California July 2018 Labor Law Updates

With ever-changing labor law posting requirements, and with the constant addition of new local ordinances that also require posters, we understand the difficulty in keeping up with the trend. For your convenience, All In One Posters has dedicated a page on our website that lists some of the major additional required notices arranged by state. Some are available for purchase, but most are downloadable at no cost to you. Click on the link below for further details:

http://www.allinoneposters.com/Specific-City-and-Industry-Notices *

*Updated with the latest changes that will take effect July 1st 2018 for certain California localities.

California Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) Template Now Available

California – Assembly Bill 450, signed by Jerry Brown on October 5, took effect January 1, 2018 and adds new provisions to the Government Code. To help employers comply with the notification and posting requirement, the bill required the Labor Commissioner to create a template by July 1, 2018 and is now available. Click HERE, then click on California to view and download the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Forms.

What Employers Need to Know

1.) Beginning January 1, 2018, both public and private employers (and their agents) are prohibited from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to enter nonpublic areas of a place of labor unless the agent provides a judicial warrant.

2.) The law also prohibits employers (or their agents) from providing voluntary consent to an immigration enforcement agent to access, review, or obtain the employer’s employee records without a subpoena or court order.

Employers Must Post New Notice on July 1, 2018

3.) Employers will have to post to current employees a notice of inspection of Form I-9 (and any other employment records) by an immigration agency within 72 hours of receiving the federal notice of inspection, in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment information.

4.) Employers, upon reasonable request, must also provide an affected employee (employees identified by the immigration agency as ones who may lack work authorization) with a copy of the notice of inspection of Form I-9s.

Immigration Inspection Deficiency Notice

5.) After an inspection, employers will have to provide the affected employee and the employee’s authorized representative a copy of the written immigration agency notice (the “Notice of Suspect Documents” or NSD) within 72 hours of receipt, including the result of such inspection if an employee is impacted, and obligations of the employee and employer as a result. This notice must be hand-delivered if possible, otherwise by mail and email, and should contain:

  • A description of any deficiencies identified in the notice;
  • The time period for correcting deficiencies;
  • The time and date of any meeting with the employer to correct deficiencies;
  • Notice that the employee has the right to representation during any meeting scheduled with the employer.

Violation Citation and Fines

6.) The California Labor Commissioner or Attorney General has the exclusive authority to enforce these provisions and can impose penalties of $2,000 up to $5,000 for a first violation, and $5,000 up to $10,000 for each subsequent violation under the law.

For a list of Frequently Asked Questions, visit https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/AB_450_QA.pdf

Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

California: New Laws Expand Coverage of Workplace Smoking Prohibitions

E-Cigarettes Included in Workplace Smoking Prohibitions

Several recent pieces of legislation, generally effective on June 9, 2016, expand coverage of California’s workplace smoking prohibitions.

Electronic Cigarettes NoVaping.gif

  • A new law recasts and broadens the definition of “tobacco product” under state law to include electronic cigarettes. By broadening the definition of “tobacco products,” the new measure extends existing laws that relate to tobacco products (e.g., workplace smoking laws) to electronic cigarettes.
    • Note: The law also states that certain retailers of tobacco products (including electronic cigarettes), which are not subject to a tobacco tax, must apply for a license and pay an annual license fee of $265, beginning January 1, 2017. Additional details and obligations are described in the law.

Workplace Smoking Prohibitions Expanded

  • An additional measure amends the state’s workplace smoking law to cover additional places. Key changes include the following:
    • Owner-Operated Businesses. The law extends the workplace smoking prohibition to include owner-operated businesses in which the owner-operator is the only worker and there are no employees, independent contractors, or volunteers.
    • Covered Parking Lots. The law expands the definition of “enclosed space” where smoking is prohibited to include covered parking lots.
    • Guestroom Accommodations. The law reduces to 20% (from 65%) the amount of guestroom accommodations in a hotel, motel, or similar transient lodging establishment in which smoking is allowed.
    • Additional Smoke-Free Locations. The measure eliminates several exemptions in the law which (until June 9, 2016) allow the smoking of tobacco products in certain work environments. As such, the smoking of tobacco products is prohibited at the following locations:
      • Hotel or motel lobbies;
      • Meeting and banquet rooms in a hotel or motel;
      • Warehouse facilities;
      • Gaming clubs;
      • Bars and taverns;
      • Employee break rooms; and
      • Businesses with a total of 5 or fewer employees.

Employers may review the text of the new laws regarding electronic cigarettes and workplace smoking for additional details.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

OSHA Requires Certain Employers to Electronically Submit Injury and Illness Data

Fact Sheet and FAQs Available

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has issued a final rule that (among other things) requires certain employers toelectronically submit injury and illness data.

