Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash As artificial intelligence (AI), and more specifically, generative AI, increases in capability, use, and acceptance, it becomes increasingly vital for all businesses, even smaller businesses to establish an AI policy. It’s not just tech giants that need to concern themselves with the implications of AI; small businesses are equally accountable and have just as much to gain – or lose – from its potential. The Importance of an AI Policy in the Workplace As a small business owner, you might be tempted to ignore the role of AI in your operations. You might even question the necessity of an AI policy at all. But the reality is that AI has penetrated all facets of the business world and is not limited by size or sector. Whether it’s customer service chatbots, data analytics tools, or HR systems screening potential hires, AI is likely already embedded in your business processes. Then there are the tech savvy employees who may be using ChatGPT or Bard to draft a letter, create content, or make their work easier in … Continue reading
Photo by Thomas Kelley on Unsplash Female mid-managers at the Walt Disney Co. recently requested class certification in a lawsuit against Disney entitled LaRonda Rasmussen, et al. v. The Walt Disney Co. et al. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit seek $150 million in damages on behalf of themselves and other female mid-managers who worked for the Walt Disney Co. throughout the United States. The lawsuit against Disney alleges that the company discriminated against women who worked for them in that “across all of its business segments and at all levels of the company, Disney routinely underpays its female employees, passes them over for promotion, piles on extra work without additional compensation, and does not supply sufficient support staff to allow women to succeed at their jobs.” This is a violation of California’s equal pay laws. At the heart of this and other discrimination lawsuits is whether an employer treats its female employees differently than their male counterparts. One of the plaintiffs in this case alleged that each of the six men holding the same title as her (“Manager, Product Development”) … Continue reading
Welcome to 2023. New Year, New You, New California Employment Laws! Here is a quick overview of the most significant new laws that went into effect on January 1, 2023. This is not an exhaustive list but one that will apply to most small to medium-sized business owners in California. PRACTICAL TIP: Make sure your documents reflect that you are implementing changes that are applicable to your business. For example, update your written notice to employees of the terms of their employment to reflect the new hourly rate if you have employees who make minimum wage. Update the language in your employee handbooks to reflect the ability to designate non-family members for CFRA and paid sick leave. PAY Minimum Wage Increases/Exempt Pay Increases The California state minimum wage in 2023 is now $15.50 per hour for all employees, regardless of the employer’s size. However, some cities and counties have even higher local minimum wage requirements. Employers should check the minimum wage requirements for all cities and counties where their employees work. Some cities with higher minimum wage requirements include Los … Continue reading
Photo by Ryan Parker on Unsplash California’s AB 701 Amends section 138.7 and adds a new part to the Labor Code to specifically address Warehouse Distribution Centers. Which Employers Will be Affected by the New Law? Any company that employs (directly or through third parties and agencies): 100 or more nonexempt warehouse distribution workers at a single warehouse distribution center; OR 1,000 or more employees at one or more warehouse distribution centers in the state of California. New Notice Requirement Beginning January 1, 2022, Certain employers will need to provide non-exempt employees with a written description of each quota the employee is subject to. What must be in this notice? The quantified number of tasks to be performed by the employee, or materials to be produced or handled. The time period tasks must be performed or materials must be produced in. The adverse employment action that could result if the employee does not meet the quota. When must subject employers give the notice to warehouse distribution center employees? At the time of hire; or By January 31, 2022. New Employee … Continue reading
AB-654 went into effect immediately on October 5, 2021, and will expire on January 1, 2023. The law amends California Labor Code Section 6325 and amends and repeals Labor Code section 6409.6 relating to occupational safety and notice requirements about COVID-19 in the workplace. Below is an outline of an employers’ notice requirements as well as duties to report exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace. If you receive an OSHA that your place of employment, operation, or process, poses an imminent risk to workers of exposure to infection with COVID-19, resulting in OSHA prohibiting entry to the place of employment or prohibiting the risky operation or process, you must post the OSHA notice in a conspicuous place at the place of employment and may not be removed except by an authorized OSHA representative. If you receive notice of potential exposure to COVID-19, the employer must do the following within one business day of the notice of potential exposure: Provide a written notice of potential exposure to 1. All employees; and 2. employers of subcontracted employees who were at the same … Continue reading
