Newsletters

image

April 2009: I-9 Form

#i9 Audit
Employment Eligibility Verification– NEW Form I-9 Download This Issue in .pdf Format he NEW Form I-9 (which was originally scheduled to be implemented in February) must be used for all new hires and reverifications on or after April 3, 2009. A copy of the new form is attached. You can also download the current version of the form at www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-9.pdf and the new version of M-274, Handbook for Employers at www.uscis.gov/files/nativedocuments/m-274_3apr09.pdf . Changes include: • An option for an individual to ...Read More
image

April 2012-1: More on the Brinker Decision

#Wage and Hour Practices
Download This Issue in .pdf Format A number of clients have asked for additional information or clarification of the Brinker decision (see Employer’s Legal Advisory Spring 2012). For the benefit of all, please note the following: 1. Is an employee’s meal period waiver still valid? In Brinker the court specifically upheld the validity of meal period waivers that are in conformance with the applicable IWC Order. Thus, an employee and employer can mutually consent to a waiver of the meal period if the total hours worked in the day are six (6 ...Read More
image

April 2012-2: DLSE Issues New Template – Written Notice to Employees

#Wage and Hour Practices
Download This Issue in .pdf Format As noted in prior Employer’s Legal Advisories, as of January 1, 2012 all employers are required to provide newly-hired non-exempt employees with a written notice that includes certain payroll information and other information about the employer (both the worksite employer and any entity that directly employs the employees) and the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier.The Labor Commissioner has now provided a new template (as of 4/12/12) in English at: http://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/Governor_signs_Wage_Theft_Protection_Act_of_2011.html The template in other languages is forthcoming. The new template is ...Read More
image

Fall 2006: Employer Requirements

#Hiring and Orientation Process
Employer’s Legal Advisory – Fall 2006 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Basic Employer Requirements The following is a review of items that every employer should be aware of. Some are mandated by state or federal law while others can prevent or minimize an employer’s liability in the event of claims by employees. Posters – Employers are required to notify employees of their rights under various laws by displaying informational posters. Although all administrative agencies enforcing these laws will provide you with free copies of these posters, you can also obtain an “all-inone” poster from organizations such as ...Read More
image

Fall 2010: New California Workers’ Compensation Regulations

#Worker's Compensation (California)
Download This Issue in .pdf Format The California Division of Workers’ Compensation has amended its regulations. The following changes are effective October 8, 2010. PosterALL employers must post a new Notice to Employees to replace the current workers’ compensation poster wherever notices are normally posted – e.g., on the Company bulletin board containing required compliance posters. This Notice must also be posted in Spanish where there are Spanish-speaking employees. A copy of the Notice to Employees (in English and Spanish) that meets the requirements is attached to this Advisory. PamphletThe required language in the Written Notice to Employees ...Read More
image

Fall 2011-1: NLRA – New Poster

#National Labor Relations Act
Download This Issue in .pdf Format Employers who have union-represented employees and are subject to collective bargaining agreements are familiar with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the federal agency that enforces the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Employers that do not deal with unions often incorrectly believe that the NLRA does not apply to them. However, the NLRA guarantees the right of non-union employees to engage in protected concerted activity. “Protected concerted activity” is defined as activity engaged in by two or more employees or on behalf of two or more employees, generally related to improving the ...Read More
image

Fall 2011-2: California Legislative Changes- Part 1

#Legislation (California)
Download This Issue in .pdf Format Pregnancy Leave- Changes Require Payment of Health Insurance Premiums by Employer(previous e-Update issued) Governor Brown has signed legislation effective January 1, 2012 which prohibits employers from failing to maintain health coverage for an employee on a statutorily protected pregnancy leave of up to four (4) months. The employer will be required to pay the premiums normally paid by the employer under the same conditions as if the employee was working. Unlike a similar provision under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which apply only to ...Read More
image

