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Working to help you prepare for 2020

17 Sep

Dressler - September 2019.png

The California Legislature has finished its work for 2019, and now the focus shifts to what our new California Governor Newsom will sign or veto for new laws for 2020.

With changes in California Court decisions and some Federal rules, as well as laws already signed, employers will face new and emerging HR challenges and obstacles when it comes to complying with federal, state and local laws as well as developing, maintaining and enforcing workplace policies and procedures.

Key Issues

From new laws and regulations on trending issues such as equal pay and reasonable accommodations to societal transformations with the #metoo and #timesup movements, to changes in technology and communications, employers need to revisit and update their workplace policies and procedures in a meaningful way, as soon as mid October 2019.

These are some of the new and emerging issues employers face, which CalWorkSafety’s team is here to help you deal with:

• Complying with rapidly changing leave laws across states and localities;
• Eliminating unconscious bias in recruiting and hiring;
• Handling employee mental health issues;
• Preventing cyber breaches and data security;
• Managing mobile devices/wearable technology;
• Handling the conflict between federal and state marijuana laws; and
• Preparing and responding to an active shooter or workplace violence incident.

We can also help with: 

• Ensuring handbooks are read and understood by employees;
• Finding high quality applicants;
• Ensuring employees and supervisors have the necessary skill sets now and for future responsibilities;
• Keeping handbooks current with new laws and trends; and
• Recruiting a more diverse workforce.

Full Speed Ahead to 2020

What will 2020 bring when it comes to HR compliance? There are a host of other trending issues to watch and employers must be up to speed on them, including:

• In California – complying with new “gig-economy” or independent contractor law;
• Managing and protecting employee privacy;
• Closing the wage gap and increasing pay equity for women and minorities;
• Managing nontraditional workers (i.e., gig workers, remote workers);
• Making workplaces more family friendly, diverse and inclusive;
• Providing reasonable accommodations for workers in a protected class (i.e., disability, gender identity, religion);
• Addressing increased immigration enforcement and audits;
• Addressing pregnancy/lactation issues;
• Handling employee use of e-cigarettes and vaping;
• Preparing for anticipated changes to overtime regulations;
• Providing leave and time off for various reasons;
• Preventing harassment and investigating complaints; and
• Restrictions on the use of NDAs/arbitration clauses in employment or settlement agreements with respect to harassment.

The CalWorkSafety Consultants Are Here to Help Clients
With all Questions or Concerns About These New Laws.
Contact Us Today!

CA Paid Family Leave Program Expands from 6 to 8 Weeks

11 Sep
Sept-19-FamilyLeaveProgram-2020
As of July 2020, California will expand state benefits available to workers who lose wages while taking time off to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.

The new law expands the state’s family Temporary Disability Insurance Program managed through the Employment Development Department (EDD). The benefit program “Paid Family Leave” or PFL (Senate Bill (SB) 83) provides certain workers with up to eight weeks-two additional weeks-of PFL benefits.
California’s PFL Program provides employees “who take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member … including:  Child, Parent, Parent-in-law, Grandparent, Grandchild, Sibling, Spouse, or Registered Domestic Partner.
The PFL Program provides employees to bond with a new child entering the family through birth, adoption, or foster care placement” with partial pay. In addition, this family temporary disability insurance program (part of the state’s disability insurance program), provides covered workers wage replacement benefits for up to six weeks.
The new law will instead “provide for wage replacement benefits for up to eight weeks to workers who take time off work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a minor child within one year of birth or placement, as specified.”
California has expanded its PFL program to include a wider range of family members, eliminate a waiting period, and increase benefit amounts. It was the first U.S. state to implement a PFL program and now five states have enacted similar programs.
California’s EDD’s PFL plan is well funded; currently the payroll tax rate is 1.0 percent of an employee’s first $118,371 in wages earned in a calendar year. The current law authorizes a tax rate as high as 1.5 percent. Analysts expect that the rate could rise in 2020, and additional increases later as well.
Prepare now for this new program: We help companies prepare for the laws coming next year – including this new PFL Program implementation in July 2020. Contact us today and speak to one of our Consultants: 949-533-3742.

