Fenton & Keller Update - March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

We are continuing to monitor developments of special importance to our clients that are occurring at the county, state and federal level.  Many businesses, large and small, have important questions about compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). 

Updated Resources Regarding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act

Today, the Department of Labor issued the required workplace posters, fact sheets and FAQ’s regarding the emergency paid sick leave and FMLA expansion benefits provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.  Some of the important takeaways are:

  • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is effective April 1, 2020.
  • The Department of Labor will not bring enforcement actions against any employer for violations of the Act that occurred between March 18 and April 17, 2020 provided the employer has made reasonable, good faith efforts to comply with the Act. After April 17 the Department will fully enforce violations of the Act.
  • The Act’s requirements to provide emergency sick leave and expanded FMLA apply only to leave taken by current employees between April 1 and December 31, 2020.
  • Although the Department of Labor states that details are forthcoming on small business exemptions from the paid leave requirements, it suggests that employers with fewer than 50 employees who feel their business would be jeopardized by providing the paid leave document its reasons for being exempt.

For more detail and to print the required posters see https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

March 29, 2020 Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) National Online Dialogue- Your Opportunity to Provide Regulatory Input

The U.S. Department of Labor will be hosting a national online dialogue to provide employers and employees with an opportunity to offer their perspective as the Department of Labor develops compliance assistance materials and outreach strategies related to the implementation of the FFCRA.

According to the Department of Labor, the ideas and comments gathered from this dialogue will inform compliance assistance guidance, resources, and tools, as well as outreach approaches that assist employers and employees in understanding their responsibilities and rights under the FFCRA. The DOL is requesting input by March 29, 2020. Anybody who is interested can participate online at https://ffcra.ideascale.com from March 23 through March 29, 2020 or can join a Twitter chat hosted by @ePolicyWorks on March 25, 2020 at 2 p.m. using the hashtag #EPWChat.

U.S. Department of the Treasury, IRS and The U.S. Department Of Labor Provide Information on Coronavirus-Related Paid Leave For Workers And Tax Credits For Small And Midsize Businesses

The Act provides a tax credit for employers providing paid leave benefits in compliance with the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. Eligible employers may receive a refundable sick leave credit for emergency sick leave paid to employees at the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $511 per day and $5,110 in the aggregate, for a total of 10 days.  For an employee who is caring for someone with Coronavirus, or is caring for a child because the child’s school or child care facility is closed, or the child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may claim a credit for two-thirds of the employee’s regular rate of pay, up to $200 per day and $2,000 in the aggregate, for up to 10 days. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

In addition to the sick leave credit, for an employee who is unable to work because of a need to care for a child whose school or child-care facility is closed or whose child care provider is unavailable due to the Coronavirus, eligible employers may receive a refundable child care leave credit. This credit is equal to two-thirds of the employee’s regular pay, capped at $200 per day or $10,000 in the aggregate. Up to 10 weeks of qualifying leave can be counted towards the child-care leave credit. Eligible employers are entitled to an additional tax credit determined based on costs to maintain health insurance coverage for the eligible employee during the leave period.

Examples of the credit are included in the guidance at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320.

Warn Act Guidance Issued

On March 17, 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom issued Executive Order N-31-20 (PDF), which addressed the California Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act (Lab. Code §§ 1400, et seq.) and temporarily suspended the 60-day notice requirement for mass layoffs, cessation or substantial cessation of business operations or relocation of a business. The Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Labor Standards Enforcement, and the Employment Development Department (EDD) issued guidance regarding the Order’s conditional suspension of the California WARN Act at https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs/WARN.htm

The Governor’s order does not suspend the California WARN Act in its entirety, nor does it suspend the law for all covered employers. The order only suspends the California WARN Act’s 60-day notice requirement for those employers that satisfy the Order’s specific conditions and provide a written notice that complies with the order.


Fenton & Keller Office Update - March 20, 2020

To our valued clients and community members,

We write to update you regarding Fenton & Keller’s continuing commitment to provide legal services to address your needs during this unprecedented time. Governor Newsom recently issued a Memorandum clarifying businesses that may remain open as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers.”  The Memorandum identifies legal services as essential.  Therefore, Fenton & Keller has reopened our physical office and will continue to work and provide services to you in accordance with the Governor’s Memorandum. We are monitoring legislative developments and will continue to provide updates to you as new developments unfold.

We are continuing to work our normal schedule and are fully available to assist you with your legal issues. You may call our office or email your attorney and we will respond promptly. For the time being, we encourage you to contact us via email, phone or video conferencing to limit in person meetings when practicable.

The well-being of our employees, clients, business partners and community remains our constant priority. We remain receptive to any suggestions that would make you more comfortable while working with us. We value our relationship with you and are committed to staying connected and helping you through this extraordinary time.

Warm regards,

The shareholders of Fenton & Keller

FENTON & KELLER
Post Office Box 791
Monterey, CA 93942-0791
831-373-1241, ext. 206
831-373-7219  (fax)
www.FentonKeller.com

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE

This is a transmission from the Law Firm of Fenton and Keller.  This message and any attached documents may be confidential and contain information protected by the attorney-client or attorney work product privileges.  They are intended only for the use of the addressee.  If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on the contents of this information is strictly prohibited.  If you received this transmission in error, please immediately notify our office at 831-373-1241.  Thank you.


FAMILIAS PRIMERO  - ACTA DE RESPUESTA AL CORONAVIRUS

Actualizado el 31 de marzo, 2020

La Ley HR 6201

FAMILIAS PRIMERO  - ACTA DE RESPUESTA AL CORONAVIRUS

(“FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT”)

Resumen de la Ley Con Respecto a Asuntos de Interés para Empleadores

INTRODUCCIÓN

El 18 de marzo, 2020, el Presidente Trump firmó la ley “Familias Primero – Acta de Respuesta al Coronavirus” (conocida en inglés como “Families First Coronavirus Response Act” o por sus iniciales “FFCRA”).  La FFCRA contiene varias Actas separadas, incluyendo Actas para ampliar la ley de permisos familiares y médicos y para garantizar permisos para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad para empleados quienes trabajan para empleadores públicos y privados.  Ahora ciertos empleados tienen derecho a un permiso familiar y médico compensado y un permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad.  Mientras que los empleadores tienen la obligación de pagar por dichas ausencias, la FFCRA crea créditos con respecto a los impuestos sobre la nómina de los cuales los empleadores bajo el alcance de la ley pueden aprovechar en el futuro.

