(805) 853-3476 [email protected]
Post Covid-19 Employment Pitfalls

Unemployment Claims

For COVID-19, as of January 2021, the EDD has paid out about $5.5 billion, the EDD is not sure how much of this was overpayments, and is about to begin the process of auditing these payouts. We have already heard the horror stories of how much has been paid out fraudulently, but this is probably very conservative, and many employees are about to find out that free money was not so free. If the EDD finds any errors in the way paperwork was completed the EDD will try to get the overpayments back including wage garnishments.

Vaccinations

Currently in Ventura County about 52% of the population is fully vaccinated and the goal is to get to 70%. The problem is that the people who wanted the vaccine have received the vaccination. Now comes the hard part, to motivate the ones who have not to get the vaccine. We are receiving many questions about if an employer can require COVID-19 vaccinations. You can but at what expense? Based on the numbers are you prepared to terminate about half of your employees? You also must keep a person’s religious beliefs in mind when making these decisions. A more prudent approach might be to offer incentives such as an extra paid day off, $100 discretionary bonus, gift cards, etc., if you get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Virtual Workforce

Some businesses have become accustomed to transitioning a part of their workforce to remote and some employees have become accustomed to remote working. For businesses who need their employees this is creating some friction in their workforce because some employees do not want to return to the office. This is a decision that each company will have to make, but there are many factors that need to be taken into account before this should be done. Such as Worker’s Compensation Insurance, productivity, time keeping to name a few.

Wage & Hour

Keeping accurate time records is a huge burden on businesses trying to manage a remote workforce. How do you keep accurate time records, records of breaks, records of meal periods?

This has nothing to do with COVID but boils down the issue of keeping accurate time records. We received a case study this week about an employer who had a 12-year employee who was the best employee until the employee quit.

Then the ex-employee filed a wage and hour violation for alleged unpaid overtime, missed meal periods and missed rest periods for 12 years. The employer did not have any timecards, no schedules, no way to support their claim that this employee never worked overtime and was allowed all their breaks and meal periods. The judgement against the employer was $250,000. $170.000 to the ex-employee and was facing more than $80,000 in attorney’s fees.

This is only the tip of the iceberg…the biggest liability the employer has now is every person that ever worked for them. The precedent has been set and now the door is open for any one of those people to file a similar claim.

This is why keeping accurate time records is so vitally important.

Reduction in Force

Despite unemployment being so high, it is difficult to find people who want to work at this time. There are jobs out there, but for whatever reason, children, afraid of COVID, I’m making too much on unemployment… people are just not applying for jobs. What this is doing is it is forcing employers to find ways to do more with less. You have all seen on job descriptions the sentence “Or any other duty as assigned”? Well, that is becoming a fact of just doing business right now. And it has made some employers aware that they can be more efficient with less people. So, we are expecting to see this repeating itself with more and more businesses unless people start looking for and applying for jobs.

Compliance

The key to navigating these pitfalls is “Compliance”. Proper policies and procedures and a good handbook will provide you with the framework to defend yourself when an employee tries to take what you have worked so hard to grow, your business!
It’s not if it will ever happen to you, but when.

If you have any questions or would like to talk about any of these pitfalls, give us a call!

(805) 853-FIRM (3476)

If you have employees…You have issues!®

Jeff Hata

Account Manager | Safety Director

Jeff has over 21 years middle to upper level production management experience with Eastman Kodak Company. While with Kodak, Jeff was certified as a seminar facilitator with Development Dimensions International and was the Supervisor/Manager Development trainer for Kodak’s California Operations. In addition, Jeff has over 14 years’ experience as a local small business owner. Jeff graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.S. in Photographic Technology and Engineering from St Cloud State University, St Cloud, Minnesota. Jeff holds certifications for Human Resources HIIPA, American Heart Association First Aid, American Heart Association CPR/AED, Workplace Active Assailant Readiness Training, OSHA General Industry & OSHA Construction.

Jeff believes that giving back to his community is vitally important. Some of the organizations that Jeff supports are Rotary Club of Ventura-East, Ventura Family YMCA, Operation Gratitude, Ventura Women’s Center, United Way Day of Caring, Surf Rider Foundation Beach Cleanup, and American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink. Jeff is a two-time Past President for the Rotary Club of Ventura-East, Past Board Secretary for the Ventura Chamber of Commerce and is currently the Board Chair for the Ventura Family YMCA and the Ventura Women’s Center.

Rosandra Esquivel

Principal

Rosandra has worked in multiple industries over the past 25 years. To ensure a well-rounded experience base, Rosandra has worked in the Public and Private sectors in various industries including manufacturing, hospitality, automotive, insurance, agriculture, real estate, construction, education, and public safety. She has garnered multi industry experience and boasts numerous designations including from the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM) as a Generalist, cross industry certifications in HIIPA and most recently, Workplace Active Assailant Readiness Training. With a BA in Political Science and International Studies emphasis in International Business and Spanish and Culture language from California Lutheran University; in addition to a Certificate in Human Resource Management, Rosandra has made it her goal to elevate Human Resources to the next level.

Aligned with Rosandra’s philosophy of being of service, she is generous with her time and gives back to her community by working on community service projects with the Salvation Army, Rotary Club of Ventura-East, Ventura Women’s Center, Operation Gratitude, Surfrider Foundation Beach Clean-up, United Way Day of Caring, the Ventura Family YMCA & The American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Campaign. Rosandra is also a Past Commissioner for the Ventura County Commission for Women.

To utilize being bilingual, in this day of COVID-19, Rosandra also worked alongside JR Bookkeeping and the SBCDC to put on bilingual webinars, for business owners on how to safely reopen their businesses while still remaining compliant with local and state restrictions. The office of Governor Newson, ensured this endeavor was supported, as did Univision LA’s largest Spanish language station. Through this project, Rosandra was able to assist business owners statewide.

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Oscar Esquivel

Community Outreach

Oscar has over 37 years of manufacturing management experience. His focus on Human Resources was gained when working in the Aerospace, Janitorial, Retail and Banking industries. Oscar holds a degree in Business Administration from San Carlos University, Guatemala City, Guatemala. Oscar’s knowledge of industrial process and hands on knowledge of forklift operator, has given him the ability to assist in the auditing of Safety protocols. As a certified hazardous Waste Removal person, he has worked alongside OSHA to ensure safety is always at the forefront. As part of The HR FIRM, Oscar works with our Spanish speaking clients, a population that is often underserviced and in need of his knowledge.

In Oscar’s free time he enjoys gardening and working on projects around the house. Oscar also spends time giving back to his community working with Rosandra and Jeff on projects for the Rotary Club of Ventura-East, United Way Day of Caring, The Ventura Family YMCA and The American Cancer Society Real Men Wear Pink Campaign.

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Mary Neuschweinstein, CEO of EthicPower Ltd.

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In publishing and graphic design, lorem ipsum is common placeholder text used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document or visual presentation, such as web pages, typography, and graphical layout. It is a form of "greeking".

Even though using "lorem ipsum" often arouses curiosity due to its resemblance to classical Latin, it is not intended to have meaning. Where text is visible in a document, people tend to focus on the textual content rather than upon overall presentation, so publishers use lorem ipsum when displaying a typeface or design in order to direct the focus to presentation. "Lorem ipsum" also approximates a typical distribution of letters in English.

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