HR Frequently Asked Questions

What are the Top HR Frequently Asked Questions?

 

 

 

Question 1: We require our employees to wear a company polo shirt at work.  Can we provide one shirt per year and have employees pay for a new shirt if it starts looking worn or is damaged during the year? Also, do we have to pay for the maintenance of the shirts?

Answer:  According to  Section 452 of the Labor Code, an employer must provide and maintain uniforms, regardless of the cost.  You would not be permitted to charge employees for shirts or for replacement shirts when their first-issued one wears out or is damaged. 

Uniform maintenance reimbursement is not required with respect to uniforms of wash & wear material that require only washing and tumbling dry.

Employers must continue to maintain uniforms that require daily, special, or other routine laundering due to heavy soiling or use, and uniforms requiring ironing, dry cleaning or repairs.

Question 2:  We want to hire a summer intern.  Do we have to pay them?

Answer:  A business can provide unpaid internships for students receiving academic credit or completing a requirement for a vocational degree.  If the student is not receiving credit, he/she should be treated as an employee and paid at least minimum wage. (You also have the option to pay a learner’s wage during the first 160 hours of employment or 90 days, whichever comes first, which is 85% of minimum wage or $6.80.)

According to the Department of Labor, other criteria is required if you are not treating the intern as an employee and will not pay them a wage:

  • The training, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to that which would be given in a vocational school.
  • The training is for the benefit of the trainee.
  • The trainees do not displace regular employees, but work under close observation.
  • The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the trainees and on occasion the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
  • The trainees are not necessarily entitled to a job at the completion of the training period.
  • The employer and the trainee understand that the trainees are not entitled to wages for the time spent in training.

 

Question 3: When an employee is out on an extended medical leave due to a work injury, do they continue to accrue vacation?

Answer: There is no legal requirement to provide vacation benefits to employees.  If you do offer vacation benefits to employees, you are not required to continue vacation accrual during leave.  (However, if you continue vacation accrual during non-workers’ compensation leaves, you must follow the same practice for workers’ compensation leaves.)

If you have a medical leave policy, it should specify how long vacation will continue to accrue during leave.  If your policy does not have provisions regarding vacation accrual, you should rely on your past practice.  It is typical to continue vacation accrual during the paid portion of leaves only.

FAQs…In More Detail

Suspending for Discipline

Question: We want to suspend an employee to get his attention.  What do you think? John has been late a number of times over the last six months. His supervisor has given him a verbal warning, and a written warning. He’s been warned that one more tardy this month...

Termination Package

Question: What Must I Give Employees Who Are Leaving Our Company? Answer:  In addition to final payment of wages, employees who are separating employment in California must receive specific documents on their way out the door.  Make sure your documents are up to...

Pregnancy Disability Leave

Question: Our employee has been out on PDL eight (8) weeks and plans on taking an additional six weeks off after her pregnancy disability ends to bond with her baby.  We have 15 employees and she does not qualify for FMLA or CFRA. Do I need to do anything? Answer:...

Outside Salespersons

Question: What is the minimum pay required for outside salespersons in California? Answer: If an Outside Salesperson is properly classified as “exempt,” by meeting the job duties test for an Outside Salesperson, there is no minimum salary requirement.  An...

Meeting Time

Question: If we have an employee working from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (employee takes a one hour unpaid meal period) and then have a mandatory meeting the same day from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., do I just pay him for the hour for the meeting (at the overtime rate) or do...

Leaving Early

Question:  We have couple of employees who work eight hours per day.  Currently they take a one hour meal period after working four hours.  Is it permitted if they take a 30 minute meal period and then end their day 30 minutes earlier?  The employees would prefer...

Layoffs – UGH!

Question:  We have to cut expenses significantly – and it’s come down to reducing headcount. What should we consider? Answer: From time to time employers are challenged with cutting payroll expenses.  So what should you consider when you have to make that...

Harassment Prevention Training

Question: Are we required to train all California supervisors/managers and non-supervisory employees in harassment prevention (AB1825)? Answer: Yes.  If you have 5 or more employees or contractors, you are required to train all managers/supervisors and...

Extended Medical Leave

Question: When an employee is out on an extended medical leave due to a work-related injury, does the employee continue to accrue vacation? Answer: There is no legal requirement to provide vacation benefits to employees.  If you do offer vacation benefits to...

Medical Coverage for Leaves

Question:  How long are employers required to continue paying medical premiums for employees who are on an unpaid medical leave of absence?  Answer:   Not as long as many employers may think.   Outside of legally regulated leaves of absence and collective...

Uniform Maintenance

Question: We require our employees to wear a company polo shirt at work.  Can we provide one shirt per year and have employees pay for a new shirt if it starts looking worn or is damaged during the year? Also, do we have to pay for the maintenance of the shirts?...

Summer Intern

Question:  We want to hire a summer intern.  Do we have to pay them? In most “for profit” businesses, the answer is generally “yes.”  The Department of Labor released Fact Sheet #71 in January of 2018 which explains that the “primary beneficiary test” should be...

Employing Minors

Question: Can we employ a minor who is age 16? Answer: Yes, but there are restrictions on the employment of minors under the age of 18 that would apply in this case. You must acquire the required work permit before employing a minor. Permits are required year-round,...

K.D., Owner of high tech business in Sacramento, CA

I love calling Silvers HR because I know I’m going to get a direct answer about HR issues and not a lot of legal garble. They just ‘get to it’- so I can get back to business.

M. O., V. P. of Sales and Marketing residential builder, Roseville, CA

During a series of management training classes for our team Kim used a mixture of new material, hands-on exercises and group interaction that got everyone participating, even the more senior experienced ‘I-don’t-need-this-training’ types. Her presentations are interesting, challenging and full of pertinent examples and wit.

R.O., CEO of telcom company in Rocklin, CA

Silvers HR made a clear and positive impact to our bottom line. Now here’s a contribution we can measure.

T. A., President of propane company, Manteca, CA

Silvers HR  understands the needs of a business owner and looks for options and solutions to help us meet our business priorities while complying with California employment laws. We consider Silvers HR our trusted HR partner.

Silvers HR is a Sacramento based Human Resources Management company specializing in HR policy development, management training, employee assessments, compensation and benefit program design, employee attraction and retention programs, and performance management programs. For companies looking to outsource their Human Resources department, we offer all the services but none of the overhead of hiring a full-time Human Resources employee. Silvers HR - California HR Services and Consulting.