California Bill Would Significantly Change the Definition of an Employee

California businesses who rely on “gig workers” to perform the work for the company may soon need to restructure their business model based on a new bill that has been passed by Congress in California and is expected to be signed soon by Governor Gavin Newsom. This new bill would require that companies using these “gig workers” (the two biggest companies being Uber and Lyft) reclassify their workers to be considered employees rather than continue to be classified as independent contractors.  

It’s important to note that this would only apply to California workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled earlier this year that Uber drivers (and similar workers) were independent contractors because they used their own equipment, set their own schedules, could work for competitors, and were responsible for their own profit and/or loss. Continue reading

California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Expanded

With the passing of Senate Bill 1343, training requirements have changed for California businesses. California employers with 5 or more employees are now required to provide sexual harassment training to both supervisory employees as well as nonsupervisory employees. By January 1, 2020, supervisory employees must receive 2 hours of sexual harassment training and nonsupervisory employees must receive 1 hour of training. Going forward, this training must occur every two years. For all new employees, training must occur within six months of hire. For all new temporary or seasonal employees, training must occur within 30 calendar days or 100 hours worked, whichever comes first. Continue reading

Employee Paid Time Off Donation Program

Let’s discuss a situation that’s somewhat common among employers.  You have an employee, Sharon, who has used all of her allowed paid time off (vacation, personal, sick, etc.) for the year. Sharon’s mother falls ill with a serious medical condition and Sharon needs to take additional time off work to help care for her mother, but she doesn’t have any paid time off available. Sharon’s coworker, Kim, has a lot of accrued paid time off with no vacation plans so she asks you if she can donate some of her available paid time off balance to Sharon to be able to use during her absence so that Sharon doesn’t have to take unpaid time off work to care for her mother. Can you allow Kim to donate her paid time off to Sharon?

You can. But it’s not that simple.

Continue reading

New York – New Sexual Harassment Training Required

With sexual-harassment allegations on the rise, states are moving towards reform of their laws and the complaint process. One of these states is New York, which recently passed a law that will go in effect October 9th requiring companies to provide annual sexual-harassment training for all employees.

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All training must meet or exceed the standards of the state, either by using a program set forth by state agencies or the company’s independent training program. Continue reading

Before a Closing or Layoff, WARN Your Employees

Were you aware that before closing a plant or laying off a large number of employees you may be required to provide advance notice to the affected employees? Many employers are not aware of this requirement.  The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires that some usdol_seal_circa_2015_svgemployers give employees at least 60 days’ advance notice prior to certain plant closings and mass layoffs.

Employers with 100 or more employees must comply with the WARN Act.  The 100 employee count does not include employees who have worked less than 6 months in the last 12 months or those employees who work less than 20 hours per week. It’s important to note that even though these employees are not included in the employee count, they still must be provided notification at least 60 days before a plant closing or mass layoff. Continue reading

Should We Be Paying Our Interns?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently released a statement adopting a “primary beneficiary” test to be used when determining whether an intern for a for-profit employer should be classified as an employee under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Continue reading

Verifying I-9 Documents for Remote Workers

All employers are required to verify employment eligibility of their new employees by completing Form I-9. Section 2 of the form is to be completed by a representative of the company within three business days of the employee’s first day of work. To complete Section 2, the employer’s representative must physically review original documents which verify employment eligibility (acceptable documents include a passport, permanent resident card, driver’s license, birth certificate and many others as indicated on the instructions of Form I-9). These documents must be originals and cannot be copies, scanned versions, faxes and also cannot be viewed over a video call such as Skype. This creates a potential issue for companies with a remote workforce where employees do not all live and work in the same area. Continue reading