Time to Prepare: Pre-Season Compliance Checklist
by: Chris Schulte of CJ-Lake, LLC
CA Controller Jumps on "Wage Theft" BandwagonState Controller John Chiang, who is seeking election on November 4 as California State Treasurer, announced a new pilot program on October 23 -- called "Operation Pay-Up" -- to aid victims of putative "wage theft" committed by employers. Working in conjunction with the state Labor Commissioner's Office and non-profit The Wage Justice Center, the Controller's pilot project addresses the growing number of low-income workers who are owed millions of dollars in back wages unlawfully withheld by exploitive businesses. Between 2008 and 2011 alone, the magnitude of the problem was an estimated $390 million.
Employee Notifications Book Available Now
IRS Bars Employers From Dumping Workers on Exchanges
From the New York Times, May 26, 2014:
WASHINGTON — Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day — or $36,500 a year — for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace.
New COBRA Notice & Guidance Published
The Department of Labor has published a new model general COBRA notice and a new model election COBRA notice. The new model notices reflect that coverage is available in the public health insurance exchanges, i.e., the “Marketplace,” and include information on special enrollment rights in the Marketplace. Use of these model notices, properly completed, will be considered good faith compliance with the notice content requirements of COBRA. The new notices may be obtained on the Department of Labor website. (For additional information, please see ourBenefits Law Advisor blog.)
Department of Rehabilitation Releases DVDs to Train Employers Regarding Employees with Disabilities
The California Department of Rehabilitation, in partnership with the Department of Fair Employment and Housing and others, recently released two new DVDs designed to (1) assist employers recruit, hire, and retain employees with disabilities and (2) provide small business owners with helpful tips on welcoming customers with disabilities.
Labor Commissioner Issues 2014 Minimum Wage Notice
According to Julie A. Su, California Labor Commissioner, DLSE has issued a new minimum wage notice for 2014.
The new notice can be found under "Employer requirements" then "Notices and posters" and under the subheading "Minimum wage" on the Department of Industrial Relations website www.dir.ca.gov/DLSE/dlse.html. Su said in an email communication, "We developed that in December so that employers could post a single poster for all of 2014 and 2015. We will also make a note on the IWC orders that statutory changes have affected the minimum wage and all calculations based on the minimum wage so the minimum wage notice trumps the rate listed in each wage order separately. It will be very costly to reprint all of them so we've updated the notice and hope that it will work."
California's Union-Sponsored War on Farmers
September 3, 2013
'At what point do you look at this picture and ask, 'Why are you fighting anymore?'" muses Dan Gerawan, whose third-generation family farm in Fresno, Calif., has been under assault by California's labor-regulatory complex.
Within days a state mediator could impose an unwieldy labor contract that may force him out of business. However, the ultimate victims will be his farm workers.
Obamacare Employer Mandate Delayed to 2015
Late on July 2, the Obama Administration announced a one year delay on the mandate for so-called applicable large employers (employers employing 50 or more employees). This mandate was originally to take effect on January 1, 2015.
Report Reveals Record-breaking Results for Labor Law Enforcement in California
In a report released in May 2013, Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su announced that labor law enforcement under Governor Brown in the first two years of his Administration resulted in more minimum and overtime wages found owing to California workers and more monetary penalties for illegal business practices than in any previous year in the past decade. In addition, the Labor Commissioner's improved targeting has protected law-abiding businesses from indiscriminate investigations. This effort reflects the Brown Administration’s commitment to protecting California’s workers through the enforcement of laws targeting the state’s underground economy.