Commission Agreements Deadline

Posted on Wed, Sep 12, 2012

Employers must put all commission agreements in writing by January 1, 2013. By that time, any employee hired to perform work for commissions in California must receive a written contract that includes the method for calculating and paying the commissions.

Passed in 2012, this mandate of AB 1396 applies to employers located inside and outside California. It amended Labor Code Section 2751, which previously applied only to employers with no fixed California location.

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Tags: AB 1396, commission agreements, commissioned employees, Labor Code section 2751, HR Allen Consulting Services, HR Informant, California employers, CalChamber

Disability Access Law Reform Pending​

Posted on Thu, Aug 30, 2012

Legislation to curb lawsuit abuse connected with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) awaits action by the Legislature. 
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Tags: ADA, Americans with Disabilities Act, ADA lawsuits, SB 1186, CalChamber

California Employers Paying Higher Unemployment Taxes

Posted on Mon, Feb 20, 2012

Since January 1, 2012, California employers have paid higher taxes because the state has not repaid money it borrowed from the federal government to pay unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Unless Congress takes action (which is not expected), the higher tax will remain in effect through 2012 and then increase each year the state has an outstanding loan balance.

California’s UI Trust Fund has been insolvent since 2009.By the end of 2012, the UI Fund deficit is projected to reach $10.7 billion, according to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Employers will lose 0.3 percent of their federal tax credit, partially offset by the end of a 0.2 percent surcharge in July 2011.The 0.3 percent tax credit translates into approximately $21 per year for any employee who makes $7,000 or more in 2012. California employers pay UI taxes on the first $7,000 of wages per employee.

Statewide, the tax increase totals an estimated $289.8 million in 2012 and $615.7 million in 2013, according to the EDD October 2011 Unemployment Insurance Fund Forecast. This represents a loss of 0.6 percent of the tax credit in 2012, EDD reports.

The additional taxes paid will help offset California’s federal loan balance.

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Tags: California Chamber of Commerce, FUTA, EDD, UI taxes, unemployment taxes, California, California employers, CalChamber

Hiring Veterans Is Good Business Sense

Posted on Tue, Feb 14, 2012

Earlier, We blogged about how employers and the California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet) are working together to educate eligible employees about the federal and state benefits available to military veterans.

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Tags: tax credit, veterans, federal tax credit, hire a hero, hiring veterans, state tax credit, employees, Employers, HRCalifornia, CalChamber

State Supreme Court Orders Review of Decision on Rounding Time Card Entries

Posted on Thu, Feb 02, 2012

At the request of the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Supreme Court ordered a review of a trial court decision to clarify whether rounding employees’ time card entries is legal.  

Previously, CalChamber urged the 4th District Court of Appeal to grant a petition by See’s Candy Shops, Inc. to review a San Diego County Superior Court decision that the practice of rounding employee time entries to the nearest six minutes violates California law.

Employers have long relied on the position of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and state Division of Labor Standards Enforcement that rounding is a lawful practice, the CalChamber said in its October letter to the 4th District Court of Appeal, and that approval is reflected in DOL regulations and the California Labor Commissioner’s enforcement policy, which follows the DOL regulations.

The issue of rounding time card entries is a matter of widespread concern to California employers, and the CalChamber regularly receives inquiries from its members concerning the rounding of time card entries. 

Some class action lawsuits already have been filed in California by plaintiffs alleging that rounding is illegal and seeking damages and penalties under the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA). Many employers will feel they have no choice but to stop their practice of rounding time to avoid the risk of class litigation.

After extensive research, the CalChamber concluded that the California Labor Code does not prohibit rounding and no California appellate decision has held that rounding is illegal. The CalChamber believes it would be best for this issue to be resolved now so California businesses will have certainty regarding this important timekeeping issue.

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Tags: employees, Employers, CalChamber, PAGA, rounding time card, rounding time card entries

More Social Media Guidance From the NLRB

Posted on Wed, Jan 25, 2012

In 2011, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) increased its oversight activity relating to employer disciplinary actions for social media postings made by employees. HR Watchdog blogged frequently in 2011 on the NLRB’s activity in this area. 

Yesterday, the NLRB’s General Counsel issued its second report describing 14 social media cases reviewed by its office. The NLRB’s first report on 14 other social media cases was released in August, 2011. 

The purpose of this second report, as stated by the NLRB, is to provide further guidance to labor and employment law practitioners and HR professionals — many of whom grapple with how to handle employees who use social media to air workplace complaints or simply bad-mouth the company. 

Seven of these 14 cases involve questions about an employer’s social media policies. Five of the social media policies were found to be overly broad and unlawful. 

The problem occurs when a social media is written so broadly that it prohibits employees from discussing wages or working conditions. Employees, in both union and nonunion workplaces, have the right under Section 7 of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to engage in concerted activities, including discussing working conditions, pay or other work-related issues. 

If those discussions occur using social media accounts (such as an employee’s Facebook or Twitter account), the discussions may be protected under the NLRA.

The NLRB also stated that it intends to develop a practice of tracking all social media cases and developing a consistent approach. The Acting General counsel asked all regional offices to send cases which they believe to be meritorious to the NLRB’s Division of Advice in Washington, D.C.

The NLRB noted that its report represents its “interpretation” of the NLRA as it applies to social media communications and that some of these decisions are currently pending before the Board. The Board’s eventual determinations in those pending cases will provide further guidance as the law develops.

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Tags: employees, Employers, NLRB, social media, CalChamber, facebook, twitter, NLRA, section 7 of the NLRA, working conditions

Labor Commissioner Posts Updated FAQ on New Wage Notice

Posted on Tue, Jan 24, 2012

As CalChamber members know, a new state law that took effect January 1, 2012, requires employers to provide nonexempt employees with a notice at the time of hire containing specified wage information. 

Employers have had many questions regarding putting the new notice into practice and how to comply with the law. Employers sought guidance on several issues, including:

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Tags: employees, California, Employers, HRCalifornia, CalChamber, new hires, HRC, wage and employment notice, wage theft protection act