What To Do When ICE Visits Your Company

30 Aug
August-19-ICE Masthead
What are employers required to do if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials raid a job site or ask to inspect your company records?
For a long time ICE officials focused on deporting undocumented immigrants who were in jail or prison and avoided workplace enforcement. Under the current administration, ICE has shifted more of its focus to the workplace. Businesses here have high numbers of undocumented immigrants, which means that employers must know what to do in case of an ICE raid and how to be prepared.
  • Approximately 1/4 of the nations11 million undocumented immigrants live in CA.
  • They currently live and work here often in agriculture, service industries and construction.
  • Some industries rely heavily on this group to remain competitive in the marketplace without them.
Although employers in all industry sectors should know what to do if ICE comes knocking, agricultural employers in particular, must prepare since ICE focuses heavily on this industry based on the volume of workers on dairy farms or agriculture.
To Ensure Compliance With Federal Law …
Employers Are Encouraged to Hire an HR Employee Experienced in
ICE Laws or Engage a Consulting Expert on Immigration Laws 
Workplace Raids Require Warrants
Employers are required by law to allow ICE to conduct a raid if a court-ordered warrant has been issued. In this case, if ICE wants to search a workplace and has a warrant, they must be allowed in the parts of the workplace covered by the warrant.
Without a warrant, there is no requirement for employers to open the workplace to ICE authorities, i.e.: arriving on a worksite on a “tip”-without a warrant-the employer may decide whether to grant access to ICE for an inspection. Employers should carefully read warrants as they detail what areas of the workplace are required accessible to ICE. Although ICE cannot search a job site without a warrant, they can ask to inspect records.
Inspection Notices Require Advance Notice
A notice to inspect employment records requires advance notice, and a physical raid requires a warrant. ICE may ask employers to inspect and verify the identity and employment eligibility documents of their employees. ICE may ask for Forms I-9, and other supporting documentation, such as a copy of the payroll, a list of current employees, Articles of Incorporation, and business licenses. The Notice of Inspection requires advance notice of the visit which gives employers time to gather the documents requested.
Sanctuary Cities
Employers should know that even if their business is located in a sanctuary city or jurisdiction, federal laws govern immigration, not state or local authorities. All employers must comply with ICE requirements and warrants.   Even though the state has declared itself a sanctuary state…the federal immigration authorities are governed by the U.S. Constitution and U.S. immigration laws and the state can’t undermine that or interfere in any way.

Seek Legal Help …
If your firm is struggling with a possible ICE raid, you should meet with an attorney or contact a consulting firm in this field. If you get an ICE notice you certainly should speak with an attorney.
CalWorkSafety 

Our Consultants are trained in the latest Immigration Regulations and can assist your company on these topics.  Call us today and eliminate your concerns: 949-533-3742.

Workplace Fatigue Growing Safety Concern

19 Aug
Aug-Masthead-FatigueSafety
Since workplace safety makes employers consider proper training, proper equipment and a safe work environment … safety fundamentals never stop being a top priority. Tired workers can pose a serious risk to himself/herself and to coworkers.
Research shows that 13% of workplace injuries are attributed to fatigue and 43% of American workers admit that they sometimes are too tired to function safely doing their job.
Health-related Lost Productivity Caused by Fatigue
Costs U.S. Employers $136B Per Year
Certain workers are more likely to experience workplace fatigue, especially those who work irregular or extended shifts (transportation, healthcare, police and firefighters) as well as others whose jobs require rotating shifts. Other factors – long commutes and simply not sleeping enough– also contribute to fatigue even for those with regular shifts.
Regardless the cause, workplace fatigue does increase the risk of injury and illness on the job. The Labor Department reports that accident and injury rates are 18% greater during evening shifts and 30% greater during night shifts when compared to day shifts.

Long shifts – 12-hour days – spike injury by almost 40%. 
These numbers suggest that workplace fatigue awareness matters and is the first step for both employers and employees to keep in mind. Employers can take proven common-sense approaches to diminish the risk of workplace fatigue. OSHA recommends the following steps:
Workers are encouraged to take steps to reduce the risks posed by workplace fatigue as well. A rested worker is a safer worker and makes for a safer work environment for everyone.
Employers benefit from engaged, alert and rested employees. Make this a priority for your company to avoid any accidents or increased costs. Call 949-533-3742 or visit our website  CalWorkSafety to learn how our training programs help you manage workplace fatigue.