Background
Under OSHA’s recordkeeping regulation, employers with more than 10 employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry generally must record work-related injuries and illnesses that meet certain criteria using OSHA Forms 300, 300A, and 301. In addition, such employers are required to post Form 300A,Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses, from February 1 – April 30 of each year. Employers with 10 or fewer employees—regardless of their industry classification—are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep records of worker injuries and illnesses.

Final Rule
The new rule, generally effective January 1, 2017, requires certain employers to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA that they are already required to record on their OSHA injury and illness forms, as follows:

  • Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by the recordkeeping regulation must submit information from their2016 Forms 300A by July 1, 2017. These same employers will be required to submit information from all 2017 forms (300A, 300, and 301) by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the information must be submitted by March 2.
  • Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industriesmust submit information from their 2016 Forms 300A by July 1, 2017, and their 2017 Forms 300A by July 1, 2018. Beginning in 2019, the information must be submitted by March 2.
  • Establishments with fewer than 20 employees at all times during the year do not have to routinely submit information electronically to OSHA (however, employers with more than 10 employees and whose establishments are not classified as a partially exempt industry must otherwise comply with applicable OSHA recordkeeping provisions).

Note: OSHA “State Plan” states must adopt requirements that are substantially identical to the requirements in the final rule within 6 months after the rule’s publication (listed as May 12, 2016).

Further details and requirements are contained in the final rule. Additional resources, such as a fact sheet and FAQs, are available by clicking here.

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM

Cal/OSHA Wins First Ever Decision in Case Protecting Workers from Indoor Heat

The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board has ruled in favor of Cal/OSHA’s 2012 citations against two employers because their Injury and Illness Prevention Programs (IIPP) failed to effectively address the hazard of indoor heat.

“This is the first case of indoor heat considered by the Appeals Board. In this case, the ruling affirms that California’s IIPP standard can be used to address hazards that the standard does not specifically identify, including indoor heat,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA, officially known as the Division of Occupational Safety and Health, is a division of DIR.

The IIPP is a basic written program that every employer must develop to comply with occupational safety and health standards and effectively train employees in recognizing hazards.

“California is the only state with an outdoor Heat Illness Prevention standard,” said Juliann Sum, Chief of Cal/OSHA. “Now all workers, including those who work indoors like warehouse workers, are protected from the hazard of heat.”

The case stemmed from the January 2012 serious citations Cal/OSHA issued to Tri-State Staffing (TSI), a temporary staffing agency, and warehouse operator National Distribution Center (NDC) for the heat illness suffered by an employee in August 2011. A serious violation is cited when there is a realistic possibility that death or serious harm could result from the actual hazardous condition.

It was during this time that 49-year-old Domingo Blancas, a TSI employee hired to work in an NDC-operated warehouse, suffered heat illness while working inside a metal freight container with a temperature over 100 degrees. He reported his illness to his temp agency supervisor, who arranged for him to be transported to a local clinic by another employee who had also reported heat illness that day. The doctor at the clinic questioned if Blancas might be suffering from dehydration and referred him to the Emergency Room, but Blancas did not go to the ER and the next day he was hospitalized for three days due to heat stroke.

Both TSI and NDC were penalized $18,000 for failing to implement an effective IIPP. Both companies appealed the citations to an administrative law judge (ALJ). In March 2015. the ALJ issued its decision in favor of TSI and NDC, dismissing their citations. Cal/OSHA appealed that decision to the Appeals Board, stating the ALJ should have affirmed the citations because the employers had failed to effectively correct the hazard of indoor heat exposure, and had not trained employees on the hazard of indoor heat exposure and heat illness. The three-panel board agreed with Cal/OSHA and overturned the ALJ’s decision.

This unprecedented decision also reinforces the fact that all employers have a responsibility for ensuring compliance with all Cal/OSHA standards, not just the employer in charge of the worksite, according to the agency.

On-the-job heat exposure is a risk during operations involving high air temperatures, radiant heat sources, high humidity, direct physical contact with hot objects, or strenuous physical activities. Affected workplaces may include foundries, brick-firing and ceramic plants, glass products facilities, rubber products plants, electric utilities, commercial kitchens, laundries, chemical plants, and smelters.

OSHA emphasizes that while thousands of workers become sick each year from occupational heat exposure, the illnesses and deaths that can result are preventable.

All in One Poster Company designed the California Heat Illness Prevention for Indoor Work Environments to address this problem. Our poster contains steps to prevent heat illness, types of heat illnesses and treatments, and steps that both employees and employers can take to address this issue and create a plan of action.

Cal/OSHA Criminal Investigation of Worker’s Death Results in Prison Term for Construction Company Owner and Project Manager

San JoseCal/OSHA’s criminal investigation into the January 2012 cave-in death of a 36-year-old day laborer in Milpitas has resulted in prison for his employer and project manager. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge William J. Monahan last Friday sentenced Richard Liu, owner of U.S Sino Investment, and project manager Dan Luo to two years in prison for involuntary manslaughter.

