Archive for April, 2016

Employer Responsibilities on Sexual Harassment Prevention in California

  • 29th April 2016

As part of the approved amendments made to the Fair Employment and Housing Act Regulations which went into effect on April 1, 2016, the amendments clarify an employer’s affirmative duty to take reasonable steps to prevent and promptly correct discriminatory and harassing conduct in the workplace and the penalties for failing to do so (Gov. Code, § 12940(k)).

Pursuant to § 11023(b) of the Act, employers shall provide employees a workplace free from prohibited employment practices. In order to maintain a workplace free of harassment, discrimination, and retaliation, the Department’s DFEH-185 brochure on sexual harassment, or its equivalent, shall be distributed to all employees. Additionally, a written prevention policy on harassment, discrimination, and retaliation shall be developed to include information on prohibited conduct, protected categories, a proper complaint procedure (which ensures employee confidentiality, timely response to complaints, impartial and timely investigations by qualified personnel, documentation and tracking for reasonable progress, appropriate options for remedial actions and resolutions, and timely closures), and makes clear that employees shall not be retaliated against for lodging a complaint or participating in an investigation.

Employers shall disseminate said written policies to all employees by one or more of the following methods:

  • providing a printed copy with an acknowledgment form to which employee shall sign and return;
  • sending via email with an acknowledgment form to which employee shall sign and return;
  • posting on a company intranet with a tracking system to ensure all employees have read and acknowledged receipt of the policies;
  • discussing policies upon hire and/or during a new hire orientation session; and/or
  • any alternative method which ensures employees receive and understand the policies.

The written policy shall be provided in English and any language that is spoken by at least ten percent of the workforce.

The Department of Fair Housing and Employment (DFEH) may independently seek non-monetary preventative remedies for a violation of Gov. Code,  § 12940(k), regardless of whether it prevails or fails on an underlying claim of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation (Code Regs. title 2,  § 11023(a)(3)).

Stay in compliance by issuing the sexual harassment pamphlets to employees. Osha4less also offers workplace harassment prevention training options that meet federal and state requirements and can help your organization achieve a respectful work environment free from harassment and discrimination.

Recommended Change to Colorado’s Anti-Discrimination Notice

  • 28th April 2016

The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies has updated their Anti-Discrimination notice. Jennifer McPherson is the new Interim Director for the department. Additionally, the notice no longer lists the contact information for the Pueblo and Grand Junction locations. The new revision date for the notice is 4/2016.

Effective date: 4/1/2016

The Osha4less.com Colorado All-In-One State and Federal Poster has been updated to include this new recommended change on the required postings.

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Mandatory Changes to District of Columbia’s Family and Medical Leave Act, Minimum Wage, and Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act Notices

  • 20th April 2016

Family and Medical Leave Act:

The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights updated the DC Family and Medical Leave Act notice. Information pertaining to an employee’s medical leave eligibility based on his her her inability to work for a specific duration (total of 32 weeks during a 24-month period) has been removed.

Effective date: 3/1/2016

Minimum Wage:

The District of Columbia Department of Employment Services, Office of Wage and Hour updated the Minimum Wage notice. Adult learners have been removed from the minimum wage exception pursuant to the Wage Theft Prevention Amendment Act of 2014, which went into effect on February 26, 2015. Newly hired persons 20 years of age or older must be paid the established District of Columbia minimum wage immediately upon hire. Direct care workers have been removed from the overtime exception pursuant to the United States Department of Labor’s Home Carer Rule, which went into effect on November 12, 2015. Accrual of sick and safe leave has also been revised to not exceed five (5) days per calendar year for employees who are employed in a business with 25 to 99 employees, and not to exceed three (3) days per calendar year for employees who are employed in a business with less than 25 employees.

Effective date: 2/25/2016

Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act:

The District of Columbia Office of Wage and Hour updated the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008 notice. The updated notice provides that employees of bars, staffing firms, temporary and part-time employees are covered under the Accrued Sick and Safe Leave Act of 2008.

Effective date: 2/25/2016

The Osha4less.com District of Columbia All-In-One State and Federal Poster has been updated to include these new mandatory changes on the required postings.

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Mandatory Changes to Nevada’s Daily Overtime and Minimum Wage Bulletin Notices

  • 13th April 2016

Daily Overtime:

Effective date: 4/1/2016

The State of Nevada’s Department of Business & Industry, Office of the Labor Commissioner has updated their Daily Overtime Annual Bulletin to reflect the July 1st, 2016 effective date for the daily overtime rates. Additionally, the address for the Office of the Labor Commissioner has been updated for Carson City.

Minimum Wage Bulletin:

Effective date: 4/1/2016

The State of Nevada’s Department of Business & Industry, Office of the Labor Commissioner has updated their Minimum Wage Annual Bulletin to reflect the July 1st, 2016 effective date for the Nevada Minimum Wage. Additionally, the address for the Office of the Labor Commissioner has been updated for Carson City.

The Osha4less.com Nevada All-In-One State and Federal Poster has been updated to include this new mandatory change on the required postings.

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New York to Implement Statewide Minimum Wage

  • 11th April 2016

As part of the 2016-2017 budget, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into legislation a statewide minimum wage plan of $15.00 and a 12-week paid family leave policy on April 4, 2016. The 12-week paid family leave policy will be funded through a nominal payroll deduction on employees (costing business nothing). The program will begin to phase-in beginning 2018 and become fully implemented in 2021. Employees will be eligible for 12 weeks of paid family leave after having worked for their employer for six months.

The statewide minimum wage is said to lift the earning of more than 2.3 million New Yorkers. The staggering increase in the minimum wage is set to increase by region, as follows:

  • for workers in New York City employed by businesses with 11 or more employees, the minimum wage will increase to $11.00 by the end of 2016, and then an additional $2.00 each year thereafter until it reaches $15.00 on December 31, 2018,
  • for workers in New York City employed by businesses with 10 or fewer employees, the minimum wage will increase to $10.50 by the end of 2016, and then by an additional $1.50 each year thereafter until it reaches $15.00 on December 31, 2019,
  • for workers in Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage will increase to $10.00 by the end of 2016, and then by $1.00 each year thereafter until reaching $15.00 on December 31, 2021,
  • for workers in the rest of the state, the minimum wage will only increase to $9.70 by the end of 2016, and then another $.70 each year thereafter until reaching $12.50 on December 31, 2020; following that, it will continue to increase to $15.00 based on an indexed schedule that is to be set by the Director of the Division of Budget in consultation with the Department of Labor.

Annual analysis of the economy in each region, to be submitted by the Department of Labor by the Division of Budget, will take place in 2019 to determine the effects of the minimum wage increases in efforts to determine if a temporary suspension of the scheduled increase is necessary.

Employers who do not comply with the Minimum Wage Law are subject to orders to pay: back wages, interest (16 percent), liquidated damages, and fines (which can total up to 200 percent of the missing wages). Criminal prosecution and penalties may also be imposed. Accordingly, it is important to remain in compliance and up to date with the scheduled increases in the minimum wage.

Mandatory Change to Iowa’s OSHA Notice

  • 8th April 2016

The Iowa Workforce Development updated the Iowa OSHA notice with a new color scheme. For reporting purposes, “catastrophes” has been replaced with the terms “hospitalizations, amputations, or loss of an eye.” Additionally, there are minor wording changes throughout the notice, an email address has been added as a means to contact Iowa OSHA, the URL to the website has been updated, and Michael A. Mauro has been noted as the Labor Commissioner.

Effective date: 9/1/2016

The Osha4less.com Iowa All-In-One State and Federal Poster has been updated to include this new mandatory change on the required postings.

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