Thursday, January 5, 2012

Employers Beware - New Laws for 2012

Governor Brown recently signed into law state legislation that directly impacts business owners with employees. Many of these laws will require revisions to employee handbooks, policies and procedures. In addition, several of the laws that expand leave rights and focus on wage and hour practices are sure to lead to an increase in claims. Here are some highlights:

1. Written commission agreements are now mandated by state law: An employer must now provide a written commission plan fully explaining how commissions are calculated and paid.
2. Enhanced penalties for wage theft prevention: Basically, employees get more time to collect wage judgments and penalties from employers and employers pay higher fines for failing to pay.
3. Extended pregnancy disability leave: Employers are now required to maintain and pay group health coverage for an employee on pregnancy disability leave- up to four months maximum.
4. No routine consumer credit checks: Employers and prospective employers are prohibited from obtaining consumer credit reports unless the person has or will have a position in finance, management or law enforcement, among others. Check the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act for details.
5. Huge fines for willful misclassification of independent contractor: Don’t even think about trying to avoid employee status by calling someone an independent contractor- you can be fined up to $25,000.
6. Paid organ and bone marrow donor leave: Employers are now required to grant up to 30 paid business days for an employee who donates an organ and up to 5 days for bone marrow. Employers can require employees to use their vacation and sick leave, but if none has been accrued, the employer must grant the leave with pay.
7. Out-of-state Workers’ Compensation Coverage: California employers no longer have to buy a separate workers’ comp. policy to cover employees who occasionally work in another state. The State Compensation Insurance Fund will now cover injuries that trigger a workers’ comp. liability outside of California.

Information for this article was provided courtesy of Alan Parker at the Weintraub, Genshlea, Chediak Law Corporation: 916 558-6041

To know learn more about business insurance that meets your specific needs, contact Mimi Watson at Allied Brokers. Mimi, our Commercial Line Manager, works with a variety of businesses. In her nine years at Allied Brokers, Mimi has gained a wealth of experience and is exceptionally knowledgeable about
compliance issues and Workers’ Compensation regulations.

Visit our website: http://www.alliedbrokers.com/ for information on the services and insurance policies
we offer. Call 1-888-505-7988 (toll free) for a free rate quote.

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