As small business owners continue to ride the wave of a growing national economy California business owners express concern as they struggle to balance increasing legislative Employment law mandates with running a successful and profitable business. Our objective at BOSS is to assist our clients in understanding how these mandates affect business operations as well as what actions need to be implemented to remain in compliance.
On October 22, 2015 along with The Law Offices of Lincoln, Gustafson & Cercos, Back Office Support Solutions co-sponsored the first in a series of free seminars aimed at helping small businesses employers understand and comply with recently passed Human Resources related laws. The “Real Talk” Small Business/Employer Seminar informed California business employers of recent Employment Law changes and how they may affect small business operations.
The workshop focused on five (5) recent changes in California employment laws:
- California Paid Sick Leave
- Joint Employer Liability – Acts of Independent Contractors
- Wage Statement Violations – Changes to PAGA
- New FEHA Protections: Religious And Disability Accommodations
- Whistleblower Protection
Each of these new laws changed compliance regulations related to corporate responsibilities and in some cases increased the potential liability. The seminar focused on educating business employers by informing them of the new laws, defining in detail the meaning and impact of the laws and most importantly outlining action steps to ensure compliance and protect their organizations.
The summary below highlights three (3) of the recent laws and key aspects of each. However, we encourage you to view the entire seminar online above, as it includes five (5) laws and provides important additional information on the recent changes.
California Sick Leave Law
- Requires California employers to provide paid sick leave to employees beginning July 1, 2015.
- Applies to employees who work at least 30 days in a year (including part time and seasonal employees)
- Employers may cap usage at 24 hours or 3 days in each year
- Post notice and provide notice to new employees
- Back pay
- Payment for sick days withheld
- Administrative penalties
- Additional penalties for non-compliance
- PAGA claims – limited remedies
- Attorney’s fees, costs, and interest
- Have current time off policies reviewed for compliance
- Keep records of paid sick leave time accrued
- Adjust wage statements to identify accrued paid sick leave
- Post notice at place of business
- Provide notice to all current and new employees
Hiring Independent Contractors
- Businesses can be held liable for independent contractor’s failure to pay the independent contractor’s employees or for its failure to carry workers’ compensation insurance
- Applies to businesses with 25 or more employees only
- Applies to independent contractors who:
- Provides services in the “usual course “of employer’s business”
- Employ at least seven (7) workers on the project; and
- Project is performed on the premises or worksite of the employing business
- May be included in employee actions against contractors
- Could incur penalties and litigation
- Could be liable for wages, taxes or other benefits
- Confirm any IC you hire has proper workers compensation insurance
- Validate any IC you hire pays its employees wages
- Require IC to carry employment practices insurance and name your business as an additional insured
- Require indemnification by IC for any claims related to failure to pay wages or workers’ compensation claims
Wage Statement Violations
- California law requires wage statements contain the following nine items:
- Gross wages earned
- Total hours worked (unless exempt)
- Piece Rate Units Earned and Piece Rate (if applicable)
- All deductions
- Net wages earned
- Pay period start and end dates
- Employee name, and last four digits of SSN (or Employee Identification #)
- Name and address of employer
- All hourly rates
- Employee actions against employer
- Possible DOL or other agency non-compliance
- Back pay, interest, attorney fees, litigation
- Carefully scrutinize wage statements for compliance
- Coordinate with payroll companies but do not rely on payroll companies to know the law!
What should business owners do?
THREE KEY ACTIONS:
- Take the human resource element of your operation very seriously. Keep current with the changing regulatory environment relating to human resources and ensure compliance to the changing provisions of California Employment law
- Train all your managers and supervisors. Emphasize their role as company agents and clearly define expectations.
- When is doubt consult an expert. Back Office Support Solutions provides support and expertise in all aspects of Human Resources.
The “Real Talk” seminar on Employment Law began a series of informative free business workshops designed to assist business owners and managers in operating safely and productively in an ever changing environment. In the coming months we will continue to provide this service to the small business community. We welcome your feedback on future topics of interest. Follow us on social media for more information on upcoming events.
Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation on all your human resources, accounting & bookkeeping, tax prep, and back office needs. We provide highly skilled HR professionals who focus on providing the right products and services to help you grow and succeed. Back Office Support Solutions (BOSS) is a leading Human Resource Outsourcing company. “Let us do the work… so you don’t have to.”
Call BOSS at 619-363-3009 or visit us at: backofficesupportsolutions.com
This article was written by: Ricardo H. Correia, Human Resource Manager for Back Office Support Solutions.