2018 Newsletter & Compliance Update

Happy New Year to our clients and colleagues!

We wanted to remind you of the recent and upcoming changes in employment laws that may affect your business. We created an easy checklist for you to use. As always, contact your HR Matrix associate or call our direct number if you need any assistance or have questions.

This last year, the HR Matrix expanded its team and we celebrated some milestones. As a firm, we celebrated 11 years in business. In 2006, Brenda Gilchrist and Gary Hochman merged their HR/OD practices to become one of the most highly regarded firms in the North Bay. Since then, we have brought on the best and brightest in the fields of HR, including our senior HR Consultant, Jennifer Scott, along with our most recent additions of Talia Eisen and Lindsey Brown. We have continued to work with our highly talented group of contractors, from Liz Cornish, our amazing and talented executive coach, to Taya Levine, trainer/facilitator/coach extraordinaire.

On behalf of The HR Matrix team, we look forward to working with you in 2018!

Considerations For Your 2018 HR/OD Initiatives

  • HR Assessments & Audits. We can evaluate and optimize your HR infrastructure, staffing plans, processes and practices to ensure you are in compliance and that you are applying best practices that are customized to your company.
  • Employee Handbooks. We can update your handbook or create one from scratch. All our handbooks are customized to your company needs.
  • New Hire Forms Package. With new hire paperwork changing frequently, we provide employers with a comprehensive forms package to ensure compliance with local, state, and federal laws.
  • Increase your Employee Engagement (HR Matrix eiSurveys). Evaluate employee engagement within your company and discover what’s working well and opportunities for improvement.
  • Team 360. Help build mutual support, accountability, and leadership skills through a unique team-based experience for senior managers and above.
  • Compensation Plan Design. Creating fair and competitive salary structures is important for retaining and recruiting top talent in a highly competitive job market. We conduct salary surveys, develop pay ranges based on internal and external valuing, and help you design strategic pay practices that align with your business needs.
  • Organization Development. We believe the best solutions are the ones we figure out together. The HR Matrix team of skilled organization and management consultants will work with you, your business, and your team to identify the underlying dynamics, confront the issues, and work to improve systems with a focus on your goals. We’ll agree on a path that suits your needs—with buy-in and teamwork that delivers meaningful and lasting organizational improvement.
  • Coaching. Engage employees in learning and growth based on their own initiative and commitment, helping to build trust, cultivate communication, and hone planning and collaboration skills.
  • HR Consulting. Through onsite or virtual advice and consultation, we support all aspects of your organization’s Human Resources needs.
  • Search and Recruitment. Our expertise with both active and passive candidate sourcing give you the edge in finding qualified talent, especially for hard-to-fill or niche positions. As specialists in HR/OD, we understand the implications of company culture and organizational fit, resulting in more successful hires for you.

2018 Compliance Corner

Following are new employment laws that go into effect in California as of January 1, 2018. 

1. Parental Leave for Small Employers (20 or more employees)

SB 63, the New Parent Leave Act, requires employers with 20 or more employees to provide eligible new parents with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave to bond with their new child. The leave must be taken within one (1) year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. This new leave only provides protected leave for baby bonding and does not require employers to provide leave for other purposes (e.g., an employee’s serious medical issue).

How does it impact your business? If you have between 20 to 49 employees, you will be required to provide protected baby bonding leave.

2. Ban-the-Box Law

AB 1008 prohibits employers who employ 5 or more employees from asking questions related to criminal history information at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made. Only after the employer has made an offer can they seek criminal history information. There are exceptions for jobs that require background checks by law.

How does it impact your business? Employers should remove any questions on employment applications that relate to criminal history information, and may not ask about criminal history during the interview process. Ensure that background checks are only completed after a conditional offer has been made. Before an employer can deny employment based on criminal history, a specific process is must be followed. This process involves an assessment of the relevance of the crime to the job and written communication between the employer and the candidate.

3. Ban on Salary History

AB 168 prohibits California employers from asking about salary history or using such information when determining what pay to offer a candidate. This includes seeking current or past salary information whether in writing or verbally and includes compensation and benefits.

How does it impact your business? Employers should remove any salary history questions from their employment application and interview process. We recommend employers rely on market data and internal pay ranges to set pay, versus relying on salary history.

4. Immigrant Worker Protection Act

AB 450 provides employees with protection from immigration enforcement while on the job.

