CA EMPLOYMENT ESSENTIALS (CEE) is a 6 module training series of employment essentials focusing on regulatory compliance and HR best practices. Hiring to Separation: What Management and HR MUST KNOW!

Dates of Upcoming Series:

CEE Begins: Oct. 10

NEW EMPLOYMENT ESSENTIALS Crash Course is a 6-hour training of employment essentials crash course that provides the HR Compliance Fundamentals training your people managers need to know.

Dates of Upcoming Crash Course:

November 27

LEADERSHIP EXCELLENCE SERIES (LES) is an 8 module training series focusing on practical leadership and communication skills to help managers DEVELOP OR REFINE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS LEADERS!

Dates of Upcoming Series:

LES Begins: Sept. 12

TPO's popular prescheduled workshops are presented on a wide range of important regulatory and leadership topics. Many are available to attend via webinar.

Dates of Upcoming 3-hour Workshops (9:00am - Noon):

Essential Wage & Hour: September 11

High-Performance, Low-Maintenance Employees: October 9

FMLA/CFRA/PDL Compliance: November 6

Excelling as a Manager/Supervisor: November 13

Managing Change: December 10

TPO brings you periodic briefings presented by knowledgeable subject matter experts on a variety of timely employment topics.

Dates of Upcoming Briefings:

External HR Support Briefing: November 20

TPO's HDR training goes above and beyond to address all forms of harassment, discrimination and retaliation (age, race, religion, disability, etc.) that today's managers must be prepared to prevent and address.

Dates of Upcoming HDR:


Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation: October 1 & December 5


Harassment, Discrimination & Retaliation: October 8 & December 12


      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP, TPO

2. HR Q&A - It't That Time Again...Back to School!
       by Michaelle Stanford, PHRca, M.A., TPO

3. CA WAGE & HOUR QUICK TIP - "Regular Rate"
      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR, PHRca, SHRM-SCP, TPO

4. Reminder - EEO-1 Reporting
      by Caron Pearce, TPO

5. Member Spotlight - Halo Specialized Home Care

6. Welcome New Members

HR Legislation

by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP, TPO

New Laws

Signed into law and effective as noted:

Paid Family Leave Insurance (SB83) – NEW CA LAW that beginning on July 1, 2020, will extend from six to eight weeks the maximum duration of paid family leave insurance (PFLI) benefits individuals may receive.

Discrimination on the Basis of Hairstyles Associated with Race (SB188) – NEW CA LAW that beginning on January 1, 2020, will ban discrimination on the basis of hairstyles associated with race. The CROWN Act (Creating a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair) expands the definition of “race” under the California Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) to include both hair texture and protective hairstyles that are closely associated with race. The Act defines “protective hairstyles” as those including braids, locks, and twists, but notably, the law clarifies that this is not an exhaustive list.

Pending Legistation

Still pending and would need to make it to Gov. Gavin Newsom‘s desk by September 13th to be considered further:

Independent Contractor Status (AB 5) – If passed, would codify into the Labor Code the court decision in Dynamex Operations West, Inc. v. Superior Court of Los Angeles, which created the new “ABC” test for determining whether workers should be classified as either employees or independent contractors. The bill also carves out some exemptions such as insurance agents, hair stylists, doctors, lawyers, accountants, direct sellers. In Senate suspense file*.

Arbitration Agreements (AB 51) – If passed, would prohibit arbitration agreements made as a condition of employment. In Senate suspense file*.

Unemployment During Trade Disputes (AB 1066) – If passed, would allow employees on strike to receive unemployment benefits if the strike lasts more than four weeks. In Senate suspense file*.

* Definition: “Suspense file” is where bills with a fiscal impact are set aside and then considered at one hearing after the state budget has been prepared and the committee has a better sense of available revenue. It does not mean “suspended” or “dead.”


Pending Legistation

Equality Act (H.R. 5) - If passed, this bill would prohibit discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in areas including employment, public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, housing, credit, and the jury system. Prognosis of passing: 33%

The Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) - If passed, this bill would amend the Equal Pay Act of 1963 to expand potential damage awards for equal pay claims, limit an employer’s ability to raise the “any factor other than sex” affirmative defense in wage discrimination cases, and make it unlawful for an employer to prevent employees from discussing or comparing salaries, among other changes. Prognosis of passing: 31%

Raise the Wage Act (H.R. 582) - If passed, this bill would increase the federal minimum wage from the current $7.25 an hour to $15.00 an hour by 2025. Prognosis of passing: 4%

Interested in reading more about the bills and the process?