Fall 2011-3: California Legislative Changes- Part 2

#Legislation (California)
Download This Issue in .pdf Format New Wage Payment/Information Violations of the Labor CodeThe California Legislature also made additional changes to the Labor Code, signed into law by Governor Brown. –            As of January 1, 2012 an employer must, at the time of hire, provide every employee with a written notice of 1) the rate(s) of pay and the basis for pay (hourly, salary, piece rate, commission, etc.); 2) allowances, if any taken as part of the minimum wage (e.g., meal or lodging allowances); 3 ...Read More
image

Fall 2011-4: Independent Contractors Misclassification

#Wage and Hour Practices
Download This Issue in .pdf Format IRS Voluntary Compliance Settlement ProgramThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has implemented a new program to allow taxpayers who have misclassified workers as independent contractors to voluntarily reclassify the workers as employees with minimal tax liability. This is a voluntary program. To be eligible, a taxpayer must have consistently treated the workers as non-employees; have filed all required Forms 1099 for the past three years; cannot currently be subject to an audit by the IRS, the Department of Labor (DOL) or a state government agency; and, if previously audited by the IRS or DOL ...Read More
image

Fall 2012-1- New CA Laws

#Legislation (California)
Download This Issue in .pdf Format CALIFORNIA: New Employment Laws for 2013 – Part 1 The California Legislature has once again passed, and Governor Brown has signed, a number of new requirements for employers in California.  All of the following new laws are effective January 1, 2013 unless otherwise noted. Personnel Files Personnel records must be made available for inspection by an employee, a former employee, or his or her representative not later than 30 days after a written request (can be extended by five days by agreement).  Additionally, a copy of the records must ...Read More
image

Fall 2012-2- New CA Laws (2)

#Legislation (California)
Download This Issue in .pdf Format CALIFORNIA: New Employment Laws for 2013 – Part 2 The following are additional new employment-related laws in California dealing with wage and hour issues.  All of the new laws are effective January 1, 2013 unless otherwise noted. Wage Statements An employee will be deemed to have suffered an “injury” (and thus entitled to damages) if the wage statement is not complete and accurate and the employee cannot “promptly and easily determine” amounts and other information required. A temporary services agency must include the rate of pay and hours worked for each of an ...Read More
image

February 2008: FMLA

#Leaves of Absence
Changes to FMLA – Servicemember Leave – Download This Issue in .pdf Format As part of the newly enacted National Defense Authorization Act, two provisions have been added to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)* allowing a family member of certain members of the armed services to take leave. These provisions are effective immediately. “Qualifying Exigency” Leave – This provision states that an employee whose spouse, son, daughter or parent is on active duty (or has been notified of an impending call or order to active duty) must be allowed to take a leave of absence under the FMLA ...Read More
image

January 2008: EIC

#Wage and Hour Practices
A. B. 650 – Notice of Earned Income Credit Rights – January 2008 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format • Employers must notify their employees that they may be eligible for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit. The notice must be hand delivered or mailed to employees within one week before or after, or at the same time, W-2 or 1099 forms are delivered. Note that employers cannot satisfy the new notice requirement simply by posting the notice on an employee bulletin board or delivering it through interoffice mail. • This notice must contain instructions on how to obtain any notices made available ...Read More
image

January 2012: Clarification on Written Notice to Employees

#Wage and Hour Practices
Download This Issue in .pdf Format As noted in the Employer’s Legal Advisory (Winter 2012 and Fall 2011-3), as of January 1, 2012 all employers are required to provide newly-hired employees with a written notice that includes certain payroll information and other information about the employer (both the worksite employer and any entity that directly employs the employees) and the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. [Additionally, if the employer is a farm labor contractor, this notice must also include the name and address of the entity that secured the services of the farm labor contractor and this ...Read More
image

March 2009: COBRA Model Notices

#Hiring and Orientation Process
ARRA: COBRA (and Cal-COBRA) Model Notices Download This Issue in .pdf Format The Department of Labor has issued Model Notices to be used to comply with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) which provides for reduction of COBRA (and Cal-COBRA) premiums in certain circumstances. There are four model notices: Model COBRA Continuation Coverage Election Notice General Notice (Full version) To be used by Plans subject to COBRA to send to all qualified beneficiaries who experience a qualifying event from September 1, 2008 through December 31, 2009. Model COBRA Continuation Coverage Supplemental Notice General Notice (Abbreviated ...Read More
image

