California Enacts Several New Labor and Employment Laws

UntitledCalifornia has recently enacted several new laws that may impact the workplace. An overview of some of the key changes is presented below. Unless otherwise noted, these changes are expected to take effect onJanuary 1, 2016.

Civil Rights Protections
The state Unruh Civil Rights Act provides protection from discrimination by all business establishments in California (including housing and public accommodations) on the basis of certain protected characteristics (e.g., age, ancestry, color, disability, marital status, or sexual orientation). Covered persons are entitled to full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services in all business establishments.

A new amendment to the law clarifies that such protections also extend tocitizenship, primary language, and immigration status.

Employers May Cure Certain Wage Statement Violations
State law requires an employer to provide its employees with specified information regarding their wages (e.g., the inclusive dates of the period for which the employee is paid, and the name/address of the legal entity that is the employer) either semimonthly or at the time of each wage payment. Previously, state law provided that the employer did not have the right to cure a violation of this requirement before an employee was able to bring a civil action.

A new law, effective as of October 2, 2015, provides an employer withthe right to cure a violation of this requirement before an employee may bring a civil action. The law provides that a violation is only considered cured upon a showing that the employer has provided a fully compliant, itemized wage statement to each aggrieved employee, as specified in the law. The employer’s right to cure with respect to alleged violations of these provisions is limited to once in a 12-month period.

Protections Against E-Verify Misuse
A new measure generally prohibits an employer or other person (except as required by federal law or as a condition of receiving federal funds) from using E-Verify to check the employment authorization status of anexisting employee or applicant who has not been offered employment at a time or in a manner not required or authorized underfederal law or any federal agency memorandum of understanding.

New Rules for Piece-Rate Workers
A new law requires workers compensated on a “piece-rate” basis during any pay period to be compensated for rest and recovery periods and other nonproductive time—separate from any piece-rate compensation. Additionally, the itemized wage statement required to be furnished to such employees under state law must contain (among other things): the total hours of compensable rest and recovery periods; the rate of compensation; and the gross wages paid for those periods during the pay period.

Note: Certain changes become operative at different times. Click here to read the text of the law.

Wage Theft Penalties
If a final judgment against an employer arising from its nonpayment of wages for work performed in California remains unsatisfied after a period of 30 days after the time to appeal has expired (and no appeal is pending), the employer is prohibited from continuing to conduct business in California (including conducting business using the labor of another business, contractor, or subcontractor instead of the labor of an employee), unless the employer has obtained a bond from a qualified surety company and has filed a copy of that bond with the state labor commissioner.

The bond must be effective and maintained until satisfaction of all judgments for nonpayment of wages. The principal sum of the bond must not be less than:

  • $50,000 if the unsatisfied portion of the judgment is $5,000 or less.
  • $100,000 if the unsatisfied portion of the judgment is more than $5,000 and no more than $10,000.
  • $150,000 if the unsatisfied portion of the judgment is more than $10,000.

In lieu of filing and maintaining the bond, the employer may provide the labor commissioner with a notarized copy of an accord reached with an individual holding an unsatisfied final judgment. (However, if the accord provides for the judgment to be paid in installments, and an installment payment is not made, the employer is no longer excused from satisfying the law’s bond requirement.) The law also provides civil penalties for employers who conduct business in violation of the law. Click here to read the text of the law.

Employers with questions on how these laws may impact workplace policies or procedures are advised to seek guidance from a knowledgeable employment law attorney.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

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Government Implements Wage and Hour, Worker Safety and Health Guidelines for Nail Salons

As the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to perform nail salon sweeps in various states, especially in empire states where the New York Times recently published articles about the hazards facing nail salon workers, the federal agency has released a poster this year that discusses in detail both Wage and Hour Protection as well as Health and Safety Protection.

The Wage and Hour Division helps all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status. As a nail salon worker, one has the right to be paid full and fair wages for all hours you work.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health on the other hand recognizes that products used in nail salons can contain harmful chemicals. Over time, repeated use or exposure to high concentrations of these chemicals could damage your body or cause serious health effects. This new poster emphasizes that nail salon workers have the right to working conditions that do not put them at risk of serious harm.

Some salons incorrectly call workers “independent contractors” when they are actuallyNail Salon English.gif employees. It is important for you to know the difference between the two because employees are legally entitled to greater health and safety protections, wages and benefits. A salon owner may call you an independent contractor, or give you an IRS form 1099 instead of a W-2, but this does not automatically make you an independent contractor. This poster helps both employers and employees determine which classifications workers fall under.

For the convenience of our customers, the All in One Poster Company has developed a
24” x 36” laminated version of this labor law poster that contains 4 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. We call it the Nail Salon Workers Rights. These are also available only in a particular language in an 11” x 17” laminated poster.

Minnesota Leads the Midwest in Minimum Wage

This Saturday, Minnesota’s minimum wage will rise to $9.00 per hour, making it one of the highest in the country, and the leader of the Midwest states. The bump is a result of the phase two implementation of the wage law Governor Mark Dayton signed in April of last year. The law mandated that wages rise to $8.00 in 2014, $9.00 in August of 2015, and $9.50 in August of 2016. Following the completion of stage three in 2016, wages moving forward will be adjusted as necessary to account for inflation.

These changes will only apply to employees working for qualifying large employers – businesses with an annual gross revenue of $500,000 or higher. Those working for smaller employers still fall under the protection of the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 per hour.

How does Minnesota compare to its neighbors in the Midwest?

