Blog Archives

We invite you to peruse our archived Blog items.

Blogs from 2020

Bay Area Counties Issue New Order, SIP thru May

(posted: Apr, 2020)

Shelter in Place extended

The 6 counties are extending SIP through the end of May, but are also easing restrictions in a few key areas like construction.

FYI: Fed & State Tax Deadlines

(posted: Mar, 2020)

Tax payment deadlines have been extended, but filing deadlines have not. If you need more time to file, you must file for an extension.

Bay Area Employers: Shelter in Place Order

(posted: Mar, 2020)

Six Bay Area counties issued "shelter in place" orders to the populace. But what businesses are considered essential services?

Increase In Minimum Wage Affects Exempt Employee

(posted: Jan, 2020)

Exempt salaries increase

Salaried workers, sometimes called "white collar" workers, are generally classified as "exempt". Their pay also increases with the minimum wage, but how do you know if an employee is exempt?

New CA Law AB 5 Faces Serious Legal Challenges

(posted: Jan, 2020)

Challenges to AB 5

AB 5 is being challenged by multiple groups of traditionally freelance or contract workers.

Blogs from 2019

Minimum Wage Increases for 2020

(posted: Dec, 2019)

California minimum wage increases

There are increases to the minimum wage for the state as a whole, plus cities or counties may have their own minimum wage mandates. Find out what is changing at the beginning of 2020.

Throw a Holiday Party, Not a Free-for-All

(posted: Nov, 2019)

Holiday parties at work, that work for all

Office parties are a great way to make your employees feel appreciated, but there can be downsides. Minimize your risk with these tips.

CA Passes Landmark Bill Remaking Gig Economy

(posted: Sep, 2019)

CA law changes gig workers status

California legislators approved a landmark bill that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy. The law takes effect January 1st.

Preventing Violence in California Workplaces

(posted: Aug, 2019)

Preventing workplace violence

With the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting, and two other mass shootings in rapid succession, we've got some workplace violence prevention tips and resources. Plus a reminder to maintain and update your mandatory Injury & Illness Prevention Program, Emergen

Cannibis in California Workplaces

(posted: Jul, 2019)

State of cannabis in California

Where does California employment law stand on cannabis? Do employers have to make accommodations for medical use? Now that recreational cannabis use is legal, can employers still test for the drug?

New Anti Harassment Training Required by Jan 1

(posted: Jun, 2019)

New anti-harassment laws for CA employers

California's new anti-harassment laws demand that employers meet new training requirements by January 1, 2020. SB 1343 affects employers with 5 or more employees, including seasonal & temp employees, and regular staff. Are you prepared?

Summer Hires May = Valuable Tax Credit

(posted: May, 2019)

Work Opportunity Tax Credit

If new hires come from certain "targeted groups," you may be eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC).

HR Compliance in California Can be Tricky

(posted: Apr, 2019)

HR compliance in California

Here's a brief look at the recent changes in California law that will affect HR compliance efforts.

Workplace Wellness: Financial Health Matters Too

(posted: Mar, 2019)

Employee financial wellness programs

Encouraging financial well-being through education and support is another way to retain employees and keep them physically healthy.

Final Paychecks: Delays = Penalties

(posted: Feb, 2019)

Final paycheck

In California, a departing employee's final pay can result in penalties if delayed.

3 Employment Screening Trends in 2019

(posted: Feb, 2019)

Hiring trends in 2019

What will we see more of in hiring in 2109? SHRM has a few ideas.

HR: 5 Steps to Change Harassment Culture

(posted: Jan, 2019)

Changing workplace culture

In some states, California included, companies are required to train their employees on sexual harassment prevention. Your company culture, however, is different. Here are some steps that can help you identify biases and improve your culture.

Blogs from 2018

Minimum Wage Increases for 2019

(posted: Dec, 2018)

California cities minimum wage increases

There are increases to the minimum wage for the state as a whole, plus several cities have their own minimum wage mandates. Find out what is changing at the beginning of 2019.

Throw a Holiday Party, Not a Free-for-All

(posted: Dec, 2018)

Holiday party tips

Office parties are a great way to make your employees feel appreciated, but there are major downsides. Minimize your risk with these tips.

Holiday Party Memo Sample

(posted: Nov, 2018)

Sample holiday memo

Use this as a starting point for your own holiday party memo, and remember to send it early.