Federal legislation:

For CA legislation:


“Depublishing Vasquesz”: CA’s fight for independent contractor status centers around the 2018 Dynamex decision which created a new “ABC” test for evaluating whether workers are properly classified as independent contractors. The U.S Ninth Circuit then ruled that the ABC test applied retroactively (Vazquez v. Jan-Pro Franchising Int’l), with depublishing of Vasquez meaning that the ruling is no longer binding. The next step will be the California Supreme Court determining key independent contractor versus employee decisions, including whether Dynamex should apply retroactively.

A. That the worker is free from control and direction of the hiring entity in connection with the performance of the work, both under the contract for the performance of the work and in fact; and

B. That the worker performs work that is outside the usual course of the hiring entity’s business; and

C. That the worker is customarily engaged in an independently established trade, occupation or business of the same nature as the work performed.

Cal Savers – State Retirement Plan: As passed into law in 2017 (SB1234), July 1, 2019 started the launch of California's individual retirement account enrollment plan for employers without an employer-sponsored retirement plan. As a reminder, employers with 100+ employees have a deadline of June 30, 2020 to comply either by having employees sign up or begin offering a private plan; employers with 5+ employees have until June 30, 2022. An account can be carried from job to job.

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Back to School! Are you Ready?

by Michaelle Stanford, PHRca, M.A., TPO

QUESTION:   Are employers required to allow employees time off to attend school functions and events?

ANSWER:  Yes, the School and Child Care Activities Leave requires employers with 25 or more employees at the same location allow to employees’ time off to attend school or childcare activities.



Employees who are the parent or guardian of a child in kindergarten or grades 1 through 12, or attending a day care facility, can take up to 40 hours off per year to participate in school or day care facility activities. Time off is generally unpaid and employers may require employees use accrued vacation/PTO or personal leave for this purpose. Employers may require reasonable notice and documentation from the school or day care facility as proof that the employee participated in the activity on a specific date and time. These absences may not be considered for purpose of absenteeism or corrective action.

QUESTION:  I employ less than 25 employees.  Am I still required to provide time off?

ANSWER:  The School Appearance Leave also requires ALL employers, regardless of size, to allow an employee time off in the event the parent was requested by the school to appear in connection to a suspension. Although the employee can request accrued Vacation/PTO or Personal time, time off generally is unpaid, and the employee must give reasonable notice of the request.

QUESTION:  Who is eligible to take time off?

ANSWER:  Employees defined as parents, guardians, grandparents, stepparents, foster parents and any person standing in (loco parentis) as parents.

QUESTION:  What can the leaves be used for?

ANSWER:  For employers with 25 or more employees, unpaid time can be taken to participate in school functions and events, school or childcare enrollment, school emergency, behavioral or discipline problems, unexpected school or childcare closure and natural disaster (fire, earthquake or flood).  For All employers, time off can be taken at the school’s request to appear in connection to a child’s suspension.

QUESTION:  As of May 2019, my employee has taken 24 hours to participate in school functions and is requesting time off in August for back-to-school activities.  How much time should I allow for?

ANSWER:  According to the School and Child Care Activities Leave, employees are afforded 40 hours of time off per year.  As the employee has reported they used 24 hours, he or she has 16 hours remaining. If the employee has exhausted their vacation/PTO or personal time, they may take the remaining 16 hours as unpaid time.  Beginning the following calendar year, the employee is again entitled to 40 hours of time off for purposes of this leave.

TPO Note:  Most employers do not track and report employee time off for School and Child Care Activities Leave and count requests as regular Vacation and/or PTO. 

QUESTION:  Both parents work at my company.  Are both parents eligible to each take up to 40 hours of time off to participate in school functions and events?

ANSWER:  The parent who gives notice first may take time off; however, the other parent may take a planned absence simultaneously using Vacation or PTO upon the employer’s approval.

Employers are prohibited from discriminating or retaliating against an employee who takes time off under either of these leaves.

Have questions? Contact TPO today! of many topics covered in the CEE training!


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...Did you file "Component 2"?

by Caron Pearce, TPO

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) collects workforce data from employers with more than 100 employees, (with lower thresholds applying to federal contractors). If you meet these reporting thresholds, you have a legal obligation to provide the EEO-1 data. It is not voluntary!

