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The Scv Chamber Of Commerce Is Hosting An Employment Law Update In 2022

The COVID-19 pandemic has only made state employment regulations more difficult to manage, company owners were warned Monday at the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce’s annual Employment Law Update, which was held in person for the first time since the pandemic began.

Brian Koegle, a partner at Poole Shaffery & Koegle, LLP, spoke to a group of mostly small-business owners and members of the SCV Chamber of Commerce about the most recent updates in employment law, COVID-19 regulations, and new federal and state regulations to an audience of mostly small-business owners and members of the SCV Chamber of Commerce.

“You could end up in jail if you don’t get it properly.”

Koegle started with the Los Angeles County minimum wage, which is $15 per hour for businesses with 16 or more employees. He claims that it is the employer’s obligation, not the employee’s, to keep up with the current state and county wage requirements. He discussed the discrepancies in minimum wage regulations between the federal and state levels, as well as computer-related employment.

He believes that a written job description is essential and that it should be updated on a regular basis. The employer bears the brunt of the responsibility here as well. This includes a handbook for employees to guarantee “that your policies are compatible with what you’re actually doing in practice,” which might be useful in the event of a lawsuit.

He encouraged employers to preserve updated data while discussing wage and hour regulations. It is permissible to round off employee hours worked; however, it is not permissible during meal breaks. He went on to say that meal and rest intervals must be compensated at the “normal rate of pay.” Employers with more than a hundred employees are required to file a salary data report with state agencies, he added.

Those with 100 or more employees in California must file a wage data report with the state’s Labor Commissioner’s Office by March 31. If you don’t, you’ll be fined $100 a day for each day you don’t comply. Employers who do not have explicit and detailed pay data, as well as job descriptions that correspond to the pay data, will be in violation.

He described meal and rest hours as a “grey area.” Employers must be aware of their employees’ check-in and check-out times as a result of this.

“There should be four punches on every employee’s time clock every single day as they clock in and leave for the day,” he continued. “If there are any missing punches, make sure you go back and fill them in with the employee as soon as possible.”

Reimbursement of expenses has been a major concern in the post-pandemic era, as many employees had to work from home. He claims that employers are now required to compensate expenses such as home internet, work-related cellular communication, and even a new keyboard or office equipment.

Employers must also be aware of the obligation to reimburse employees who use their own vehicles for office work. He suggested utilizing the IRS reimbursable rate for business travel in 2022, which is 58.5 cents per mile. This, he pointed out, could be exacerbated by rising petrol prices.

He reminded the audience that Assembly Bill 5, which codifies rules and clarifies exclusions regarding whether a worker is categorized as an employee or an independent contractor, took effect on January 1, 2020. It’s critical to appropriately identify employees and independent contractors, as well as verify that they meet all legal criteria. “They are your workers, not independent contractors,” if an employer has any control over an employee’s working hours and circumstances.

COVID-19 wreaked havoc on both small and large enterprises alike. While discussing the complexity and ever-changing vaccine laws, he stated that compliance with post-COVID measures has never been more vital. Cal/OSHA, California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health, has issued an emergency temporary standard that will last through April 22 and is expected to be extended until September 30.

Every company, regardless of size, must have written COVID-19 policies and procedures in place, including “how you’re dealing with exposure in the workplace, how you’re dealing with cleaning, what you’re going to do in the event of an outbreak,” and what an employee should do if they or someone close to them becomes ill. At the very least, he suggests that the Centers for Disease Control guidelines be shared. “It’s better than nothing,” says the narrator.

The COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave program, which was implemented in 2021, has been reinstated by the state of California. In addition to the 2014 Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014, which mandates companies to give paid sick leave to all employees who work 30 hours or more per year, “it is a compulsory paid sick leave.”

Last year, each employee was entitled to 80 hours of paid sick leave. Employees are entitled to a total of 40 hours of paid sick time per year. The second 40 hours will apply only if someone tests positive, such as yourself or a close family member you must care for, but only in the event of a positive test. If not, only 40 hours of paid leave are required.

If someone misses work at the start of the year due to a COVID-19-related issue, their employer is required to credit them for that time. However, the maximum pay per day for an employee remains $511 per day.

With or without a positive COVID-19 test, he cautioned companies to appreciate the intricacies of isolating and quarantining. He went on to say that everyone who has a positive test for a contagious disease is entitled to the hours under the quarantine regulations. To determine how long they must quarantine, it is necessary to determine whether or not they have been vaccinated. If a COVID-19 test is not performed, the employer is simply required to provide 40 hours of paid sick leave.

In response to audience concerns about meal and rest breaks, mealtime waivers, and IRS reimbursement criteria, he advised companies to stay on top of changing rules and new legislation.

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