ÓRDENES DEL CONDADO DE MONTEREY Y A NIVEL ESTATAL

PARA REFUGIARSE EN CASA

El 17 de marzo, 2020, el Departamento de Salud del Condado de Monterey emitió una orden dirigiendo a todo residente del condado a refugiarse en casa, con ciertas excepciones.  Una de las excepciones es que individuos pueden ir al trabajo si trabajan para un “Negocio Esencial” o para proveer “Operaciones Básicas Mínimas” tal como se definen dichos términos en la orden.  El 19 de marzo, 2020, el Gobernador Newsom ordenó que individuos quienes trabajan en 16 sectores específicos pueden continuar con su trabajo, y toda otra persona en California tiene que refugiarse en casa.  Si estas órdenes prohíben que empleados vayan al trabajo, y ellos tampoco pueden trabajar de sus domicilios, es posible que sean elegibles para un permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad y un Permiso Familiar y Médico Urgente, detallados a continuación.  Pueden ver la Orden del Condado de Monterey para Refugiarse en Casa en el siguiente sitio web: https://files.constantcontact.com/6729da79001/1f16f3b4-7809-483c-ae28-7a8407cf8320.pdf  y la orden que aplica a nivel estatal se encuentra en el siguiente sitio web https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.19.20-EO-N-33-20-COVID-19-HEALTH-ORDER-03.19.2020-signed.pdf.

LA LEY DE PERMISO PARA AUSENTARSE CON COMPENSACIÓN

POR RAZONES URGENTES DE ENFERMEDAD

La Ley de Permiso para Ausentarse con Compensación por Razones Urgentes de Enfermedad (conocida en inglés como “Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act”) hace provisiones para ausentarse provisionalmente con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad para ciertos empleados que no pueden trabajar (ni trabajar de su domicilio) por razones específicas que tienen que ver con el COVID-19.  Estas provisiones de urgencia toman efecto no más tarde del 1o de abril, 2020 y vencen automáticamente el 31 de diciembre, 2020.

Empleadores Bajo el Alcance de la Ley: La Ley aplica a empleadores privados con menos de 500 empleados y empleadores públicos con 1 o más empleados.  El Secretario de Trabajo tiene la autoridad para eximir empleadores con menos de 50 empleados “cuando la imposición de dichos requisitos perjudicaría la viabilidad del negocio como una empresa en funcionamiento.”

Empleados Elegibles: Todo empleado es elegible para usar este permiso para ausentarse inmediatamente, no importa cuánto tiempo ha sido un empleado del empleador.  Los empleadores que emplean proveedores de cuidado de salud o equipos de respuesta a emergencia pueden excluir dichos empleados de elegibilidad para el permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad.

Requisitos para Calificar: Los empleados tienen derecho a beneficios de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad como se detalla a continuación si no pueden trabajar (ni trabajar de su domicilio) debido a cualesquiera de las siguientes seis razones:

  • El empleado es sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19. Si un negocio cierra o se reducen las horas laborales de un empleado debido a la falta de trabajo, el empleado no es elegible para beneficios de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad aún si el cierre es debido al COVID-19.

(vea https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions);

  • Un proveedor de cuidado de salud le ha aconsejado al empleado que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19;
  • El empleado está sintiendo síntomas de COVID–19 y está buscando un diagnóstico médico;
  • El empleado está cuidando un individuo sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19 o quien ha sido aconsejado por un proveedor de cuidado de salud que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19. Tenga en cuenta que el empleado puede estar cuidando a cualquier individuo, no solamente un miembro de la familia;
  • El empleado está cuidando su hijo o hija si la escuela o lugar de cuidado de su hijo o hija ha cerrado, o el proveedor de cuidado de dicho hijo o hija no está disponible debido a precauciones relacionadas a COVID–19; o
  • El empleado es sujeto a cualquier otra condición sustancialmente semejante especificada por el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos en consulta con el Secretario de Tesorería y el Secretario de Trabajo. Anticipamos que el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos emitirá reglamentos que identifiquen “condiciones sustancialmente semejantes.” 

Los Beneficios de Permiso para Ausentarse con Compensación por Razones Urgentes de Enfermedad: Los empleados a tiempo completo tienen derecho a beneficios de 80 horas de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad.  Los empleados a tiempo parcial tienen derecho al número de horas, en promedio, que trabajan durante un período de 2 semanas.  Si el horario de un empleado a tiempo parcial varía de semana a semana, los empleadores pueden determinar el número de horas de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad para los cuales el empleado es elegible (1) usando un número que equivale al número de horas por promedio que el empleado estaba programado para trabajar durante los previos 6 meses, o (2) si el empleado no trabajó durante dicho período de tiempo, usando un número que equivale al número de horas que se hubiera esperado razonablemente que el empleado hubiera trabajado durante cada semana.

Uso de Beneficios de Permiso para Ausentarse con Compensación por Razones Urgentes de Enfermedad: Un empleado puede usar primero el permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad antes de usar tiempo libre compensado que haya acumulado (por ejemplo, vacación, permiso regular para ausentarse con compensación por enfermedad).  Los empleadores no pueden requerir que el empleado use otros permisos compensados para ausentarse que haya acumulado antes de que el empleado use los beneficios de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad.  Los beneficios de este permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad no pasan de un año al siguiente y la obligación de un empleador de compensar dicha ausencia debido a enfermedad termina cuando la necesidad del empleado para el permiso para ausentarse termina y el empleado regresa al trabajo.  Cuando el empleo del empleado cesa, el empleador no tiene que pagar compensación que el empleado no haya usado del permiso para ausentarse debido a razones urgentes de enfermedad.

