Categories
HR Policy

California’s New Bereavement Leave Requirement

On October 3, 2022, Assembly Bill Number 1949 passed requiring employers with five or more employees to grant unpaid bereavement leave up to five days upon the death of a family member. California is the third state to mandate this time off.

This applies to an employee who has been employed for at least 30 days prior to the leave who lost a “family member” is eligible for this leave. A “family member” is defined as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law (parent of a spouse or domestic partner).

Categories
HR Policy

Designated Person addition to CFRA and California’s Paid Sick Leave

AB 1041 expands family members to designated persons, who would be identified at the time the employee requests the leave. An employer would be allowed to limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period.

Existing state law, the Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014, generally entitles an employee who works in California for the same employer for 30 or more days within a year to paid sick days, including to care for an employee’s family member. AB 1041 expands the definition of the term “family member” to include a designated person.

The bill:

Adds a definition of the term “designated person” to mean “any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is the equivalent of a family relationship.

The designated person may be identified by the employee at the time the employee requests the leave.

An employer may limit an employee to one designated person per 12-month period for family care and medical leave.

Categories
Human Resources

Emergencies, Cell Phone Use, and Reporting to Work

Currently, employers routinely have policies requiring reporting regardless of emergencies. They also prohibit using personal cell phones during working time. A new law requires an exception. The exception is an “emergency condition”.

In the event of an emergency condition, an employer shall not do either of the following:

Take or threaten adverse action against any employee for refusing to report to, or leaving, a workplace or worksite within the affected area because the employee has a reasonable belief that the workplace or work site is unsafe.

Prevent any employee from accessing the employee’s mobile device or other communications device for seeking emergency assistance, assessing the safety of the situation, or communicating with a person to verify their safety.

Exceptions

Reporting to unsafe working areas does not apply to

First responders/disaster workers

Employees required by law to render aid

Employee or contractor of a healthcare facility who provides patient care

Govt contractors for emergency services

Bank employees

Transportation employees participating in evacuations

An employee whose primary duties include assisting members of the public to evacuate in case of emergency

*The law does not apply when emergency conditions that pose “an imminent and ongoing risk of harm to the workplace, the worksite, or the worker’s home have ceased.” An “emergency condition” does not include pandemic.

Categories
HR Policy

CCPA

As of January 1st, 2023, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) eliminates employers and the business-to-business (B2B) exemption from the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). This will apply to businesses that reside in California, have employees working in California, or have other connections to the state. Compliance with this act requires employers to provide notice before or during the time of collecting personal information including; categories of sensitive personal information, if this information is sold/shared, and the period the employer intends to hold this information. Employers must also provide notice on why this information is being collected. Employees have the right to know, delete, correct, and opt out of sales/sharing of their personal information. The expansion for Business-to-Business (B2B) protects the personal information collected from business contacts and is subject to CPRA privacy rights. Ensure that your company updates the privacy notice, policy, and procedures, and review and update employee data incorporating personal information collected in employment and B2B context.

Categories
HR Policy

California New Law: Pay Ranges

The California legislature passed a law requiring employers with 15 or more employees to provide the pay range for all positions including the publication of each employer’s information on the internet. The purpose of the pay transparency bill is to increase pay equity within organizations, eliminating disparities. Employees that are aware of the pay structure in their company have increased commitment. It is essential to implement consistent protocols to ensure job ads reflect accurate pay scales. Using compensation benchmarks such as researching your industry’s market pricing for each position is one strategy to create fairness in wages. Employees are entitled to a nondiscriminatory workplace therefore; it is important to have yearly compensation reviews to guarantee that your company is striving for equitable pay ranges. If you need help determining the market rate for each position and pay ranges, please reach out to us! We can assist.

Categories
HR Policy

California Employers State Minimum Wage Update

Beginning January 1, 2023, the California state minimum wage will be $15.50/hour for all employers!

This state minimum wage rate is used to determine the salary threshold for most salary exempt positions. This means, for 2023, you will need to ensure all exempt employees earn at least $64,480 per year.

2023 Local Minimum Wage Rate Increases

These local minimum wage rate increases go into effect on January 1, 2023:

Belmont: $16.75/hour

Burlingame: $16.47/hour

Cupertino: $17.20/hour

Daly City: $16.07/hour

El Cerrito: $17.35/hour

Foster City: $16.50/hour

Half Moon Bay: $16.45/hour

Hayward: $16.34/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $15.50/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees

Los Altos: $17.20/hour

Menlo Park: $16.20/hour

Mountain View: $18.15/hour

Novato: $16.32/hour for employers with 100 or more employees; $16.07/hour for employers with 26-99 employees; $15.53/hour for employers with 1-25 employees;

Oakland: $15.97/hour

Palo Alto: $17.25/hour

Petaluma: $17.06/hour

Redwood City: $17/hour

Richmond: $16.17/hour

San Carlos: $16.32/hour

San Diego (city): $16.30/hour

San Jose: $17/hour

San Mateo (city): $16.75/hour

Santa Clara: $17.20/hour

Santa Rosa: $17.06/hour

Sonoma (city): $17/hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $16/hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees

South San Francisco: $16.70/hour

Sunnyvale: $17.95/hour

West Hollywood: $17.50/hour for employers with 50 or more employees; $17/hour for employers with less than 50 employees.

