Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Compliance Actions Employers Must Know About McDonald’s Class Action Lawsuit

3 Dec
CA McDonalds Wage-19
An estimated 38,000 McDonald’s California cooks and cashiers won a $26 million settlement in a class-action suit alleging they were not paid overtime wages at corporate-run stores. The settlement also claims workers were denied access to full meal breaks and rest periods when the restaurants were busy and had to clean and iron their own uniforms without reimbursement.
Important Lessons for all California Employers Based on This Case:
To Comply with California Law By:
  • Creating a mechanism for paying the one-hour wage premium to every worker each day when an employer fails to provide them a timely full-meal period or rest break
  • Allowing employees to leave the workplace during their meal periods without restriction or threat of discipline
  • Maintaining detailed electronic time records that accurately track the time and duration of each meal period and rest break; (note this includes rest breaks which are normally not recorded – along with meal period time off) Do not use automatically recorded breaks – use actual time.)
  • Schedule rest breaks as close to the mid-point of the first 4 hours of work as possible. No longer making workers take rest breaks as soon as their shift starts or ends out of convenience to the store, rather than the worker. California law dictates the break should be as close to the mid-point as possible  (rest breaks and meal periods need to be scheduled by the supervisor- not allow “when the employee chooses or wishes.)
  • Provide training to managers and employees about the changes agreed to in the settlement. (A key as many managers and supervisors do not know company policy or the law regarding meal periods and rest breaks.)
The settlement is the highest ever against McDonald’s over wage theft in the U.S. and comes after nearly seven years of litigation in trial and appellate courts and extended settlement negotiations.
CalWorkSafety helps you review your compliance with rest breaks and meal periods to avoid the penalty of 1-hour of pay each day when rest breaks and meals are not allowed on a timely basis:
  1. Rest break for every 4 hours or major portion thereof
  2. Meal period of 30 minutes no later than the end of the 5th hour of work
  3. Do not combine rest breaks and meal periods

If you have questions about this important new regulation Contact CalWorkSafety and speak with one of our consultants about your questions or concerns.

CalWorkSafety Helps companies prepare for Cal/OSHA
compliance, training, inspections, citations or written plans.
Contact us today and speak to one of our Consultants:
Call: 949-533-3742 or email:

Form 300A Summary Posting Ends Soon But Don’t Toss Them Yet …

1 May
May-Keep Form 300A Summaries.png
April 30 was the last day employers have to post the 2018 Cal/OSHA.

This means that on May 1, employers can take down the notice.

The annual, mandatory posting is displayed from February 1 to April 30. However, employers can’t dispose of the Form 300A once the notice is taken down.

Even After the Posting Period Ends …
Employers Must Retain Form 300A Summaries for Five Years

Form 300A  is a summary form – and separate from Form 300 Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses (Form 300). Employers use the Form 300 to record and classify all work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities, as well as detailed information about those events.
Just like Form 300A, the recordkeeping rules also apply to Form 300.Which means you must have 5 years worth of these records and be able to furnish them within four (4) hours’ notice to a Cal/OSHA inspector upon request. (That means 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 records).

Heat Illness Prevention

25 Apr


When it comes to preventing heat illness, employers with outdoor workers should not wait until it gets hot to review their procedures and ensure their training is effective. Workers should know the signs and symptoms of heat illness and what to do in case someone gets sick. Doing so helps prevent serious and fatal heat illnesses while working outdoors.

Heat illness is a serious hazard for people who work outdoors. Cal/OSHA’s investigates heat-related incidents and complaints of hazards at outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, landscaping and construction. These investigations ensure compliance with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard and the Injury and Illness Prevention Standard, which require employers to take the following basic precautions:

  1. Train all employees and supervisors on heat illness prevention – before they start work.
  2. Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses of water per hour and encourage them to do so.
  3. Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down. Shade structures must be in place upon request or when temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  4. Closely observe all employees during a heat wave and any employee newly assigned to a high heat area. Lighter work, frequent breaks or shorter hours help employees who have not been working in high temperatures adapt to the new conditions.
  5. Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA heat illness prevention standard, including plans on how to handle medical emergencies and steps to take if someone shows signs or symptoms of heat illness. This includes how to direct emergency responders to the work site if an employee experiences heat illness.