Cantidad de Compensación de Beneficios de Permiso para Ausentarse con Compensación por Razones Urgentes de Enfermedad: Para cada hora que un empleado es elegible para beneficios de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad, el empleador debe de pagarle al empleado lo siguiente:

  • El mayor de la tasa regular del empleado o el salario mínimo que aplique si la ausencia con permiso es necesaria debido a las siguientes razones. En estas situaciones, los empleadores no tienen que pagarle a ningún empleado más de $511 por día o $5,100 en total.
    • El empleado es sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19;
    • Un proveedor de cuidado de salud le ha aconsejado al empleado que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19; o
    • El empleado está sintiendo síntomas de COVID–19 y está buscando un diagnóstico médico.
  • Dos Tercios (2/3) del mayor de la tasa regular del empleado o el salario mínimo que aplique si la ausencia con permiso es necesaria debido a las siguientes razones. En estas situaciones, los empleadores no tienen que pagarle a ningún empleado más de $200 por día o $2,000 en total.
    • El empleado está cuidando un individuo sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19 o quien ha sido aconsejado por un proveedor de cuidado de salud que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19. Tenga en cuenta que el empleado puede estar cuidando a cualquier individuo, no solamente un miembro de la familia;
    • El empleado está cuidando su hijo o hija si la escuela o lugar de cuidado de su hijo o hija ha cerrado, o el proveedor de cuidado de dicho hijo o hija no está disponible debido a precauciones relacionadas a COVID–19. El término “hijo o hija” refiere al propio hijo o hija del empleado, incluyendo el hijo o la hija biológicos, adoptado o adoptada, o un hijo o una hija acogidos, un hijastro o una hijastra, un pupilo legal, o un niño o una niña para el o la cual el empleado ostente su custodia en lugar del padre – alguien con responsabilidades diarias para cuidar o apoyar al niño o la niña financieramente. Dado las instrucciones del Congreso de interpretar definiciones de una manera consistente, la División sobre Salarios y Horas Laborales clarifica que, bajo la FFCRA, un “hijo o hija” también es un hijo o una hija adultos (es decir, uno que tiene 18 años de edad o más), quien (1) tiene una incapacidad mental o física, y (2) no es capaz de cuidarse debido a dicha incapacidad; o
    • El empleado es sujeto a cualquier otra condición sustancialmente semejante especificada por el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos en consulta con el Secretario de Tesorería y el Secretario de Trabajo. Anticipamos que el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos emitirá reglamentos que identifiquen “condiciones sustancialmente semejantes.”

Notificación por el Empleador: El Secretario de Trabajo ha emitido una notificación ejemplar que hay que publicarse en el lugar de trabajo y hay que distribuirse a empleados que están trabajando de sus domicilios.  La notificación está disponible en inglés y español en el siguiente vínculo: https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic.

Notificación por Empleado: Después del primer día laboral (o porción del mismo) que un empleado reciba beneficios de permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad, un empleador puede requerir que el empleado cumpla con procedimientos razonables de notificación al empleador para continuar recibiendo dichos beneficios de ausencia compensada por razones de enfermedad.

Acciones Prohibidas: Un empleador no puede despedir, disciplinar, ni de ninguna otra manera discriminar en contra de ningún empleado quien use el permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad, o quien entable una demanda, o quien dé testimonio sobre la aplicación de esta ley.  También se les prohíbe a los empleadores requerir que empleados encuentren alguien para hacer su trabajo o trabajar su turno.

LA LEY DE URGENCIA DE EXPANSIÓN DEL PERMISO FAMILIAR Y MÉDICO

          La Ley de Urgencia de Expansión del Permiso Familiar y Médico (la “Expansión de la FMLA”) enmienda a la Ley de Permiso Familiar y Médico (conocida en inglés como “Family and Medical Leave Act” o por sus iniciales “FMLA”) para incluir varias provisiones de urgencia que tomarán efecto el 1º de abril, 2020 y terminarán automáticamente el 31 de diciembre, 2020.

Empleadores Bajo el Alcance de la Ley: La Expansión de la FMLA aplica a empleadores con menos de 500 empleados.  El Secretario de Trabajo tiene la autoridad de eximir a empleadores con menos de 50 empleados “cuando la imposición de dichos requisitos perjudicaría la viabilidad del negocio como una empresa en funcionamiento.”

Empleados Elegibles:  Para ser elegibles, empleados deben de haber estado empleados por el empleador durante por lo menos 30 días de calendario.  El Secretario de Trabajo puede eximir ciertos proveedores de cuidado de salud y equipos de respuesta a emergencia de la elegibilidad para permiso FMLA de urgencia o el empleador puede elegir excluir a dichos empleados del permiso FMLA de urgencia.

Requisitos para Calificar: Los empleados elegibles tienen derecho a los beneficios a continuación solamente si no pueden trabajar (ni pueden trabajar de su domicilio) debido a una necesidad para ausentarse para cuidar a su propio/a hijo o hija (incluyendo hijo/a biológico/a, adoptado/a, o en acogida, un hijastro/a, un pupilo legal, o un niño de una persona sirviendo en loco parentis) de menos de 18 años de edad, o un hijo adulto o una hija adulta (es decir, quien tiene 18 años de edad o más), quien (1) tiene una incapacidad mental o física, y (2) es incapaz de cuidarse debido a dicha incapacidad, porque la escuela o lugar de cuidado del niño está cerrado o porque el proveedor normal de cuidado para el niño no está disponible.  Esta necesidad tiene que ser relacionada a la emergencia de COVID-19.

Beneficios de Permiso Compensado Urgente de la FMLA: La Expansión de la FMLA provee permiso urgente de la FMLA tanto no compensado como compensado por un máximo de 12 semanas.  Los empleados tienen que proveer a los empleadores notificación de la necesidad de usar dicho permiso para ausentarse lo más pronto que sea pragmático.

Los primeros 10 días del permiso urgente de la FMLA pueden ser sin compensación.  Durante este tiempo, los empleados pueden elegir usar cualquier vacación que hayan acumulado, tiempo libre personal, o ausencia con permiso por razones médicas o por enfermedad.  El empleador puede requerir que el empleado sustituya permisos acumulados para ausentarse con compensación durante este período de tiempo si el empleado no está recibiendo ninguna otra forma de compensación tal como discapacidad a corto plazo.

