Newsletter

    
May 2020
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Returning to Work Post-Coronavirus

With the first phase of easing the stay at home order underway this week, slowly but surely, California is getting back to work.

Overall, the safety and health of your employees, and assuring them you are ready to comply with any requirements specific to your industry and local ordinance is imperative. Have your ordered appropriate PPE? Masks, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes and gloves are a few of the recommended or required items to have on hand and available.

Social distancing should also be enforced. This may include moving desks, rotating employees into workstations, or even staggering employees working from home when possible. If there is a shared break room or lunch area, consider removing seating to limit the amount of people that can congregate at the same time.

Employees should prepare themselves that when they return to work, it will not be “business as usual” for some time. Employers may find it beneficial to schedule a virtual training or town hall meeting to discuss the changes and new protocols prior to re-opening. Topics to cover may include a staggered re-opening plan, new cleaning requirements, a change in operating hours, social distancing reminders and other specific steps your company is taking to make the transition back to work a smooth one.

We have included some of the most frequently asked questions to date regarding returning to work. If you have a question that is not addressed, please reach out to a member of the consulting team for guidance.

Question: What sort of plan or policy do I need to have in place before I start bringing my employees back to work?

Answer: An exposure control plan should be defined and in place prior to bringing your employees back or as close to the return date as possible. Items that should be included in this plan are protocols for sending employees home, contact tracing in case an employee becomes sick with COVID-19, and cleaning requirements through the work area. This is not an exhaustive list. Please speak with a member of the consulting team to determine what should be covered in your specific exposure control plan.

Question: When we re-open and bring our employees back, do they need to be put through our regular new hire process?

Answer: Maybe. If the employee remained on your payroll, they may just need to be re-activated in your system. A change in status form should be used to document the return date in the personnel file.

If the employment relationship was terminated and the employee was removed from payroll, you may need to go through your usual new hire process with the employee. Depending on how long the employee was gone, this may include a background check, new Form I-9, or benefits enrollment. Reach out to your consulting team for guidance on which scenario works best.

Question: Can I require my employees to wear masks?

Answer: Yes. However, if you require masks, you must be prepared to provide them to your employees or reimburse them for their own purchase. Also be alert to specific ordinances which may require masks, regardless of employer preference.

Question: What happens if one of my employees requests an accommodation to not wear a mask?

Answer: Some employees may have a medical or religious purpose to not wear a mask. If an employee requests an accommodation, employers should enter into the interactive process with the employee to determine if an accommodation can be made.

Question: Can I take the temperatures of my employees before they enter the workplace?

Answer: Yes. Until further guidance is issued, employees can be required to have their temperatures taken before they begin work. Non-exempt employees must be compensated for this time. If an employee has a high temperature and is sent home, reporting time ray rules would apply.

It is important to note that California employers may be subject to the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). If this is the case, you are required to provide your employees with a compliant notice prior to or at the time of the collection of data. Reach out to your consulting team for this resource.

Question: Are employees able to refuse to return to work, even after the order is lifted?

Answer: An employee may refuse to return to work only if they believe they are in imminent and immediate danger. The Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA) states that an imminent danger is “any conditions or practices in any place of employment which are such that a danger exists which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated through the enforcement procedures otherwise provided by this Act.” Additional information about the requirements to meet an “imminent threat” can be found here.

Question: We have called our employees back into the office. One of our employees still has a child at home due to a school closure. Would they qualify for any type of leave?

Answer: Potentially, yes. If your company is required to comply with the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and their child meets the criteria listed, they may be able to take up to 12 weeks of Emergency FMLA (EFMLA). However, if you have under 50 employees and meet the qualifications for the small business exemption, your employee may not qualify for EFMLA.

While the first two weeks of EFMLA are unpaid, the employee can elect to use Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) during this time. Using these benefits concurrently would entitle the employee to 12 weeks of leave paid at two-thirds their regular rate.

Question: If an employee contracts COVID-19 and claims they were exposed at work, can they file a workers’ compensation (WC) claim?

Answer: Yes. Workers compensation benefits are available to employees who become ill while performing services at their workplace. An employee that contracts COVID-19 and that meets the following criteria will most likely be eligible for WC benefits:

  • The employee tested positive for or was diagnosed with COVID19 within 14 days after a day that the employee performed labor or services at the employee’s place of employment at the employer’s direction;
  • The day referenced above was on or after March 19, 2020;
  • The employee was not working from home;
  • A test confirms the diagnosis within 30 days of initial diagnosis.

*BREAKING NEWS:Governor Newsom issued Executive Order N-62-20 on May 6, 2020. This order states that workers’ compensation benefits are available to employees who become ill with COVID-19, under certain circumstances. We will continue to monitor this order and bring you updates as they are released.

In Conclusion

While these questions are all pressing, it is also important to continue to think ahead. What happens if there is a resurgence? Do you have the resources and a plan to prepare for another business closure?

As has been the case throughout this pandemic, there are frequent and rapid changes. Contact us with your questions and be on the lookout for our next return to work resource.

    
April 2020
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Health Insurance Carriers Position Regarding Cost Sharing for COVID-19

Major health insurance carriers have released updated information regarding costs associated with COVID-19. As has been previously communicated, all health plans must provide no-cost coverage for COVID-19 testing. However, major carriers are extending that benefit and will waive co-pays or other costs associated with medical treatment, even if the member has to stay in the hospital.

Anthem Blue Cross: Anthem will expand coverage, effective April 1, for members in its affiliated health plans undergoing treatment related to a COVID-19 diagnosis. The expansion covers the waiver of cost share for COVID-19 treatment received through May 31, 2020. Click here to learn more.

Blue Shield of California: Blue Shield has announced that it will cover members’ coinsurance, copayments, and deductibles for COVID-19 medical treatments through May 31, 2020. Click here to learn more.

Kaiser: Kaiser Permanente is waiving member out-of-pocket costs for inpatient and outpatient services when treating COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

UnitedHealthcare (UHC): UHC is waiving member cost-share for the treatment of COVID-19. Click here to learn more.

Sutter: No update available regarding treatment. Sutter Health Plan will not collect patient cost shares in advance of providing services for medically necessary COVID-19 screening and testing in advance. Click here to learn more.

Western Health Advantage: No update available regarding treatment. Waived all cost-sharing for medically necessary screening and testing for COVID-19 only. No further details at this time. Click here to learn more.