Contribution Limits Increase for 2019

(posted: Nov, 2018)

Putting coins into piggy bank retirement plan

Several changes are coming in 2019 for those who participate in 401k plans, 403b plans, and other retirement plans.

CA Employers: Review Harassment Claims Handling

(posted: Nov, 2018)

Harassment prevention in California

A guide is available from the state, covering state-specific harassment prevention rules and recommendations.

IRS Allows 401k Match for Student Loan Repayment

(posted: Oct, 2018)

Student loan repayment matching

The ruling, while limited, could encourage a new approach to student loan aid from employers, while also helping younger employees start saving.

Oct 1: Berkeley & SF Local Law Updates

(posted: Sep, 2018)

Oct 1 Berkeley and SF ordinances

The Berkeley Minimum Wage increases and San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance goes into effect on October 1.

Back to School Means Protected Leave

(posted: Sep, 2018)

Back to school and protected leaves

As school starts up again, employers should remember that school-related leaves may be protected leaves of absence in California.

Social Media Keeps Candidates from Getting Hired

(posted: Aug, 2018)

Hiring mangers screen candidates with social media

A recent survey of hiring managers and human resources professionals about their use of social media in hiring and monitoring employees showed that 70 percent of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates.

CA Employers Must Pay Time Worked Off the Clock

(posted: Aug, 2018)

California Supreme Court: Employers must pay for every minute wo

California employers will need to review their time tracking methodologies in order to account for, and compensate, small amounts of time employees may spend off the clock doing minor activites, such as clocking in or going through security procedures.

Summer is Hot: Avoiding Workplace Heat Illness

(posted: Jul, 2018)

California employers: preventing heat-related illness

Summer temperatures can soar, but depending on where you are and what your employees are accustomed to, even 85 degree temps can be excessive. Know your responsibilities, and keep your workers safe and healthy.

Guidlines for Mentoring in the #MeToo Era

(posted: Jun, 2018)

Men need to continue to mentor women. Here's how.

It's critical that men continue to mentor women, but many are understandably skittish now. What can employers do to continue important male mentorships?

3 ACA Terms, Defined

(posted: Jun, 2018)

Affordable Care Act definitions

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) can seem like a maze of complicated rules and requirements. Here we define three of the basic terms you'll encounter frequently as an employer navigating the ACA.

Independent Contractor? New California Test

(posted: May, 2018)

California to use ABC test to determine independent contractor s

California employers must now prove their workers are correctly classified as independent contractors, using a tougher new standard, the "ABC" rule. It starts with the presumption that workers are employees, and requires businesses to prove otherwise.

Worker Classification Laws Change Dramatically

(posted: May, 2018)

Contractor or Employee? New system to decide.

California Supreme Court puts in place a new system for deciding if workers are employees or contractors, that starts with a presumtion that they are employees.

Interns: Paid or Unpaid?

(posted: Apr, 2018)

Internships: Paid or Unpaid?

Internships offer great benefits to young people and to companies, but you must be certain that you are meeting the guidelines of the primary beneficiary test in order to not pay your interns.

Best Practices: Preventing Workplace Harassment

(posted: Apr, 2018)

Preventing workplace harassment

A short post with some tips from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's report that you can refer to to ensure you are hitting the most basic practices on preventing harassmsent in your workplace.

How Many Full Time Employees for ACA?

(posted: Apr, 2018)

ACA compliance-how many full time employees?

In order to be sure you are complying with the Afordable Care Act (ACA), employers must know how many full-time workers they employ.

New W4, Online Calculator

(posted: Apr, 2018)

New W-4 and online withholding calculator

New tools from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) help your employees determine if their tax withholding is correct. The new tax law may have made changes necessary.

2018 HSA Limits Available

(posted: Mar, 2018)

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) 2018

Health Savings Account (HSA) limits for 2018 are now availble. Download our handy chart with HSA requirements, limits, and more.

Employee or Contractor?

(posted: Mar, 2018)

Employee or Independent Contractor?

The DOL has reverted to 2008 guidelines for determining if a worker is an independent contractor or an employee, subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Marijuana in the Workplace

(posted: Feb, 2018)

Marijuana in the workplace

Marijuana is now legal in California, and several other states. How do employers deal with this at work?

California's New Parental Leave Act

(posted: Jan, 2018)

California's new baby bonding law

California's New Parental Leave Act went into effect on January 1st; here's a refresher on what it is and who is eligible.