May 2010: Errata – Employer’s Legal Advisory (Spring 2010)

#Tax Issues
Download This Issue in .pdf Format In the recently issued Employer’s Legal Advisory (Spring 2010) it incorrectly states: “The newly hired employee must certify (sample form attached) that he/she was either unemployed in the 60 days prior to hire or was working less than 40 hours a week for someone else during that period”. This sentence should state: “The newly hired employee must certify (sample form attached) that he/she was either unemployed in the 60 days prior to hire or worked fewer than a total of 40 hours for someone else during that period.” Please ...Read More
image

November 2007: I-9 Update

#i9 Audit
Revised I-9 Form – November 2007 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format On November 7, 2007 the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) issued a new Form I-9. A copy of the new form (which contains interactive form fields) is attached. Although the USCIS has stated that employers should begin to use the new form immediately, employers will not be subject to penalties for failure to use it until thirty (30) days after it is published in the Federal Register. It is recommended that the new form be used for all new hires or reverifications. There are only ...Read More
image

October 2009: Military Family Leaves (under the FMLA) Expanded

#Leaves of Absence
Download This Issue in .pdf Format Yesterday, October 28, 2009, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2010. The new law expands provisions of the Qualifying Exigency and Servicemember Care Leaves under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA). Accordingly, handbook leave policies for employers with 50 or more employees should be amended as follows: Military Family Leaves [FMLA]: “Qualifying Exigency” Leave (up to 12 weeks over a 12-month period) – Employees may be entitled to FMLA leave because of any “qualifying exigency” arising out of the fact that the ...Read More
image

October 2010: New California Leave Law Signed by Governor

#Leaves of Absence
Download This Issue in .pdf Format The Michelle Maykin Donation Protection Act has been signed by Governor Schwarzenegger. This law applies to all employers with 15 or more employees and provides another right for an employee to take leave in California. The law requires employers to permit employees who are an organ donor or bone marrow to take a leave of absence with pay. The law provides that: • An organ donor must be permitted to take a paid leave of up to thirty (30) days during a one-year period; a bone marrow donor must be permitted to take ...Read More
image

October 2011-1: New Pregnancy Leave Legislation

#Leaves of Absence
Download This Issue in .pdf Format The new legislation, effective January 1, 2012, prohibits any employer from refusing to maintain health coverage for an employee on a statutorily protected pregnancy leave of up to four (4) months. The employer will be required to pay the premiums normally paid by the employer under the same conditions as if the employee was working. Unlike a similar provision under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and California Family Rights Act (CFRA) which apply only to employers with 50 or more employees, these changes to the California Pregnancy Disability Leave Law apply to ...Read More
image

October 2011-2: Information for Employees of Farm Labor Contractors

#Agricultural Issues
Download This Issue in .pdf Format As noted in the Employer’s Legal Advisory (Fall 2011-3), as of January 1, 2012 all employers will be required to provide newly-hired employees with a written notice that includes certain payroll information and other information about the employer and the employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. Additionally, if the employer is a farm labor contractor, this notice must also include the name and address of the entity that secured the services of the farm labor contractor. If you are a farm labor contractor, or utilize the services of a farm labor contractor ...Read More
image

Spring 2004: Labor Code

#Terminations
Employer’s Legal Advisory – Spring 2004 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Are You Violating the Labor Code? What could happen . . . Recently a lawsuit was filed in Ventura County alleging that the employer was in violation of certain sections of the Labor Code. This suit appears to have been filed as a result of the California Private Attorneys General Act (otherwise known as the “Bounty Hunter” law). That law (effective in January 2004) allows employees to file lawsuits against their employers based on violations of the Labor Code. Previously, the employee had to make a claim with the Labor Commissioner ...Read More
image

Spring 2007: I-9 Form

#i9 Audit
Employer’s Legal Advisory – Spring 2007 – Download This Issue in .pdf Format Common Errors in Completing the I-9 Form With recent enforcement activity by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) employers are reminded that I-9 Forms must be properly completed to avoid penalties for paperwork violations. The following are common errors in completing these forms. Overdocumenting – This is the most common error because an employee will often provide both a resident alien card and a social security card. Even if an employee gives you more documentation than necessary for completion of the I-9 you, nonetheless, can only ...Read More
image