CALWORKSAFETY.COM ANNOUNCES COMPANY ACQUISITION OF ATENTO CONSULTING SERVICES

12 Jul

Atento Masthead Heading-7-1-19

IRVINE, CA — JULY 1, 2019 – Irvine, CA — Don Dressler, a national leader in human resources and risk management solutions, today announced the acquisition of Long Beach, CA-based ATENTO Consulting Services, Inc. by Irvine, CA-based CALWORKSAFETY, effective July 1, 2019.

Two ATENTO founding principles – Ron Paine, MS, ARM, and Laura Pensamiento – are seasoned experts in safety training for the construction industry. Combining the experiences with those of CalWorkSafety broadens the scope of Cal/OSHA compliance, citations defense services along with a wide variety of HR compliance solutions, specifically in Spanish and English: Safety, Risk Control & Human Resources including:

Safety Training Classes include: Hazard Communication (HazCom) Training, First Aid/CPR/AED training, Forklift Safety Training, Sexual Harassment Training (CA Compliant) and Defensive Driving Training.
Construction Specific Classes include: FED OSHA/CAL OSHA Construction 10-Hour Course & Certification, Excavation (including trenching & shoring), Fall Protection, Scaffold training, Qualify Flagger and safety traffic safety training, Construction Equipment Safety Certification, Rigging Safety and Confined Space training.

“Ron and Laura recognized employers with Spanish speaking workforces require hands on consideration developing safety programs that effectively address, overcome, and reconcile cultural difference,” said CalWorkSafety founder Don Dressler. “With 50+ years combined experience, they know what works and have collectively helped employers drastically reduce their losses through aggressive and persistent techniques that address the true causes of lost revenue,” Dressler said.

“We’ve focused on traditional approaches to establishing safety programs, such as engineering safety committees, safety incentive, and safety inspection programs for our clients. These programs aggressively motivate and educate managers on accident prevention,” Ron Paine said.

About Cal Work Safety 

Don Dressler is an experienced labor and employment law attorney and former workers’ compensation insurance company president. Nationally recognized expert on safety and workers’ comp programs and legal issues affecting business owners, Dressler is the architect of www.CalWorkSafety.com. For more than 25 years, CalWorkSafety has offered labor law/risk management consulting on: HR, Safety & Cal/OSHA, Labor Law/Discrimination/EOP and Workers’ Comp. CalWorkSafety’s customized Safety package designs significantly reduce worker’s compensation costs and protect employers from non-compliance issues affording effective employee training solutions to southern California companies. A virtual HR Department program offers effective hands-on management, discrimination and harassment claims. For more information on Cal/OSHA compliance related to illness and injury prevention, sexual harassment, discrimination contact Don Dressler at (949) 533-3742, or visit our website.

CA Minimum Wage Hikes Begin July 1st

25 Jun
June-Wages Up
Employers’ Posters Must Conform With July 1, 2019 Minimum Wage Rate Increases

California local cities and counties continue to pass minimum wage ordinances and other employment laws relating to paid sick leave and criminal background checks. On July 1, 2019, several local minimum wage rates also increase, as will two new local minimum wage ordinances will be required.

City & County Minimum Wage Increases Start July 1st
  • Berkeley: $15.59/hour.
  • Emeryville: $16.30/hour for businesses of all sizes (except for Small Independent Restaurants).
  • City of Los Angeles: $14.25/hour for employers with 26+ employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • County of Los Angeles (unincorporated areas only): $14.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Malibu: $14.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • Milpitas: $15/hour.
  • Pasadena: $14.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
  • San Francisco: $15.59/hour.
  • San Leandro: $15/hour.
  • Santa Monica: $14.25/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $13.25/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
    Note: Eligibility rules may vary based on different locations.
Two New Minimum Wage Ordinances Start July 1st
  • Alameda: $13.50/hour.
  • Fremont: $13.50/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; employers with 25 or fewer employees will continue to pay the state minimum wage rate until July 1, 2020.

Employees classified under the executive, administrative or professional exemptions must earn a minimum monthly salary of no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment. For employers with 26+ employees, the required monthly salary is $4,160 per month, and employers with less than 25 employees, the required monthly salary is $3,813.33 per month.