What is Post-COVID condition? According to the CDC, although most people with COVID-19 get better within weeks of illness, some people experience post-COVID conditions. Post-COVID conditions are a wide range of new, returning, or ongoing health problems people can experience four or more weeks after first being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Even people who did not have COVID-19 symptoms in the days or weeks after they were infected can have post-COVID conditions. This prolonged after-effects of COVID may have different names such as long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID. Regardless of the name, the effect is the same; that is, for some people the road to recovery from COVID-19 will take longer than the anticipated 2 weeks. Some of the reported symptoms include: Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath Tiredness or fatigue Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”) Cough Chest or stomach pain Headache Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations) Joint or muscle pain … Continue reading
The California Supreme Court, in the case of Jessica Ferra v. Loews Hollywood Hotel, LLC recently clarified the correct way to calculate meal period and rest break premium pay . . . and it’s not how most California businesses were calculating it. What are Meal Period and Rest Break Premiums? California Labor Code Section 226.7 requires employers to pay employees “one additional hour of pay at the employee’s regular rate of compensation for each workday” that an employee was not provided with a meal or rest period. Unfortunately, many employers are not aware of this requirement to pay a meal and rest period premium if employees are not able to take their meal breaks and rest breaks. Before we discuss the correct way to pay the premiums, let’s review the basic meal and rest break rules in California. What are the Rest Break Rules in California? In California, the Wage Orders require employers to authorize and permit non-exempt employees to take a 10-minute, uninterrupted, rest period for each four-hour work period or major fraction thereof. The Division of Labor Standards … Continue reading
The EEOC just announced the opening of 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 component 1 data collection of workforce demographics after a pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Required filers must provide demographic workforce data including data by race/ethnicity, sex, and job categories. EEO-1 Component 1 data are used by the EEOC to investigate charges of employment discrimination against employers and to provide information about the employment status of minorities and women. Who Must Submit Data? Private employers with 100 or more employees, and Federal contractors with 50 or more employees meeting certain criteria When is the Deadline to Submit the Demographic Data? The deadline to submit EEO-1Component 1 data is July 19, 2021. This July 19th deadline applies to demographic data for both 2019 and 2020. How Do I File EE-1 Component 1 Data? Create an account at https://eeocdata.org/EEO1/cb326247-33b9-4318-9c39-f63948021d67/GetStarted Once a user account is created, there are two different ways to file the 2019 and 2020 EEO-1Component 1 Report(s): ONLINE FORM (available beginning Monday, April 26, 2021) Filers may enter their data into a secure data entry form via the EEO-1 … Continue reading
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act’s (FFCRA) paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements expired on December 31, 2020. Thus, employers are no longer obligated to provide paid sick leave to employees who are unable to work due to a Covid-19 related illness, the need to quarantine because of exposure, to care for a family member who is ill due to Covid-19, or to care for a child because of school closure related to Covid-19. However, employers may voluntarily choose to provide paid sick leave to employees for Covid-19 related reasons. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, extended the employer tax credits for paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave voluntarily provided to employees until March 31, 2021. To voluntarily provide paid sick leave, or not to pay, that is the question. The Pros of Extending Paid Sick Leave Covid-19 infection rates continue to rise and the need remains. Paid leave slows the spread. Providing leave to employees who test positive or exhibit symptoms will slow the spread of the disease generally and within your workplace. … Continue reading
As a California business owner or advisor, you may have been juggling the challenges of keeping the business afloat, keeping employees safe, and keeping updated on the new regulations that seem to appear every day.
To help with that last task, this free webinar will address the new California employment laws that recently went into effect and/or will go into effect in 2021.