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Hiring New Employees in Compliance with California and Federal Law

27 Sep

The importance of hiring right can be illustrated by your company’s turnover rates. Average corporate turnover is more than 15 percent.

According to a Harvard University study, 80 percent of turnover is due to hiring mistakes. The hiring process can raise a variety of legal issues, often related to equal employment opportunity laws. A number of other laws also apply to the various stages of the hiring process, ranging from the standard job interview to the hiring decision itself, records kept of the hiring process, and records and government notifications and disclosures required relating to a newly hired employee. Continue reading

Correction: New Effective Date for Form I-9

17 Apr

On March 8, 2013, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced the revised Employment Eligibility Verification, Form I-9, and published a notice in the Federal Register.

In the initial announcement, USCIS described when employers can no longer use prior versions of Form I-9. USCIS incorrectly described the effective date as being after May 7, 2013.

USCIS published a correction notice in the Federal Register. This notice corrects the error and clarifies that beginning May 7, 2013, employers may no longer use prior versions of the Form I-9.
The new form bears a revision date of 03/08/13.
According to USCIS, “although employers should begin using the 03/08/13 dated form right away, older forms dated 02/02/09 and 08/07/09 will be accepted until May 7, 2013. Beginning May 7, 2013, only the 03/08/13 will be accepted. The revision date is on the lower left corner of the form.”

How to Save Money from the 2013 California Workers’ Compensation Reform

2 Apr

The California Legislature passed SB 863 in September of last year, with most of the provisions taking effect January 2013. “Permanent Disability” benefits were increased by 40% at a cost to employers of over $1.2 billion in new or added costs per year. There were a number of other changes, some good for employers, others very technical. One of the most effective tools employers were given to save money to offset the cost increases of the law are “return to work” programs. This means it pays for every injured worker, who is not in the hospital, to be back on the job doing something within the limits of their ability, the day after their injury. It might be better to call this a “stay at work” rather than a “return to work” policy.
California employers can save over $400 million a year in workers’ compensation cost by using this “stay at work” approach. But the savings are even larger in future premiums! When an injured worker is off duty due to a work injury, and he qualifies for “temporary disability benefits” under a workers’ compensation policy, he receives only 2/3rd of his pre-injury wage. BUT, this same temporary disability benefit costs almost all employers 2 times or more the lost wages – because these claim costs are used to set their “experience modification, not for one, but for 3 years in a row!. SO- the employee loses money by being off work and his employer pays more than twice as much as if the worker were to come back – even if the worker was just putting in time.
But of course a good return to work program is much more effective than just wasting an employee’s time. Every company I know has some work that they just have not gotten around to, but need to do “someday”. Such activities are always a place to look for “modified work” within the physical limits of a recovering employee.
If you would like to learn more about the return on investment or economic value of “stay at work” or “return to work” programs, just email me at

Are You Up To Date for 2013 Employment Posters?

3 Jan

This may not be the most exciting article you read this year, but it WILL save you MONEY and TROUBLE! With the start of every New Year, it’s time to double check to see if you are current with your employment posters and other material you use for employees.
This is particularly true for 2013, as not only California, but 27 other states have made changes which require new posters – including: Arizona, Alabama, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
I have found the best value in employment posters is provided by All In One Posters, who sell a combined Federal and State poster set, laminated for an average price of $19.00 each. You can find them on the web at: or call 800-273-0307.
But it is not just posters you have be current in. You also need up to date Pamphlets for California Employees.
Employers must provide a copy of the following notice and pamphlets to each employee when appropriate:
At time of hire –
• The following pamphlets explain employees’ benefit rights:
• For Your Benefit – California’s Programs for the Unemployed (DE 2320) – Provides information on UI, DI, PFL, and Job Service benefits available to the employee.
• Disability Insurance Provisions (DE 2515) – This brochure outlines the DI program.
• Paid Family Leave (DE 2511) – This brochure outlines the Paid Family Leave insurance program
• Workers’ Compensation:
And the following pamphlet is required to provide information about Sexual Harassment:

Each year, all employers are required to notify all of their employees of the federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) more information and form of notice at:
At termination of employment:
• Notice to Employee as to Change in Relationship – Written notice must be given immediately to employees of their discharge, layoff, leave of absence, or change in employment status. This sample meets the minimum requirements.
You may wish to prepare the employee notice in duplicate and keep a copy for your files. Notices prepared by the employer must include the information on the sample Notice to Employee as to Change in Relationship referenced above
• For Your Benefit – California’s Programs for the Unemployed (DE 2320) – Provides information on UI, DI, PFL, and Job Service benefits available to the employee. Obtain form at:
Whenever employee takes a leave of absence :
• When the employee notifies the employer they need to take time off from work due to their non-industrial medical condition- they must be given “State Disability Insurance Provisions” (DE 2515)
• When the employee notifies the employer they need to take time off from work to care for a seriously ill family member or to bond with a new child.- they must be given “Paid Family Leave insurance program” (DE 2511)
These pamphlets are available for purchase, if you would prefer, from the California Chamber of Commerce. The Chamber sells a kit of all 5 different brochures in sets of 20 for $60 for members, or the items individually.
I look forward to seeing you early this year to planning how I can help you with performance and compliance issues. Avoid the costs of fines or lawsuits. Don’t hesitate to email me at or call 949-533-3742 if I can be of help.

2013 Employment Laws Will Affect Your Business

7 Dec

Below is a list of new employment laws – scheduled to take effect in 2013 or earlier – that will have an impact on your business. We are here to help you with any questions of compliance – just call me at: 949-533-3742 or e-mail: to answer any questions.

Included in Detail – Find the Following Topics:

• Religion and Reasonable Accommodation
• Sex Discrimination and Breastfeeding
• Social Media and Personal Passwords
• Inspection of Personnel Records
• Itemized Wage Statements/Temporary Service Employers
• Penalties for Wage Statement Violations
• Commission Agreements
• Fixed Salaries and Overtime
• Wage Garnishment
• Human Trafficking Posting
• Workers’ Compensation Reform
• Accessibility Reform
• Fair Employment/Housing Commission Eliminated
• Intellectual Disabilities
• Unemployment Insurance: Overpayment and Penalties
• Prevailing Wage
• Farm Labor Contractors
• Warehouse Worker
• IRS mileage rates increase
• State minimum wage increases (as well as San Francisco and San Jose, CA)

Please call me at 949-533-3742 to learn more about of any of these important 2013 topics.  We can also provide you with NEW 2013 Employment Law Posters.

 Check out our newly updated websites: and