The list is current as of today and is not all-inclusive. Please contact your benefits team for information about additional carriers.

HRDR Corner – Keeping Connected in a Remote Workplace

COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, has had an impact on just about every single person in the world. Most importantly, your employees. Now, more than ever, engaging your employees will be critical for the health of your people and your organization.

Some of your workforce may be used to working remotely already. For others, this may be brand new. While the allure of working in your slippers is initially strong, the transition to working at home can be a challenge. It may lead to general disengagement, reduced productivity and an overall decline in motivation. How can managers prevent this from happening to their employees?

Missed our post? Read it here.

UPDATED - FFCRA Flow Chart and Benefit Eligibility

As new information about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is being released, we will continue to keep you informed of changes. Click here to access reference charts that have recently been revised. Contact the HR team if you have questions.

    
April 2020
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CARES Act Expands Use of Flexible-Use Dollars

Good news! The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) has expanded the use of Health Saving Account (HSA) and Health Flexible Spending Account (Health FSA) dollars to include certain medical expenses and over-the-counter medicines without a prescription. This is a reversal of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) restrictions on the use of these funds.

Employees will now be able to purchase items such as pain relievers, antacids, allergy medication, feminine hygiene, and even acne treatments without a prescription. It is important to note that vitamins and supplements will most likely still require a prescription or letter of medical necessity stating that they are being used to treat a diagnosed medical condition.

The most convenient change is that employees will now be able to use their HSA debit cards to make these purchases. This means that you can go to Target and purchase your favorite allergy medication with your HSA card as opposed to filing for reimbursement after you incur the expense and without a prescription.

While this change was retroactive to January 1, 2020, stores will need time to implement this change in their point-of-sale systems. If you attempt to make a qualified purchase but your HSA card is declined, you will be required to use another form of payment and submit for reimbursement afterwards. These system updates could take until the end of May.

New Posting Requirement for Restaurant Industry

Executive Order N-51-20 ("COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave") signed by Governor Newsom has expanded paid sick leave to food industry employees who work for a company with 500 or more employees nationwide. The Department of Industrial Relations says covered employees range from "farmworkers to those workers who work in the retail food supply chain, including pick-up, delivery, supply, packaging, retail, or preparation."

Covered employees are required to provide a new notice to their employees that can be found here. This can be included alongside your 2020 compliance poster.

Additional information can be found here.

Returning to Work Post-Coronavirus

As we watch other states start to re-open their doors, we are working diligently to compile the most accurate data for California employers. We will continue to update you as new information is made available. Keep an eye out for our “return to work” publication, coming soon! You can also reach out to a member of the HR consulting team as questions arise.

Mental Health & Wellness Resources

May is Mental Health Awareness month. As we enter into a month focused on the mental health of one another, it is important to highlight the resources that may be available. Mental health is of great importance as we navigate the impact of COVID-19. People may be working remotely for the first time, dealing with feelings of isolation, along with the concerns over finances and childcare and their own general health.

An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a voluntary, work-based program that offers assessments, counseling, and other services to employees who may have personal or work-related concerns. If you already have an EAP, your carrier may offer expanded benefits as a result of COVID-19.

In addition to an EAP, your medical plan carrier may offer additional resources for members covering wellness, mental health, stress management and more. Reach out to the benefits team for specifics on your plan.

If you are looking for other resources regarding mental health support and self care for your workforce, contact the HR team for guidance. In addition, the state has launched special content with an array health and wellness resources. You can find those here.

Office Closure: Memorial Day

Benefits Done Right and HR Done Right will be closed Monday, May 25, 2020 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. We will respond to all emails and voicemails when normal business hours resume on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.

    
April 2020
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COVID-19 updates from the Done Right team

The amount of information that has been released over the past weeks related to COVID-19 is immense. Today we highlight the most recent clarifications from the Department of Labor (DOL) as it relates to Emergency Paid Sick Leave, Emergency Family Medical Leave and what businesses may qualify for an exemption. For the backstory, refer to our earlier communications. You can also reference the updated DOL FAQ’s for details not included here. If you, like so many, find the DOL pages overwhelming, please reach out to your consulting team.

Q: If my business operations are shut down, do I need to provide the Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Emergency Family Medical Leave Act (EFMLA) to my employees?
A: No. If your business is no longer operating due to lack of business or because of a federal, state, or local order, you are not required to pay these benefits. Employees that have been sent home and are no longer being paid are not eligible. Your employees should file for unemployment in this scenario.

Q: I own a small business. Am I exempt from providing EFMLA and/or EPSL to my employees?
A: Maybe. While there was speculation that small businesses with less than 50 employees would be able to claim an exemption from providing both of these leaves, this is no longer the case. The very narrow exemption only applies to employers with a proven hardship that allows you to not pay EPSL or EFMLA only due to a child being at home because a school or place of care is closed. You would also need to prove that providing these leaves would be detrimental to your business's continued operations.

If this is the case, you should document your reasoning for each criteria and be prepared to submit the information for approval. This process is still being determined. Further clarification is expected later this week.

The DOL has determined that an employer may claim this exemption if an authorized business official has determined that:

  • The provision of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would result in the small business’s expenses and financial obligations exceeding available business revenues and cause the small business to cease operating at a minimal capacity; or
  • The absence of the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave would entail a substantial risk to the financial health or operational capabilities of the small business because of their specialized skills, knowledge of the business, or responsibilities; or
  • There are not sufficient workers who are able, willing, and qualified, and who will be available at the time and place needed, to perform the labor or services provided by the employee or employees requesting paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, and these labor or services are needed for the small business to operate at a minimal capacity.

A company may decide to claim an exemption if the following criteria are met:

  • employer employs fewer than 50 employees; and
  • leave is requested because the child’s school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; and
  • an authorized officer of the business has determined that at least one of the three conditions described in the previous section is met.

As the employer, you are encouraged to work with your employees to determine the best solution for ensuring safety and maintaining business operations.

Q: My employees are still able to work their regularly scheduled hours by telecommuting but require an adjusted schedule. Am I required to pay them EPSL or EFMLA?
A: Not necessarily. If an employee is able to complete their regularly scheduled work within the same hours allotment, they would not be eligible for these benefits.

If an employee with a qualifying reason is unable to telecommute or perform their regular work, the employee would be eligible to receive EPSL.

If an employee is unable to telecommute or complete the required working hours due to a child being at home whose school or day care has been closed, they would be eligible to receive EFMLA benefits.