Blogs from 2017

California Cities Minimum Wage Increases

(posted: Dec, 2017)

California cities minimum wage increases

Quite a few cities and towns in California have different minimum wages, set to increase in 2018. Find out which, here.

2018 Minimum Wage Chart

(posted: Dec, 2017)

US States minimum wage chart

Minimum wages for all states for 2018. Does not include county or city rates.

CA Small Employers: Are You Ready for Leave?

(posted: Nov, 2017)

Calfornia parental leave act

California's new "Baby Bonding" law, The Parental Leave Act (PLA), takes effect on January 1, 2018 and requires employers with 20 to 49 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of protected leave for new parents.

California: No Salary History Inquiries!

(posted: Oct, 2017)

AB 168 No Salary History Inquiries

California is joining other states and municipalities in prohibiting employer inquiries into the salary history of job applicants. The new law, AB 168, goes into effect on January 1, 2018

ACA Still in Effect - Deadlines for 2017

(posted: Oct, 2017)

ACA Reporting Deadlines

The Affordable Care Act is still law, so employers are still responsible for ACA reporting.

Berkeley Paid Sick Leave Oct. 1 2017

(posted: Sep, 2017)

Berkeley's New Paid Sick Leave

Berkeley's new paid sick leave law goes into effect on October 1st. Here is what Berkeley employers need to know.

SF Employers: New Lactation in the Workplace Law

(posted: Jul, 2017)

New SF ordinance

The new law increases protections for nursing mothers working in San Francisco. It will take effect January 1, 2018, and applies to anyone employed within the geographic boundaries of San Francisco.

New California Criminal Background Check Regs

(posted: Jul, 2017)

New criminal background check rules

Employers will need to review their hiring policies with this new regulation in place, as current policies on criminal background checks may violate the new law.

Summer Fridays Popular Flex Option

(posted: Jun, 2017)

Summer hours at work

More companies are offering their employees some variation of "summer hours". It can be a great motivator!

Summer & Casual Dress Codes: What NOT to Wear

(posted: May, 2017)

Summer dress code

Do you have a separate summer dress code? A Casual Friday? If so, are you being specific about what people can and cannot wear? Giving specific examples makes it more likely people will comply.

SF Employers: Annual Reporting Form Deadline

(posted: Apr, 2017)

SF employers filing deadline

Deadline approaches on May 1st, plus, how to find out if you are actually required to submit the form.

CA: New Restrictions on Use of Criminal History

(posted: Apr, 2017)

No convictions for hiring decisions

FEHC has approved new regulations, effective July 1, 2017, to limit California employers' use of criminal history when making employment decisions.

To Pay or Not to Pay: A Guide to Internships

(posted: Mar, 2017)

To Pay or Not to Pay: A Quick Guide to Internshi

...employers who bring in unpaid interns have some stringent hurdles to clear to avoid legal action.

ACA Info Returns Dealine Approaching

(posted: Mar, 2017)

Filing Deadlines

The reporting deadlines in 2017 are for the 2016 calendar year.

Top 6 HR Trends to Watch in 2017

(posted: Feb, 2017)

HR and data

We've identified major themes running through the industry, and trends that we expect will continue to grow in 2017. Hint: technology has a major role!

W-2 Filing Deadline: January 31

(posted: Jan, 2017)

New deadline for filing forms W-2 and 1099-MISC

New this year, employers must file tax forms W-2 and 1099-MISC (non-employee compensation or independent contractor payments) with the Social Security Administration (SSA) by January 31st.

Blogs from 2016

Shop for New Employees AND Holiday Gifts!

(posted: Dec, 2016)

Holiday workers can be great employees

The holidays can be a great time to source potential employees. Here are a few tips for managers or recruiters.

San Jose New Scheduling Ordinance

(posted: Dec, 2016)

Opportunity to Work law

New law, called Opportunity to Work, takes effect on March 13th and gives available hours to current employees.

CA State & Local Minimum Wage to Increase

(posted: Dec, 2016)

California minimum wage rates increase in 2017

Some increases take effect on January 1, 2017, while others are not until July 1, 2017. We list several of the Bay Area cities with increases in 2017.

The Office Party: Happy Holidays, or Disaster?

(posted: Dec, 2016)

Surviving the holiday office party

How can employers get the most out of morale-boosting holiday parties while avoiding risk and liability?

With Gratitude

(posted: Nov, 2016)

Happy Thanksgiving

We wish you and yours a lovely holiday, and share some of our favorite quotes on gratitude and appreciation with you.