The exempt salary test is based on the California minimum wage; it increases every year on January 1 as the state minimum wage increases (the salary test is not affected, however, by any applicable local minimum wage.) The exempt salary test is calculated using the current California minimum wage, even if an employer’s nonexempt employees are entitled to receive a higher minimum wage under a local ordinance.

Raise for Nonexempt Employees
If you have nonexempt employees working in any of the following localities, the required local hourly minimum wage will increase on July 1, 2019 as follows:

Northern California

  • Alameda: $13.50.
  • Berkeley: $15.59.
  • Emeryville: $15 for “small independent restaurants”; $16.30 for all other employers.
  • Fremont: $13.50 for employers with 26+ employees; 25 or less employees subject to California minimum wage).
  • Milpitas: $15.
  • San Francisco: $15.59.
  • San Leandro: $14.
  • Southern California
    City of Los Angeles, County of Los Angeles (unincorporated areas only), Malibu, Pasadena, and Santa Monica: $14.25 for employers with 26+ employees; and $13.25 for less than 25 employees.

    Updated Minimum Wage Increase Workplace Posters Required for
    LA, San Francisco & Santa Monica – Increases in the Local Minimum Wage

    In May 2019, the Los Angeles Office of Wage Standards Ordinance updated the city’s minimum wage notice to reflect the increases that are effective July 1, 2019 as follows: $13.25 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees; and $14.25 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. This notice must be conspicuously posted in any workplace or job site. Violators are subject to penalties. See the Notice

    Beginning July 1, 2019, the San Francisco Office of Labor Standards Enforcement updated its San Francisco minimum wage notice to reflect the city and county’s minimum wage increase to $15.59 per hour. This notice must be posted in the workplace where employees can easily read it. Failure to post this notice may result in penalties. See the Notice

    In April 2019, the City of Santa Monica updated mandatory workplace posters to reflect the following wage increases effective July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020. The City of Santa Monica minimum wages increase to $13.25/hour for small businesses, and $14.25/hour for large businesses. Hotel worker living wage increases to $16.63/hour. Also City’s paid sick leave notice and service charge law notice. Failure to post these notices subjects employers to penalties. See the Packet

    The CalWorkSafety Consultants Are Here to Help Clients
    With all Questions or Concerns About These New Notices.
    Contact Us to Help You Sort Out Your Options

    Train the Trainers Program: Classes start in July!

    19 Jun
    June-News-CWS-Con-Con-Train

    Important CalWorkSafety News Alert:

    Effective Immediately

    California employers with five or more employees are required to provide sexual harassment prevention training to all employees before January 1, 2020. The minimum count of 5 (five) employees includes seasonal and temporary hires as well as independent contractors.

    Training must take place within six months of hire or promotion and every two years thereafter. Under the new law, beginning January 1, 2020, seasonal and temporary employees or employees hired to work less than 6 (six) months, must be trained within 30 calendar days after hire or within 100 hours worked, whichever is earlier.

    To meet these requirements on a timely and regular basis, why not train your in-house Human Resources Professional to perform your 1-Hour Employee Harassment Training?

    We provide a comprehensive Train the Trainer program for your Human Resources Professional. Your Human Resources Professional will be provided with in-depth training and all the tools and materials necessary to conduct your own 1-hour sexual harassment prevention training for your existing workforce as well as new-hires.

    Our First Class Is Scheduled For:

    • Date: July 9, 2019
    • Time: 9:00 am – 11:30 am
    • Where: 16755 Von Karman Avenue, Suite 200, Irvine, California
    • Class Fee: $300.00   
    • * ONLY 10 SEATS ARE AVAILABLE FOR THIS FIRST CLASS
    • Please RSVP as soon as possible

    *NOTE: This course is intended for Human Resources Professionals who are “Qualified” to be trainers on this topic. In the State of California, a “Qualified” Human Resources Professional must have at least two years of practical experience: advising employers or employees about discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention; responding to sexual harassment or other discrimination complaints; investigating sexual harassment complaints; or in designing or conducting training on discrimination, retaliation, and sexual harassment prevention.

    Retainer clients may apply July “unused” hours towards the total amount of the class at their hourly rate. Depending on response, subsequent classes may be scheduled.

    Contact cwilliams4work@outlook.com
     CalWorkSafety Consultants Are Here to Help Clients 

    Resolve Their Human Resources Training Needs 

    Contact Us to Help You Sort Out Your Options
    949-533-3742