Note: Documentation is required from the employee when requesting leave. Please contact your consultant for additional details.

This is a lot of information to digest and more is expected as we get further down the road. If you have specific questions or would like clarification on how to handle your workforce, please reach out to a consultant.

    
DOL Updates Released
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Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) Resources

The Department of Labor (DOL) just released a Q&A that addresses many of the questions we have received from clients. The full list of questions can be found here. A significant clarification is the effective date of the FFCRA is April 1 as opposed to April 2.

The DOL has also released the required notice which can be found here. We recommend you distribute this to your employees and post next to your compliance poster as soon as possible. In addition to the posting, the DOL has released helpful pages for employers and employees.

We have also included a helpful flow chart to help determine if your employees are eligible for Emergency FMLA or Emergency Paid Sick Leave which can be accessed by clicking here.

Unemployment Insurance Resources

Many of you have questions regarding unemployment insurance benefits as you assess your short and long term business plans. In weighing options, you may want to explore EDD’s Work Share Program. Work Share allows eligible employees of participating employers to receive the percentage of their weekly Unemployment Insurance benefit amount that equals the percentage of the reduction in normal hours and wages for that week. Additional information can be found here.

The Done Right team is here to support you and your employees. Contact the HR team if you have HR related questions. Contact the benefits team for assistance with eligibility or help understanding your plan benefits and coverage.

We appreciate your patience if our response time is longer than usual. We will continue to keep you current as the situation progresses.

    
Febuary 2020
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New Form I-9 Released

The U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) released the new version of the Form I-9 on January 31, 2020. The previous version expired in August, but employers were advised to continue using this version until the new form was released. All employers must begin using the new form by May 1, 2020.

While the paper version of the form did not change, the electronic version saw minor updates. A list of the changes can be found here.

HRDR Corner – Is Direct Deposit Putting You at Risk?

"It\'s my money and I need it now!" Perhaps you recognize this phrase from a popular television commercial. Instant gratification is something that many people feel on a regular basis, especially on pay day. The idea of picking up a paper paycheck on a Friday, driving to the bank, then waiting 3 days for the funds to clear is a thing of the past. Direct deposit has become the new normal.

Missed our post? Read it here.

Harassment Prevention Training – Registration is Open!

Governor Brown expanded the harassment prevention training requirement to employers with five or more employees effective in 2019. These employers are now required to provide training to all employees. An extension has been granted by Governor Newsom, giving employers until January 1, 2021.

Our next manager/supervisor session will be held on March 18. Click here to register.

Our next non-supervisory session will be held on April 29. Click here to register.

Want more information on how to comply with training requirements? Interested in custom onsite training? Contact us here.

OSHA 300A Form Posting Requirements

Most employers are required to post the OSHA Form 300A from February 1 – April 30 every year. Employers that are classified with a low-hazard Standard Industrial Classification code or have 10 or fewer employees are exempt from posting.

If there were no recordable incidences in the previous year, the summary form must still be posted with zeros. The form should be posted in an area frequented by employees, usually close to the compliance postings

Thank You for Attending!

We had the honor and pleasure of hosting a 2020 legal update on Wednesday, January 29 in Sacramento. Thank you to all who were able to join us.

If you have any ideas or topics that you would like us to discuss in our future events, we would love to hear from you. Plans for our next event are already underway. Stay tuned for more information!

Holiday Office Closure

Benefits Done Right and HR Done Right will be closed Monday, February 17 in observance of the Presidents' Day holiday. We will return to the office on Tuesday, February 18.

    
January 2020
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You're Invited: Employment Law Update Event 2020

2019 was a busy year for the California legislature. Join us on January 29 as we recap what you need to know as a California employer. Alden Parker, Regional Managing Partner - Fisher Phillips, will speak to the most important changes that will impact almost every company, regardless of size, throughout the state.

Registration will fill up fast. Click here to reserve your seat today.

HRDR Blog – Introductory Period vs. Probationary Period of Employment in California

Upon hire, many employers have a defined period of time where the employee is able to learn how to perform the job on a regular basis. The terms “introductory period” or “probationary period” may be used. What’s the difference between these terms, and how should a California employer classify this period?

Missed our post? Read it here.

Updates to Required Notices

With the new year comes updates to many of the California required documents. Employers are required to give these notices upon hire, termination, or other employment changes such as a leave of absence. Your HR team is available to guide you on which notices to use in each scenario.

While many of the updates are included with a 2020 compliance poster, some are standalone pamphlets or notices.

Still have pamphlets from last year? Check the date of the document before you toss them out. If there is a newer version, the old versions should be destroyed and replaced immediately.

Contact your HR team if you have questions on the updates or need to order your 2020 compliance poster.

Decrease to the IRS Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate for business travel saw a decrease in 2020 compared to 2019. Effective January 1, 2020, the standard rate is 57.5 cents, down from the 2019 rate of 58 cents. This rate should be used when calculating the reimbursement to an employee for miles driven for business purposes.

    
December 2019
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Save the Date: Employment Law Update Event 2020

Join us for an employment law event in Sacramento, January 29. Alden Parker, Regional Managing Partner from Fisher Phillips will highlight the most important changes for employers in 2020. Mark your calendar, this is not one to miss! Registration will open soon.

HR Corner: Are You Prepared for 2020?

This is the time of year when many people reflect on the year and revisit personal goals and tasks they planned to accomplish. The same is true with business. Legislative bills signed by the governor this year will take effect in January. There are new laws regarding independent contractors, lactation accommodation, organ donor leave, paid family leave (effective 7/1/2020), and harassment prevention training, just to name a few.

Missed our blog post? Read it here.

Extended Deadline for Furnishing (But Not Filing) 2019 ACA Form 1095-B and Form 1095-C

On December 2, 2019, the IRS issued Notice 2019-63, which extends the due date for certain Affordable Care Act (ACA) information reporting requirements for insurers, self-insured plan sponsors, and “applicable large employers.” Specifically, the IRS is extending the deadline for furnishing 2019 Form 1095-B and 2019 Form 1095-C to individuals by 30 days—from January 31, 2020 to March 2, 2020.

Notice 2019-63 does not, however, extend the deadline for filing the 2019 forms with the IRS. The IRS filing deadline remains March 31, 2020 if filing electronically (or February 28, 2020 if filing by paper).

