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Bottom Line Newsletter

November 2014:

  November 2014 Issue
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Dear Don,

   See October BOTTOMLINE
  For #1-4 ...     

Management Training Required to Prevent Bullying 

   

Current California law requires companies with 50 or more employees to train supervisors and managers for two hours every two years regarding sexual harassment. Effective 1/1/15 AB 2053 now requires that such training also cover training on the prevention of abusive conduct - not just limited to sexual harassment. Abusive conduct, or bullying, refers to derogatory remarks, threatening or intimidating actions or other workplace conduct with interferes with productivity and undermines a person's work performance.

 

Many employee handbook policies on equal employment and anti-harassment already prohibit such conduct, and if your policies don't, you should look at them to update them. Your next scheduled supervisor and management training on Harassment should include prevention of abusive conduct too.     

Healthy Workplaces-Families Act of 2014

   

This is a new California law applies to every employer - no matter if you have one employee or thousands, requiring paid sick time based on the following:

  • Any employee who works 30 days (meaning 30 calendar days after first day of hire
  • Applies to part time, full time, seasonal, temporary, in other words - ALL employees
  • Employees can start using accrued sick time on the 90th day of employment
  • Employee must be provided paid sick time - but employer has a choice of either:

Lump Sum Method - avoiding complications- give employees 24 hours of available paid sick leave after 90 days of employment and at the start of every year.

Accrual Method- where employees earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. Earning starts from the date of hire, not completion of the 30 days eligibility period. Under the Accrual Method unused paid sick leave must be carried over from one year to the next, but an employer can impose a maximum or cap on accruals of 48 hours (equal to six days) at which point time must be used before addition hours may be accrued.) Even under the Accrual Method, an employer can limit the number of hours taken in any one year to as little as three days (24 hours).


No payoff of unused sick pay is required when an employee is terminated or leaves employment.  


NEW reporting and notice requirements
. Important, every pay period, likely on the pay stub, every employee must be given notice of how much paid sick time they have available. Also, in the "new hire offer notice" or offer letter, the paid sick pay plan must be disclosed, and the sick pay plan needs to be defined in the employee handbook. A poster will be produced by the California Labor Commissioner, and join the "wall" of required Federal and California posters.

  

Paid sick pay under this California law can be used in increments as little as two hours at time, and used for sickness of the employee, children, parents, spouse (domestic partner), grandparents and grandchildren and siblings. Time can also be used for medical treatment of work related injuries such as follow up visits under workers' compensation. "Oral" notice as soon as practical is sufficient under the law - so long advance notice cannot be required.

  

Employer's current sick pay policies, or Paid Time Off policies, likely do not meet all the requirements of this new law. It is important that any current policies be reviewed and evaluated to modify them for compliance no later than July 1, 2015.



Employers Who Use Foreign Contractors Must Use
Licensed Contractors Or Be Subject To Penalties


Employers who use foreign labor contractors to recruit foreign workers for California assignments are regulated by Effective 1/1/2015 SB 477, as are the foreign labor contractors. The new law, regulates foreign labor contractors, requires registration, regulates their activities and terms they must provide to employees they recruit.

 

Dealing With This New Law. Have an effective safety plan with your own hazard inspections prepared before an OSHA inspector arrives. Also, have a plan on what to do and how to respond to an OSHA inspector when or if they visit your facilities. During an OSHA inspection, the inspector is entitled to inspect your facilities but is not question or interrogate supervisors or management employees.  Whatever such company reps say can and will be used against your company.   

2015 Laws Requires Significant Employment Disclosure  

 

One of the attractions of arbitration agreements for employment disputes has been that they have been private and confidential. Cases handled by arbitrators rather than the jury and court system, hopefully, move more quickly with decisions based on facts and objectivity.

 

A new California law, AB 802, which takes effect 1/1/15, will require significant disclosure of details of employment and other commercial-related arbitration proceedings. The major arbitration services such as American Arbitration Association, JAMS, etc. must now publish quarterly and post an online report disclosing: the name of employers involved in cases handled; which party (employee or employer) prevailed; the number of times the employer has previously been party to an arbitration or mediation; the disposition of the dispute, the amount of the claim, the amount of any award and attorney fees awarded and any other relief granted; the arbitrator fees and how the arbitrator fees were allocated.

 

If disclosure of this information is of concern to an employer, along with other issues involving arbitration, then employers need to consult legal counsel to evaluate their options.  

Begin Planning For Next Year's Laws NOW!

 

The Don Dressler Consulting Team monitors the legal developments on these issues, and offers advice on
important HR & safety compliance issues.
For a personal discussion: Call Don Dressler: 949-533-3742  
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Focus on safety-related HR issues, HR-related matters and Cal/OSHA Safety guidelines. For questions or additional information, please visit our website or social posts.

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