New Overtime Rule Blocked

(posted: Nov, 2016)

Overtime rule blocked

DOL Overtime rule has been blocked temporarily. Employers can stick with the existing rule until a final decision is reached.

How Employers Can Appeal a Marketplace Notice

(posted: Nov, 2016)

Health Insurance Marketplace Appeals

Appeals related to the Health Insurance Marketplace are due within 90 days of the date on the notice.

New Deadline: Forms W-2

(posted: Nov, 2016)

Tax form filing deadlines

Employers must now file Forms W-2 and 1099-MISC by January 31st. You still must get copies to your employees by 1/31; this has not changed.

Voting Leave in California

(posted: Oct, 2016)

Voting Rights

Employees may have two hours paid time to vote, but must request it in advance.

City of San Mateo Adopts Higher Minimum Wage

(posted: Aug, 2016)

San Mateo minimum wage increase

Beginning in January 2017, San Mateo's minimum wage will go up to $12/hr, and will increase to $15/hr by 2019.

Workplace Wellness Program Rules Finalized

(posted: Jul, 2016)

Workplace wellness program rules

Guidelines for employers outline what is and is not acceptable in ever more popular workplace wellness programs.

Employers: It's Your Duty to Prevent Harassment

(posted: Jun, 2016)

Harassment Prevention

Amendments to California's FEHA reinforce employers' duty to prevent harassment in the workplace and discrimination in employment.

DOL Releases New Overtime Laws

(posted: May, 2016)

The exempt salary rate increases above California's threshold and goes into effect December 1st.

Harassment Prevention: How to Track Our Traning?

(posted: May, 2016)

Sexual harassment training questions

There are two options for tracking sexual harassment training, per California regulations.

Workplace Smoking Rules to Change

(posted: May, 2016)

Vaping & e-cigs at work

New legislation includes e-cigs in workplace smoking restrictions, and raises the smoking age to 21.

Updated FMLA Poster; Old Version Still Valid

(posted: May, 2016)

New DOL posters

Employers can switch to the April 2016 poster, or keep using the February 2013 version.

Harassment Prevention: New Compliance Reqs

(posted: Apr, 2016)

New AB 1825 requirements

AB 1825 amendments modify training methods, tracking and document retention.

California Expands Paid Family Leave

(posted: Apr, 2016)

California increases paid leave amounts

The amount of benefits paid for family leave will increase substantially.

Valentines Day at Work

(posted: Feb, 2016)

Valentines Day at Work

Have a clear, effective sexual harassment prevention program in place, and remind supervisors before Valentine's Day

CA Leave Laws: School or Child Care Issues

(posted: Feb, 2016)

California Leave Laws

Two lesser-known laws affect parents in California

Changes to CA's Discrimination & Harassment Regs

(posted: Jan, 2016)

Regulations and Compliance

Amendments to California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) regulations have been approved and will take effect on April 1, 2016.

Blogs from 2015

Employers: Surviving Holidays in the Workplace

(posted: Nov, 2015)

Surviving holidays in the workplace

Can you still have holiday parties? Make the events as comfortable as possible for all employees and minimize risk.

Employers: What Not to Ask on Applications

(posted: Nov, 2015)

What not to ask on applications

A refresher on what California employers can't ask on job applications

Halloween at Work: Plan for a Safe Celebration

(posted: Oct, 2015)

Halloween at work

Office celebrations are great, if you set clear expectations.

Paying Sick Leave Under the New Law

(posted: Sep, 2015)

Paying sick leave under the new law

Options for paying sick time in California

Beware Pay Stubs Rules

(posted: Aug, 2015)

Beware California's pay stub rules

California pay stub rules require enough information that they are easily violated by simple oversight.

Harassment Prevention: Who Is a Supervisor?

(posted: Aug, 2015)

Harassment Prevention Training: Who Is Considered a Supervisor?

California employers with 50 or more employees are required by AB 1825 to provide sexual harassment prevention training to their supervisors and managers every two years.

Changes to New Sick Leave Law

(posted: Jul, 2015)

Changes to new sick leave law

The legislature has amended the new law for clarity.

Mandatory Sick Pay - 10 Tips for Compliance

(posted: Jun, 2015)

Mandatory sick pay

We offer a few more pointers for California employers.

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: 7 Steps to Compliance

(posted: May, 2015)

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: 7 Steps to Compliance + Checklist

The Healthy Workplaces, Healthy Families Act of 2014 requires California employers to begin providing paid sick leave to their employees starting on July 1, 2015.