Despite the extension, the IRS is encouraging reporting entities to furnish Form 1095-B and 1095-C statements as soon as they are able.

“Good Faith” Compliance Standard Extended to 2019 In addition to extending the due date for furnishing forms to individuals, Notice 2019-63 also extends the “good faith” transition relief from penalties to 2019 reporting. Under the transition relief, employers and other reporting entities will not be penalized for providing incorrect or incomplete information on the 2019 forms if they can demonstrate that they have made good faith efforts to comply with the reporting requirements.

In determining whether a reporting entity reported in “good faith,” the IRS will take into account whether the reporting entity made reasonable efforts to prepare for reporting (such as gathering and transmitting the necessary data to an agent to prepare the data for submission to the IRS, or testing its ability to transmit to the IRS). The IRS will also take into account whether the reporting entity is taking steps to ensure that it will be able to comply with the reporting requirements for 2020.

Impact on Individual Taxpayers The IRS recognizes that taxpayers may not receive their Form 1095-B or Form 1095-C by the time they are ready to file their 2019 income tax returns due to the deadline extension. Like last year, taxpayers do not need to wait to receive their Form 1095-B and/or 1095-C in order to file their tax returns.

Even though the individual mandate penalty was reduced to $0 in 2019, taxpayers will need to attest on their tax returns as to whether they were eligible for a Marketplace subsidy. Instead of waiting for the Form 1095-B or form 1095-C, they may rely on other information received from their employer. They do not need to send their Form 1095-B, 1095-C or any information they relied upon in completing their 2019 tax return to the IRS, but should keep that information with their tax records.

States with an individual mandate (i.e., Massachusetts – 2006, New Jersey – 2019 and California – 2020) remain in effect despite the elimination of the ACA's individual mandate.

Have questions about how this impacts your company? Contact a member of the account management team today.

2020 Compliance Posters: Order Today

2020 will be here before we know it. Contact your HR Done Right team today if you would like to order updated compliance posters.

Office Closure

Our offices will be closed December 24 through Friday, December 27 and Monday, December 30 through Wednesday, January 1 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holidays. Normal business hours will resume on Thursday, January 2, 2020.

    
October 2019
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Welcome Karen Drew!


We are happy to announce and welcome Karen Drew, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP, to our consulting team. Karen brings 23+ years’ private sector HR experience within the Sacramento region to HR Done Right. She’s worn many hats from Generalist to Manager to Consultant. She received her bachelor’s degree in Organizational Communications and Minor in Business Administration from California State University, Sacramento. Originally from the bay area, Karen enjoys spending her spare time at the coast with her family and their Havanese, Baxter.

Susan can be reached at 888-805-5421 x248 or kdrew@hrdoneright.com.
HRDR Blog - Salary Threshold Increase for 2020

Last week, the US Department of Labor announced an increase to the federal salary threshold for the “white-collar” exemptions from overtime pay. As of January 1, 2020, the weekly salary threshold increases from $455 to $684. If an employee does not meet the exemption requirements, they are eligible for overtime. As 2020 approaches, now is the time to review your exemption classifications and make changes, if necessary.

Missed our blog post? Read it here.

Final Session for 2020 - Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown expanded the harassment prevention training requirement to employers with five or more employees effective in 2019. These employers are now required to provide training to all employees. An extension has been granted by Governor Newsom, giving employers until January 1, 2021.

Our final session of the year for managers/supervisors will be held on November 6. Click here to register.

Question of the Month: Should I Host a Holiday Party for My Employees?

Sometimes it’s a challenge to please everyone. As we approach the holiday season, many companies like to host events for employees to wrap up the year and say “thank you” for all of their efforts. Many employees view this as a perk and look forward to this festive time spent with their work families. It speaks to the company culture and can positively contribute to employee retention and morale. It’s a fine line between having a “boring” party that employees feel obligated to attend and a morale booster that the team will always remember.

Decisions should be made about the event, such as if it will be held during working hours or after hours, location and whether or not alcoholic beverages will be offered. There is always an element of risk that should be evaluated by organizations when making these decisions. Remember, even if the event is held offsite and/or after working hours, it is still considered a company sponsored event.

No matter what type of event an organization chooses to host, a good rule of thumb is to spell out the expectations for employees in advance. Providing a reminder of the dress code and behavioral guidelines is a good idea. The goal is for all to enjoy the company function, while remembering that they are socializing with co-workers.

If you have a scenario not addressed in this article, contact a consultant for guidance.

HRDR Out & About - 2019 Best Places to Work


Thank you to the Sacramento Business Journal for hosting a great event on October 10. Karen Drew and Kimberly Parker enjoyed networking with the honorees and other attendees.
    
August 2019
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HRDR Blog - Pre-Tax vs Post-Tax: Are You Deducting Properly?

To be pre-tax or to be post-tax, that is the question. At least, that is the question when it comes to payroll deductions. While every payroll deduction can be classified as either pre- or post- tax, how does an employer correctly classify these deductions? While several are classified by IRS regulations, other deductions are a matter of choice.

Missed our blog post? Read it here.

Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

Our next manager/supervisor session will be held on September 11. Click here to register.

Our next non-supervisory session will be held on October 16. Click here to register.

Legal Update: Definition of Race Expanded to Include Hairstyles

Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 188 prohibiting discrimination based on natural hairstyles associated with race. California is the first state to adopt this law. SB 188, also referred to as the CROWN Act (Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural hair), expands the definition of race under California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to state “inclusive of traits historically associated with race, including but not limited to, hair texture and protective hairstyles.” Protective hairstyles include but are not limited to afros, braids, or dreadlocks.

SB 188 goes into effect on January 1, 2020. Now is the time for employers to review their personal appearance policies to ensure they are up to date.

A consultant is available to assist you with a review.

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Monday, September 2 in observance of the Labor Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00am on Tuesday, September 3.

    
July 2019
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HRDR Blog - Mid Year Spot Check

As we enter the second half of 2019, now is the perfect time for a mid-year checkup of changes that may affect your business. Our July blog post covers the updated EEO reporting requirements, July minimum wage increases, EEO training and more.

Missed our blog post? Read it here.

Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

Our next supervisor session will be held on August 20. Click here to register.
Our next employee session will be held on October 16. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

Question of the Month

Question: What am I required to pay my employee upon separation from the company?