Después de los primeros 10 días del permiso urgente de FMLA los empleadores tienen que pagarles a empleados elegibles por lo menos dos tercios (2/3) de su compensación regular para la duración de la ausencia con permiso.  La compensación regular se determina multiplicando la tasa regular del empleado por el número de horas que el empleado normalmente estaría programado para trabajar.  Si el horario del empleado varía de semana a semana, los empleadores pueden determinar el número de horas para el cálculo de la compensación regular haciendo lo siguiente: (1) usando un número igual al promedio del número de horas que el empleado estaba programado para trabajar durante el previo período de 6 meses, o (2) si el empleado no trabajó durante dicho período de tiempo, usar un número igual al número de horas que el empleado razonablemente hubiera esperado trabajar durante cada semana.

Límite en permiso FMLA con compensación.  No obstante, el requisito de compensar a empleados elegibles por lo menos 2/3 de su compensación regular, los empleadores no tienen que pagar más de $200 por día y $10,000 en total para permiso FMLA urgente a cada empleado.

Requisitos de Notificación: Se les requiere a los empleados proveer a los empleadores notificación de la necesidad de usar dicho permiso para ausentarse lo más pronto que sea pragmático.

Reinstalación Garantizada: Los empleadores con menos de 25 empleados no tienen que cumplir con la regla normal de la FMLA de reinstalar al empleado en su posición original al final del permiso FMLA urgente si: (1) proveen al empleado el permiso FMLA urgente; y (2) la posición del empleado ya no existe debido a condiciones económicas o cambios necesarios en las condiciones de operación del empleador como resultado de la emergencia de salud pública; y (3) el empleador hace esfuerzos razonables para reinstalar el empleado en una posición equivalente, pero dichos esfuerzos no tienen éxito.  Si una posición equivalente se hace disponible dentro de un período de un año después de concluirse la necesidad del empleado para el permiso para ausentarse, el empleador tiene que hacer esfuerzos razonables para comunicarse con el empleado para reinstalar el empleado en la posición del empleado.

CRÉDITOS FISCALES PARA EL PERMISO PARA AUSENTARSE CON COMPENSACIÓN POR RAZONES URGENTES DE ENFERMEDAD Y PERMISO FAMILIAR Y MÉDICO COMPENSADO

La FFCRA incluye una serie de créditos fiscales reembolsables para empleadores proveyendo el permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad y el permiso familiar y médico compensado.  Con respecto al permiso familiar y médico compensado, los empleadores tendrán derecho a un crédito de 100% para los salarios pagados a empleados por el uso de permiso familiar y médico compensado, con un límite de $200 por día y $10,000 en total por empleado.  Con respecto al permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad, los empleadores tendrán derecho a un crédito de 100% contra la porción del empleador de impuestos de Seguro Social para salarios pagados a empleados por el uso del permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad, sujeto a los siguientes límites:

$511 por día por hasta 10 días para ausencias con permiso tomadas por las siguientes razones:

  • El empleado es sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19;
  • Un proveedor de cuidado de salud le ha aconsejado al empleado que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19; o
  • El empleado está sintiendo síntomas de COVID–19 y está buscando un diagnóstico médico.

$200 por día por hasta 10 días para ausencias con permiso tomadas por las siguientes razones:

  • El empleado está cuidando un individuo sujeto a una orden Federal, Estatal, o local de cuarentena o aislamiento relacionada a COVID-19 o quien ha sido aconsejado por un proveedor de cuidado de salud que se ponga en cuarentena propia debido a preocupaciones relacionadas a COVID–19. Tenga en cuenta que el empleado puede estar cuidando a cualquier individuo, no solamente un miembro de la familia;
  • El empleado está cuidando su hijo o hija si la escuela o lugar de cuidado de su hijo o hija ha cerrado, o el proveedor de cuidado de dicho hijo o hija no está disponible debido a precauciones relacionadas a COVID–19; o
  • El empleado es sujeto a cualquier otra condición sustancialmente semejante especificada por el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos en consulta con el Secretario de Tesorería y el Secretario de Trabajo. Anticipamos que el Secretario de Salud y Servicios Humanos emitirá reglamentos que identifiquen “condiciones sustancialmente semejantes.”

Ejemplos del crédito se incluyen en las pautas que se encuentran en https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320.

CLAVES

Aquí le presentamos con unas claves que debe de considerar al leer y analizar los requisitos específicos de esta nueva ley.  Como siempre, no dude en comunicarse con cualesquier de los abogados en nuestro grupo que especializa en asuntos de empleo para más información y asistencia llamando al (831) 373-1241 o haciendo “clic” en nuestro sitio web www.fentonkeller.com.

