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!

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE SERIES (MES) 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:

CEE Begins: March 5, 2015

MES Begins: April 9, 2015

TPO's popular prescheduled three-hour (9am - noon) workshops are presented on a wide range of important regulatory and leadership topics. Many are available to attend via webinar.

Dates of Upcoming Workshops:

Managing Change: November 19, 2015

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

Dates of Upcoming Briefings:

Auditing The HR Function: March 17, 2015

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

Dates of Upcoming H & D:

Harassment & Discrimination Prevention:  March 25, 2015

Spanish Language Harassment & Discrimination Prevention: 
May 7, 2015


1. LEGISLATIVE UPDATE - Recap for 2015
      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO

2. HR Q&A - Holiday Pay
      by Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA, TPO

3. CA WAGE & HOUR QUICK TIP - Exempt Employees
      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA TPO

4. NEW MEMBERS - CyberData, Leal Vineyards, Alpha Tech Plumbing,
     Sambrailo Packaging, Sabor Farms, Pacific Glazing Contractors,      and Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.


Recap for 2015

by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO

Paid Sick Leave

As 2015 quickly is approaching, the following areas of employment require attention to understand the new requirements and the impact they may have on your organization. Some (like CA’s new Paid Sick Leave) may require budgetary considerations and planning.

Additional information will be provided at the TPO Conference on 1/22/15!

Existing PTO/Sick policies may need to be revised in consideration of PSL.  

Additional PSL Information
New Department of Industrial Relations’ (DIR) Q&A:

New Poster (post on or before 1/1/15):

Revised “Notice to Employee, (On 1/1/15, provide to employees in non-exempt positions upon hire and within 7 days of any item on the form changing)":

Health Insurance Waiting Periods: Reversing CA’s 2014’s requirement of insurance eligibility after a 60-day waiting period, employers may go back to the typical 90-day waiting period (federal maximum). Employers should check their policies with their Insurance Brokers to ensure compliance.


Arbitration Agreements: CA prohibits the enforcement of arbitration agreements or pre-litigation settlement agreements that require the individual to waive their right to pursue a civil action for the alleged violation of civil rights.

Rate Changes for Employee Exemption: In order to meet the exemption from overtime, breaks, meals and other wage and hour provisions, the following CA minimum rates apply:

Criminal Records: “Ban the Box” (applies to questions on applications for employment)

Labor Contractor Liability: CA imposes liability on a contracting entity for the labor contractor’s wage and hour violations and lack of workers’ compensation coverage, by not requiring evidence that the contracting entity controlled the working conditions or wages of the labor contractor’s employees.

Final Contractor Minimum Wage Rule: Establishes a federal minimum wage of $10.10 per hour for federal construction and service contractor employees for new contracts and replacements for expiring contracts with the federal government that result on or after 1/1/2015.

Medical Marijuana: While legal in CA, not on the Federal level. No new laws, but many employers are now specifically addressing in handbook if they want to be clear that use at work is against policy.

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Introducing Our Newest TPO Consultant

Pat Wilkinson, SPHR

Pat Wilkinson is a nationally certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR), and has over 20 years of high-caliber Human Resources Generalist experience in a broad array of Fortune 500 and non-profit businesses that include manufacturing, high tech, education, health care, wholesale distribution and life science organizations.

She has provided primary, internal HR support, as well as independent HR consulting.  Pat’s success lies in her commitment to build enduring professional relationships by providing competent HR expertise that delivers effective and manageable solutions that drive sustainable business outcomes.

Pat has been deeply involved in total rewards and compensation plan assessment and design; incentive plan alignment with strategic initiatives; skills analysis, assessment, broad banding, and job descriptions; performance management; executive compensation; wage surveys and analysis.