Answer: All earned but unpaid wages are due to the employee when their employment ends. This includes accrued but unused vacation or paid time off (PTO). Vacation or PTO includes any float days or personal holidays that are vested, which means a “use it or lose it” policy would not apply. Final paychecks must be made available to the employee at the time and place of termination. If the employee has outstanding expenses to be reimbursed by the company, the payment may be made on the next regularly scheduled reimbursement date.

Be cautious when deducting from an employee’s final paycheck. While the regular, reoccurring deductions are permitted, anything else may be called into question. An employer cannot deduct for any unpaid balance of debt from the employee, even if a written agreement is in place. Examples include negative vacation or PTO balances, the balance of an outstanding loan, or additional unpaid medical premiums. An employer also cannot deduct for the breakage or loss of equipment unless a dishonest act or gross negligence can be proven.

If you have a scenario not addressed in this article, contact a consultant for guidance.

    
June 2019
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HRDR Blog - Pets in the Workplace: Benefit or Pitfall?

How do you feel leaving your dog at home when you go to work in the morning? Does your dog stare at you with sad eyes and beg you to stay with just one look? What if you were able to bring your dog with you to work? What if you allowed your employees to bring their animals to work?

Employers in a variety of industries have adopted policies that allow their employees to bring their fur babies to work. However, there are many factors to consider prior to offering this unique benefit.

Missed our blog post? Read it here.

EEO & Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

Our next supervisor session will be held on July 17. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

Protecting Your Employees in the California Heat

Employees who work outside or in high temperate environments are beginning to feel the effects of the changing weather as summer weather is upon us. Now is the time review your heat illness prevention policy and ensure your employees know how to prevent and respond to heat stress or heat stroke.

A heat illness prevention policy is not only for employers with outdoor workers. Cal/OSHA states that an “outdoor place of employment is best thought of as one that is not an indoor workplace.” A shed, vehicle with no air conditioning, or a structure with one or more open sides may be considered an outdoor structure. Employers with employees working anywhere other than an indoor environment should implement a heat illness prevention policy. Cal/OSHA defines an indoor environment as “a building that provides sufficient ventilation and cooling, either by natural or mechanical means, and blocks temporary exposure to sunlight.”

Hydration is key. While remaining hydrated on and off the job is important, employees should be drinking up to four cups of water every hour while working in high temperatures. Water breaks should be taken as often as every 15-20 minutes.

Meal and rest breaks should be taken in shaded areas or inside, when possible. Employees should eat during their breaks to replenish lost electrolytes.

Light-colored, loose-fitting, breathable fabric can help your employees maintain a safe body temperature. Consider providing employees with added cooling methods including cold towels, mist stations, or cooling vests.

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Thursday, July 4 in observance of the Independence Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 AM on Friday, July 5.

    
May 2019
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EEO-1 Pay Data - Reporting Deadline

As of Friday May 3, the deadline to submit pay data for EEO-1 reporting from 2017 and 2018 is September 30, 2019. This new reporting requirement has been titled “Component 2” data. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) will begin accepting data in mid-July, though no specific date has been announced yet.

What is an EEO-1 report?
The EEO-1 report must be filed by employers with 100 or more employees and contractors subject to Executive Order 11246. Typically, this report includes information about employee demographics categorized by race/ethnicity, gender and job category. This information has been titled “Component 1” data.

While the deadline to submit the Component 1 EEO-1 report has historically been March 30 of the following year, the deadline for 2018 data was postponed until May 31, 2019 due to the government shutdown. This deadline remains firm with only Component 2 reporting deadline extended to September 30, 2019.

What does this recent ruling mean?
The announcement of the inclusion of pay data comes after much anticipation surrounding the lawsuit National Women’s Law Center v. Office of Management and Budget. In summary, the plaintiff argued the OMB should have been collecting this information for the past several years. To rectify this, the EEOC was ordered to collect pay data (“Component 2 data”) for 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019. While an appeal has already been filed, the EEOC has stated that the appeal does not alter the current requirement of submitting the data by the September deadline.

EEO & Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

Our next non-supervisory session will be held on June 19. Click here to register.

Our next supervisor session will be held on July 17. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

Summer Dress Code Standards

With the hot summer months approaching, we wanted to include a previous article we published regarding summer dress in the workplace.

A California summer means one thing...heat! Employees would rather be sitting by the pool instead of sitting in their office. To combat the summer blues, many employers have adopted a summer dress code policy. Whether you already have one or you are looking to implement one, there are a few key factors to consider.

Safety should be the first priority. While summer sandals are fun to wear, they may not be compatible with your work environment. Loose clothing can also be a hazard when working around machinery. Having specific items that are prohibited listed in your policy can help alleviate questions that may arise.

While jeans and a tank top might be acceptable for some employees, those in a client or customer facing role might have different standards. It is important for your policy to state that employees should dress appropriately for their day.

While summer in California can seem like it lasts all year, we recommend including applicable dates for your summer dress code. Many employers use Memorial Day to Labor Day as a general practice.

Your consultant is available to assist you with drafting a summer dress code policy.

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Monday, May 27 in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, May 28.

    
April 2019
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Updates to Required Notices

California has another update to labor law posters effective April 1, 2019. The “Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave” notice has an updated title and includes information about the New Parent Leave Act (NPLA) that went into effect last year. In addition to the labor law poster, two California pamphlets have also been updated: the Paid Family Leave pamphlet and the Disability Insurance pamphlet.

EEO & Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020. Our next in person session for supervisors and managers is now open for registration. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

Good People Know Good People – Employee Referral Programs

In today’s job market, finding good candidates can be a challenge. The federal unemployment rate has been holding steady at 3.8% for the past two months and the California unemployment rate was only 4.2% in February. Implementing an employee referral program is a positive way to financially incentivize employees to spread the word about open positions.

Clear guidelines and expectations are important aspects of a successful referral program. Employees should know who is eligible to participate and what they can expect if they successfully refer someone. According to a survey completed at Human Capital Institute (HCI), 78% of companies provide the same financial reward for all positions. This can reduce the risk of one job seeming more important than another.

Arm your employees with key information about the position that they can then share with their potential referral. This may include salary range, desired traits, specific certifications or education, as well as previous work experience. Another way to incentivize your employees is to provide “instant gratification.” Instead of dispersing the full reward after a designated amount of time after hire, employers may want to consider providing half of the reward upon hire and the remaining balance upon completion of an introductory period.

Implementing a structured referral program can turn your employees into recruiting machines! A consultant is available to assist you with creating and implementing an employee referral program for your company.