  • El permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad y la expansión del permiso familiar y médico aplican solamente a empleados que no pueden trabajar ni pueden trabajar desde sus casas debido a preocupaciones relacionadas al COVID-19.
  • Crea nuevos códigos de pago para el permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad y la porción compensada de la expansión del FMLA.  Asegúrese de que esta clase de compensación se detalle en los talones de cheque de los empleados.
  • Crea una dirección designada de correo electrónico o un sitio en el “intranet” de su compañía donde sus empleados pueden hacer preguntas sobre estos beneficios.  Esto le ayudará a mantener comunicación consistente.
  • Los empleadores pueden evitar la necesidad de que empleados tomen la ausencia compensada y pueden acomodar dichas emergencias de familia dándoles a los empleados la opción de trabajar de sus casas.
  • Los empleadores deben de publicar una notificación de los derechos ampliados de permiso familiar en el lugar de trabajo y distribuirla a los empleados trabajando de sus domicilios.
  • La ley toma efecto el 1º de abril, 2020.
  • Siga sus pólizas vigentes de vacación y ausencias debido a enfermedad.  La FFCRA provee beneficios además de la ley vigente y las pólizas del empleador.
  • Los empleadores de proveedores de cuidado de salud y de equipos de respuesta a emergencia pueden elegir excluir a dichos empleados del permiso para ausentarse con compensación por razones urgentes de enfermedad y la expansión de beneficios de la FMLA.
  • Si usted está implementando despidos o ceses de empleo, debe de tener en mente consideraciones de la Ley WARN (en inglés “Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification” / en español “Ley de Notificación de Ajustes y Reentrenamiento del Trabajador”).  La Orden Ejecutiva N-31-20 del Gobernador Newsom suspende las provisiones de notificación de antemano de 60 días y las multas de CAL-WARN para negocios implementando despidos o ceses de empleo masivos sujeto a ciertas condiciones.  La notificación de despido debe de proveerse a los empleados lo más pronto que sea pragmático.  La ley federal WARN contiene una excepción al requisito de notificación de antemano a los empleados cuando hay “circunstancias de negocio imprevisibles fuera del control del empleador” y desastres naturales. Vea más información en https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs/WARN.htm.
  • Los empleados despedidos o con horas laborales reducidas serán elegibles para beneficios de seguro de desempleo.
  • No olvide que, aunque la FFCRA es una nueva ley, los empleadores tienen que continuar siguiendo las reglas vigentes de la FMLA, las leyes que apliquen sobre discriminación, privacidad y compensación, y proveer hojas de pago que cumplan con la ley.
  • Manténgase informado sobre los reglamentos del Departamento de Obra eximiendo a negocios pequeños de los requisitos del ampliado permiso FMLA con compensación y otra legislación pendiente ofreciendo beneficios adicionales para empleados y ayuda para empleadores pequeños.

RECURSOS ESTATALES Y FEDERALES ADICIONALES:

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320

https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/#chart

https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/

https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.htm

https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text

https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic

 

 


H.R. 6201 – FAMILIES FIRST CORONAVIRUS RESPONSE ACT

Employment Law Summary

March 20, 2020
Updated March 31, 2020

INTRODUCTION
On March 18, 2020 President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”). The FFCRA contains several separate Acts, including Acts to expand family and medical leave and guarantee emergency paid sick leave for employees who work for public and private employers. Certain employees are now entitled to paid family and medical leave and emergency paid sick leave. While employers are obligated to pay for such leave, the FFCRA creates payroll tax credits that covered employers can take advantage of later.

MONTEREY COUNTY AND STATEWIDE SHELTER IN PLACE ORDERS
On March 17, 2020 the Monterey County Health Department issued an order directing all county residents to shelter in place, with certain exceptions. One of the exceptions is that individuals may go to work if they work for an “Essential Business” or to provide “Minimum Basic Operations” as those terms are defined in the order. On March 19, 2020, Governor Newsom ordered that individuals who work in 16 specific sectors may continue their work, and all other Californians must shelter in place. If these orders prohibit employees from going to work and they cannot work remotely, they may be eligible for emergency paid sick leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave, also discussed below. The Monterey County Shelter in Place Order can be viewed at: https://files.constantcontact.com/6729da79001/1f16f3b4-7809-483c-ae28-7a8407cf8320.pdf and the statewide order is available at https://www.gov.ca.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/3.19.20-EO-N-33-20-COVID-19-HEALTH-ORDER-03.19.2020-signed.pdf.

EMERGENCY PAID SICK LEAVE ACT
The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (Emergency Paid Sick Leave) provides for temporary emergency paid sick leave for certain employees that are unable to work (or telework) for specific reasons that relate to COVID-19. These emergency provisions are effective April 1, 2020 and automatically end on December 31, 2020.
Covered Employers: The Act applies to private employers with fewer than 500 employees and public employers with 1 or more employees. The Secretary of Labor has the authority to exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees “when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”

Eligible Employees: All employees are eligible to use this leave immediately, regardless of how long the employee has been employed by the employer. Employers who employ healthcare providers or emergency responders may exclude such employees from eligibility for emergency paid sick leave.

Qualifying Need: Employees are entitled to the emergency paid sick leave benefits below if they are unable to work (or telework) because of any of the following six reasons:

• The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19. If a business closes or an employee’s hours are reduced due to lack of work the employee is not eligible for emergency sick leave benefits even if the closure is due to COVID-19 (see https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic/ffcra-questions);
• The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19;
• The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis;
• The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19. Note that the employee can be providing care for any individual, not just a family member;
• The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions; or
• The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor. We anticipate the Secretary of Health and Human Services will issue regulations to identify such “substantially similar conditions.”

The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Benefits: Full-time employees are entitled to 80 hours of paid emergency sick leave. Part-time employees are entitled to the number of hours that they work on average over a 2-week period. If a part-time employee’s schedule varies from week to week, employers can determine the number of emergency paid sick leave hours that the employee is eligible for by (1) using a number equal to the average number of hours the employee was scheduled to work over the previous 6-month period, or (2) if the employee did not work over such a period, using a number equal to the amount of hours the employee would reasonably have been expected to work during each week.

Use of Emergency Paid Sick Leave Benefits: An employee may first use emergency paid sick leave before using accrued paid time off (i.e. vacation, regular sick leave, etc.). Employers cannot require the employee to use other accrued paid leave before the employee uses emergency paid sick leave. This emergency paid sick leave does not carry over from one year to the next and an employer’s obligation to pay such sick leave ceases when the employee’s need for the leave ends and the employee returns to work. Employers are not obligated to pay any unused emergency sick pay upon an employee’s separation of employment.

Compensation Amount for Emergency Paid Sick Leave Benefits: For each hour an employee is eligible for emergency paid sick leave, employers must pay the employee the following:

• The greater of the employee’s regular rate or the applicable minimum wage if the leave is necessary because of the following reasons. In these situations, employers do not have to pay any employee more than $511/day or $5,100 in the aggregate.
• The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
• The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19; or
• The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
• Two Thirds (2/3) of the greater of the employee’s regular rate or the applicable minimum wage if the leave is necessary because of the following reasons. In these situations, employers do not have to pay any employee more than $200/day or $2,000 in the aggregate.
• The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19. Note that the employee can be providing care for any individual, not just a family member;
The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions. The term “son or daughter refers to the employee’s own child, including the employee’s biological, adopted, or foster child, stepchild, a legal ward, or a child for whom the employee is standing in loco parentis—someone with day-to-day responsibilities to care for or financially support a child. In light of Congressional direction to interpret definitions consistently, the Wage and Hour Division clarifies that under the FFCRA a “son or daughter” is also an adult son or daughter (i.e., one who is 18 years of age or older), who (1) has a mental or physical disability, and (2) is incapable of self-care because of that disability; or
• ; or
• The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor. We anticipate the Secretary of Health and Human Services will issue regulations to identify such “substantially similar conditions.”

