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News and Features

California’s minimum wage is increasing!

in News and Features

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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Employment Training Panel

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Training can seem expensive, but staff turnover costs much more at 1 to 1.5 times the employee’s salary. Did you know you could get reimbursed for training expenses?  Drawing on Employment Training Panel (ETP) funds, your company might be able to get reimbursed for training expenses. Some features and qualifications of the program include: You design the training program, pick the topic and the trainer. It can be in-house training, or an outside training program. An employer is eligible to participate in an ETP funded project if it is subject to the California State Unemployment Insurance (UI) fund contribution. Employees must be full-time, permanent employees working at least 35 hours per week. Training reimbursement is based on the size of the company and industry sector.  The ETP gives special consideration to small businesses of 100 or less employees in California but no more than 250 employees worldwide.   Priority industries identified in ETP’s strategic plan also receive a higher rate (i.e., manufacturing, nursing and allied healthcare, construction, information technology services, multimedia and entertainment industries). The reimbursement rates are between $12 and $21 per hour, per trainee depending on size of company and industry sector. All training funded must be “off-the-job”, which means that for every hour of training claimed for funding there is a trainer who is doing nothing but training and a trainee who is being trained and is not doing his or her regular job.  Training must be documented on a roster with the signature of the trainer and trainee and up to 20 trainees to one instructor.  Trainees must complete a minimum 8 hours of training to receive reimbursement and 200 hours maximum. Trainees must earn a minimum hourly wage after completion of training.  The minimum wage varies by county.  In this contract the wage range is $11.70 to $28.37.  The dollar value of employer-paid health benefits (medical, dental, vision) may be used to meet the required wage. The required wage is $15.60 for Humboldt County, during the 90 day retention period. Trainees must be retained on the job for a minimum of 90 days after completion of training. Michael Kraft can help you get started. Just contact him at kraft@sequoiapersonnel.com or...

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