California Minimum Wage To Increase

Minimum WageCalifornia Minimum Wage To Increase

Over the weekend, under quiet negotiations, Governor Brown, Democratic leaders, and SEIU-UHW reached a swift agreement, without business input, on increasing the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2022. You will recall in 2013, a similar deal was struck and Governor Brown agreed to raise the minimum wage with no future increases tied to CPI if labor groups would not pursue an initiative on the 2014 ballot. Governor Brown signed AB 10 in September 2013 to raise California’s minimum wage 25 percent, from $8 to $10 per hour, effective January 1, 2016. In Governor Brown’s budget proposal this year, he cautioned against any additional minimum wage increases because of a $4 billion per year increase in state expenditures and warned of the need for remedies in case of economic recessions.

However, in a press conference earlier this week, Governor Brown and legislative leadership discussed the positive impacts raising the minimum wage will have on millions of Californians and how the agreement will help clear the saturated ballot come November. Proponents of the agreement argue that it offers flexibility by allowing a “pause button” in the case of potential future deficits and removes an initiative from the ballot. As you know, SEIU, the proponent of the agreement, has been collecting signatures for two different minimum wage initiatives that qualified for the November 2016 ballot. SEIU has stated they will remove their initiative after and only if the Governor signs this legislation. Earlier this week, the agreement was put into print in Senator Leno’s minimum wage bill from last year, SB 3.

As amended, the bill will raise the minimum wage according to the following timeline:
January 1, 2017: $10.50
January 1, 2018: $11.00
January 1, 2019: $12.00
January 1, 2020: $13.00
January 1, 2021: $14.00
January 1, 2022: $15.00
January 1, 2023: increases tied to CPI

SB 3 allows small businesses to have a one-year implementation delay and provides 3 paid sick days to IHSS workers gradually until 2022. The Governor may notify the legislature to temporarily suspend increases when there is a deficit (option may be used only twice) or a deficit is determined by adjusted EDD employment data and sales and use tax cash receipts.
Since it’s amendment earlier this week, the bill has been fast tracked through the Legislature. SB 3 passed out of the Assembly Appropriations committee earlier this week and off the Assembly Floor today where it was then immediately transmitted to the Senate. In the Senate, due to rule waivers, SB 3 flew through the Labor Committee and passed off the full Senate Floor. Governor Brown has announced he will sign SB 3 (Leno) on Monday, April 4, 2016 in Los Angeles.

MTA looking for women to join workforce

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is looking for women to join the workforce.”There is a real shortage of women in our trade so we are always looking for women that are interested in our trade,” said Jim Sandoval, a cement mason coordinator. The MTA held a number of job fairs on Wednesday, including one in Arcadia.

more at: http://abc7.com/news/mta-looking-for-women-to-join-workforce/1260753/

Assembly Bill No. 1513: Changes to Piece-Rate Requirements for Rest Breaks and Other Nonproductive Time

WCIRB issues statement that back wages paid under AB 1513 are not subject to audit under current policies! Effectively, back wages are not subject to audit for Workers’ Compensation premium calculations.  The only exception is if an employer is paying back wages for 2015, and a policy period includes 2015 payroll.

In other words, if you had a WC policy period from 10-1-2015 to 10-1-2016, and that policy was being audited in late 2016, the auditor could pick up back wages paid for the period 10-1-2015 through 12-31-2015. To read the full report,  Click For More

New Case Law: California Contractors Are Now Strictly Liability For The Products They Install

On December 22, 2015; the Fourth Division of the Second Appellate District in California issued their decision in Jovana Hernandezcueva, v. E. F. Brady Company, Inc. This decision requires a drywall contractor, E.F Brady; to be held in strict liability for the mesothelioma injuries and ultimate death of Mrs. Hernandezcueva’s husband. Brady performed drywall installation in the 1970s for a Fluor Corporation project. Mr. Hernandezcueva worked as a janitor in the facility in the 1990s; while renovation work was going on.

blog13016nThe justices decided that Brady was enough involved in the “stream of commerce” involving the installation of drywall that contained asbestos, that they could be held under strict liability provisions. Brady was unaware at the time that the drywall contained asbestos.

This is a very bad precedent setting case. Several contractor organizations including CALPASC are attempting to get the California Supreme Court to review this case and overturn it.

WCIRB Issues Decision Regarding 2016 Pure Premium Rate Filing

The California Insurance Commissioner has issued a decision regarding the WCIRB’s January 1, 2016 Pure Premium Rate Filing (Filing) which was submitted to the California Department of Insurance on August 19, 2015. A public hearing regarding the filing was held on September 22, 2015.

In his decision, the Commissioner approved advisory pure premium rates that average $2.42 per $100 of payroll. The approved pure premium rates are, on average, 9.0% less than the industry average filed pure premium rate as of July 1, 2015 of $2.66 and 2.0% less than the average of the approved July 1, 2015 advisory pure premium rates of $2.47. The approved advisory pure premium rates are effective January 1, 2016 for new and renewal policies.

CALPASC’s Risk Management Director Bruce Wick said the following in response:

“We appreciate Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and his actuarial staff doing a thorough evaluation of the information regarding the average WC advisory rate to be effective January 1, 2016. The Commissioner provided a 2% additional decrease, on top of the midterm 10.2% decrease effective July 1, 2015. The decisions shows that loss trends continue to drop. There is an combined decrease of 12.2% from the January 1, 2015 advisory rates to the January 1, 2016 rates. The reforms of SB 863 continue to lower loss results in WC in California. There are even more areas to reform, including provider fraud.”

The Insurance Commissioner’s Decision and electronic files containing the approved January 1, 2016 pure premium rates may be downloaded from the  Publications and Filings section of the WCIRB website (www.wcirb.com).

California Contractors Avoid This Costly Problem With Your License

 

In the recent CA appellate decision, Pacific Caisson & Shoring, Inc., v. Bernards Bros. Inc. #B248320, the justices ruled against Pacific’s claim for compensation from Bernards.

The reasoning was that Pacific’s license was suspended for 77 days during the time Pacific was doing the work, which lasted 18 months. Pacific claimed the suspension was unfair, because the suspension occurred when the RMO for Pacific had another license he was RMO for suspended for failure to pay benefits to a union trust.

The justices decided that Pacific had not acted reasonably and in good faith to maintain proper licensure, because its RMO had not taken proper care of the responsibilities regarding the other license.

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