On January 28, 2012, Raul Zapata was installing a concrete foundation for a retaining wall at a residential construction site on Calaveras Ridge Drive in Milpitas. The 12-foot high excavation wall collapsed, burying him alive. He died before rescue workers arrived. The death came three days after a city of Milpitas building inspector issued a stop-work notice to Luo for failure to provide shoring on the excavation.

“California employers must provide workers with the necessary protection and training so they can do their jobs safely,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Relations (DIR). “When our investigations uncover negligent behavior by employers, we exercise our full jurisdiction to protect workers – including referrals to district attorneys for prosecution.” Cal/OSHA is a division in DIR.

Cal/OSHA’s investigation determined that at the time of the incident, neither the victim nor other employees were wearing any head protection. Also, the excavation wall had not been shored up as required by law. Furthermore, the employer did not have a competent person for excavation on the jobsite to ensure that the wall was installed according to Cal/OSHA rules.  Finally, Cal/OSHA noted that the employer had no workers’ compensation insurance at the time of the incident.

“When preventable deaths occur on the job, employers must be held accountable,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Cal/OSHA worked closely with the Santa Clara District Attorney to ensure that criminal behavior in the workplace is addressed.”

Cal/OSHA’s civil investigation resulted in the issuance of six citations with penalties totaling $168,175 on June 12, 2012, including five citations for serious violations.

Cal/OSHA’s Bureau of Investigations (BOI) is responsible under Labor Code section 6315 for investigating worker fatalities and serious injuries, and for preparing and referring investigation cases to local and state prosecutors for criminal prosecution. Annual BOI reports are posted on Cal/OSHA’s Annual Legislative Reports webpage.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 provides recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially with Cal/OSHA district offices.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161, and are encouraged to subscribe to get email alerts on DIR’s press releases or other departmental updates.

News Release No.: 2015-72
Date: August 3, 2015

Cal/OSHA Cites Construction Company in Fatal Steel Pipe Accident

American Canyon—Cal/OSHA cited a Bay Area company following an investigation into

Emergency workers respond to the site where a 28-year-old construction worker died after he was crushed by rolling pipe at a road project southwest of the Petaluma Boulevard South exit off Highway 101 in Petaluma on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Emergency workers respond to the site where a 28-year-old construction worker died after he was crushed by rolling pipe at a road project southwest of the Petaluma Boulevard South exit off Highway 101 in Petaluma on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

a fatal accident at a Petaluma construction site in April. A 28-year-old worker from Novato was killed when a 40-foot concrete-coated steel pipe being unloaded from a forklift rolled down a slope and crushed him.

“This fatality could have been avoided had the required safety measures been in place for working at a hazardous location,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). Cal/OSHA is a division of DIR.

Construction workers continue to unload pipe from a flatbed trailer truck after one of the pipe pieces rolled over and killed a 28-year-old construction worker southwest of the Petaluma Boulevard South exit of Highway 101 in Petaluma, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Construction workers continue to unload pipe from a flatbed trailer truck after one of the pipe pieces rolled over and killed a 28-year-old construction worker southwest of the Petaluma Boulevard South exit of Highway 101 in Petaluma, on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

The accident occurred around 7 a.m. on April 15 near Highway 101, where Maggiora & Ghilotti, Inc. of San Rafael was replacing an old water pipe. The employee was working with a forklift operator to unload and transport the new pipe down a sloping dirt road. The pipe weighed approximately 8,000 pounds and was not secured to the forklift; it was unloaded directly to the ground without any chocks or barrier to prevent it from moving. The worker was facing the pipe when it slid off the forks, rolled over him and was finally stopped by a chain link fence.

“Employers must be vigilant in recognizing job hazards and keeping their employees safe by taking the necessary precautions in all aspects of an operation,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum.

A member of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office takes a photo of the pipe that rolled over and killed a 28-year-old construction worker in Petaluma on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

A member of the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office takes a photo of the pipe that rolled over and killed a 28-year-old construction worker in Petaluma on Wednesday, April 15, 2015. (BETH SCHLANKER/ PD)

Cal/OSHA’s American Canyon office issued three citations to Maggiora & Ghilotti for failing to recognize and plan for the hazard of transporting the steel pipe, for failing to survey and plan for the hazards of uneven ground, and for not securing the pipe during transport. The three citations total $38,250.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Scene of fatal construction worker accident in Sonoma County, April 15, 2015. (KGO-TV)

Scene of fatal construction worker accident in Sonoma County, April 15, 2015. (KGO-TV)

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may call DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), or the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 866-924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics. Complaints can also be filed confidentially withCal/OSHA district offices.

For media inquiries, contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.