How does it impact your business? Employers are prohibited from giving immigration enforcement agents access to non-public areas of a business without a subpoena or judicial warrant. However, for review of Form I-9 or other documents related to employment eligibility status, only a Notice of Inspection is needed.

5. Harassment Prevention Training (For Employers with 50+ employees)

Employers with 50 or more employees are required to provide harassment training to managers and supervisors every two years, and within six months of someone becoming a new supervisor. As of 2018, the training must include information about harassment based on gender identity, gender expression, and sexual orientation

6. Minimum Wage

On January 1, 2018, California’s minimum wage increases to $10.50 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees and to $11 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. If your business is within a city/county with a local minimum wage ordinance, be sure to check on the minimum wage requirements.

7. Whistleblower Retaliation Protections

SB 306 authorizes the Labor Commissioner’s office to investigate an employer when it suspects retaliation or discrimination during a wage claim or other investigation.

8.  Employee Assistance After Acts of Domestic Terrorism

AB 44 requires employers to provide employees who are injured in an act of domestic terrorism with immediate support from a nurse case manager. Note that this law applies only if the Governor declares a state of emergency in connection with the act of domestic terrorism.

9. Legalized Marijuana

Review existing policies to ensure clarity around expectations for this newly legalized drug and the workplace.

2018 Compliance Checklist

Parental Leave for Small Employers (20 or more employees)
❏  Provide up to 12 weeks of protected “baby bonding” leave time for pregnancy leaves
❏  Maintain existing benefits and continue to pay the employer’s share of the premiums for the duration of the leave, up to 12 workweeks. 

Ban-the-Box Law
❏  Remove any questions on employment applications that relate to criminal history information
❏  Don’t ask about criminal history during the interview process.
❏  Ensure that background checks are only completed after a conditional offer has been made.
❏  Follow required process before you deny employment based on criminal history.

Ban on Salary History
❏  Remove any salary history questions from your employment application and interview process.
❏  Ask candidates only their desired pay, not their current or past pay.
❏  Consider a compensation study to create market and internal based pay ranges.

Immigrant Worker Protection Act
❏  Ensure you have a warrant or subpoena before allowing immigration agents access to non-public areas of the business and a Notice of Inspection for review of I-9’s.

Harassment Prevention Training (For Employers with 50+ employees)
❏  Provide harassment training to managers and supervisors every two years, and within six months of someone becoming a new supervisor.
❏  Include the new 2018 protections in the training material.

Minimum Wage
❏  Audit your payroll reports; increase employees to the new 2018 Minimum Wage requirements.

Legalized Marijuana
❏  Review existing policies to ensure clarity around expectations for this newly legalized drug and the workplace.

 

Leadership & Development Coaching

Coaching is a collaborative process meant to engage individuals in learning and growth based on their own initiative and commitment, and aided by someone who can help support that process. In this way, leaders and staff alike, can further their desired growth goals, learn needed skills and attain new levels of understanding to support their professional development. 

Working with a coach takes determination. It also takes time. As we know, valuable learning includes practice, repetition, trial and error, and course-correction along the way. It takes time to develop new habits.

Coaching can help individuals:

  • Improve their ability to manage time
  • Reduce stress in work or personal life
  • Achieve better work-life balance
  • Gain skills to help them grow and develop
  • Improve relationships with colleagues
  • Understand what next steps in career may be needed and ways to get there

Our methodology typically includes:

  • Meet and establish format/expectations
  • Set goals and measures, create a plan or strategy
  • “Homework”
  • Reading
  • Observation
  • Reflection
  • Practice
  • Regular, scheduled meetings for a set amount of time and duration
  • Check ins to assess progress, adjust goals, determine effectiveness
  • Conclusions, evaluation, next steps/recommendations

Call us today and let us help you achieve your goals.

HR Reminders

  • Update your employment law posters and notices
  • File your OSHA 300 log by February 1st.
  • Ensure your employees’ address and contact information is up to date for W-2s and ACA forms.
  • The Employment Development Department (EDD) has several new pamphlets that will be released Jan 1, 2018. Ensure you are using the most current pamphlets.

If you have questions regarding these new laws or compliance with state and federal employment laws, or would like to discuss any of our HR, OD or Recruitment services, we are here to help.
Wishing you a happy new year!

Sincerely,

The HR Matrix Team
(707) 526-0877
www.TheHRMatrix.com

 

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