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Entries in wage and hour (17)

Wednesday
Oct162013

Employers to Weather an Expansion in Wage & Hour Law

Lawyer for EmployerWage and Hour Defense

 

by Nicole Kamm
818.907.3235

 

The National Weather Service predicts cooling temperatures (in the mid-70s to the mid-80s) over the next couple of weeks, which will hopefully give SoCal employers a bit of a breather from worrying about new employee wage and hour claims.

Why?

Governor Jerry Brown just signed Senate Bill 435 into law. The bill expands the one hour pay penalty for missed meal and rest periods found in Labor Code 226.7 to include recovery periods. Recovery periods are also known as cool down periods, to prevent heat illness for employees working outdoors.

According to the California Heat Illness Prevention Standard (GISO 3395), employers must provide shade to accommodate at least 25 percent of their outdoor workforce when the temperature climbs above 85°F. Employers should not only allow, but also encourage employees to take five minutes or more under these shaded areas to prevent heat exhaustion and heat stroke. There are other guidelines regarding supplying employees with adequate amounts of drinking water, dealing with temperatures above 95°F, monitoring your employees' tolerance for heat, etc.  

Again, the “recovery period” requirement is an amendment to Labor Code §226.7. Employers were already prohibited from requiring employees to work during meal and rest periods. The new recovery period rule applies to all applicable orders, statutes or regulations under:

  • Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Standards (OSHA) Board
  • Division of Occupational Safety and Health
  • California Law

Many California employers may see a rise in worker claims, particularly those whose businesses involve:

  • Agriculture
  • Construction
  • Delivery
  • Landscaping
  • Oil or Gas Extraction
  • Transportation

To keep your employees healthy, and minimize wage and hour claims in view of the amended statute, employers should review and comply with OSHA guidelines for providing water and shade, which require, among other things, a recovery period of not less than 5 minutes for employees who work outside to take a cool-down rest when the outdoor temperature exceeds 85°F. Employers should also train supervisors and workers to recognize early warning signs of heat illnesses.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about SB 435 and how best to minimize wage and hour claims.

 

Nicole Kamm is a Wage & Hour Claim Prevention Attorney at our firm. Contact her via email: nkamm@lewitthackman.com for more information.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.
Thursday
Sep262013

What the Minimum Wage Hike Means for Employers

 

by Sue M. Bendavid & Nicole Kamm

 

Governor Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 10 on Wednesday, increasing California's hourly minimum wage from $8.00 per hour to $9 per hour as of July 1, 2014 – and to $10.00 per hour as of January 1, 2016. The last minimum wage hike for the state of California was in 2008.

The bill amends current California Labor Code section 1182.12. For certain counties, the rates are even higher. For example:

  • The minimum wage for employees in San Francisco has been $10.55 per hour since January 1, 2013.

  • The minimum wage for employees in San Jose has been $10.00 per hour since March 11, 2013.

The wage increase won't just affect non-exempt employees.  For employees to be properly classified as exempt, the employee must earn at least twice minimum wage on a salaried basis (as well as meet the other elements of the exemption).  Effective January 1, 2014, the minimum salary for exempt employees will increase from $33,280 to $37,440 annually.  In January 2016, exempt employees must earn at least $41,600 per year, to qualify for exempt status.

This bill also has a direct impact on certain inside sales employees.  Under certain wage orders (Orders 4 and 7), inside commissioned sales employees may qualify for a limited overtime exemption if they earn at least 1.5 x minimum wage (and if they satisfy other elements of the exemption).  With the increase in minimum wage, this necessarily increases the minimum these employees must earn to qualify for the exemption.

If an employer has voluntary agreements with non-exempt employees to permit credit of meals or lodging against the employer’s minimum wage obligation, those should be adjusted as well. 

As always, if you have questions about the new law, wage and hour claims, or other employer compliance questions, please feel free to contact us via email or phone.

 

Sue M. Bendavid and Nicole Kamm are Wage and Hour Defense Attorneys at our Firm. Contact them via email: sbendavid@lewitthackman.com, and nkamm@lewitthackman.com.

 

Disclaimer:
This Blog/Web Site is made available by the lawyer or law firm publisher for educational purposes only, to provide general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.

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