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Human Resources Articles for Business Leaders

Each month our HR consultants add new articles on relevant human resources topics to increase your Human Resources knowledge and to assist understand the complex California and federal human resources laws and regulations.

If you have an Human Resources or Payroll question, please call or e-mail us - see our contact page.

Employers Obligations - Prevent Workplace Harassment & Discrimination

It's been all over the news lately—dozens of stories, accusations and apologies surrounding harassing and inappropriate behavior in the workplace. We work in California, but not even our state legislature, who has passed more anti-harassment laws than any other state, is immune to the onslaught.

Employers all legally required to adopt a written discrimination, harassment, and retaliation prevention policy. This policy must be distributed and acknowledged by all employees. So how do employers protect themselves?

California Expands "Ban the Box" to all Employers.

In January 2018, a new law will be in effect that amends the Fair Employment Housing Act (FEHA) expands current "Ban the Box" provisions to all public and private employers. This means that employers may not....

At-Will is a Lazy Excuse for Terminating an Employee

Many managers mistakenly believe that "at-will" can be a carte blanche to get rid of a troublesome or unpopular employee. California law stipulates that employees are employed at will. This entails that either the employer or the employee may terminate employment at any time, with or without cause. Cause is defined under California law as "a fair and honest cause or reason, regulated by good faith on the part of the employer.

Employer Retaliation - #1 EEOC Complaint

Employers must remember that the same laws protect employees from discrimination and harassment also protect them from retaliation.
Under California law, workplace retaliation is unlawful if an employer punishes an employee for protected activities which include: reporting illegal conduct, refusing to engage in illegal conduct, reporting fraud, filing a wage claim with the California Labor Commissioner, filing discrimination lawsuits, complaining of workplace discrimination or harassment and assisting other employees in filing a lawsuit or complaint of illegal activity in the workplace.

Is Your Employee Wellness Program Discriminatory?

Have you compared your wellness plan to the EEOC regulations? The term "wellness program" generally refers to health promotion and disease prevention programs and activities offered to employees as part of an employer-sponsored group health plan or separately as a benefit of employment.
Many of these programs ask employees to answer questions on a health risk assessment (HRA) and/or undergo biometric screenings for risk factors (such as high blood pressure or cholesterol).

Summer Heat is Coming.   Are You Complying with the Cal-OSHA Recovery Period?

Cal-OSHA requires all employers with "outdoor places of employment" to implement a heat illness prevention program that includes providing workers five-minute "cooldown" rest breaks in the shade as employees feel the need to do so. "Outdoor places of employment" is not specifically defined.

Time to Eliminate the 90-Day Employee "Probation - Orientation"

Does your company place new employees on a 90-day "Probation or "Orientation" period? See why we recommend we always recommend our clients eliminate that language from their Handbooks. The potential for creating the appearance of an employment contract, the CA Paid Sick Leave and the insurance notifications requirement provide just a few reason to make the change.

Common Misconceptions about Payroll Companies

Payroll companies provide useful and comprehensive services their clients in the aspects of tax filing and data management. However, some companies become complacent and believe that the services provided by their payroll companies goes beyond what they will actually do for you.

Demystifying Equal Pay & Gender Wage Gap Laws

Equal pay has been in the news often in recent months. CA and Federal laws now mandate that all business enforce the equal pay regulations. This article provides your business a detailed method to conduct a Pay Analysis.

Avoiding Gender Discrimination Claims in the Workplace

Protect your business from a claim/lawsuit. Both the California and federal laws prohibit discrimination based on both gender identity and gender expression. This included bathroom use, dress code policy and employment / promotion decisions.

2016 CA Employment Laws

Remain current by reviewing the recent 2016 CA employment law changes, including The Fair Pay Act, School Activities Leave, Kin Care, National Guard Leave, Whistleblower Act, and others.

California's New 2016 Workplace Smoking Rules

We recommend you update your smoking policy to include the smoking bill changes that Governor Brown enacted that affect workplace smoking restrictions, e-cigarettes, vaping devices and the minimum smoking age.

Taco Bell Fined $496,000

Are you complying with the California employee meal and rest break requirements? What is “Premium Pay”?

San Francisco Leads the Nation by Mandating Fully Paid Leave for New Parents

If you operate a business in San Francisco, it just became more expensive thanks to your city leaders.

Latest Demand on California Employers – Chairs for Employees

Open your check book, You can no longer deny your employees a chair if they spend a substantial part of their day at a single work location.

April 2016 – New FEHA Regulation – Harassment & Anti-Discrimination for all Employers

Do you have five or more employees? Are you complying with the new FEHA regulations, which require new policies and procedures and checklist?

April 2016 – Required New Hire Forms & Pamphlets

Do not be fined for failure to obtain and furnish the astounding number of required forms and notices!

Do You Know the 2016 401(k) Limits and FSA Maximums

Each year the IRS publishes the new 401(k) deferral limits, the Social Security Wage Base and the FSA limits.

Are You Prepared for the CA 2016 Minimum Wage?

There is much more to the minimum wage than what McDonalds pays is workers. It includes Draws, Piece-rate workers and inside sales commissions.

Careful What You Ask Job Candidates about the Past!

In today’s environment, Employers are targets for litigation from job applicants. Be careful what you ask.

The CA Supreme Court is considering a change to the CA Employees Stand-by wage rules.

Many businesses require employees to remain at or near the work site. This is defined as Stand-by and it is either Controlled or Uncontrolled and the rules may change.

Avoid Common Mistakes in Classifying Employees as Exempt

Do not be a company that find themselves mired in an expensive lawsuit for misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime.

Social Media Challenges in the Workplace. The Employer’s Potential Lability.

If you are an employer, do need to know what your employees are posting on their social media channels or the Company's?

Can You Navigate the complex interactions between the FMLA and CFRA?

Do you understand the differences between the federal Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)?