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Labor Commissioner Fines Contractor for Wage Theft of Subcontractor

August 24th, 2017

Labor Commissioner Fines Contractor for Wage Theft of Subcontractor

The Labor Commissioner issued a $250,000 fine for a general contractor for wage-and-hour violations that their drywall subcontractor committed.

The issued citation was for wage theft and fell under AB 1897 (Section 2810.3 of the Labor Code).

This is the first time that a general contractor was held responsible for wage theft of a sub. The statute says that businesses are responsible for their subcontractor’s wage-and-hour violations. Those that don’t follow this statute will suffer the consequences. Further, it gives clarity to the expectations set before contractors and helps them to follow the rules as outlined.

The Liability of the “Client Employer”

In short, when a contractor does not properly pay the earned compensation, then the “client employer” becomes liable. The scenario that happened in on a hotel project involved a general contractor’s drywall subcontractor that did not pay employees as promised in Southern California.

The Labor Commissioner discovered that the drywall contractor did not pay the full amount earned during a four weeks’ time period. Further, they were paying employees from an account with insufficient funds. Employees began to walk off the job site and filed complaints.

Labor Commissioner Citations

Citations were issued by the Labor Commissioner for both the general contractor and the subcontractor. The general contractor protested its liability for the subcontractor’s wage theft while the subcontractor did not. They accepted that they did not act appropriately in this situation.

After a hearing, it was found that the general contractor owed almost $250,000 for overtime, minimum wages, and penalties.

AB 1897

According to AB 1897, a client employer could be held liable for the subcontractor’s wages and penalties. They could also be charged for any workers’ compensation violations.  Waiting time penalties occur if the employer does not pay the employee’s final check. They get the daily rate multiplied by the unpaid number of days up to 30 days.

The Ruling

Julie Su, the Labor Commissioner, said: “This case addresses the pervasive problem of wage theft in subcontracted industries.” She continued that businesses and contractors should not hide behind their subcontractors regardless of whether they were in charge of the work performed.

AB 1897 will protect those that follow the rules. General contractors that consistently pay as they should and protect their employees and subcontractors will thrive under this ruling. Those that choose to violate this ruling will pay the consequences and they should.

We would love to hear your comments. Please email us today!

 

San Diego County Headquarters:
The Lawton Group
4747 Viewridge Ave.
Suite 106
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone (858) 569-6260
Fax (866) 580-0089
Toll free (800) 834-4576
Inland Empire, LA and Orange County:
Inland Empire Branch
7177 Brockton Ave Suite 338
Riverside, CA 92506
Phone (909) 481-4443
Fax (909) 481-4642

 

Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved worldwide.

Effective Benefit Engagement Strategies

August 17th, 2017

Effective Benefit Engagement Strategies

Do your employees “get” and appreciate the benefits package that your company offers?  Statistics show that most employees don’t fully understand the value of what they have.

Companies should educate their staff about their benefits.  How quickly they forget orientation day!  They were most likely too nervous to comprehend what you told them anyway.

One thing is for sure, you want to continuously market your benefits package to your team.  The goal is for them to feel the value that they have received.  You want their continual buy in.

Steps to increase benefit engagement include:

  1. Orientation…What comes next?

After day 1, your new employee will be in all out training mode.  Be sure to follow up on the benefits package.  How?  Create an attractively laid out marketing piece that will allow for a clean, concise summation.  Plan to email it and hand deliver it to their desk/department.

  1. Involve the family

Your employee may not process the info as well as perhaps their spouse.  Consider a meeting, dinner, a meet and greet or some other type of session where questions can be answered.

The bottom line is that you want the “family” to see the value that you are offering too.  You don’t want your new hire to jump ship because the grass seems greener on the other side.

  1. Q & A

Offer a question and answer session where new hires can meet with upper management to find out more info about the company, benefits and any other lingering curiosities that may have crept in their minds since day one.

  1. Email Newsletter

Utilize your company emails to mention and explain the company’s benefit package.  Include tips on how to be sure they maximize their benefits.

Take the opportunity to occasionally reiterate the many great facets of your outstanding benefits package.  Keep the info in the forefront of their minds and they will be reminded of the value.

The key to benefit engagement strategies is to market, market, market your outstanding package to your staff.  Be sure to continue to tell your employees what you’ve “done for them lately.”

We would love to hear your comments. Please email us today!

 

San Diego County Headquarters:
The Lawton Group
4747 Viewridge Ave.
Suite 106
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone (858) 569-6260
Fax (866) 580-0089
Toll free (800) 834-4576
Inland Empire, LA and Orange County:
Inland Empire Branch
7177 Brockton Ave Suite 338
Riverside, CA 92506
Phone (909) 481-4443
Fax (909) 481-4642

 

Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved worldwide.

7 Employee Handbook Must Haves

August 3rd, 2017

Every business needs an employee handbook.

If you don’t have one, then you need to contact your HR department ASAP. There are so many important sections in an employee handbook but I’ll focus on the 7 essentials today.

7 Must Haves for an Employee Handbook:

  1. Code of Conduct

You must have clear expectations laid out in writing for specific behaviors, dress code, attendance and a variety of other policies.  The only way to have clear expectations is to put them in writing.