Employer Notice: The Secretary of Labor has issued a model notice that must be posted at the worksite and distributed to employees who are working remotely. The notice is available in English and Spanish at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic

Employee Notice: After the first workday (or portion thereof) an employee receives emergency paid sick leave, an employer may require the employee to follow reasonable notice procedures in order to continue receiving such paid sick time.
Prohibited Acts: Employers cannot discharge, discipline, or in any other manner discriminate against any employee who either takes emergency paid sick leave or files a complaint or testifies about the enforcement of this law. Employers are also prohibited from requiring employees to find coverage for their work/shift.

EMERGENCY FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE EXPANSION ACT
The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (the “FMLA Expansion”) amends the Family and Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”) to include several emergency provisions that take effect April , 2020 and automatically end on December 31, 2020.
Covered Employers: The FMLA Expansion applies to employers with fewer than 500 employees. The Secretary of Labor has the authority to exempt employers with fewer than 50 employees “when the imposition of such requirements would jeopardize the viability of the business as a going concern.”
Eligible Employees: Employees must have been employed by the employer for at least 30 calendar days. The Secretary of Labor may exempt certain health care providers and emergency responders from eligibility for emergency FMLA leave or the employer may elect to exclude such employees from emergency FMLA leave.
Qualifying Need: Eligible employees are only entitled to the benefits below if they are unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave to care for their own son or daughter (including biological, adopted, or foster child, a stepchild, a legal ward, or a child of a person standing in loco parentis) under 18 years of age or an adult son or daughter (i.e., one who is 18 years of age or older), who (1) has a mental or physical disability, and (2) is incapable of self-care because of that disability because the child’s school or place of care is closed or because the child’s normal care provider is unavailable. This need must be related to the COVID-19 emergency.
The Emergency Paid FMLA Leave Benefits: The FMLA Expansion provides for both unpaid and paid emergency FMLA leave for a maximum of 12 weeks. Employees are required to provide employers with notice of the need for such leave as soon as practicable.
The first 10 days of the emergency FMLA leave can be unpaid. During this time, employees may elect to use any accrued vacation, personal leave, or medical or sick leave. The employer may require the employee to substitute accrued paid leave during this period if the employee is not receiving any other forms of payment such as short-term disability.

After the first 10 days of the emergency FMLA leave employers must pay eligible employees at least two-thirds (2/3) of their regular pay for the duration of the leave. The regular pay is determined by multiplying the employee’s regular rate by the number of hours the employee would normally be scheduled to work. If the employee’s schedule varies from week to week, employers can determine the number of hours for the regular pay calculation by (1) using a number equal to the average number of hours that the employee was scheduled to work over the previous 6-month period, or (2) if the employee did not work over such a period, using a number equal to the amount of hours the employee would reasonably have expected to work during each week.

Cap on paid FMLA leave. Notwithstanding the requirement to pay eligible employees at least 2/3 of their regular pay, employers do not have to pay more than $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate for emergency FMLA leave to each employee.

Notice requirements: Employees are required to provide employers with notice of the need for such leave as soon as practicable.

Guaranteed Reinstatement: Employers with fewer than 25 employees do not have to comply with the normal FMLA rule to restore employees to their original position at the end of the emergency FMLA leave if: (1) they provide the employee emergency FMLA leave; and (2) the employee’s position no longer exists due to economic conditions or necessary changes in the employer’s operating conditions as a result of the public health emergency; and (3) the employer makes reasonable efforts to restore the employee to an equivalent position, but such efforts fail. If an equivalent position becomes available within a one-year period after the employee’s need for leave concludes, the employer must make reasonable efforts to contact the employee to reinstate the employee to the employee’s position.

TAX CREDITS FOR PAID SICK AND PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE

The FFCRA includes a series of refundable tax credits for employers providing emergency paid sick leave and emergency family and medical leave. For the emergency family and medical leave, employers will be entitled to 100% credit for family and medical leave wages paid, capped at $200 per day and $10,000 in the aggregate per employee. For emergency paid sick leave, employers will be entitled to a 100% credit against the employer portion of Social Security taxes for emergency paid sick leave wages paid to employees, subject to the following caps:

$511 per day for up to 10 days for leave taken for the following reasons:
• The employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
• The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19; or
• The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID–19 and seeking a medical diagnosis.
$200 per day for up to 10 days for leave taken for the following reasons:
• The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID–19. Note that the employee can be providing care for any individual, not just a family member;
• The employee is caring for a son or daughter of such employee if the school or place of care of the son or daughter has been closed, or the childcare provider of such son or daughter is unavailable, due to COVID–19 precautions; or
• The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of Health and Human Services in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor. We anticipate the Secretary of Health and Human Services will issue regulations to identify such “substantially similar conditions.”

Examples of the credit are included in the guidance at https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320.

