assess Standards For Joint Employer Status

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is reassessing the standard for determining joint employer status under the National Labor Relations Act and will issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the coming weeks, according to the California Chamber of Commerce. In August 2015, the NLRB issued a decision broadening the definition of a joint employer, which “expanded the type and number of entities that can be held responsible for unfair labor practice violations and created collective bargaining obligations to employees of a totally separate, independent employer,” a release from the CalChamber stated. By using a formal rulemaking process this time around, the NLRB is allowing employers to voice any concerns they may have during the public comment period, according to CalChamber.


Judge Dismisses Environmental Case Against Oil Firms

Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed a case yesterday brought against the world’s five largest investor-owned producers of fossil fuel by two California cities. Oakland and San Francisco filed the suit against Chevron Corporation, Exxon Mobil Corporation, BP, Royal Dutch Shell and ConocoPhillips Company in September of last year. The cities claimed the companies were a public nuisance due to their product’s negative environmental impacts and contribution to global warming, and sought for them to be held financially responsible. While Alsup agreed that fossil fuels play a large role in global warming, the basis of his ruling was that the issue has global consequences and should be resolved through the legislative and executive branches in the form of federal law.


Survey Says: Middle Market Companies Remain Optimistic

The second quarter composite score of the RSM U.S. Middle Market Business Index decreased 2.2 points from the record-high first quarter to 134.5 points, the United States Chamber of Commerce recently announced. The survey indicated that companies are pleased with the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, with 54% saying “further reductions in the corporate tax rate would improve growth conditions.” Sixty-two percent of respondents said they intend to increase hiring, 65% said they intend to increase compensation and 54% plan to give a one-time bonus or payment to labor.


Women In Finance Less Optimistic About Gender Parity Than Men

CNBC and LinkedIn today released the results of a joint survey on gender disparities in the finance industry that found men to be more optimistic about women’s opportunities in the industry than women themselves. While 56% of men surveyed believed that men and women were equally likely to become leaders in their field, only 37% of women believed the same. While 74% of men responded that men and women are promoted at an equal rate within their industry, 47% of women said the same. Only 40% of women said they believed women were paid the same at their companies, while 75% of men believed the genders were paid equally.


Guest Speakers To Discuss Art And Science At The Aquarium Of The Pacific

Two lectures are taking place this week at the Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way. Andrés Pruna, a Cuban-American artist, former National Geographic photographer and filmmaker will speak on June 27, and a collection of his artwork will be on display in the Great Hall through the end of summer. Holly Buck, a researcher at the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA, is giving a lecture on the risks involved with evolving technologies designed to curb climate change on June 28. Both lectures take place from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Ocean Theater. The cost is $5 for the public, and free for seniors and Aquarium members. RSVP to 562/590-3100.