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Ready For The 2018 New Employment Laws for CA Employers?

27 Nov
Not to worry, here is a summary …

For 2018, California employers must be watchful of many new laws, and most are very important, including:
  • Changes in minimum wages
  • Changes required for their employment applications as a result of new state laws including questions they can ask job applicants.
  • New ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
  • Required Changes including updating with their Employee Handbooks on topics about:
    • Dealing with equal employment policies
    • Their training for sexual harassment
    • Small employers with 20-49 employees – should prepare how to deal with “Baby Bonding” leave for employees with new children.
Below is a summary of some of the significant other topics employers MUST comply to next year.

Minimum Wage:

  • Large businesses with 26 or more employees began complying January 1, 2017. The current minimum wage for large businesses is $10.50 per hour; the rate will increase to $11.00 per hour on January 1, 2018. Large businesses will reach the $15 per hour minimum wage in 2022.
  • Small businesses with 25 or fewer employees had a one-year delay and will see their first minimum wage increase on January 1, 2018; the minimum wage will increase from $10.00 per hour to $10.50 per hour. Do not forget that many cities and some counties have local minimum wage ordinances as well – most of these call for increases on July 1, 2018.
When Hiring:

Salary History do not ask an applicant for employment their salary history, either on an application form or in an interview or otherwise; upon request you must provide the pay scale to an applicant for the position they are applying for.

When Hiring – Criminal History:
If an employer has five or more employees, it is unlawful to inquire about criminal or conviction history of an applicant until after a conditional offer of employment to the applicant; If you obtain or review information (which can only relate to conviction history, not juvenile criminal history or actions related to marijuana offenses more than two years old) and intend to deny an applicant employment based even in part on such conviction history, you must document that you have made an individual assessment whether the conviction history has a direct and adverse relationship with the specific duties of the job justifying denying the applicant the position. Consideration must include:
  • Nature and gravity of the offense
  • Elapsed time that has passed since occurrence
  • Nature of the job; If you have made a preliminary decision not to employ an applicant based on conviction history, the applicant must be notified of the decision in writing, given a copy of the history report, notice of a right to respond, and have five days to respond. If told by the applicant that he/she disputes the accuracy of the report, the applicant has five additional days to respond to the notice. Any final decision by the employer must be in writing.
Handling of Immigration I-9 Forms:

Do not allow any government entity, and specifically DO NOT ALLOW the Customs & Immigration Service, or U.S. Homeland Security to obtain or review your records UNLESS provided a Notice of Inspection. If you receive a Notice of Inspection for I-9 forms, you must post a notice for employees immediately informing them that the process will occur. If the I-9 review raises questions about any particular employee’s status, that employee must be informed and allowed to participate to clarify their status. Also, employers can only “reauthorize” a I-9 form as required by the process.

Employment Policies:
Reproductive Health Rights: Employees have the right to and freedom to make personal decisions regarding reproductive health including the timing of use of birth control drugs and devices, or medical services. These rights are now protected by the Equal Employment provisions of California law and employers may not discriminate on the basis of employee decisions. Employee handbooks must also contain a notice of employee rights and remedies regarding this matter.
New Parent Leave Act:

Employers who have from 20-49 employees as of January 1, 2018 are required to allow qualified employees to take unpaid leave for up to 12 weeks to bond with a new child within one year of a child’s birth, adoption or placement for foster care. There are qualifications defining that the employee must have completed 1,250 hours of work for the company within the past year, and work at a location where there are at least 20 employees within 75 miles of the worksite. NOTE: This leave is in addition to pregnancy leave, which can be for up to four months, and employees are entitled to continuation of health benefits during this leave.

Harassment Training Re: Gender Identity, Expression & Sexual Orientation:  Training which is required regarding prevention of sexual harassment and bullying behavior now must include training inclusive of harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation, in the training all employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisors and managers for two hours every two years.