Additional professional expertise in the following areas:

  • Strategic workforce planning to develop short and long-term plans and initiatives that anticipate shifting customer, market and technology trends to minimize or eliminate potential talent gaps.
  • Developing or enhancing current Talent Management strategies to appeal to targeted applicants and team members.
  • Highly skilled at crafting complex and sensitive action plans for individual, team or organizational changes, including acquisitions, blending company cultures, separations, reductions in force, and divestitures.
  • Onboarding and new employee experience design, engagement and alignment for optimal performance.
  • Professional communications that enhance company branding and promote employee engagement and retention.
  • Team building, leadership and new manager coaching and training, organizational design and development, and managing virtual teams and telecommuters.
  • Optimal employee relations that mitigate risk and legal exposure, while also encouraging employee engagement and high performance.
  • Incorporating safety audits, communications and practices to involve every employee in a safety mindset to reduce workplace injuries and worker’s compensation claims.
  • Assessment and negotiating best fit contract service agreements for benefits, payroll, and other HR-related services.

Memberships/Affiliations:  Society for Human Resources Management, Northern California Human Resources Association, Professional Women’s Network of Monterey Peninsula, LinkedIn Business User and member of over 30 LinkedIn business and professional communities, Leadership Monterey Peninsula Alumni-Class of 2014, and Carmel, Monterey, Salinas, Pacific Grove Chambers of Commerce.

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Am I Required To Provide Holiday Pay?

by Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA, TPO

Although we have many holidays throughout the year, it’s at this time when more employers ask the question:  Am I required to provide holiday pay??

The answer is NO.  There are two different types of benefits: Required and Voluntary.  Benefits required by law include, for example: Social Security, Workers’ Compensation, Unemployment Insurance, Paid Sick Leave (new effective July 1, 2015), etc.

Examples of benefits that employers may choose to provide, but are not required to provide, are:Paid Vacation, Paid Personal Time Off (PTO), Paid Jury Duty, Paid Bereavement, and Paid Holidays. 

(Note: We review ALL required time off and voluntary benefits in our CEE (California Employment Essentials training!) 


If you do choose to provide holiday pay, the next questions are:

  • Who is eligible for holiday pay?  Some options include: all employees, or those employees who have completed their Introductory Period, or all regular full-time and part-time (excluding temporary or seasonal employees).
  • If an employee does not work on the holiday, how much holiday pay will he/she receive?  Traditionally it is 1x their regular rate.
  • If, for whatever reason, an employee works on the holiday, how much holiday pay will he/she receive?  Traditionally it is 2x the regular rate, although it can be different; it’s the employer’s choice.  For example, it can be straight pay at 1x the regular rate, 1.5x, 2x, 2.5x, etc.  
  • Must the employee work the day before and after the holiday to be eligible for holiday pay?  Or is it payable if the holiday is included in scheduled time off?  An example of that is taking a week off using Vacation/ PTO that includes the holiday?  These are policy choices employers can make based on many factors, not limited to budget implications.

Whatever you decide, remember that holidays are meant to be an enjoyable time of celebration and/or remembrance.  Your workplace culture can emphasize that – with or without pay! 

Happy Holidays!

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How to Pay Exempt Employees for a Partial Pay Period...many calculations, but only one The Labor commissioner approves!

by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO

The final date of employment for an exempt employee earning
$3,500 per month will be 1/16/15. What do you pay?

Method 1 – Approved Method:

Take the annual salary, divide by 52 to get the weekly salary, divide by 5 to get the daily salary (by 6 if the normal workweek worked is 6 days), and finally multiply by the number of days worked in the partial pay period.

  • $42,000 / 52 = $807.69
  • $807.69 / 5 = $161.54
  • $161.54 x 12 = $1,938.48

Method 2 – Common Method:

Take the monthly salary, divide by the number of days in the month and then multiply by the number of days in the pay period.

  • $3500 / 31 = $112.90
  • $112.90 x 16 = $1,806.45

The Difference:
$132.03 might not seem like a big difference between the above methods, but it may be enough for a disgruntled employee to file a claim with the Labor Commissioner’s office; something most employers want to avoid. Don’t leave it to a “roll of the dice,” rather, pay the approved amount.

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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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