    
March 2019
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Office Closure

Our offices are in the final stages of renovation. We will be closed on Friday, March 15 for new paint and carpet installation. We will be back in business Monday, March 18. Thank you for your patience through this process. We look forward to sharing our updated space in the future!

Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

Click here to register for our next manager/supervisor session on May 15. Click here to register for our next employee session on June 19. Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

HR News: Reporting Time Pay Rules May Apply to On-Call Employees Who Don’t Report to Work

A recent court decision in Ward V Tilly’s Inc. (CA Court of Appeal, 2nd district) on February 4, 2019 puts an interesting spin on the meaning of “reporting time pay” and how “on-call” employees must be compensated. If you have on-call employees, it is important to examine your practices to ensure you will not be on the hook for additional wages when they are not given work.

“Reporting time pay” is required in California when an employee shows up to work for a shift and is sent home before working at least one-half of the scheduled day’s work. When this occurs, the employee is owed one-half of their usual or scheduled shift, but no less than two hours and no more than four hours. Until the Ward v. Tilly’s decision, reporting time pay has been applied to employees who physically show up to their shifts.

Typically, “on-call” employees are given a time frame when they are waiting to be called into work and/or required to respond to a call. When they are called into a shift and/or the work is performed, they are paid for the hours worked. In this case, applied to Wage Order 7-2001 (Mercantile Industry), the court ruled that employees must be given “reporting time pay” when required to call in two hours before a shift to learn whether they were needed for work, and then were told that no work was available (and not to come in for the day.) The court’s reasoning was that an employee who was required to call in two hours before a shift could not schedule personal activities and did not fully have use of this personal time. Therefore, the requirement to call in was a form of “reporting time”.

Even though this is the only published appellate decision in California addressing this specific issue, California employers are now bound by the Ward decision. The ruling applies to all Wage Orders, not just Wage Order 7-2001. We recommend that you review and revise your reporting policies and on-call procedures accordingly to avoid liability.

Sutter Health - Anthem Blue Cross Negotiation Update

Anthem notified Sutter’s HMO patients that they will be reassigned to a non-Sutter doctor effective April 1, 2019, unless a new agreement is reached before that date. Patients enrolled in Anthem’s PPO plans that include Sutter affiliated providers will continue to have access to the Sutter network at in-network benefit levels through June 30, 2019.

Click here for the list of Sutter hospitals and medical foundations. We will provide additional updates as negotiations continue. Regular updates are also available at www.SutterHealth.org/Anthem.

    
February 2019
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Please Pardon Our Dust and Office Closure

Please pardon our dust as our office space will be getting an update! We will be closing early to accommodate the general contractor as follows:

Friday, February 15 Closing at noon
Friday, February 22 Closing at noon

We will also be closed for the Presidents’ Day Holiday Monday, February 18. Our team will respond promptly when business hours resume.

IRS Deadline Fast Approaching

The IRS deadlines for filing and furnishing Forms 1094 and 1095 are fast approaching.
As a reminder:

  1. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-C to all full-time employees no later than March 4, 2019.
  2. Self-insured employers with fewer than 50 or more full-time employees (including full-time equivalent employees) generally must furnish a Form 1095-B to all responsible individuals—typically the primary insured, an employee or former employee, or other related person named on the application for insurance—no later than March 4, 2019.
  3. All Forms 1094 and 1095 must be filed with the IRS no later than February 28, 2019 (or April 1, 2019, if filing electronically).

Article republished with permission from HR360.

Register Now: Harassment Prevention Training

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees are required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020. Our next in person session for supervisors and managers is now open for registration. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

HR Corner: Introductory Period vs. Probationary Period of Employment in California

Upon hire, many employers have a defined period of time where the employee is able to learn how to perform the job on a regular basis. The terms “introductory period” or “probationary period” may be used. What’s the difference between these terms, and how should a California employer classify this period?

As an at-will state, an employee or the employer may end the employment relationship at any time. A probationary period may unintentionally imply that there is a promise of continued employment upon satisfactory completion of this period. This could lead to potential claims of wrongful termination if an employee feels an agreement was broken.

Instead of a probationary period, an employer can implement an introductory period. This is a period of time where the employer can determine if the employee can perform the job duties satisfactorily as well as if the employee is a cultural fit for the company. Your company policy should include verbiage stating that a successful completion of an introductory period does not supersede the at-will employment status. Interested in implementing an introductory period, but want to be compliant? Contact your HR consulting team for guidance.

    
January 2019
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UPDATE - 2019 Compliance Posters

The Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has just released updated language to the “Discrimination and Harassment” posting. If you order compliance posters from your payroll company or a similar vendor, contact them to request a new poster.

You may also contact us to order updated compliance posters. We will continue to keep you updated if there are additional revisions.

2019 Training Program

The HR Done Right team will be offering expanded training sessions in 2019 at our Sacramento office. Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees will be required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

A two-hour supervisory session will be held on February 5, 2019 beginning at 8:30am. There are a few seats remaining. Click here to register.

A one-hour employee session will be held on February 27, 2019 at 8:30am. Click here to register.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

HRDR Blog: Have You Reviewed Your Leave Policies for 2019?

A change to the use of paid time off while taking a leave that falls under Family and Medical Leave (FMLA) or California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations means employers should review and update their applicable leave policies.

Missed our post? Read it here.

OSHA Form 300A Requirement

Most employers are required to post the OSHA Form 300A from February 1 – April 30 every year. Employers that are classified with a low-hazard Standard Industrial Classification code or have 10 or fewer employees are exempt from posting.

If there were no recordable incidences in the previous year, the summary form must still be posted with zeros. The form should be posted in an area frequented by employees, usually close to the compliance postings.

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Monday, February 18 in observance of the Presidents’ Day holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 AM on Tuesday, February 19.

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December 2018
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2019 Compliance Posters

2019 is around the corner. Contact your HR Done Right Team today if you would like to order updated compliance posters.

Updated IRS Standard Mileage Rate

The IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate for business travel will see a substantial increase in 2019 compared to prior years. Effective January 1, 2019, the standard rate will increase to 58 cents from the 2018 rate of 54.5 cents. This rate should be used when calculating the reimbursement to an employee for miles driven for business purposes.