For a more detailed review – Click Here.
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Average “Pure Premium” Rates  Will Be Cut by 3% from July 1, 2017

31 Oct
Average “Pure Premium” Rates
Will Be Cut by 3% . . . from July 1, 2017
Rates for January 1, 2018
In October 2017 The California Insurance Commissioner issued a Decision regarding the WCIRB’s January 1, 2018 Pure Premium Rate Filing.
In his Decision, the Insurance Commissioner approved advisory Pure Premium rates that average $1.94 per $100 of payroll. The average approved Pure Premium rate is 3.0% less than the average of the approved July 1, 2017 advisory Pure Premium rates of $2.00 per $100 of payroll.
Pure Premium rates are used as a basis for insurer who then file individual company rates using the “Pure Premium” rates and add operating and other expenses to set their company rates. Insurer rates as of July 1, 2017 industry averaged $2.34 per $100 of payroll, but of course with over 500 classification codes, rates for any individual employer vary widely.
Employers who would like to discuss ways to handle
work injuries and control workers’ compensation
costs should contact CalWorkSafety
for a review of steps to take before an injury,
after an injury occurs, and when an injury is reported late.

Visit our website at www.calworksafety.com for more information

or Call:  949-533-3742

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.”

Get Your I-9 Records in Shape -Audits and Enforcement Will Continue As Congress Debates Immigration Reform

9 Feb

If you thought you could relax your effort to maintain complete and accurate I-9 employee records because Congress will possibly pass immigration reform, think again. Are you aware that the U.S. Government spends more money on immigration enforcement than all other law enforcement combined?
A recent nonpartisan report from the Migration Policy Institute notes that the federal government spent $18 billion on immigration-related enforcement programs, an amount far greater than the combined budgets of the FBI, ATF, DEA and Secret Service (in fact, nearly $4 billion more). According to the report, “judging by resource levels, case volumes, and enforcement actions . . . immigration enforcement can thus be seen to rank as the federal government’s highest criminal law enforcement priority.”
In addition, resources spent by other agencies involved in immigration-related enforcement are not included in the $18 billion figure (for example, U.S. Customs & Immigration Service, Dept. of Labor, and Department of Justice Office of Special Counsel, not to mention state resources directed to immigration-related enforcement). There is no question that there has been a significant increase in immigration enforcement in recent years. Between 2005 and 2012, ICE’s funding alone increased from $3 billion to nearly $6 billion. There is also no question that the level of immigration enforcement seen in recent years will only continue. Employers should continue using the Form I-9 currently available on the forms section of http://www.uscis.gov. This form should continue to be used even after the OMB control number expiration date of August 31, 2012 has passed. USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of the Form I-9 as it becomes available.
Employers must complete Form I-9 for all newly-hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the United States.
Civil fines for form I-9 violations can range from $110 to $16,000 per violation, with repeat offenders receiving higher penalties.
You can keep up to date with I-9 requirements at Customs & Immigration Service’s I-9 Central
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=84c267ee5cb38210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=84c267ee5cb38210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Department of Homeland Security and ICE have stated they plan to continue if not increase aggressive enforcement against employers.

Nearly Seven In Ten Businesses Affected By a Bad Hire In 2012

29 Dec

Hiring the right person to fill a position can be a difficult decision to make, and a new CareerBuilder study shows the cost of choosing incorrectly can be high. Sixty-nine percent of employers reported that their companies have been adversely affected by a bad hire this year, with 41 percent of those businesses estimating the cost to be over $25,000.
“Whether it’s a negative attitude, lack of follow through or other concern, the impact of a bad hire is significant,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources at CareerBuilder. “Not only can it create productivity and morale issues, it can also affect the bottom line.”
Effects of a Bad Hire
The price of a bad hire adds up in a variety ways. The most common are:
• Less productivity – 39 percent
• Lost time to recruit and train another worker – 39 percent
• Cost to recruit and train another worker – 35 percent
• Employee morale negatively affected – 33 percent
• Negative impact on clients – 19 percent
• Fewer sales – 11 percent
• Legal issues – 9 percent
Why Companies Make Bad Hires
The most common reason associated with a bad hire is rushing the decision process. Two-in-five hiring managers attributed a bad hire to pressure to fill the job opening.
• Needed to fill the job quickly – 43 percent
• Insufficient talent intelligence – 22 percent
• Sourcing techniques need to be adjusted per open position – 13 percent
• Fewer recruiters due to the recession has made it difficult to go through applications – 10 percent
• Didn’t check references – 9 percent
• Lack of strong employment brand – 8 percent
What if you make a New Year’s Resolution for 2013 to take the time to evaluate each new job opening for the skills and personality you need, carefully source and screen applicants, and be much happier with your new employees in the New Year? If you would like help improving your process, contact Don Dressler Consulting by e-mail at DonDressler1@hotmail.com or check our website at: http://www.DonDressler.com