Time For HR Audit

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Time For HR Audit

Did you know that Epps & Coulson, LLP offers a general counsel program that includes an HR audit? See www.companiescounsel.com. If you have not updated your HR policies, practices, and employee handbook lately, employers should do so now.  There have been a lot of new laws that took affect in January, laws that could pose splitting headaches for employers.  Here are some biggies:

Expense Reimbursement
Employers that require employees to use their own tools and equipment at work (e.g., vehicle repair businesses, chefs/restaurants, construction, etc. – and possibly could include work-at-home employees who must use their own computers) must pay the employees at least twice the California minimum wage.  Minimum wage is now at least $15/hour.  So, if you are not paying the use-your-own tools and equipment employees at least $30/hour, grab some aspirin and start making some changes.

Be proactive:  Employees also often are required to use their cell phone to clock into and out of work.  The employee should be reimbursed reasonable expense for use of their phone for those clocking in and out of work and lunch breaks.  The same is true for employees working from home, when using personal “screens,” like laptops, tablets and other devices connected to them.  Employer might consider paying some set amount for that use per paycheck or per month.  Employment lawyers are considering class action claims for employees’ unreimbursed use of electricity and internet costs, and wear and tear on office chairs, desks, and other equipment.  Typical solution:  pay the employees an amount each month to reimburse the employee for these costs, denoting that it is for all of these expenses.

Bonuses and Overtime and Sick Time Payment Calculations
Non-discretionary bonuses for non-exempt (hourly) employees must be added into the overall compensation for the employee and used as the base to calculate overtime, sick time, and missed meal and rest break “premiums” for the period during which the bonus applies.  Many non-exempt (hourly) employees also have set bonuses if they, their division, or the company meet some metric.  Those are non-discretionary and must be included in the calculation too.

Meals and Rest Breaks
It is best to use the actual time in/time out calculations for calculation of work time, which includes meal breaks (and rest breaks, but they are not recorded).  If an employee does not get a full break without interruption, the employer must pay an extra hour of pay for each violation, plus penalties.


If you have any HR questions or want to know more about our General Counsel program, please contact Dawn at: dcoulson@eppscoulson.com.

Information contained in this Memo is intended for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or opinion, nor is it a substitute for the professional judgment of an attorney.  It is likely considered advertising.  Epps & Coulson, LLP encourages you to call to discuss these matters as they apply to you or your business.

Attorneys admitted to practice in California, New York, Colorado, Texas, and Oregon