TAKEAWAYS

Here are some takeaways to consider as you read and analyze the specific requirements of this new law. As always, feel free to contact any of the attorneys in our employment group for more information and assistance at (831) 373-1241 or www.fentonkeller.com

• The emergency paid sick leave and FMLA expansion apply only to employees who are unable to work or telework due to COVID-19 related concerns.
• Create new pay codes for the emergency paid sick leave and the paid portion of FMLA expansion. Be certain to reflect these types of pay on employee paystubs.
• Create a designated email address or location on your company intranet for employees to ask questions about these benefits. This will help you manage consistent communication.
• Employers may avoid the need for paid leave and accommodate such family emergencies by providing employees with the option to work remotely.
• Employers must post a notice of the expanded family leave rights in the workplace and provide it to employees working remotely.
• The effective date of this law is April 1, 2020.
• Follow your existing vacation and sick leave policies. The FFCRA provides benefits in addition to existing law and employer policies.
• Employers of health care providers and emergency responders may elect to exclude those employees from emergency paid sick leave and FMLA expansion benefits.
• If you are implementing layoffs or terminations, be aware of WARN Act considerations. Governor Newsom’s Executive Order N-31-20 suspends the 60-day notice and penalty provisions of CAL-WARN for businesses implementing mass layoffs or terminations subject to certain conditions. The notice of layoff must be provided as soon as practicable. The federal WARN Act contains a notice exception for “unforeseeable business circumstances outside the employer’s control” and natural disasters. See at https://www.edd.ca.gov/about_edd/coronavirus-2019/faqs/WARN.htm
• Employees who are laid off or have reduced hours may be eligible for unemployment insurance benefits.
• Remember that even though the FFCRA is new, employers need to continue to follow existing FMLA rules, applicable discrimination, privacy and wage & hour laws, and provide compliant pay statements.
• Be on the lookout for Department of Labor regulations exempting small businesses from the requirements of the expanded FMLA paid leave and other pending legislation offering additional benefits to employees and assistance to small employers.

ADDITIONAL STATE AND FEDERAL RESOURCES:
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/pandemic
https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/osec/osec20200320
https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/#chart
https://www.labor.ca.gov/coronavirus2019/
https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/2019-Novel-Coronavirus.htm
https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus
https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/6201/text
https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/fmla/pandemic


Mandatory Workplace Sexual Harassment Prevention Training (In Spanish)

Date:  May 20, 2020 (in Spanish)

  • Registration begins at 8:00 AM*
  • Seminar begins at 8:30 AM
    *Light Breakfast Included
  • 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Inscripción*
  • 8:30 AM – 10:45 AM Clase Comienza
    * Desayuno Ligero Incluido

Location:

Red Lion Hotel (Formerly Bay Park Hotel)
1425 Munras Ave,
Monterey, CA 93940
(MAP LINK)

Fenton & Keller presents in Spanish and English the California required workplace harassment and discrimination prevention training for supervisorial and non-supervisorial employees. 

ENTRENAMIENTO OBLIGATORIO sobre la Prevención de Acoso Sexual en el Trabajo en Español

La oficina legal de Fenton & Keller presenta en inglés y español el entrenamiento requerido por el estado de California sobre la prevención de acoso y discriminación en el lugar de trabajo para empleados quienes son supervisores y empleados que no son supervisores.

Presenters: Sharilyn Payne & Gladys Rodriguez-Morales

Registration Required.

Register for this Seminar

Fenton & Keller Welcomes the Following New Attorneys

Samuel Beiderwell

Samuel most recently worked as a research attorney at Monterey County Superior Court, and prior to that, he worked as a judicial law clerk at Los Angeles Superior Court. Sam’s primary area of practice is business transactions. CLICK FOR BIO.

Bradley Levang

Bradley has over 15 years’ experience representing clients before various federal and state courts, appellate courts, and also administrative agencies. Brad’s practice focuses on employment law litigation and counseling, and general civil and business litigation. CLICK FOR BIO.

Ashley Cameron

Ashley most recently worked for a local, private criminal defense firm.  Ashley’s primary areas of practice are civil litigation, employment law, trust and estate litigation, and business litigation. CLICK FOR BIO.


CalSavers: Retirement Planning Made Easy

CalSavers: Retirement Planning Made Easy
By Susannah L. Ashton

What is CalSavers? As of July 1, 2019, employers may begin registering with the CalSavers Retirement Savings Program (“CalSavers” or the “Program”), an IRA designed to benefit employees whose employers do not to offer traditional retirement plan programs.  With minimal action required and no fees or liability for employers, CalSavers is a simple and effective way for employees to save money and plan for the future.

CalSavers is designed to make it easier for employees to save by lowering the barriers that often keep people from doing so: enrollment is automatic and contributions are made through payroll deductions.  Once enrolled, the money saved belongs solely to the employees and accounts can move freely with employees from one job to the next.  CalSavers is not sponsored by the employer, meaning the employer is not responsible nor liable.  Employers’ only responsibilities under CalSavers are limited to registering for the Program, providing employee information to the Program Administrator, and remitting employee contributions through payroll deductions.

Who has to participate in CalSavers? CalSavers is mandated for all private employers in California, both for-profit and non-profit entities, that do not already sponsor a retirement plan for their business and who have more than five full- or part-time employees over the age of 18 (with at least one employee working in the state) (“Eligible Employers”).  However, employers who maintain or contribute to a Tax-Qualified Retirement Plan which qualifies for favorable federal income tax treatment, regardless of whether all employees are eligible for the Plan, or employers who have fewer than five employees are prohibited from participating in the Program.  Note that an employer-provided payroll deduction IRA program that does not provide for automatic enrollment is not a Tax-Qualified Retirement Plan.

If you are an employer who is required to participate in CalSavers, what do you need to do? Prior to their mandatory participation date, employers must log on to the CalSavers site to either register online or certify their exemption from CalSavers by stating that their business already maintains a retirement plan.  The effective dates are based on the employer’s number of employees:

Effective Date Number of Employees
June 30, 2020 More than 100 employees
June 30, 2021 More than 50 employees
June 30, 2022 More than 5 employees

 

An employer’s number of employees is the average number of employees as reported to the California Employment Development Department for the quarter ending December 31 and the previous three quarters of available data.

How do employees enroll in CalSavers? Existing employees of Participating Employers must be enrolled within 30 days after the employer registers with the Program and employees who are hired after the employer registers will be automatically enrolled within 30 days of their date of hire or date of eligibility.  Although eligible employees will be automatically enrolled, participation in the CalSavers program is voluntary, and employees may choose to opt out at any time.

What happens to employers who do not comply with CalSavers? Employers who, without good cause, fail to allow their eligible employees to participate in CalSavers, on or before 90 days after service of notice of its failure to comply, shall pay a penalty of $250 per eligible employee if noncompliance extends 90 days or more after the notice, and if found to be in noncompliance 180 days or more after the notice, an additional penalty of $500 per eligible employee.

