California Labor Laws and Cal-OSHA Standards are driving employers crazy. Not only that but all of these new labor laws along with the new Cal-OSHA Enforcement procedures are serving two purposes; first, more employers are being sued than the previous industry norm, and second, more employers are facing a higher chance of being visited and or cited by OSHA.
There are a lot of factors that are contributing to this, and in this article, we are going to touch on some of the basic reasons. For the sake of keeping this article user-friendly we are not going to delve that deep into the issues, but even being aware of the issues will help employers to protect themselves. All of us have heard the saying that “knowledge is power.” Here in California, given all the new laws that employers must now comply with, that is very true.
Below are some to the reasons why compliance with California Labor Laws and Cal-OSHA Standards have become such a challenge.
- The Underground Economy Sweeps
In many ways, this was a very good thing. For a long time, there have been too many “fly by night” employers not taking the time to do the right thing and get in compliance with California labor laws or Cal OSHA standards. Many of these employers did not have the correct licenses, some did not have workers comp, and many were misclassifying their employees.
When the Department of Labor, along with Cal-OSHA and the Environmental Protection Agency joined forces on some of these sweeps a lot of non-compliant business were fined, some were shut done even.
Another thing that came to light while these sweeps were being conducted is that over 85% of all business were found to be non-compliant. Of course, that just encourages more sweeps for all employers. The non-compliance was across the board. However, the construction industry along with the automotive repair industry was the most non-compliant.
- Frivolous Lawsuits Being Fielded Out Of The Los Angeles Area
Right now there are a couple of big law firms filing lawsuits based upon the new law AB1513, which requires employers to pay their employees 10-minute breaks at a performance rate if the employees are paid by any form of piece rate.
The law is affecting the Agriculture Industry, as well as Construction and Automotive Repair. The employers are required to reimburse employees retroactively to either 2012 or 2013. These attorneys are going all across the state because these cases are slam dunks, and they are going to cost employers a lot of money as many of these cases become class action lawsuits.
In addition, as the discovery of non-compliance goes on there will be other errors found with regards to pay that can either turn into added issues for current lawsuits or springboard into other class action lawsuits, depending on what is found.
- Cal-OSHA is going to be increasing the amount of the fines that are assessed by 80% effective November 1, 2016
All that was discussed above is in addition to the top ten reasons why employers here in California are being sued by their employees. Those ten reasons are as follows:
- Exempt and Nonexempt: employee misclassification.
Many employers today are claiming that a management person is exempt when upon closer scrutiny they are not.
- Meal Breaks: either not being given or not being given at the proper time.
- Independent Contractor Status: Classifying employees as independent contractors.
- Harassment and or Discrimination.
- Hours of Work: Either not being paid correctly or a failure to pay overtime.
- Meal Breaks: Either not being given or not being giving at the right time.
- Leaves of Absences: California Paid Sick Leave will be at the top of this category, if not already.
- Final Paycheck: Either the employer is deducting things that cannot be deducted or failing to give the final paycheck at the time of termination.
- Deductions From Wages.
- Vacations: either not being paid out once they have been capped or being unreasonable with the timing of the cap which fails to give the employee time to taking their vacation.
CES Today has been in business since 1997. We are getting more questions regarding compliance these days than at any other time since we started this business. As we educate more employers on the recent changes in California labor laws and Cal OSHA compliance, we are getting a better idea of just how inadequately prepared these businesses are. In nearly every case we handle, our clients are overwhelmed by the myriad of laws that they are supposed to be following but aren’t. If you find yourself in a similar position, know that you are now alone in the world of California compliance – CES Today is here to help you comply with the most convoluted California labor lawsand Cal OSHA compliance standards.
Quite honestly, the only way that an employer can comply today, regardless of the size of the company, is to have a good Cal-OSHA Consulting Service along with a good HR Consulting company to help you to get your ducks in a row.
When looking for a consulting company you need to get one that not only knows what the laws are, but how they are being enforced. We can say with great pride that when it comes to helping employers comply with the rigorous Cal OSHA standards and California labor laws, CES Today are the experts.
Should you have any questions, we would love to spend some time with you either on the phone or in person; we love questions.