News Release No.: 2015-65

Labor Commissioner Cites Grocery Chain El Super More Than $180,000 for Wage Theft Violations

El Super

Los Angeles—California Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su this week cited Paramount-based El Super grocery store chain for multiple wage theft violations, with assessments and penalties totaling $180,668. The chain of 43 markets is owned and operated by Bodega Latin, Inc., with 15 locations in Los Angeles.

The investigation revealed that El Super denied rest and meal periods, and failed to pay overtime wages for 20 workers at 10 of El Super’s Los Angeles markets.

“California labor laws are clear regarding rest periods and overtime requirements. Employees must be compensated for the hours they work and the benefits they earn,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Labor Commissioner’s Office is a division of DIR.

Investigators gathered evidence using payroll records audits and worker interviews. The evidence indicated rest and meal period violations as well as overtime premiums owed between June 17, 2012 and June 6, 2015 for all of the workers interviewed. Some employees worked an average of 55 hours per week but were paid for only 40 hours without overtime. Workers were forced to clock out for meal breaks but ordered to return to work without taking their full meal period. In some cases, workers were not allowed to take rest breaks.

Bodega Latin, Inc. was assessed $3,557 in minimum wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages, $44,463 in overtime wages, $93,228 in rest period premiums, $19,903 in meal period premiums, $8,161 in waiting time penalties and $7,800 in rest period penalties.  Bodega must also reimburse its staff at the 10 locations $101,084 for illegal uniform deductions documented during the audit.

“This citation is an expensive reminder to employers who are depriving workers of their hard-earned wages,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su.

Many of the wage violations were documented in off-site interviews with the El Super workers.

“Workers often do not know their rights and fear losing their jobs for complaining about wage theft,” said Su.  “It is important that workers exercise their labor rights by contacting us if they have been victimized by wage theft – and we can help workers to feel safe by offering off-site interviews where they can speak without their employer watching.”

The Labor Commissioner’s Office, formally known as the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, investigates retaliation and whistleblower complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses, and educates the public on labor laws. Updated information on California labor laws is available online.

The Wage Theft is a Crime public awareness campaign, launched last year by DIR and its Labor Commissioner’s Office, has helped inform workers of their rights. The campaign includes multilingual print and outdoor advertising as well as radio commercials on ethnic stations in English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Hmong and Tagalog.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734). The California Workers’ Information line at 866-924-9757 also offers recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

Members of the press may contact Erika Monterroza or Peter Melton at (510) 286-1161 for additional details.

CA DIR News Release No.: 2015-61                                      Date: July 3, 2015

Cal/OSHA Issues High Heat Advisory for Sacramento Valley, Northern California as Temperatures Rise

Oakland—Cal/OSHA is urging all employers, particularly those in the Sacramento Valley and adjacent foothills, to protect their outdoor workers from heat illness. The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning for these areas, where temperatures are expected to rise to highs of 115 degrees through Friday morning. Heat warnings are issued when weather conditions pose a threat to life.

“We want to ensure that the rules in place are followed to protect outdoor workers during

soaring temperatures,” said Christine Baker, Director of the Department of Industrial Relations (DIR). The Division of Occupational Safety and Health, known as Cal/OSHA, is a division of DIR.

California’s heat regulation requires all employers with outdoor workers to protect outdoor workers by taking these basic steps:

  • Train all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention.
  • Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.
  • Provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes. They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.
  • Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

“Heat illness can be life threatening,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “That’s why employers are required to make sure outdoor workers have enough shade, water and rest, even if they don’t see visible symptoms of sickness.”

When temperatures reach 95 degrees, as predicted in Northern California, special “high heat” procedures are also required. These procedures include:

  • Observing workers for signs and symptoms of heat illness.
  • Providing close supervision of workers in their first 14 days of employment to ensure acclimatization.
  • Having effective communication systems in place to be able to call for emergency assistance if necessary.

Cal/OSHA will inspect outdoor worksites in industries such as agriculture, construction, landscaping, and others throughout the heat season. Through partnerships with various employer and worker organizations in different industries, Cal/OSHA will also provide consultation, outreach and training on heat illness prevention.

Cal/OSHA’s award-winning heat illness prevention campaign, the first of its kind in the nation, includes enforcement of heat regulations as well as outreach and training for California’s employers and workers.

Cal/OSHA helps protect workers from health and safety hazards on the job in almost every workplace in California. Cal/OSHA’s Consultation Services Branch provides free and voluntary assistance to employers and employee organizations to improve their health and safety programs. Employers should call (800) 963-9424 for assistance from Cal/OSHA Consultation Services.

Employees with work-related questions or complaints may contact DIR’s Call Center in English or Spanish at 844-LABOR-DIR (844-522-6734), or the California Workers’ Information Hotline at 866-924-9757 for recorded information in English and Spanish on a variety of work-related topics.

For media inquiries contact Erika Monterroza at (510) 286-1164 or Peter Melton at (510) 286-7046.