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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

April-Consultant-Masthead-Humberto

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.

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

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   rdorwin@gmail.com   ~  or  ~   calworksafety.com