CalWorkSafety conducts training and assists with writing the required Heat Illness Prevention Plan, required at each out door work site to ensure compliance with the heat illness prevention standard and that outdoor workers have access to the water, rest and shade that keeps them healthy.

The most frequent heat-related violation that Cal/OSHA cites during enforcement inspections is failure to have an effective written heat illness prevention plan specific to the worksite. Serious heat-related violations are often related to inadequate access to water and shade, and to a lack of supervisor and employee training. Failure to have a copy of the Heat Illness Prevention Plan at the work site prompts citation.

Additional information about heat illness prevention are posted on Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Prevention page. Cal/OSHA also has extensive multilingual materials for employers, workers and trainers on its Water. Rest. Shade. public awareness campaign website.

Cal/OSHA Multi-Lingual Employee/Trainer Materials: Water/Rest Shade
Learn More About: Heat Illness
Helpful Guide: Quick Card

IRS Announces Standard Mileage Rates for 2019

19 Dec

Dec-BotLine-IRS New Mileage Rate-19

CA 2019 Standard Mileage Rates For
Cars, Van, Pickups & Panel Trucks Is:
$.58/per Mile

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued the 2019 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes. Beginning January 1, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 58 cents per mile.

The law requires employers to reimburse employees for actual necessary costs in performing duties for the company, which includes the use of personal vehicles when driven for company business.

While there is no legal obligation to use the IRS numbers, the California Department of Industrial Relations accepts this rate as appropriate.

If an employer wishes to use a lower number, they have the burden of proof that the reimbursement rate is accurate and appropriate for the employee’s vehicle and use. This can be a challenge based on age of vehicle, insurance and repair costs, wear and tear, etc.

You can’t escape this onslaught of new laws – It Isn’t Optional!
Our Virtual HR Consultants provide hands-on Management &
Staff training dealing with 2019 New Laws Including:
#MeToo Movement, Harassment Protections, Salary History
& Specific Industry Employer Changes.
To learn more call us at 949-533-3742 or email:
 Call:  949-533-3742

Prepare for 2019 Laws

5 Dec
Prepare for 2019 Laws-Dec

 For The Past Eleven Months We’ve
Focused On 2018 California Regulations…

California’s 2019 New Laws Are Here & They’re Extensive

Now is the time to examine what lies ahead and prepare. Many of the new laws stem from the #MeToo movement and harassment protections. Other laws clarify ambiguities such as the ban on asking about an applicant’s salary history.  And, other laws report small changes or only affect employers in specific industries.

These new California employment laws all take effect on January 1st and beyond. CalWorkSafety has prepared the attached outline defining what is coming – CLICK HERE for details.

We’re prepared to assist your business to incorporate these changes into your policies, agreements, practices, and procedures … to ensure that you remain complaint next year.

Reading this new employment law summary now will help you plan effectively.

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.

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 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
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: 

or Call:  949-533-3742

Cal/OSHA Requires Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP) for Housekeeping Workers by Sept. 29 2018

4 Sep

Don't Wait - 2

A new Cal-OSHA regulation for housekeeping safety requires California lodging establishments to have an effective, written Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (MIPP).  Hotels and properties that wait until the last minute will be feeling the heat, as they will need to scurry to develop the required program and conduct the initial worksite assessment, within the standard’s effective date of October 1, 2018.

What you need:

  1. Determine responsible party
  2. Assess hazards on your property
  3. Assess worksite hazards
  4. Interview housekeepers and ask for suggestions
  5. Conduct worksite evaluations
  6. Recognize safe employees
  7. Communicate with housekeepers about results of interviews
  8. Create hazard worksheet
  9. Determine any necessary changes
  10. Post results
  11. Write Plan, including appropriate, inclusive, accident report form
  12. Train housekeepers on findings
  13. Retrain annually

What CalWorkSafety LLC will do for your property:

  1. Determine responsible party
  2. Assess hazards on your property
  3. Assess worksite hazards
  4. Interview housekeepers and ask for suggestions
  5. Conduct worksite evaluations
  6. Recognize safe employees
  7. Communicate with housekeepers about results of interviews
  8. Create hazard worksheet
  9. Determine any necessary changes
  10. Post results
  11. Write Plan, including appropriate, inclusive, accident report form
  12. Train housekeepers and management as required

And, if requested: Retrain annually

Ask for a quote for your property. Remember, this plan is required by Cal/OSHA no later than September 29, 2018. We are here to help you remain Cal/OSHA compliant.