HRDR Blog: California Minimum Wage Increases—The Impact to Hourly and Exempt Employees

The California minimum wage will reach $15.00 an hour for all employers by January 1, 2023. Until then, Californians will see incremental increases of one dollar per year. Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum wage for employers with 26 or more employees increases to $12.00 per hour and $11.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees. Even if all your employees make more than minimum wage, there still may be action required.

Missed our post? Read it here.

2019 Training Program

The HR Done Right team will be offering expanded training sessions in 2019 at our Sacramento office. Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees will be required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

A two-hour supervisory session will be held on February 5, 2019 beginning at 9:00am. A one-hour employee session will be held on February 27, 2019 at 9:00am. Registration will open soon.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

HRDR’s Julie Worley Board Appointment

Julie Worley has accepted a volunteer position on the CalSHRM board. CalSHRM is the statewide affiliate for the Society for Human Resource Management. Julie will serve as the Professional Development Director for two years starting January 1, 2019. Congratulations, Julie!

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Tuesday, December 25 through Friday, December 28 and Monday, December 31, 2018 - January 1, 2019 in observance of the Christmas and New Year holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 AM on Wednesday, January 2, 2019.

    
November 2018
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Welcome HR Consultant, Susan Breslauer!


HR Done Right is happy to announce and welcome Susan Breslauer, SPHR, PHRca to the HR consulting team. She brings more than 30 years’ HR experience in both the private and public sectors, with the past 15 years in an HR consulting role. Much of Susan’s work has focused on compliance, benefits, compensation, payroll and HR information systems. She holds a BS from the University of California, Berkeley in Social Science with an emphasis in Human Resources Management.

Susan can be reached at 888-805-5421 x248 or sbreslauer@hrdoneright.com.
HRDR Blog: Are You Compliant with Expanded Accommodation Requirements?

Current California law states that all employers must make reasonable efforts to provide employees with a room to express breast milk, “other than a toilet stall.” This room must be private and near the employee’s work area. Employers must also provide a reasonable amount of time for the employee to express milk.

Missed our post? Read it here.

2019 Training Program

The HR Done Right team will be offering expanded training sessions in 2019 at our Sacramento office. Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with five or more employees will be required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

A two-hour supervisory session will be held on February 5, 2019 beginning at 9:00am. A one-hour employee session will be held on February 27, 2019 at 9:00am. Registration will open soon.

Interested in customized training options at your company location? Contact us for a quote.

Office Closure

HR Done Right will be closed Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday. Normal business hours will resume at 8:00 AM on Monday, November 26.

    
October 2018
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Thank You for Attending the Fall Employer Seminar

HR Done Right and Benefits Done Right had the honor and pleasure of hosting the Fall Employer Seminar on Wednesday, October 3 at Piatti. Thank you to all who were able to join us. If there are topics you would like us to consider for future events, we would love to hear from you. Plans for our next event are already underway. Stay tuned for more information!.

2019 Compliance Posters

2019 is around the corner. Contact your HR Done Right Team today if you would like to pre-order updated compliance posters.

The "#MeToo Effect" on California Legislation

The #MeToo movement was born soon after the explosive New York Times feature exposing extensive allegations of sexual harassment against Harry Weinstein. Since then, we have seen many other public figures brought into the spotlight including actors, politicians, TV personalities and comedians.

Missed our post? Read it here.

Expanded Training Requirements Coming Soon!

Governor Brown passed SB 1343 which expands the requirements for harassment prevention training for California employers. Employers with 5 or more employees will be required to provide training to all employees by January 1, 2020.

The HR Done Right team will be offering expanded training sessions in 2019 at our Sacramento office. Contact us if you have questions regarding the new training requirements or to request sessions delivered at your company location.

HRDR Out & About - 2018 Best Places to Work


Thank you to the Sacramento Business Journal for hosting a great event on October 11. We were proud to support an event honoring our region’s top workplaces.

Pictured at our exhibitor table is HR Consultant, Julie Worley and founder, Laurie Rood.
    
September 2018
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Have You Reserved Your Seat? Employer Seminar 2018

Join us for a critical conversation. Our seminar will address violence prevention and mental health in the workplace. We have consulted with employers on these issues all year and hope you will join us October 3 – our speakers will share their insights and offer practical guidance on how to be prepared for, prevent and address these modern day business challenges. Then, stay after and enjoy happy hour with our presenters and other attendees.

Additional details and registration can be found here.

Managing Overtime in California

California’s wage and hour laws are unlike any other state, which can make them a challenge to correctly interpret. In recent weeks, two northern California employers have been named in separate class action lawsuits regarding failing to properly pay overtime. What does this mean for employers across California? A clear, well-defined and consistently followed policy is essential.

In California, an employee earns one-and-one-half times their regular rate of pay when they work over eight hours in a day and during the first eight hours of their seventh consecutive day in a defined work week. Employee’s earn double their regular rate of pay when they work 12 hours or more in a day or more than eight hours on their seventh consecutive day in a defined work week. Employers should also consider any applicable federal overtime laws and industry specific requirements.

The employee’s regular rate of pay is used when calculating overtime as opposed to their normal hourly rate of pay. An employee’s regular rate of pay may include their base rate of pay plus commissions, bonus or piece work earnings.

Two critical components to a company’s practice and policy should include language stating that “off the clock” work or not reporting direct time worked is a violation of company policy. An employee who shows up early for their shift or stays late after their shift should not be clocked in if they are not performing work on behalf of the company.

Employers can and should require employees to approve their time sheets at the end of each pay period. This ensures the employee has acknowledged they were given their meal and rest breaks as well as stating that any overtime worked was approved. This can help decrease future claims of unpaid overtime or missed breaks.

Some employers opt to make employees “salaried”, in an effort to avoid being subject to timekeeping and overtime requirements. We will address this approach in a future post.

Now is the time to review your time tracking and overtime policy. A consultant is available to review your current policy or assist in the creation of a new policy.

Through Wind and Rain, Your Employees Must Be Paid

With the wildfires in California and now Hurricane Florence, many employers have experienced business closures, lack of power, and limited access to technology. How do these events affect business operations and compensating your employees?

Exempt vs Nonexempt
During a natural disaster, exempt employees that perform any work during the work week are entitled to be paid their full salary. If an employer decides to shut down operations early and exempt employees work a partial day, no deductions should be made from their regular salary.

Nonexempt employees must be paid for all time worked, whether at the work site or remote. In regular incidences, if a nonexempt employee reports to work and is sent home prior to the end of their shift, they must be paid for half of their scheduled shift, no less than two hours but no more than four hours. This is not required when there is a natural disaster in which the employer has no control.

