CA New Anti-Harassment Law Is No Joke

26 Nov
Nov3-Sex Harassment
What Employers Need to Know About California’s New Anti-Harassment Law
Training Employees Is Mandatory
On September 30, 2018, California Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB 1343 which expands the existing mandatory harassment prevention training obligations for employers. This new law requires that California employers provide harassment prevention training for all employees. Since you are a valued client, all our CalWorkSafety, LLC team wants to ensure that you have the relevant information.
  • Who: Any employer with five or more employees must train all employees (not just supervisors). The definition of “employee” now includes all seasonal and temporary employees.
  • Deadline: All relevant employees must be trained by January 1, 2020 (which means training needs to happen in 2019).
  • Frequency: Every two years.
  • Content: Required training topics were established in 2007 by AB 1825 and subsequent FEHA regulations. This is now augmented by another law enacted on September 30th, 2018 (SB 1300) which authorizes employers to include bystander intervention training but does not mandate it.
  • Duration: At least two hours of training for supervisors, at least one hour for all employees.
  • Record Retention: Again, as established by AB 1825 and FEHA regulations, employers are required to keep records of completed training including details of the attendees, training methods used, copies of questions asked, and responses given, etc.
CalWorkSafety, LLC has added several new video programs which provide you the training needed to comply with this law. Ask any of our team to discuss compliance options with you. 
If you have questions or would like more specific details on this topic, our expert consultants can help. Call us at 949-533-3742, visit our website:  http://www.calworksafety.com or email: dondressler1@hotmail.com
The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and Staff training dealing with all Mandated Regulations.  By simplifying the employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2018/19 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email: dondressler1@hotmail.com or Call:  949-533-3742
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Take a Look At 2019 Minimum Wage & Overtime Updates

13 Nov

Nov-Min Wage-Overtime

Interested in 2019 Minimum Wage Tips & Overtime Updates?

Did you know that the Annual Minimum Wage, Tip and Overtime adjustment season began October 2018? Some California cities and counties are announcing their 2019 rates NOW.

Rate Change Examples Below:

California: State law provides that certain computer software employees, as well as licensed physicians and surgeons, are exempt from state overtime requirements if they receive a minimum hourly, monthly, or yearly rate, which is determined annually based on cost-of-living changes.

  1. Effective 1-1-19: the computer software employee minimum hourly rate will increase from $43.58 to $45.41 per hour; the minimum monthly salary amount will increase from $7,565.85 to $7,883.62, and the minimum annual salary amount will increase from $90,790.07 to $94,603.25. For licensed physicians and surgeons, the minimum hourly pay rate will increase from $79.39 to $82.72.
  2. Mountain View, California: The minimum wage will increase from $15.00 to $15.65/hour on 1-1-19.
  3. Sunnyvale, California: The minimum wage will increase from $15.00 to $15.65 per hour on January 1, 2019. On 10-30-18, the City Council voted to amend its ordinance to cap the amount of annual adjustments at five percent. Because $.65/hr. is less than five percent, the amendments will not impact the 2019 adjustment.

No-Cal’s San Francisco Bay Area – Bay Area (of Laws):

  1. The Alameda City Council adopted a citywide minimum wage, which, effective July 1, 2019, will be $13.50 per hour, increasing to $15.00 per hour on 7-1-20, with annual adjustments based on cost-of-living increases beginning 7-1- 22.
  2. On October 1, the Berkeley minimum wage rate generally increased from $13.75 to $15.00 per hour, increasing from $12.00 to $13.25 for employer youth works and job training participants.
  3. In Daly City, the City Council received a staff recommendation to hold a public hearing concerning a proposed citywide minimum wage ordinance on 11-16-18.
  4. The Fremont City Council held a listening session about whether to adopt a citywide minimum wage ordinance.

This information offers California employers real minimum wages, tips and overtime annual wage changes coming in 2019. We also can provide similar information for: Alaska, Florida, Albuquerque, New Mexico, Seattle & Tacoma WA.

If you have questions or would like more specific details on this topic, our expert consultants can help. Call us at 949-533-3742, visit our website: http://www.calworksafety.com or email: dondressler1@hotmail.com

The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations. By simplifying the employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2019 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email: dondressler1@hotmail.com Call: 949-533-3742

About That Loss Run Analysis

6 Nov
Loss Run Analysis-Cut Costs
The First Step: Cutting Worker’s Comp Costs. Loss Run Analysis Is the Second Step.

Online loss runs are the best method of cutting your Worker’s Comp (WC) costsfrom the claims perspective.  Even if you have a few accidents, online access usually results in immediate loss runs that can be printed or downloaded into a spreadsheet.

If your carrier offers a method to download information, it’s very helpful if everything possible is included in the download, because the more information on a spreadsheet, the potential to save WC dollars increases greatly.

