The guidance further clarifies the time frame for employers to report these incidents to OSHA. For COVID-19 related hospitalization, “if an employer learns that an employee was in-patient hospitalized within 24 hours of a work-related incident, and determines afterward that the cause of the in-patient hospitalization was a work-related case of COVID-19, the case must be reported within 24 hours of that determination.” For COVID-19 related fatalities, “if an employer learns that an employee died within 30 days of a work-related incident, and determines afterward that the cause of the death was a work-related case of COVID-19, the case must be reported within eight hours of that determination.”
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
It is critical that employers comply with OSHA’s reporting requirements for COVID-19 related hospitalization and fatalities as we have seen an increase in aggressive investigation by agency at the state and federal level. If you have any questions about how to comply with the requirements, contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.
Updated California Regulations for Employers Under the Fair Chance Act
By: The Saqui Law Group and Christina Anton
The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (“DFEH”) has recently released Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) for California’s Fair Chance Act, which can be found here. The FAQs provide guidance on the nuts-and-bolts of the law, which employers are subject to the law, and the requirements employers must follow in order to ask about an applicant’s criminal history.
As a refresher, the Fair Chance Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, is a California law that generally prohibits employers from:
- Including questions on a job application about an applicant’s conviction history before a conditional job offer has been made;
- Asking about or considering an applicant’s criminal history before a conditional job offer has been made;
- Considering information about arrests not followed by conviction, participating in pretrial or post-trial diversion programs that have been completed and the underlying pending charges or conviction has been dismissed, sealed, or eradicated; or
- Considering information about convictions that have been sealed, dismissed, expunged, or statutorily eradicated.
Employers are allowed to conduct a criminal history background check after they have offered an applicant a job, but the law requires an individualized assessment of the applicant’s criminal history. This means that an employer cannot rescind the job offer without considering the nature and gravity of the applicant’s criminal history, time that has passed since the applicant’s conviction, and the nature of the job the applicant is seeking. If the employer rescinds an applicant’s job offer, they must do so in writing, provide a copy of any conviction history report the employer relied on to the applicant, and allow the applicant at least five (5) business days to respond.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
These FAQs are a reminder to employers about the requirements they must follow when inquiring about an applicant’s criminal history. If you have any questions about the application of the Fair Chance Act and related regulations, contact the experts at Saqui Law Group.
CA Expands Mandated Reporters to Include Human Resources
By: The Saqui Law Group and Jorge Lopez Espindola
Governor Newsom recently signed Assembly Bill (“AB”) 1963, which expands the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Law to now include human resources employees as mandated reporters. The new law is effective January 1, 2021, and it requires a business with five (5) or more employees that employ minors to report child abuse. A human resource employee is any individual designated by the employer to accept complaints of discrimination, harassment, and retaliation. A mandated reporter is a person who is legally required to report if they reasonably suspect or observed child abuse or neglect.
Additionally, the new law includes supervisors working for a business of five (5) or more employees, whose duties require direct contact and supervision of minors to report only sexual abuse of the minor employee. Therefore, front-line supervisors are only required by law to report sexual abuse and not neglect or other forms of child abuse.
AB 1963 will require employers to provide their employees, who are mandated reporters, with training on identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. Failing to report child abuse or neglect of a minor employee is a crime.
COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
This law requires both new burdens and training on certain California employers. Qualified employers should already be in communication with their Human Resources employees and supervisors to discuss the new “hat” these employees must wear in working with and managing minor employees. Qualified California employers must also be budgeting and scheduling for the new training requirement under AB 1963. If you have any questions about this new law and requirements, please contact the experts at The Saqui Law Group.