Our experts at CalWorkSafety are here to help you stay Cal-OSHA compliant with these new regulations and we strongly advise you not to wait and create more stress for you and your team than is necessary. Contact us today!

Ralph Dorwin   (562) 743 4719   ~  or  ~





16 Aug
Almost all California employers are exposed to the risk of inspections and citations for violation of Cal/OSHA regulations.  The most widespread violation relates to companies not having an effective Illness & Injury Prevention plan – referred to as a General Violation.

In the past 12 months Cal/OSHA has implemented many new and broader regulations. And now, the painful result falls on employers because implementation of these new rules is their responsibility. That’s right, the deadline for implementation is on YOU!

Cal/OSHA is now canvassing companies to verify whether companies have implemented the new (CAL/OSHA) California Occupational Safety and Health Regulations. When they arrive at your facility, they want to see evidence that you have fully implemented a Safety Program – see specific details being validated: Violation Fines.

CalWorkSafety helps clients comply with Cal/OSHA regulations every by helping them prevent work accidents and saves on workers’ compensation costs.
The Bottom Line:
The HAZARD you encounter may not be an injury, but a fine for not
having a current inspection plan. Hazard Safety Inspections are
mandatory under your IIPP and Cal/OSHA regulations. If you don’t
know where to begin or haven’t prepared an inspection plan, allow
our team of experts to help you sort out this process with you.
Contact your CalWorkSafety consultant to get started.
Visit our website: 

or Call:  949-533-3742

All Covered CA Janitorial Employers Must Register With the Labor Commissioner

6 Jul

New Janitorial Employer Provision Requires Compliance.

It isn’t optional anymore! Our expert team can answer your questions and help you avoid fines.

July 1, 2018 – Registration Began!
Definition:  A covered employer provides janitorial services with at least one employee and one janitor. A janitor includes any employee, independent contract or franchisee predominantly working as a janitor. Janitorial employers must also keep additional detailed records for three years.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office has recently launched an online registration system and urges janitorial employers to register quickly. If an employer fails to register by October 1, 2018, the employer will be subject to a civil fine, as will any person or entity who contracts with a janitorial employer lacking valid registration.
Cal/OSHA is reminding workers to take preventative cool-down breaks in the shade as temperatures rise throughout California.
Employers can register online or by mail.  They are required to pay a $500 nonrefundable application fee. The registration is valid for one year and must be renewed annually by the month and day of the original registration’s issuance. The renewal fee is also $500. See PDF the Labor Commissioner’s FAQ list.
The online registration tool enables janitorial employers to comply with the law. It also provides a tool for property owners to distinguish law-abiding contractors from dishonest businesses while protecting honest businesses from unfair competition.
The Labor Commissioner’s Office has posted a registration search toolthat shows whether employers and contractors are properly registered. Employers or anyone who contracts with a janitorial employer should use the search tool to make sure their contractors are properly registered.
The CA governor signed the Property Service Workers Protection Act in 2016. Looking ahead, beginning on January 1, 2019, Janitorial Employers will also be required to provide employees with sexual harassment prevention training every two years. The Division of Labor Standards Enforcement is required to develop this biennial, in-person sexual violence and harassment prevention training by January 1, 2019.
The Bottom Line:
Companies That Hire Janitorial Service Firms
to Clean or Maintain Their Property Now Must
Ensure Those Firms Are Properly Licensed 
Visit our website: 

or Call:  949-533-3742

Check Out How The New CA Wage & Hour Independent Contractor Ruling Affects You

14 May
A new wage and hour California State Supreme Court (CSC) ruling – defines persons to be employees and not independent contractors.  The groundbreaking CSC new decision reveals a significant change in independent contractor law that adopts a modified “A-B-C” test for determining whether an individual is an employee under the Wage Orders.  The new independent contractor test is modeled on Massachusetts’ independent contractor statute, which has been considered the strictest in the country.