Using the “red flag” terms when referring to loss runs is not suggested because there are no actual red flags as the loss runs may not have enough information to add this moniker on any of the claims listed. Paying attention to claim amountslooking ‘off’ is what you should analyze more specifically.

And, without looking at the loss runs, there is really no generic statements that can aid you in your loss run analysis.

For many employers the most confusing category is the term ‘Total Incurred’ which surprisingly, may not necessarily be a column on your loss runs. Below are common references used to define loss runs Total Incurred:

  • Total Reserves Incurred
  • Total
  • Total Reserves
  • Incurred
Loss Run Important Items:

  1. Injured worker’s name
  2. Date of loss
  3. Is it Open or Closed?
  4. Is the claim “litigated”, meaning injured worker has an attorney involved
  5. Claim amounts appear as “medical” and “indemnity”.  Other titles include: “medical/legal” and/or “allocated claims costs”.
  6. Cause of injury (not shown as such on all insurer loss runs).
  7. “Reserved” or “Unpaid” are claims where your action may help reduce costs or encourage insurer to close the case.

Attention getters arise when there is a significant amount of money in “reserved” or “unpaid” categories. Remember, since 2017 in California: there is a maximum dollar amount on each claim used to set your Experience Modification (Ex Mod). This amount is shown on the Workers’ Compensation Experience Rating Form issued each year by the WCIRB for your company.

Your broker has this form, so if you don’t have a copy, request it annually (prior to planning for your renewal of insurance for a new policy). The Experience Rating Form has a unique number: “Primary Threshold”. Remember, all costs of every workers’ compensation claim are charged to your Ex Mod, up to the maximum amount shown.

Beginning in 2019, every employee workers’ compensation claim will be listed on the form, and $250/claim will be deducted from the amount charged in your Ex Mod. This is done to offset the costs of “first aid” cases, which must now be reported to your insurer and the WCIRB.

CalWorkSafety offers detailed guidance on how I-9s are prepared and completed.  We assist with reviewing I-9 records and training employees on how to handle the I-9 process properly. To learn more send an email to: dondressler1@hotmail.com or call us at: 949-533-3742
.
The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations.  By simplifying the employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. Email Us: dondressler1@hotmail.com
Visit our website: www.calworksafety.com or Call:  949-533-3742

ICE-HSI Notice Of Inspections To Reach Over 8,500 By 2018 Year End

25 Oct

ICE-I9 Audits-F

How Is Your Written Immigration Compliance Policy Looking?

What Just Happened?
During the week of July 16, 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) delivered Notice of Inspection (NOI)/audit notices throughout the U.S. And, HSI served 2,738 NOIs and made 32 arrests in one-week.

ICE’s Delivery of Notices of Inspection
ICE also announced that since January, 2018, I-9 audit notices were served to more than 5,200 businesses around the U.S. During Phase-1 of the operation – Jan. 29 to March 30, 2018 – HSI served 2,540 NOIs and made 61 arrests. At the present rate, ICE-HSI will reach more than 8,500 NOIs this year! This is over 5,000 audits more than the highest previous amount.

HSI is enforcing its commitment to increase the number of I-9 audits to create a culture of compliance among employers, says the HSI Director. Its worksite enforcement strategy focuses on the criminal prosecution of employers who knowingly break the law, by using I-9 audits and civil fines to encourage compliance of the law.

Statistical Evidence
Failure to follow the Immigration Reform & Control Act can result in criminal and civil penalties. In FY17, businesses were ordered to pay $7.8 million in civil fines and $97.6 million in judicial forfeitures, fines and restitution with Asplundh Tree Experts assessed $95 million. This is the largest payment ever levied in an immigration case.

In FY 2018 to date, HSI opened 6,093a worksite investigations (I-9 audits) and made 675 criminal and 984 administrative worksite-related arrests, respectively. In FY 2017, HSI opened 1,716 worksite investigations; initiated 1,360 I-9 audits; and made 139 criminal arrests and 172 administrative arrests related to worksite enforcement.

Preparing for ICE I-9 Audit
Will your company be targeted next? The best way to prepare for an I-9 inspection is having an experienced outsider conduct an I-9 audit. Doing so highlights numerous errors found, and corrects them so that if ICE inspects your I-9 forms, the errors are viewed as minor … unfortunately since almost every company has I-9 errors, they risk getting penalized.

Also – many if not all of your employees are U.S. citizens – which causes substantive and technical I-9 errors. Employers assume that by using E-Verify they are okay. While E-Verify is excellent in establishing who is authorized to work, you should know that it cannot locate substantive or technical errors on the I-9 forms.

If an ICE I-9 audit occurs, getting a lawyer involved as soon possible is suggested. An attorney can help the company negotiate a few days’ extension in responding to the subpoena. They can often get the list of requested documents reduced, as well as helping you prepare to respond in a methodical and logical way.