While the hotly debated first two stages of the law have finally been settled, stage three of the implementation remains controversial between political parties. The 2016 presidential race is expected to focus on ways to support the middle class and will undoubtedly touch on the minimum wage floor.

About Doherty | The Employment Experts Headquartered in Minneapolis for over 35 years, Doherty offers customized workforce solutions to companies doing business in Minnesota and across the nation. Doherty is the largest Minnesota-based staffing firm, Minnesota’s 2nd largest woman-owned business, a Star Tribune Top Workplace since 2014, and the only staffing firm to receive the Minnesota Business Ethics Award. Visit www.dohertyemployment.com for more information.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DOHERTY on Thu, 07/30/2015

To ensure continued compliance of our valued customers, All in One Poster Company is will be including this mandatory update, along with the latest Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) mandatory update that occurred this month, with the upcoming release of our 2016 Minnesota and Federal Combination Poster available for pre-order beginning November 1, 2016. The MNOSHA was updated this October to include information regarding employer requirements to report any work-related in-hospital, amputations or loss of an eye to MNOSHA within 24 hours.

Illinois: Employment Agencies Jointly Liable for Violations of State Minimum Wage Law and Wage Payment and Collection Act

Law Effective January 1, 2016

Staffing ImageUnder a new law effective January 1, 2016, employment agencies are jointly liable for violations of the state Minimum Wage Law and Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Background
The minimum wage in Illinois is $8.25 per hour for those individuals who are 18 years and older. Employees who do not receive tips may be paid $7.75 for the first 90 days with an employer. Those under 18 years of age may be paid at the rate of $7.75 per hour. Covered non-exempt employees are entitled to pay at time and one half their regular rates of pay if they worked over 40 hours in a workweek.

The state Wage Payment and Collection Act establishes when, where, and how often wages must be paid and prohibits deductions from wages or final compensation without the employee’s consent.
HR-Graphic
New Law
It is a violation of the new law for an employment agency to:

  • Refer an individual for employment at a wage rate less than that established by the Illinois Minimum Wage Law (§ 4), or to facilitate underpayment of wages by an employer in any manner. An employment agency that knowingly refers an individual for employment at less than the minimum wage that results in underpayment to an employee is jointly liable for statutory damages.
  • Facilitate illegal deductions from wages or nonpayment of wages by an employer in violation of the Wage Payment and Collection Act. An employment agency that facilitates illegal deduction of wages or nonpayment of wages is jointly liable for statutory damages.

Click here to read the text of the law (§ 12.3).

For more information on other state laws specific to Illinois, visit the State Laws section, click on Illinois, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

Univ. of California system raises minimum wage to $13 an hour

University of California CollageThe first phase of a law that will eventually boost the minimum wage of all University of California employees to $15 an hour went into effect on Thursday.

The UC system is the first in the country to voluntarily create a plan for a $15 minimum wage, according to a university statement emailed on Thursday.Now, all university employees working 20 or more hours per week will earn at least $13 an hour. That wage is expected to increase to $14 an hour on Oct. 1 of 2016 and reach its target of $15 an hour on Oct. 1 the following year.

According to the UC website, the system employs 190,000 workers, though only a small fraction of workers will benefit from the program as the program only impacts those workers receiving an hourly wage.

According to NPR, the full policy is set to affect 3,200 employees in the University of California system. However, the total number affected could actually be higher, as any third party contracted by UC for services will earn the required wage, also according to the system’s website.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 15: University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

“This is the right thing to do — for our workers and their families, for our mission and values, and to enhance UC’s leadership role by becoming the first public university in the United States to voluntarily establish a minimum wage of 15 dollars,” UC President Janet Napolitano said when the plan was first announced.

The UC system’s website states the school will fund the cost of the extra wages through “non-core funds, including sales and revenue,” which will not include tuition or state resources. Employees can report wage or working conditions via a hotline, an online complaint system or periodic and annual audits.

The move comes in the midst of a national debate about the value of a minimum wage increase.

Michael Schramm is a student at the University of Michigan and USA TODAY College breaking news correspondent.

San Jose Minimum Wage Not Going Up In 2016 Due To Consumer Price Index Drop

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Thousands of people who in San Jose who earn minimum wage thought they would be getting a raise on January 1st. But a lower Consumer Price Index means their wages will stay at $10.30 an hour next year.
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Emma Sanchez is among those earning minimum wage in San Jose. When asked how she tries to make ends meet, Sanchez said, “Stretch it out. It’s really hard.”

The mother of four said she is sometimes unable to pay her bills. “It’s , extra hours extra shifts,” Sanchez said. “You know, pulling ends here and there to do what you got to do just to make ends meet.”

San Jose voters passed an ordinance two years ago that allows for a jump in minimum wage if the Price Index goes up. But in the last 12 months, the CPI went down, because gas prices took a drop in August.

Although Sanchez lives in one of the most expensive cities in the country, the CPI is a U.S. city average.

“It’s not fair,” Sanchez said. “It’s getting harder and harder and minimum wage is not going to cut it anymore.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “The mechanical of the existing ordinance is not helping.”

Liccardo said he wants to see an increase in minimum wage throughout Santa Clara County.

“There’s no question that the minimum wage at its current level is not enough to enable anyone to survive in this valley,” the mayor told KPIX 5.

For thousands like Sanchez, every penny counts when you’re making minimum wage. She said any increase in pay would help.

“It would help. It would extremely help not only me as a single mother but a lot of people it would help,” Sanchez said.

This is the first time since the ordinance was passed that the minimum wage has not gone up.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY CBS SAN FRANCISCO