All required EEO-1 reporters were required to submit the EEO-1 data by May 31, 2019. However, that was just Component 1!


What is Component 2 of the EEO-1 report?
Component 2 is for Pay Data Collection. 

What information am I expected to provide for Component 2?
Report all Full-time and Part-time employees’ compensation and hours worked. After tallying the total number of employees in each compensation band by job category, employers will enter this data in the appropriate columns of the EEO-1 Report based on sex, and ethnicity or race of the employees.

Is there a deadline for submitting Component 2?
Yes. September 30, 2019 is the deadline for submitting the Pay Data for the 2017 and the 2018 calendar year.

How do I count my employees? What if it varies throughout the year? 
There is a “workforce snapshot period” and the employer can choose any pay period between October 1,2017 and December 31, 2017 for the 2017 EEO-1 report year and October 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018 for the 2018 EEO-1 report year. The employer is not obligated to pick a pay period where the headcount is 100, nor does the employer have to pick the same “workforce snapshot period” for 2017 and 2018.  The only employees whose compensation and hours worked data must be reported are those full-time and part-time employees who were on the employer’s payroll during the “workforce snapshot period”.    

The EEOC has contracted with the NORC at the University of Chicago to collect the Component 2 data for 2017 and 2018. You can access the Filing system at There is also a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for any questions you might have. The toll-free number for NORC for questions is (877) 324-6214.

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...careful, many must be paid as employees!

by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, SHRM-SCP, TPO

TPO recommends employers fully understand the issues associated with internship classification before they decide to hire unpaid interns. Many employers wrongly believe interns are unpaid workers able to perform any jobs, including menial tasks. This is not correct. Not all interns qualify for unpaid status and most interns are considered employees from an employment perspective. Before hiring an unpaid intern, TPO advises contacting your TPO consultant to ensure you have considered all the issues and possible pitfalls before moving forward.


In determining the correct status, a “primary beneficiary” test looks at the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the relationship’s primary beneficiary — the employer or the individual.

There are seven factors that support the intern being the primary beneficiary, and include the extent to which:

  1. The intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee — and vice versa.
  2. The internship provides training similar to that given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
The intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.











As listed by the DOL, the primary beneficiary test is “a flexible test, and no single factor is determinative... whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA necessarily depends on the unique circumstances of each case."

This article is a brief overview of a complex matter. Please contact TPO with any questions!

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Julie Wohlman, Owner

"Halo Specialized Home Care began as a fairly small company, one could say a "ma and pa" operation.  Over the past few years we have experienced significant growth while providing the highest quality of care to our clients. A key factor in our success is managing our Human Resources to ensure we attract and retain the best qualified caregivers and staff. TPO has added tremendous value as our Team of HR Experts. TPO partners with us to ensure that our employment practices are sound and compliant, and also that our leadership and management methods promote positive employee relations and retention.  TPO has helped create structure and consistency for Halo, including developing policies (the HR Kit is invaluable), training, coaching and expert HR consulting. The quality of TPO's support, expertise and professionalism is outstanding, not to mention how incredibly responsive they are! "

Our Story the Halo Difference

Halo Specialized Home Care is a licensed, bonded, and insured home care company servicing Monterey County. We specialize in providing the highest quality of care in medically complicated situations as well as companionship services. We achieve this superior quality by recruiting and retaining the most respected and qualified caregivers in our industry.

The Caregivers ~ Our “angels”

Our staff is the heart of our company, often affectionately referred to as “our angels”, inspiring our company name. Our angels are chosen from the best in the industry. Along with their high skill set and gentle touch, they are registered with the state as Home Care Aids, have cleared a background check, and completed our intensive training program.

Consistent Care Team

Our mission is to provide a qualified, reliable, conscientious, and compassionate caregiver who can seamlessly blend in with each family. Many companies move around caregivers to meet schedules. At Halo, we match our caregiver(s) to individuals and families for the duration of their required care, providing the familiarity and resulting comfort our clients deserve.

Halo’s Care Model

Halo’s proprietary care model represents our unique approach to health and elite quality of care using the latest evide3nce-based research that well-being consists of many dimensions, not just physical alone.

For more information Click Here

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We look forward to the opportunity to provide you with unlimited phone/email access, reduced consulting and training rates, eCompliance notices, attendance to our Annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference at no additional cost, and priority status when you require TPO support from any of our highly qualified team of nationally certified HR experts!
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