Being prepared for a NOI/subpoena requires a company to have proper procedures in place ‘upon hiring’. The best way to have these procedures in place is to prepare a written Immigration Compliance Policy. This policy ensures that the employees responsible for completing I-9 records on behalf of the company are properly trained to do so. For the novice, it’s hard to tell the difference between a green card and a work authorization document issued to a recipient of DACA or TPS, since one represents permanent work authorization that should never be re-verified, and the other requires the employer to re-verify the I-9 form upon the document’s expiration.

Tips To Remain I-9 Compliant:

  • Be prepared to handle an ICE worksite enforcement action and understand its dynamics;
  • Conduct regular internal I-9 audits and training and be able to spot issues and fraudulent documents. Contact our office for assistance in addressing I-9 issues, audits, and developing training programs;
  • Review company immigration corporate compliance programs using Sarbanes-Oxley considerations at the worksite, corporate due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, subcontractor liability, and E-Verify.

CalWorkSafety offers detailed guidance on how I-9s are prepared and completed.

We assist with reviewing I-9 records and training employees on how to handle the I-9 process properly. For more information send an email to: dondressler1@hotmail.com or call us at: 949-533-3742.

The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations. By simplifying the employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2019 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email:
dondressler1@hotmail.com

Visit our website: www.calworksafety.com or Call: 949-533-3742

This Is NOT a Drill – All Employers Need To Know About This Report

24 Oct
300A-Flash Report
Cal/OSHA Issues Emergency Work-Related Injury Recordkeeping Regulation 

In an effort to ensure compliance, an emergency RecordKeeping Regulation has been issued to bring Cal/OSHA in line with Fed-OSHA requirements.

Cal/OSHA announced that the required 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuriesonline filing is now “official” and California employers must comply by December 31, 2018 for 2017 Report, if not already done.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) has published an Emergency Regulation requiring all employers with 250+ employees to electronically submit their annual 300A Summary of Work-Related Injuries. Employers in selected industries – with between 20 – 249 employees also must electronically submit the 300A.

The original DOSH original version of the regulation was issued on October 10, but it appears few, if any stakeholders were aware of it. DOSH has now reissued the emergency regulation.

Stakeholders attending an October Cal-OSHA Standards Board meeting were surprised when a DOSH official announced the regulatory move. Confusing language made it appear that employers were required to electronically submit their 2018 300A data by December 31, 2018, which would be impossible. The DOSH Legal Unit revised that issue stating that it is referring to 300A summaries for 2017.

On October 23, 2018, DOSH will officially submit the Emergency Action to the Office of Administrative Law (OAL). The OAL will then provide stakeholders five days to comment. Also, an Emergency Regulation will appear on the OAL website, oal.ca.gov. OAL then has 10 days to review the action after the comment period and if it passes muster, it will take effect after that period.

If you have any questions about this update please contact us at 949-533-3742 or email: dondressler1@gmail.com.

CalWorkSafety is a leader in labor law, risk management and consultant on: Human Resources,Safety & Cal/OSHA, Labor Law/Discrimination/EOP and Workers’ Compensation.Through the design of customized HR packages, Cal Work Safety significantly reduces worker’s compensation costs and protects employers from non-compliance issues … while providing effective employee training solutions to California companies.
The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and
Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations.  By simplifying the
employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce
workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2019 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email:

Visit our website:

or Call:  949-533-3742

Is Your Company Prepared for These 10 Questions in 2019?

9 Oct

BottomLine Oct Update

  1. How will your firm incorporate the new or changed laws into policies and procedures?
  2. What adjustments have you made regarding 1099 changes (rules for independent contractors)?
  3. Do you have an arbitration agreement to avoid court lawsuits involving employees?
  4. Does your company have a safety plan?
  5. Is your sexual harassment policy training completed yet?
  6. How have you prepared to objectively investigate a harassment claim?
  7. What’s your plan to train each of your employees on harassment and workplace bullying prevention? How to deal with violence in the workplace?
  8. How are you calculating pay, bonuses, missed breaks, missed meals, and overtime? (are you using “rounding” for recording time?)
  9. What expectations have been set for the most critical jobs in your organization?
  10. Is your New Hire and Termination process current?
If your answers to these questions is marginal, what’s your plan for 2019?
CalWorkSafety is a leader in labor law, risk management and consultant on: Human Resources,Safety & Cal/OSHA, Labor Law/Discrimination/EOP and Workers’ Compensation. Through the design of customized HR packages, Cal Work Safety significantly reduces worker’s compensation costs and protects employers from non-compliance issues … while providing effective employee training solutions to southern California companies.
The Bottom Line:
Our Virtual HR Department offers effective hands-on Management and Staff training dealing with Mandated Regulations.  By simplifying the
employee relations and compliance elements we help clients reduce
workers’ compensation premiums, prevent discrimination and harassment claims, and settle/avoid employee claims. To learn more about preparing for 2019 HR compliance, call us at 949-533-3742 or email:

Visit our website:

or Call:  949-533-3742

Covered California Notices

4 Oct
October Image-Con-Con
A number of our clients provide health benefits to employees 
and yet those employers who’ve recently received letters from Covered California (the Exchange) stating that because some of 
their employees received subsidies, the employer now owes ACA penalties.  These notices contain demand for payment, ranging 
from $2,000 – $3,000 per employee.  
Not Good!
Employers that offer health coverage can avoid these penalties … if they respond to these letters .. and indicate that they offered coverage to their employees that met ACA guidelines, and subsidies would be unavailable to their employees, and no penalty to them is due.  Unfortunately, now those employees who received subsidies by mistake are responsible for the payments and will have to repay those amounts at some time.
Small business is encouraged to review their options beyond the exchanges and ensure that they have a good response to penalty notices.  Health insurance experts can help your company plan for both your company’s circumstances and, the right plans for the firm and its employees. This is a complicated area and fortunately we have worked with a firm which is very knowledgeable and able to help employers: Moore Benefits Inc.

The IRS has now began levying penalties on employers under the ACA employer shared responsibility provision. Often called the employer mandate or Pay-to-Play, the ACA provides for the IRS to assess penalties on employers that do not offer adequate health coverage to their full-time employees. Although the mandate was instituted in 2015, the IRS is just now starting to send penalty notices. What follows defines the IRS process and the steps employers can take if/when they receive a penalty notice.

Back to the Beginning:
The first round of penalty notices pertains to calendar year 2015. At that time, Applicable Large Employer (ALE): Play-to-Pay rules applied only to employers that had an average of 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents.

Employer Mandate:
Penalties were triggered only if a full-time employee received a government subsidy to buy individual health insurance through a Marketplace. In that case, penalties were based on a two-prong test:
  1. Penalty A if the ALE failed to offer minimum essential coverage to at least 70% of its full-time employees
  2. Penalty B if the ALE failed to offer affordable minimum value coverage to its full-time employees
IRS Penalty Process:
The IRS is using information from 2015 Forms 1095-C and 1094-C, and information about employees who received a Marketplace subsidy for any month in 2015, to determine which ALEs it believes are liable for penalties. It appears that a Form 1095-C on which line 16 is blank is one of the triggers the IRS is using to identify ALEs for penalty notices.

In August 2016 Covered CA began sending notices to employers about their employees who have enrolled in Covered CA and are receiving the Advance Premium Tax Credit (APTC). The notice serves to inform employers that their employees may have indicated that their employer has not offered “affordable, minimum value standard coverage” and that they may be subject to the “employer shared responsibility payment” otherwise known as the tax penalty.  Prior to a consumer applying and qualifying for a subsidy through Covered California we highly recommend reviewing the guidelines.

Employers:
Basically, Covered CA is giving a “heads up” to employers before tax time regarding how some of their employees may be receiving health insurance and how it might affect them as the employer. If an employer receives a notice from Covered CA titled “Important information about your employee’s health insurance coverage through Covered California,” he should investigate whether or not he is required to pay the employer shared responsibility payment/tax penalty.

At this time, Covered California is only sending a notice out to an employer whose contact information was provided on an application (which is optional for employees to include).  This means that employers may not receive notices for every employee who is receiving a subsidy. Therefore, it is advisable that the employer checks all of his employee’s health insurance statuses and/or to consult a tax professional regarding ACA compliance.

If the employer disagrees with Covered California’s determination, an appeal can be made with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Employees:
Employees must understand that the ACA requires Marketplaces, such as Covered CA, to send these notices to applicable employers as monetary consequences could result. Employees should be aware that they do have certain protections from employer retaliation under the ACA.

Employees must also understand that most employers who give employee health benefits offer affordable, minimum value standard insurance which disqualifies employees from receiving tax credits. If employees are found to be receiving tax credits when they do not qualify, then they will be subject to paying the tax credit back at tax time! In this case the employer would not be penalized.

For More Information Contact: Cathy Solomon, Moore Benefits, Inc.- 949-872-2380 Cathy@moorebenefits.com
The Bottom Line:
IRS notices recently began arriving in corporate mailboxes, in some cases demanding millions of dollars in fines.  Yet in 2015, the year the government began enforcing the employer mandate, neither the federal government nor most states operating their own exchanges managed to alert employers. In
late 2015, the Department of HHS, which manages the federal marketplace, announced that it would began sending notices to “certain” employers in
2016, and “expand to more employers in later years”  
  
Visit our website: www.calworksafety.com 

or Call:  949-533-3742