1-707-445-9641 | 436 Harris Street, Eureka

Posts by Sequoia Personnel Services

Benefits for California Workers Impacted by COVID-19

in News and Features

Benefits for California Workers Impacted by COVID-19 https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/ Program Why What Benefits More Information How to File Disability Insurance If you’re unable to work due to medical quarantine or illness related to COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) Short-term benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages due to a non-work-related illness, injury, or pregnancy. Approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income); ranges from $50-$1,300 a week for up to 52 weeks. Learn more about your eligibility for Disability Insurance File a Disability Insurance claim Paid Family Leave If you’re unable to work because you are caring for an ill or quarantined family member with COVID-19 (certified by a medical professional) Up to six weeks of benefit payments to eligible workers who have a full or partial loss of wages because they need time off work to care for a seriously ill family member. Approximately 60-70 percent of wages (depending on income); ranges from $50-$1,300 a week for up to 6 weeks. Learn more about your eligibility for Paid Family Leave File a Paid Family Leave claim Unemployment Insurance If you have lost your job or have had your hours reduced for reasons related to COVID-19 Partial wage replacement benefit payments to workers who lose their job or have their hours reduced, through no fault of their own. Range from $40-$450 per week for up to 26 weeks. Learn more about your eligibility for Unemployment Insurance File an Unemployment Insurance claim Paid Sick Leave If you or a family member are sick or for preventative care when civil authorities recommend quarantine The leave you have accumulated or your employer has provided to you under the Paid Sick Leave law. Paid to you at your regular rate of pay or an average based on the past 90 days. Learn more about your eligibility for Paid Sick Leave If accrued sick leave is denied, file a Wage claim Workers’ Compensation If you are unable to do your usual job because you were exposed to and contracted COVID-19 during the regular course of your work, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Benefits include temporary disability (TD) payments, which begin when your doctor says...

Read More

2020 California Labor Law Update Labor Laws that Impact Employers

in News and Features

Sequoia Personnel is ready to offer HR guidance in navigating these legal changes. Please reach out to us for more information. When you employ through Cardinal, you work with a firm who is prepared to help keep you compliant. Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several bills at the end of the legislative calendar that directly impact California employers. Here’s a reference list:     AB 5: New Rules for Independent Contractors This new law would transform a large proportion of independent contract workers (1099) into employees (W-2) — such as delivery and transportation drivers—based on new criteria for classification. The new criteria contractors are directed by employers on what to do and how many hours to work; are in the same line of business as the company; and are not independently established—then these contractors will be reclassified as employees. The law also states some workers as exempt from the law, including insurance brokers, doctors, dentists, lawyers, architects, engineers, accountants, and real estate agents.    AB 9: Extends the Deadline to File Workplace Complaints Extends the time (from one year to three years) in which employees are allowed to file complaints with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing for discrimination or harassment based on race, sex, age, disability, medical conditions, sexual orientation, and other protected characteristics. Claims which have already expired under current law are not restored under AB 9.   AB 51: Bans Most Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Designed to ban forced arbitration agreements among California workers. These agreements often require employees to waive the right to take legal action against their employers for sexual harassment, discrimination, and wage theft, instead resolving complaints through private arbitration. Under the new law, employers are prohibited from revoking a job offer or otherwise retaliating against an employee who decides against signing an arbitration agreement. Even with the governor’s signature, however, AB 51 is likely to face years of litigation and may be significantly tempered.   AB 403 Division of Labor Standards Enforcement for Complaints Extends the statute of limitations for complaints alleging workplace retaliation from six months to two years, and would authorize attorney fees to any employee who successfully sues for retaliation based on whistleblowing.   AB 547 Janitorial Workers: Sexual Violence...

