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News and Features

Top 5 New California HR Laws for 2018

in News and Features

The new year is when the largest number of new state personnel regulations take effect. This year, there are many new regulations. The most widely applicable, as we see it, are these three:   1. “Ban the Box” (AB 1008) What it does: Employers with 5 or more employees cannot inquire about criminal history before an offer of conditional employment is made. They can run criminal background checks after the offer and prior to first day of employment. However, deciding not to hire based on a criminal conviction needs to be directly job-related, and communicated in writing with the applicant given a chance to respond.   2. Parental Leave (SB 63)   What it does, in brief: Employers with 20 to 49 employees must provide eligible employees with up to 12 weeks of job-protected, unpaid leave to bond with a new child. This includes children by birth, adoption or foster care. You can think of this as extending CFRA (the California Family Rights Act) to employers with as few as 20 employees.   3. Salary History (AB 168) What it does, in brief: Employers can’t ask about salary history. If an applicant volunteers salary information, the employer may take that into consideration when deciding whether to hire the person and how much to pay them. It remains o.k. to ask what salary they seek.   4. Immigration Protections (AB 450) What it does, in brief: Employers cannot provide access to employee records without a subpoena or warrant. This also goes for allowing federal immigration agents access to areas of a business that are not public. There are also procedures specified when it comes to notifying employees of federal inspections of employment records, such as I-9 forms.   5. Minimum Wage Just a reminder that as of 1/1/18, the minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees increases to $10.50 per hour, while the minimum wage for employers with over 25 employees increases to $11.00 per hour.   Confused? Want to get out of the labor regulation business and back to your real work? Call Sequoia…we have...

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California’s minimum wage is increasing!

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Effective January 1, 2018, the overtime rate for minimum wage employees is: Employers with 26 or more employees: $11.00 per hour Employers with 25 or fewer employees: $10.50 per hour   The minimum wage rate change also affects the classification of employees as exempt versus nonexempt. For an employee to qualify under the commonly used administrative, executive or professional exemptions from overtime, the employee must meet the salary-basis test (which means the employee’s salary must be no less than two times the state minimum wage for full-time employment) in addition to meeting all other legal requirements for the exemption. That minimum salary rate is $45,760 annually, effective January 1, 2018, for employers with 26 or more employees. For employers with 25 or fewer employees, the minimum salary threshold for the administrative, executive and professional exemptions is $43,680 for 2018. Confused? Want to get out of the labor regulation business and back to your real work? Call Sequoia … we have...

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Ask HR: Implementing Dress Code.

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Dear HR: Summer is here – I’m wondering about implementing a company dress code. Some of my female employees show up in flip flops, tops with spaghetti straps and low cut shirts. A few male employees come in wearing casual shorts and sandals with socks. (Yes, sandals with socks!) May I require my employees to present/dress themselves in a professional manner, since we all interact with the public?   HR Answer: As an employer, you may determine your organization’s dress code. Just make sure that you apply it in a non-discriminatory manner; and there is a bona-fide business reason—such as conducting business in the public eye; or you need a dress code for safety concerns. Keep in mind; you may need to make an exception when reasonable, to accommodate an individual’s sincerely held religious belief or medical issue (shorts when leg is in a cast). You are correct in being concerned: the impression your employee’s give your customers is the lasting impression your customers have of your organization! Let us know if you need assistance establishing and enforcing your new dress code...

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7/01/2017: New California Labor Regulation

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New California Labor Regulation July 1st often represents a busy date for new labor/human resource regulations in California. This year, however, there appears to be only one which is widely applicable. Law # AB2337 – Notification for Abuse/violence/Sexual Assault Victims On July 1 the law requires employers who have 25+ employees to provide notice in writing on the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking to take protected time off for medical treatment and/or legal proceedings. The California Department of Labor has until July 1 to develop a form that is required to be distributed to new hires and upon request by any employee.   As of this writing, the form is not yet posted on the DOL’s website. Best practice will be to hand this new form out to all employees once that form exists, and then to new hires and as requested after that.   REGULATION CHANGES for Nail salons, Private Schools There are also new California labor/human resource regulations specific to nail salons and private schools. If your organization is one of these, feel free to contact Michael Kraft at...

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Introductory and Intermediate level Bookkeeping

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Also offered by The Job Market, these classes are coming up and are geared to help individuals looking to transition into the field or those looking to enhance their existing bookkeeping knowledge. The Intro class runs from May 9th–June 27th and the Intermediate class from July 11th–August 10th. Both classes can be taken in conjunction or as stand alone, depending on your needs. For those looking to complement a background in office work, the introductory course might be all you need to give you a basic understanding of financial operations. However, if you have prior bookkeeping familiarity, taking the intermediate level class could enhance an existing skill set, making you more employable. Full scholarships, for ages 16 and older, are offered for these training by the Employment Training Division (ETD) if desired. In addition, those qualifying for a scholarship from ETD have the opportunity for externships  – hands-on practice with what they’re learning in the classroom. These externships are offered in local agencies and businesses and complement classroom instruction. For more information, just email or call Melissa Furbee at mfurbee@co.humboldt.ca.us or...

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“Better Staffing Now!” – Retention Workshop

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April 20th at the Job Market The Job Market’s Business Services Team announces part 3 of their Better Staffing Now! workshop series: ”Retention”. The Better Staffing Now! workshops are a series of FREE presentations that offer practical and easy-to-use information and tips on the best practices for recruiting, hiring, and retaining staff.  Focusing on performance and motivation, the workshops are designed to help employers find and keep top performers.  Take one, two, or all three workshops as suits your business needs. The third workshop in the series, focusing on Retention, will be offered Thursday, April 20th at 10am at the Job Market at 409 K St in Eureka.  This workshop offers tools to understanding your organization’s turnover, tips for turning your supervisors and managers into retention experts and techniques for more effective retention of your top performers. Space will be limited, and reservations are required so reserve your spot today! To reserve a seat in the workshop or to inquire about future workshops or other business services available through The Job Market, please e-mail Travis Moneypenny-Johnston at tmoneypenny-johnston@co.humboldt.ca.us or...

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