To Pay or Not to Pay: A Guide to Internships

(posted: May, 2015)

Avoid unpaid internships

With all the requirements needed to make an internship legitimately unpaid, it's better to avoid unpaid internships...

Pregnant Workers: The Supreme Court Weighs In

(posted: May, 2015)

Pregnant Workers: The Supreme Court Weighs In

Young v. United Parcel Service, Inc. raised the question of whether an employer must provide the same work accommodations to a pregnant employee as they do to similarly situated, non-pregnant employees.

New California Family Rights Act Regulations

(posted: Apr, 2015)

New California Family Rights Act Regulations

The California Fair Employment and Housing Council just issued the final revised California Family Rights Act (CFRA) regulations.

Harassment Training: Temps & Contractors

(posted: Mar, 2015)

Harassment Prevention Training: Are Temps & Contractors Covered?

One of our clients recently expressed some confusion about which employees are required by California statute AB 1825 to undergo sexual harassment prevention training.

Employers: Required Posters

(posted: Jan, 2015)

Employers: Required Posters

Any time there are changes to employment law at any level, employers are required to provide new posters showing the up-to-date information.

Blogs from 2014

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 3

(posted: Dec, 2014)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 3

In Part 1 we cover the new laws that will affect leaves of absence, background checks and workplace safety.

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 2

(posted: Dec, 2014)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 2

In Part II we address the new Employee Protection laws for 2015.

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 1

(posted: Dec, 2014)

Employer Briefing: New Laws For 2015, Part 1

Part 1 addresses laws affecting leaves of absence, background checks, and workplace safety.

Employers: Tips For Happy Holidays at Work

(posted: Dec, 2014)

Employers: Tips For Happy Holidays at Work can employers continue to throw parties while making the events as comfortable for all employees as possible and minimizing their own risk?

With Gratitude: 30 Quotes

(posted: Nov, 2014)

With Gratitude: 30 Quotes

We hope you find some inspiration in these quotes on gratitude and appreciation.

7 Tips For Landing That Holiday Job

(posted: Oct, 2014)

7 Tips For Landing That Holiday Job

Retailers are planning to hire more seasonal employees this year than they have since 1999, according to a study by Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Required Paid Sick Time in California

(posted: Sep, 2014)

New Law Requires Paid Sick Time in California

Starting in 2015, California employers will be required to provide paid sick leave benefits to their employees.

Guide to Workplace Sexual Harassment

(posted: Sep, 2014)

Employers Guide to Sexual Harassment in the Workplace

...being blindsided by a harassment suit can take you and others away from productive work for long periods...

Social Media at Work

(posted: Aug, 2014)

Social Media at Work

...state lawmakers are leading the charge to safeguard individual online privacy rights, particularly in regards to employer access.

Pay Employees Now, Avoid Fines Later

(posted: Aug, 2014)

Pay Employees Now, Avoid Fines Later is important to have clear guidelines in place to keep you in compliance with state and federal regulations about employee compensation.

Working With an Executive Recruiter, Part 1

(posted: Jun, 2014)

Working With an Executive Recruiter, Part 1- For Companies

Finding top talent can be tough, and the cost of a bad hire is high. It takes a toll on time and money, and depending on the position it may even cost you your competitive edge.

How To Choose An HR Outsourcing Company

(posted: May, 2014)

HR Firm: Large vs Small

You've realized that you need to hire an HR Consultant, or to outsource some or all of your human resources tasks. Now, how do you choose the right HR firm, or consultant?

Put an end to "Seat-of-Your-Pants" HR!

(posted: Apr, 2014)

Nonprofits: Put an end to "Seat-of-Your-Pants" HR!

You don't have the time to think about human resources management, or the money to hire a dedicated HR professional, and anyway, you can just use your best judgment when an HR issue comes up...Can't you?

The 7 Biggest Benefits To Outsourcing HR

(posted: Mar, 2014)

The 7 Biggest Benefits To Outsourcing Human Resources

...over the last ten years or so more small and medium sized companies have chosen to outsource most or all of their HR department.

Employing An HR Administrator Is A Good Idea

(posted: Mar, 2014)

Why Employing An HR Administrator Is Not A Bad Idea

There are lots of various positions within the human resources field, however the HR Administrators are the ones that manage those various other positions and make sure every little thing is running smoothly within the business.

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