What else do employers need to do? On each payroll date, the employer must deduct and transfer each participating employee’s contribution to the CalSavers Administrator at the applicable contribution rate for each participating employee.  All compensation must be remitted as soon as administratively possible, not to exceed seven business days from the date of deduction.  Employers may add their own payroll service provider as a delegate to help perform the employer facilitation duties on employers’ behalf.

When providing information to employees, employers are required to remain neutral about their employees’ participation in CalSavers.  The regulations expressly preclude employers from requiring, endorsing, encouraging, prohibiting, restricting, or discouraging employee participation in the Program, or from providing any advice or direction regarding any employee decision about the Program (e.g., investment choices, contribution rate, etc.).

In order to maintain neutrality, the Program will provide an email template at the time of registration that employers may share with employees to inform them that CalSavers will reach out to them.  The employee can then communicate with CalSavers directly to get further information and to answer any questions they may have.  Further, Exempt Employers who wish to inform employees who are ineligible for an employer-sponsored retirement plan about any rights or benefits with CalSavers are encouraged to contact CalSavers directly for guidance.

Employers’ only other ongoing responsibility is to ensure the Employee Information Packet is delivered during each open enrollment period to all eligible employees who are not participating employees (including those who have previously opted out).

 

For more information, employers are encouraged to visit the CalSavers website at https://www.calsavers.com/.

 

 


Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation Prevention Training Now Required for All California Employers

In September 2018, Governor Brown signed SB 1343, which expands mandatory sexual harassment prevention training to require California businesses with five or more employees (including temporary and seasonal employees) to provide sexual harassment training to all employees by January 1, 2020.  Importantly, employers must count independent contractors in determining if they have five or more employees, and even if the employees or contractors work at different locations or all work or reside outside of California, they must be counted.

New regulations published by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing require that employees be trained during the calendar year 2019, so employees who were trained in 2018 or before will need to be retrained before January 1, 2020.  Supervisors must receive at least 2 hours of sexual harassment prevention training, and non-supervisory employees must receive at least 1 hour of training.  Training of supervisors must occur within six months of the individual becoming a supervisor, and then once every two (2) years.

Please contact Fenton & Keller if you would like to schedule sexual harassment prevention training at your worksite.   Fenton & Keller will also be offering legally compliant sexual harassment prevention training for supervisory and non-supervisory employees in English on March 1, 2019 and in Spanish on February 27, 2019.  For more information visit www.fentonkeller.com, email cstoll@fentonkeller.com, or call 831-373-1241.

Article written by Marco Lucido.


Sara Boyns Named Businesswoman of the Year

Picture of Sara BoynsIn early 2019, at the Salinas Valley Chamber of Commerce 98th Annual Awards Ceremony, Sara Boyns was named Businesswoman of the year. The Chamber’s announcement stated, “Sara Boyns is at the forefront of Fenton & Keller’s efforts at inclusiveness, having served as a mentor and inspiration to young leaders in our community. Throughout her years in executive roles as a Fenton & Keller partner and attorney, she has taken every opportunity to share the wisdom and experience she has gained to help other associates build fulfilling careers. Sara has mentored other women executives through decisions about changing roles and client responsibilities, managing workloads and forging relationships with their male peers.”
Sara was raised on the Monterey Peninsula and attended local public schools, the University of Utah, and Monterey College of Law. She has been practicing in Monterey for over 30 years, focusing on assisting employers with employment law compliance and defense of claims. Sara’s community involvement includes Leadership Monterey Peninsula (class of 1985), teaching Legal Writing at Monterey College of Law, serving on the Boards of Lyceum of Monterey County, Monterey County Women Lawyers Association, Barristers, Monterey County Bar Association, Central Coast Human Resources Association, Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Hospice Giving Foundation Golf Scramble committee. Sara currently serves on the Fund Development Committee of Girls Inc. of the Central Coast.
Sara’s newspaper article, Workplace Law, published every two weeks in the Monterey Herald, provides readers with information regarding current employment law issues, new developments in the law, and best practices for employers. Sara regularly provides interactive training on sexual harassment prevention, managing employee performance issues, new laws, and legal considerations involved with hiring in-home caregivers. Sara’s practice has expanded to include independent investigations of workplace harassment and discrimination claims.
Sara particularly enjoys her role as grandmother to Cassadee, age 4, and spending time with her husband Casey, daughter Marisa and her son Christopher.
Read more about Sara Boyns on her attorney page.


Gladys Rodriguez-Morales Joins Fenton & Keller

Picture of Gladys Rodriguez-MoralesThe shareholders of Fenton & Keller are pleased to announce that Gladys Rodriguez-Morales has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Gladys’ practice focuses on assisting both employees and employers in all areas of labor and employment law matters including wage and hour issues, termination, discrimination, and retaliation. Gladys' practice also includes representing clients in general civil litigation matters.
Prior to joining Fenton & Keller, Gladys worked for a local law firm representing employees in various labor and employment law matters where she gained valuable experience litigating large wage and hour class action lawsuits. Gladys’ past experience representing employees gives her a unique perspective when it comes to representing and counseling employers.
Gladys is fluent in Spanish and having grown up on the Central Coast, she has strong ties to the local Spanish speaking community.
Read more about Gladys at her attorney page.

Marco A. Lucido Joins Fenton & Keller

Marco A. Lucido PictureThe shareholders of Fenton & Keller are pleased to announce that Marco A. Lucido has joined the firm as an associate attorney.

Marco’s practice focuses on all aspects of civil litigation, including labor and employment law and general business litigation. Prior to joining Fenton & Keller, Marco worked as a paralegal for one of the preeminent political law, government law, and lobbying firms in the country, serving a national clientele that included leading businesses, non-profits, trade associations, individuals, unions and public agencies. During law school Marco clerked with the California Attorney General’s office where he submitted criminal appellate briefs and argued before the California Court of Appeal. He also externed for the United States Attorney’s office and the Honorable James M. Lorenz while he competed in several intramural and national moot court competitions as a member of the USD Law Appellate Moot Court Board. As a Pacific Grove native, Marco is excited to work with individuals and businesses on the Monterey Peninsula.

Read more about Marco on his Profile Page.