Categories
Employee Engagement

Holiday Parties!

Tis’ the Season of Company Holiday Parties!

The holiday season is a perfect time to show gratitude for your employees and it is your responsibility to create a safe and welcoming environment inside and outside the workplace. As leaders, it is important to consider a few extra steps to take when throwing a Holiday party.

Remind participants that work policies are still applicable.

Make the event voluntary, if not, hours attended are considered “hours worked” and could trickle into overtime pay that your company will be responsible for.

Be inclusive; guarantee that the holiday party is non-denominational.

If serving alcohol,

Redistribute drug/alcohol policy.

Consider limiting intake by providing 2-3 tickets.

Serve food, coffee and water.

Prepare activities for the last couple of hours.

Offer transportation, rideshares, or designated driver incentives.

Redistribute your company’s harassment policy especially if there is alcohol consumption.

Gift exchange? Gauge the money spent and nature of the gift

Categories
Human Resources

Time to Update Those Handbooks

Bereavement Pay

On October 3, 2022, Assembly Bill Number 1949 passed requiring employers with five or more employees to grant unpaid bereavement leave up to five days upon the death of a family member. California is the third state to mandate this time off.

This applies to an employee who has been employed for at least 30 days prior to the leave who lost a “family member” is eligible for this leave. A “family member” is defined as a spouse, child, parent, sibling, grandparent, grandchild, domestic partner, or parent-in-law (parent of a spouse or domestic partner).

Pronouns

Time to check your Handbooks! Pregnancy leave and CFRA leave policies were required to be gender-neutral (AB 1556) in 2018. In CA, employers must refer to workers by the pronoun they use to refer to themselves and failure to do so can be considered harassment. Best practices include being as inclusive as possible, using plural pronouns, such as “they” and “their,” and “employees”, and defining ’employee’ to include those who identify as male, female or nonbinary.

Categories
COVID-19

California Covid-19 update for employers

California Set to Extend COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Until 12.31.2022

Gov. Newsom extended the 2022 COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (“SPSL”) through December 31, 2022.

• Required SPSL Remains the Same: AB 152 will require employers with 25+ employees to provide SPSL for an additional three months, but this is an extension to the current leave, not a new bucket of SPSL leave. The qualifying reasons for using SPSL also remain the same. Employers should continue to follow the leave requirements as per the original SPSL law.

• Employer-Friendly Changes Related to Testing: Employees who test positive may be required to submit to a 2nd test on/after the 5th day and employers may require a 3rd test within 24 hours, if the 2nd test is positive.

• Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 Relief Grant: AB 152 (due for repeal on 1/01/2024) establishes the California Small Business and Nonprofit COVID-19 SPSL Relief Grant Program to assist qualified small businesses or nonprofits that are incurring costs for SPSL up to $50,000. To see if your business or nonprofit qualifies for the SPSL Relief Grant, review the criteria here.

• Local SPSL Ordinances: Local jurisdictions in California may have their own SPSL ordinances. Employers in these jurisdictions may count leave provided under one of these ordinances toward SPSL obligation under AB 152 so long as the leave was provided for the same reasons and compensates the employee in an amount equal to or greater than what is required under AB 152.

GOOD NEWS

When it comes to COVID health screenings, it IS sufficient for California’s Emergency Temporary Standards to have employees sign a “one and done” acknowledgement that they will comply with the company’s policy of self-assessment, in lieu of signing daily acknowledgements.

Categories
HR Policy

Colorado’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI)

Proposition 118 passed in November of 2020, paving the way for CO’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) program. The FAMLI program will provide Colorado employees with paid to take care of themselves or their family during life circumstances that pull them away from their jobs (new parenthood, taking care of a loved one with a serious health condition, etc.). Team members may be eligible for benefits under FAMLI program as soon as January 1, 2024.

Both employers and employees will contribute premiums to the FAMLI program, so employees may start to see a FAMLI premium deduction on their pay statements beginning January 1, 2023. Most eligible employees will receive up to twelve weeks of leave with the FAMLI program. Those who experience pregnancy or childbirth complications may receive an additional four weeks.