Spring 2009: Flu and the Workplace

#Safety Issues
Flu and the Workplace Download This Issue in .pdf Format The outbreak of the H1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu, has raised a number of questions with regard to the workplace. Some of these concerns are addressed here. What can I do to protect my employees? It is most important for all individuals to use common sense and follow general guidelines for hygiene. Remind employees to wash their hands often and thoroughly and to cover coughs. If the work environment allows for it, you should have your employees avoid close contact with one another. You can also ...Read More
image

Spring 2010: Tax Credits for Employers

#Tax Issues
Download This Issue in .pdf Format HIRE ActThe federal Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act gives employers a tax benefit for hiring previously unemployed workers. This Act effectively exempts the employer from paying the 6.2% FICA tax normally paid by the employer for wages paid after March 18, 2010 through December 31, 2010 for every qualified employee hired after February 3, 2010 and before January 1, 2011. The newly hired employee must certify (sample form attached) that he/she was either unemployed in the 60 days prior to hire or was working less than 40 hours a week ...Read More
image

Spring 2012: The Brinker Decision: Rest and Meal Breaks

#Wage and Hour Practices
Download This Issue in .pdf Format On April 12, 2012 the California Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Brinker Restaurant v. Superior Court. Although the case was primarily brought to determine whether class certification was appropriate for the various causes of action, the court specifically answered threshold questions raised in the case on meal and rest breaks in California. The Court first considered how to determine the appropriate number of rest breaks. The IWC Order at issue in the case states the following: Every employer shall authorize and permit all employees to take rest ...Read More
image

Spring 2013-1- New Disability Regulations

#Discrimination
Download This Issue in .pdf Format New California Disability Regulations The Fair Employment and Housing Commission (before being dissolved and replaced with the Fair Employment and Housing Council) issued new regulations with regard to disability discrimination.  [Employers with 5 or more employees are subject to California disability discrimination law.]  Generally these regulations incorporate existing statutory and case law changes.  The new regulations reflect the expansion of disability discrimination law to cover almost all medical conditions and to require the employer to actively engage in the interactive process. Generally, only very mild conditions (such as colds, common flu ...Read More
image

Spring 2013-2- New Forms

#Forms
Download This Issue in .pdf Format CALIFORNIA: New Changes – New Forms For employers to properly implement recent statutory and regulatory changes, new forms should be used. I-9 The Department of Homeland Security has issued a new I-9 form.  Effective May 7, 2013 employers may no longer use any other version of the I-9 for new hires or for reverification. [Employers are not required to have current employees complete a new form.] This is now a two-page form.  Completion of the employee’s phone number and e-mail address are optional.  The employee ...Read More
image

Spring 2015-1- IMPLEMENTING PAID SICK LEAVE

#Leaves of Absence
Download This Issue in .pdf Format July 1, 2015 (the effective date for the Healthy Family Healthy Workplace Act of 2014) is fast approaching and ALL California employers (with very limited exceptions) must be prepared to provide paid sick leave to ALL employees.  Prior to the passage of this law paid sick leave was a discretionary benefit.  Although employers can continue to provide paid sick leave that exceeds the requirements of the law, the basic requirements must be met for all employees. Basic Requirement All employees must be allowed to use up to three (3) paid ...Read More
image

Spring 2015-2- CAL/OSHA CHANGES TO HEAT ILLNESS REGULATIONS

#Safety Issues
Download This Issue in .pdf Format The following is a summary of the changes in Cal/OSHA’s Heat Illness Regulations which are effective May 1, 2015. The Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard applies to all outdoor places of employment. Additional high heat procedure requirements are imposed on employers in certain industries. The Heat Illness Prevention Plan (if required) in your Injury and Illness Prevention Program (IIPP) must be updated to reflect these changes. Water must be “fresh, pure, suitably cool and provided to employees free of charge” and is to be located “as close as practicable to the ...Read More