Read More

Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

in News and Features

Here are some “safe practices” that can help you and your employees Sequoia Personnel Services acknowledges the worry and the many questions on employers’ minds with the arrival of the Coronavirus in the Pacific Northwest. We want to share some best practices that can help you and your employees during this ongoing health challenge.   Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Rules on “Safe Workplace” Under OSHA, employers do have a responsibility to maintain a safe workplace, but at this time, the risk of exposure for the average worker is relatively low. Though many employees may feel uneasy about coming to work or working with the public, a few essential precautions and an open communication policy at your company can go a long way to easing fears.     Call-In and Attendance Policies Review your procedures for calling in sick or unplanned absences. Review these procedures with your staff and your managers so that they can review these with their work crews. It is crucial for every employee to know the company’s sick, vacation, or paid time off (PTO) policies, and managers should be prepared to answer questions from your staff. Keep in mind, employees requesting time off for illness, may have some job protections under other Federal or State Leave Laws such as the Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA), California Paid Family Leave (PFL), California Family Rights Act (CRFA), or even the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Generally, however, an employee is not entitled to these protected leaves if staying home just to avoid getting sick.   Flu/Infectious Disease Best Practices Encourage sick employees to stay home You may legally send sick employees home Wash hands frequently with soap & water (20 seconds) Have an alcohol-based hand sanitizer available Avoid close contact with people that are sick Avoid touching eyes, nose, and face Cover mouth when coughing or sneezing with a tissue—then wash hands! Increase workplace cleaning frequency—disinfect frequently touched items and surfaces, including counters, doorknobs, break-rooms, kitchens, and restrooms Offer virtual webinars or conference calls instead of in-person meetings, if feasible Stay current with local and national health agency recommendations Limit travel to affected areas Consider offering telework, i.e., working remotely to potentially...

Read More

Ask HR: Upholding our Call-in Policy

in News and Features

Dear HR, One of our new hires failed to follow appropriate call-in policy before missing work.  We are aware that they had a death in the family so want to be kind and help our employee through this tough period, but how do we do that while still upholding our company policies and procedures.   HR Answer: Nothing is more frustrating to employers, supervisors, and other staff than when an employee fails to show up to work!  The immediate effects are obvious – it impacts the day’s workflow, burdens co-workers, puts extra work on the supervisor to determine the cause and always, always affects the bottom line of an employer’s profits. It is easy to cast blame on the employee for not notifying the employer.  For many companies, failure to “call-in” is considered job abandonment and is grounds for immediate termination.  But in this labor market, who can afford a high rate of turnover?  There are no California or federal law that regulates the amount of time an employer must hold a job open for an employee who neither appears for work nor calls in to explain their absence. In California, three no-call, no-show days are commonly considered job abandonment.   Time to Review Your “No-Call / No Show” Policy A company handbook must identify and outline a “No-Call / No Show” policy, provide a procedure for calling in, and include a statement about the consequences of not reporting into work.  There will be times, however, when due to a family emergency, calling the company will not be an employee’s priority.  Your handbook should have a paragraph or two defining these “unforeseeable emergency no-call situations” along with a statement concerning the policy of the company on these types of situations. As stated, this was an unforeseeable family emergency, and we believe that situations such as these should always be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.    Annual Review of your “No-Call / No Show” Policy Our suggestion is, when the time seems appropriate, to privately review this policy with your employee. However,  this incident can be a reminder that it is perhaps time to review your company’s “No-Call / No Show” Policy & Procedure with all employees – no exceptions—including...

Read More

Employee Benefits in the 21st Century

in News and Features

The World of Employee Benefits is Evolving   Employees usually say that the most important things they want in a job first and foremost is a good-paying wage, along with “benefits.” The most common form of employee benefit is basic health insurance – with dental and vision still being an optional offering. Health benefits are still the gold standard by which many prospective employees judge a prospective employer. In a tight labor market, an employer will eventually need to offer some sort of access to health care insurance to compete. But the world of employee benefits is evolving—what constitutes a “benefit” is being redefined as the face of the workforce grows younger.   2019 Employee Benefits Report To get an accurate overview of what the rest of the world is offering as an “employee benefit” and what employees are requesting—we need to look no further than the 2019 Employee Benefits Survey compiled by the Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM].  The annual survey examines more than 250 benefits that companies offer, or are requested by their employees. This survey was conducted in April of 2019.   Historically, this report has a reputation for being an accurate window on the trends that start from the top and trickle their way down to eventually impact small business owners. Why is it important to understand these trends? As the labor pool shrinks in America, competition for qualified workers will get fierce, even in rural areas. Rural or nonurban-centered employers will keep losing younger workers to urban areas as educated or trained candidates migrate towards better-paying jobs and better benefits.   Current Trends in Employee Benefits While the top five listed below are the most popular requests and have already been implemented across the business world, others on the list are growing in popularity and may become standard benefit offerings within the next 10 years. The current trends are: Employer match for 401(k) plans. Cost of living adjustment in pay that is not dependent upon performance or seniority. Flexible work schedules (can be remote, compressed work week, or customized hours). Company-provided student loan repayment assistance which could include a 401(k) match for student loan repayments. [IRS has already allowed this.] Childcare assistance programs...

Read More