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  December, 2016

 4th Quarter Update, v 2 

I hope this update finds you enjoying the holiday season. Although raised to celebrate Christmas (and still do!) I always wish people a wonderful "holiday season" because there are so many different holidays celebrated in December and it seems like, more and more, that Christmas is at least six weeks long! 

A sampling of December holidays includes: Saint Nicholas Day (Christian), Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican) Hanukkah (Jewish), Christmas Day (Christian), Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian), Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish), Kwanzaa (African American), Omisoka (Japanese), Yule (Pagan), Saturnalia (Pagan). Phew!

Whatever you're celebrating, all of us at Next Level Strategies wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy holiday season!

 Updates, News and Information

The Ghost Ship Tragedy and Your Safety Plan
The Bay Area is still reeling from the Ghost Ship tragedy on December 2, 2016, which resulted in 36 people being killed in a fire that started in a performance space during a party. 

The fire and loss of lives has prompted us to remind you about what is required from you in regard to your company safety plan. We want to do everything we can to support you to be a responsible employer and ensure the safety of your employees in case of emergency. 
  • All California employers with ONE or more employees are required to have a written Injury & Illness Prevention Program (IIPP).
  • IIPPs include the following:
    • Management commitment/assignment of responsibilities;
    • Safety communications system with employees;
    • System for assuring employee compliance with safe work practices;
    • Scheduled inspections/evaluation system;
    • Accident investigation;
    • Procedures for correcting unsafe/ unhealthy conditions;
    • Safety and health training and instruction; and
    • Record keeping and documentation.
  • You must retain documentation showing inspection and training information related to your IIPP.
Next Level Strategies can help you with these mandatory requirements to secure your workers' safety.  

Upcoming Laws and Changes
Each new year brings with it changes to various employment laws, ordinances and requirements which will, in turn, change some of your
handbook policies. We should have all of the policy updates by the end of December. 

The newsletter we sent out in November included information about the injuction stopping the new overtime rules which were to go into effect on 12/1/16. It also addressed the new San Francisco Paid Parental Leave, SF HCSO changes and more. Here is the link to that newsletter in case you missed it:

Here are a few more highlights of changes you can expect in 2017:

1.  Marijuana The passage of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act should change nothing with your day-to-day employment practices. Employees are forbidden to be high at work just like they are forbidden to be drunk at work. This includes employees with a "pot card." "Vaping" (smoking an e-cigarette) at work is also prohibited. 
2.  Fair Pay: Last year, significant amendments were made to California's equal pay laws to address gender wage inequality. This year, two new bills expand California's fair pay laws. In addition to gender inequity, the  Fair Pay Act prohibits an employer from paying any of its employees wage rates that are less than the rates paid to employees of another race or ethnicity for substantially similar work.  In addition, prior salary cannot, by itself, justify any disparity in compensation.

3. Minimum Wage : The state minimum wage will increase over the next several years to $15 an hour. On January 1, 2017, businesses with 26 or more employees must pay a minimum wage of $10.50 per hour.  Small business with 25 or fewer employees are not required to begin the scheduled increase until 2018.
The minimum wage increase will require all employers to post a new minimum wage poster. The upcoming minimum wage increase also will have an effect on other pay practices, such as the overtime rate and the minimum salary basis.
4. I-9 Forms: Under federal law, it is unlawful for employers to ask for more or different documentation than is required by the I-9 form or refuse to accept documents that appear genuine on their face. This type of conduct is unlawful under state law as well. Violators may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000.

Those are some of the highlights. We're happy to answer any questions you might have about any of these changes. 


Poster Requirements for California Employers 2017

Your posters have to be updated every year. The good news is they aren't expensive: $35. Call us for information or to order. 

  REQUIRED! Harassment Prevention Training!   

Employers with 50 or more employees  are required by AB1825 to offer Sexual Harassment Prevention training to management staff every two years. AB2053 requires a component of the prevention of "abusive conduct" as defined in the law. All new supervisory employees must be trained within six months of promotion or hire to ensure compliance. We have made this training as fast moving and entertaining as possible so please keep us in mind when you're ready to schedule your mandated 2017 session. 

We can come onsite to your location and conduct this training for your entire management team or if you prefer, managers can attend our quarterly training at the NLS office. 
Requirement Reminders 
Important reminders about previous year's legislation:
Pregnancy Disability Leave (PDL) - Employers must administer and provide specific timely pregnancy-related notifications, leaves, transfers and accommodations to their CA employees as of 12/30/12. 

Detailed Written Commission Plans are required as of 1/1/13 with certain stipulations and inclusions.
Written offers of employment for all Non-Exempt employees are required as of 1/1/12 also  with certain stipulations and inclusions
Let us know if you need more information or help with either of these requirements.  

As always... call us if you have any questions or need assistance with policy development!

In This Issue
Updates, News and Information
Upcoming Workshops
Open Position Spotlight
Rent Our Space!

If you received this from a friend, we hope you will join our mailing list to receive monthly updates on important human resources news. You may unsubscribe at any time. Please be assured that we do not share our mailing list with any other business or organization.

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Thank You for Your Referrals!
Stay Ahead:  Check out Our Upcoming Workshops

Workshops offered through Next Level Strategies, 1748 Clement Street, at 19th Avenue. (Free street parking or easy bus access.) 

HR 101:
Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 10:00 - 12:30 p.m., This is a great training for new managers and overwhelmed entrepreneurs. Topics include: paperwork requirements, tip laws, defining exempt and non-exempt employees, defining independent contractors, a variety of wage and hour issues such as meal and rest breaks, what you can and can't ask during an interview, harassment prevention information, safety requirements, discrimination issues, final check and termination requirements, and much more!

Performance & Termination 101: Tuesday, January 31, 2017 from 1:00 - 3:30 p.m., Clients requested we create a training to assist in employee performance management and the termination process. Topics include:performance coaching, performance feedback, conflict resolution, proper termination techniques and beyond. 

You can take our, HR 101 workshop in the morning, stay for lunch, and take "Performance & Termination 101" in the afternoon (or take one or the other!). A discount will be offered if you take both. BRING YOUR QUESTIONS AND SCENARIOS!

You're welcome to Skype or call in to the training if you can't make it in person. 

$139 per session or $250 for both sessions, including materials. Snacks and beverages provided for those attending in person. Lunch included for those attending both sessions in person.

Sexual Harassment "Make-Up" Training: No sessions are scheduled at this time but one will likely held in early February. 

RSVP to Taune Lima, 415.876.NEXT or to reserve your space. Space is limited to 10 attendees per training!

We are open to offering weekend or evening workshops by popular demand or be onsite at your location if you have a group to train. Let us know what works for you! 

Open Positions We are Seeking to Fill

Recruiting for Architectural positions for a firm in San Francisco. Seeking Project Architects/Project Designers. 

Office Manager for an immigration law firm in San Francisco.

Rent Our Deck or Conference Room!

We have a beautiful deck and conference room available for meetings or workshops.  Our space is a converted Victorian - very homey, peaceful and comfortable - in the Richmond District.  The conference room has a large table which seats eight easily around the table but there is plenty of additional room for participants within the room. There is a large white board and other tools available for your use.  The deck table seats six comfortably, with plenty of room for others, pretty plants and a view.

Call us for photos and rental details!
If any of this is news to you or you need support managing any of the changes, please call us - 415.876.NEXT.  Thank you for reading!

Julie Chendes, Taune Lima, Joy Vail, Cecilia Reynoso

This information is for general use only.  Please consult a licensed attorney for legal analysis and advice.