Travel Time
While an employee’s typical commute may be extended due to a natural disaster, the commute to and from work is generally not considered compensable time. If the employee is driving during work hours and is under the direction of their employer, this time is compensable and must be paid even if above and beyond what is typical.

Late Wage Payments
If an employer is unable to process payroll on time, they are required to provide written notice to their employees with pay date changes. This notification should be done as quickly as possible.

In Closing
There are many factors to consider when dealing with a natural disaster. A consultant is available to help make sure your employees are taken care of.

    
August 2018
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Every Second Counts in California - Troester v. Starbucks

Locking up. Taking out the garbage. Setting the alarm. All of these may be expected of an employee after they have clocked out and are at the end of a workday. Last month, the California Supreme Court ruled that de minimis time can no longer be unpaid. De minimis is something so small or trivial that it is too difficult or cumbersome to track.

The Court ruled that because de minimis time is stated in federal law but not expressly stated in the California labor code, employees were entitled to be paid for these small periods of time. The Court stated that California has not expressly adopted the federally held de minimis rule in applicable wage orders or the labor code. The de minimis rule also contradicts California labor law that states employees must be paid for all hours worked. With this ruling, California employers must ensure all employees are being paid for every minute they are performing work or under the control of the employer.

While not every specific situation has been addressed, employers should review timekeeping practices and ensure all employees know to report any time worked that was not recorded. Train your managers and supervisors to not allow employees to perform any work while ‘off the clock’, even if they volunteer. A consultant is available to review your policy and timekeeping practices.

A Few Seats Left - Harassment Prevention Training


Join us in Sacramento for our next in person harassment prevention training session August 22. This session is almost full. Click here to reserve your seat today!
HRDR Blog: What - Unlimited Paid Time Off?!

Unlimited paid time off (PTO) has gained momentum, with household names like Netflix, Honeywell, Dropbox and GE offering unlimited time off to many, and in some cases all of their employees. While these large employers may have started the trend, many smaller companies are also offering this unique benefit. Regardless of your headcount, there are many factors to consider prior to implementing an unlimited time off policy.

Missed our post? Read it here.

Immigration Update - Temporary or Permanent?

California employers are now able to grant Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to the worksite and employee personnel records without a subpoena or judicial warrant. A recent ruling has changed the terms of AB 450 also known as the Immigrant Worker Protection Act. Effective January 1, 2018, this bill sought to protect California employees from ICE inspections and raids.

The Department of Justice sued the state of California earlier this year and a US District Court Judge ruled that California’s law directly challenged the US Constitution Supremacy Clause. This clause prohibits states from administering legislation that conflicts with federal law.

Subpoenas and/or warrants are not required for worksite inspections, for now. There is a strong likelihood that this ruling will be appealed by California. Employers are still required to notify employees of an inspection as well as provide the results to employees after the inspection. A consultant is available to help you implement a notification policy that is efficient and compliant.

Save the Date: HRDR Education Event

HR Done Right will be hosting an educational event in Sacramento, October 3. You will learn about violence prevention and addressing mental health in the workplace straight from the experts. Mark your calendars, this is not one to miss. Look for registration information later this month.

    
July 2018
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Reserve Your Seat - Harassment Prevention Training

Join us in Sacramento for our next in person harassment prevention training session August 22. Seats will fill up quickly. Click here to reserve your seat today!

HRDR Blog: Time Off Policies – Should You Follow the Trend?

In a recent study by Mercer, it was discovered that combined paid time off (PTO) policies have skyrocketed to over 63%, up from just 38% in 2010. To remain competitive, many employers are shifting how they structure their traditional sick and vacation policies in favor of a combined PTO policy.
Miss our post? Read it here.

Updated Protections Under FEHA – Are You Covered?

July 1, 2018 brought a new wave of legal changes to California. Though most of the changes occurred in certain regions, an update to FEHA will affect employers statewide. The California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers with 5 or more employees to refrain from employment discrimination for a myriad of reasons. The most recent update was to discrimination based on national origin. National origin discrimination covers a wide range of protected activities including English-only language policies, English proficiency and accents.

The change expanded the national origin regulations to include protection based on actual or perceived association with “indigenous or ethnic groups”. A summary of the new regulations can be found here.

Question of the Month: "Are there required details that must be included on my employee’s wage statement/pay stub?"

Yes, and while most payroll companies include standard details, employers want to ensure their wage statements comply with California requirements. Refer to this checklist when doing a spot check of your wage statements.

  • Full name and address of the employer’s legal entity
  • Name of the employee and employee ID number (can also be last four digits of the employee’s social security number)
  • Pay period start and end date
  • Gross wages earned in the pay period
  • Total hours worked in the pay period (non-exempt)
  • All deductions
  • Net wages earned
  • All applicable hourly rates during the pay period, and the hours that correspond to each rate
  • If applicable, the number of piece-rate units produced and applicable rate of pay
  • Though not required to be on the wage statement, it is recommended to include all applicable time off hours such as paid sick leave, sick, vacation or paid time off.

    Talk to a consultant for more information regarding recommended and required details on your wage statements.

        
    June 2018
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    Critical Conversations: Mental Health in the Workplace

    It’s headlining the morning news show. It’s all over social media. It’s being talked about at the water cooler. The suicides of public figures Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain have catapulted mental health into the spotlight and shined a light on a topic that can sometimes be difficult to discuss. The World Health Organization found that suicide was one of the top 20 leading causes of death in 2015 and was the leading cause of death of people between the ages of 15-29.

    Americans with a full-time job work an average of 47 hours per week, which means a large portion of our waking hours are spent around those we work with. If you observe a change in behavior in someone, don’t be afraid to start a conversation. By starting with "I wanted to check in, you haven’t seemed like yourself lately," you are giving them the opportunity to open up and ask for help if they need it. These conversations are not always the easiest to start, but do not shy away from it. There are resources that can help identify warning signs of mental illness or other changes in behavior.

    An Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can also be a beneficial resource. Employers can direct their employees to services covered in their EAP to continue the recovery process. By providing an EAP, you can help reduce the effect untreated mental illness can have on your company.

    The conversation about mental health in the workplace is not going away. Employers have an opportunity to help their employees receive the help that is needed. Your consultant is available to provide guidance on starting these conversations.

    HRDR Blog: Hire Right by Identifying Soft Skills