New Content on HRCalifornia, Fine for Underpaying Wages, and More

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HRWatchdog, the California Chamber of Commerce employment law blog, regularly features CalChamber experts analyzing federal and state legislation, important court cases and agency actions.

Blog items posted since the start of the new year include the following:

New Year, New Laws, New Content

To help you make a smooth transition to the new year, HRWatchdog wants you to know that HRCalifornia is fully updated with new content on:

• California’s New Parent Leave Act;

• New Worksite Immigration Enforcement and Protections;

• New Salary History Ban;

• New Ban-the-Box Rules on Criminal Background Checks;

• New Harassment Prevention Training Requirements;

• Changes to required posters and pamphlets.

• Other 2018 employment laws and their impact on such topics as Personnel Records, Privacy, Leaves of Absence, Discrimination and many more.

A page has been set up on HRCalifornia for CalChamber members to get a quick guide to updates to individual employment law topics.

Also, CalChamber’s employment law experts created, updated and modified any HRCalifornia forms, checklists or tools affected by new laws, regulations and court rulings.

Grab some leftover holiday treats and a cup of coffee. Spend some time in the HR Library. Look for the flags to find new content on 2018 laws or important court rulings from 2017 that may require changes to your workplace policies and practices.

CalChamber has created several new forms to help California employers comply with the new laws, including a Criminal Background Screening Checklist and Notice to Employees: Government Inspection of Employment Eligibility Records.

See the HRWatchdog blog for links to the forms.

Pay Caregivers Less than $3 per Hour; Be Hit with $7 Million in Fines

The California Labor Commissioner’s Office cited the operator of six adult care facilities in Los Angeles over $7 million for failure to pay the minimum wage and other wage and hour violations. The company must pay underpaid wages and penalties to 149 former and current employees who provided care to elderly residents 24 hours a day, six days a week.

The Labor Commissioner’s Office investigation uncovered that, over a three-year period, caregivers were paid less than $3 per hour for their work. The live-in caregivers were responsible for monitoring and caring for elderly residents and hospice patients, many of them suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. The caregivers were paid fixed amounts ranging from $1,500 to $1,800 per month, or $2.40 to $2.88 per hour.

See the HRWatchdog blog for more details.

Social Security Revises 2018 Taxable Wage Base

For 2018, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced that the Social Security taxable wage base will be $128,400. This is the maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax for 2018.

Initially, the SSA announced that the wage base would increase by $1,500—from $127,200 to $128,700 maximum taxable earnings. However, the agency later revised that maximum to $128,400, an increase of $1,200 from last year.

According to the SSA, this lower taxable maximum amount is due to corrected Forms W-2 that a national payroll service provider provided to Social Security in late October 2017.

The taxable maximum amount change took effect January 1, 2018.

CalChamber members can visit the Standard Deductions: Taxes in the HR Library on HRCalifornia for more information.

Staff Contact: Gail Cecchettini Whaley

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Gail Cecchettini Whaley
About Gail Cecchettini Whaley
Gail Cecchettini Whaley, senior employment law counsel, joined the CalChamber in June 2011 with nearly 20 years of practice in employment law. Since joining the CalChamber staff, Whaley has been chief author of the popular HRWatchdog blog and HRCalifornia Extra e-newsletter. She is a contributor and editor for CalChamber’s various human resources compliance products, including the HRCalifornia website, and serves as a content expert. She earned a B.A. with high honors from the University of California, Berkeley, and a J.D. from the University of Southern California.