New Independent Contractor Test

California courts and state agencies have long applied the Borello test for determining whether a worker was an independent contractor under the Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.  This flexible, multi-factor approach determined whether the hiring entity had a “right to control” the manner in which the worker performed the contracted service, along with eight “secondary” factors whether: the worker was engaged in a distinct occupation or business the skill required in the particular occupation, or the worker or the hiring entity supplied the tools used to perform the work and the place where the work was performed.

Despite the Borello test being used for decades for Wage Order cases, the CSC rejected it in favor of a more rigid three-factor approach, called the “A-B-C” test.  Under this new test, a person is considered an independent contractor only if the hiring entity can prove all three of the following:

A.   That the worker is free from the control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact;
B.   That the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and
C.   That the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation, or business of the same nature as the work performed.
The “A” prong (freedom from control and direction) is similar to the common-law test used in Borello, asking whether the person is free from the “type and degree of control a business typically exercises over employees.”  The “B” prong (outside the usual course of the business) focuses on whether the person is “providing services to the business in a role comparable to that of an employee, rather than in a role comparable to that of a traditional independent contractor.”

But, the “C” prong (independent trade, occupation, or business) asks whether the person “independently has made the decision to go into business for himself or herself,” evidenced by things such as “incorporation, licensure, advertisements, or routine offerings to provide the services of the independent business to the public or to a number of potential customers.”  While presenting limited substantive guidance, the Court made it clear that it intended this new A-B-C test to be stricter than the previous Borello test.

This new independent contractor test only applies to Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Orders.  The CSC did not make any rulings about whether this test would also apply to other wage and hour laws – such as claims for reimbursement for business expenses, but the opinion suggests such laws will remain subject to the Borello standard.

The Narrow ‘B’ Prong

Many states use A-B-C independent contractor tests, often in their unemployment compensation statutes.  The A and C prongs that the CSC announced are comparable to these other tests.  However, the B prong deviates from the norm in an important way.  Most B prongs allow two different ways to prove that a worker is an independent contractor: either by showing that he or she works (1) outside the usual course of the business or (2) outside all the places of business of the hiring entity.  The CSC’s new test purposefully omits this second clause (i.e., “outside all the places of business”), meaning that the only way to satisfy the B prong – and, thus, the only way to be an independent contractor – is for one’s work to fall outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business, regardless of where the work occurs.

The CSC explicitly copied the Massachusetts statute in crafting this new test.  To satisfy the B prong, the hiring entity must show that the person works in an “independent, separate, and distinct business from that of the employer.”  Said differently, the question is then “whether the service the individual is performing is necessary to the business of the employing unit or merely incidental.”  As a practical matter, for most companies, this narrow B prong works as a “de facto ban,” and prevents the use of independent contractors except where the person’s work has no tangible connection to the hiring entity’s business.


For some transportation companies, courts have held that the Massachusetts B prong is preempted by the Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act (FAAAA) and is therefore unenforceable. Some Massachusetts courts have also held that “legitimate business-to-business” relationships can qualify for independent contractor status, even if the other “business” is a sole proprietor or one-person corporation.


It remains undecided how California courts will apply this new independent contractor test, or if the standard or its application will be limited by federal law when applied to certain arrangements involving motor carriers of property.  Companies should now expect more difficulty in proving that an individual is classified as an independent contractor under California wage and hour laws.

Although technically this ruling only applies to Industrial Welfare orders – including minimum wage, rest breaks, meal periods and overtime – the impact
is really much broader.  Many CalWorkSafety clients will find it difficult to
sustain the idea of independent contractors as fulfilling their business operations.  We can and will assist in evaluating each instance for you. 
The Bottom Line:
From Now on It’s Going to Be More Limited & Dangerous to Try
to Claim Independent Contractor Status in California

Visit our website: 

or Call:  949-533-3742