  1. At Will Disclaimer

Be sure to have an “at will employment disclaimer” in your handbook.  Everyone needs to understand that the employment is not forced but at will and is at the discretion of the employer.

  1. Family Medical Leave Act

An employee handbook is not complete without the FMLA regulations defined.  Companies with more than 50 employees are required to comply with 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year.

  1. Harassment and Discrimination Policies

The details of these polices are essential.  The goal is set expectations and alleviate any potential fears or concerns for your employees.  Everyone wants to feel at ease in the workplace and a policy that explains what is permissible is quite helpful.

  1. Confidentiality

Each company’s handbook should have wording that ensures your employee’s personal info will be kept confidential.   This should protect the info about them during and after they leave the company.

  1. Leave of Absence

Employees want to know the details about vacation days, sick days, bereavement, paid time off and the days a business closes.  Don’t assume that they will know what you mean.  Be very specific and include the hours of operation and specific dates that you are open and closed.

  1. Compensation and Benefits

Your employee handbook should explain the pay schedule, benefits package, overtime policy, review and salary increase information.  Try and be as direct and detailed in this as possible so that there will be fewer questions later.

If you don’t have an employee handbook for your company, then get that corrected quickly!  Set a goal and get one written.

Already have one?  Well pull it out, dust it off and see if these 7 “Must Haves” are in there.  A yearly revamp is a great idea to be sure that the handbook stays updated with the best info.

Take time right now to review your employee handbook is up to date. If you need any help or guidance, please let us know. We work in this area daily at The Lawton Group and we are Ready to Serve.

We would love to hear your comments. Please leave your comments below or email us today!

 

San Diego County Headquarters:
The Lawton Group
4747 Viewridge Ave.
Suite 106
San Diego, CA 92123
Phone (858) 569-6260
Fax (866) 580-0089
Toll free (800) 834-4576
Inland Empire, LA and Orange County:
Inland Empire Branch
7177 Brockton Ave Suite 338
Riverside, CA 92506
Phone (909) 481-4443
Fax (909) 481-4642

 

Written for us by our associate Gary Sorrell, Sorrell Associates, LLC. Copyright protected. All rights reserved worldwide.

Three Job Search Questions and Answers

February 8th, 2011

Recently, I gave two speeches to nearly 1,000 people in my home state of Michigan and fielded dozens of questions from job seekers of all ages.

Since time and space are short here, I’ve boiled them down to three job search questions with broad appeal.

How many apply to you and your job search?

Question: “How can I stand out in a hyper-crowded job market?”

Answer: Try unconventional, “guerrilla” job search methods to get the attention of employers.

Here are examples of tactics used by creative job seekers to land interviews–and jobs.

  • One Michigan man mailed cover letters with two aspirins taped atop each. His opening sentence: “Your customer service headaches are over!” This message resonated with employers, who called to interview him.
  • A Las Vegas man mailed a paperweight and cover letter to an out-of-state employer. The paperweight was a miniature of the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. His cover letter began: “Not everyone who lives in Vegas wants to stay in Vegas,” playing off the famous slogan, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” He was flown to an interview in California.
  • One aspiring assistant basketball coach mailed the right hand from a store mannequin to the coach he wanted to work for. Rolled up and gripped in the hand was his cover letter, which began: “I can be your right hand man.” He was hired.

Do any of these methods strike you as gimmicky or too offbeat to work in your industry? Fine. Don’t believe me.

Try mailing something unusual along with your resume and cover letter to a few companies you have no intention of working for–test and prove them for yourself.

Question: “I had to close my business and look for a job. What do I do with my skills?”

Answer: If you can’t find jobs to match your skills, here’s a tip: Use one of the big employment websites to generate ideas for you.

Example: I went on a large employment site and searched for these three skills: writing + training + German. This brought back 11 job openings nationwide, including German Help Desk Analyst, Customer Service Associate, and Web Editor/Writer.

This brainstorming exercise can help you select potential jobs to go after next, no matter what job you had before. You can then approach people in your network with a focused list of job titles, making it more likely they can help you find something.

Question: “How can I improve my networking? I’ve been networking for months, but it hasn’t produced a job.”

Answer: I happen to dislike the term networking because it’s freighted with unpleasant connotations for so many people who have had slow results–or no results–doing it.

Here’s a thought experiment: Forget everything you know about networking. In fact, stop networking altogether for a week.

Instead, start helping other people get what they want. Give freely of your information, personal contacts, expertise, knowledge, time, etc.

Example: Pick 10 people you know who are connected to people you’d like to meet. Spend an afternoon researching the needs of these “top 10″ contacts. You can even call them and ask, “What would help you do your job better?” Then make a plan to help them get what they want.

When you focus on helping others, your ego is removed from the equation, which makes you less self-conscious and more relaxed. That’s because, while not everyone can be a natural networker, everyone can help another person.

Done right, this is networking–helping other people to the point that they’re happy to take your calls and send you job leads.

Despite being carpet-bombed by economic bad news on a daily basis, the Michiganders I spoke to displayed–to a person–a rock-solid resolve that I’m convinced will solve the labor problems in their state and our nation.


Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of “Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0.” Since 1996, he has provided job search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free Guerrilla Job Search audio CD, visit MyNewJobHunt.com.

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