WGBCO Assistance with Workplace Posters

Warren G. Bender Co. is proud to be a resource for our commercial client’s HR needs. Part of that is providing CA workplace posters, for which we start collecting orders in late August (1st poster is free and each subsequent English poster is at a reduced rate of $15).

The media has been buzzing about minimum wage law changes effective 7/1/17, with some HR vendors pushing for “total poster replacement.” The good news is that you don’t need to purchase a new/updated 2017 poster. In fact, most of our clients don’t need to make any changes at all.

Affected clients are those that have employees in Santa Monica, San Francisco, LA City and County and Emeryville ( Those employers are required (as of 7/1/17) to post the new wage orders next to the existing workplace posters. You can find all of the wage orders on the DIR website ( and of course you can always call our HR hotline for more details.

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:41 pm June 28, 2017

Required Workplace Posters in California

This document provides direct links to the workplace posters employers are required to display under state law. These posters, including official translated versions, are created and updated by state agencies. Employers must also comply with all applicable federal posting requirements.

Employers must display required posters in a public place where employees can easily access them. While most posters apply to all employers within the state, some may apply to specific industries or employers. Employers can review each poster description to determine whether they are required to display that particular poster.

• No new or updated state posters were found during the last review of this document.

The following posters are required for all employers in California:
• Minimum wage poster
• Paid sick leave poster
• Payday notice
• Emergency contact poster
• Whistleblower protection poster. This poster must be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches in size, have margin of 0.5 inches or smaller, and use 14-point or larger font.
• Smoking notice(s): California law requires employers to indicate areas where smoking is prohibited or allowed in the workplace.
Employers must obtain adequate signage to designate these areas from their local law enforcement agencies.
• Discrimination and harassment poster
• Unemployment insurance registration notice
• Unemployment insurance benefit poster
• Time off to vote notice: employers must post this notice at least 10 days before statewide elections. California has not created a model notice to satisfy this requirement. The link below directs employers to the standard employers must reference on the notice.

The following posters affect only employers with the number of employees specified below:
• Pregnancy leave poster: required for all employers that have between five and 49 employees.
• Family care and medical leave poster: required for all employers with 50 or more employees, and all public agencies.
English (government link not functional as of 6/15/17)

Employers must display the following posters only if they are affected by the laws, conditions or requirements specified below:
• State OSHA poster: required for all employers subject to Cal/OSHA.
• Medical record access notice: required for all employers that use hazardous or toxic substances.
• Industrial trucks poster: required for employers that have workers operating forklifts or other industrial trucks or tow tractors.
• Workplace injuries poster: required for all California employers that offer workers’ compensation insurance.
• Workers’ compensation notice: required for all employers subject to California’s workers’ compensation laws.
Employers must obtain the “Notice of Workers’ Compensation Carrier and Coverage” from their insurance carrier.
• Farm labor contractor pay notice: required for all labor contractors licensed by the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement. The notice must be at least 12 inches high and 10 inches wide.

California wage orders regulate work conditions in certain industries. Employers in these industries must display the appropriate industry-specific poster.
• Wage order #1: manufacturing industry
• Wage order #2: personal services industry
• Wage order #3: canning, freezing and preserving industry
• Wage order #4: professional, technical, clerical, mechanical and similar occupations
• Wage order #5: public housekeeping industry
• Wage order #6: laundry, linen supply, dry cleaning and dyeing industry
• Wage order #7: mercantile industry
• Wage order #8: industries handling products after harvest
• Wage order #9: transportation industry
• Wage order #10: amusement and recreation industry
• Wage order #11: broadcasting industry
• Wage order #12: motion picture industry
• Wage order #13: industries preparing agricultural products for market, on the farm
• Wage order #14: agricultural occupations
• Wage order #15: household occupations
• Wage order #16: certain on-site occupations in the construction, drilling, logging and mining industries
• Wage order #17: miscellaneous employees

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:34 pm

Political Discussions Hurt Job Performance

Many people can get worked up about politics, but a new survey from the American Psychological Association (APA) has shown that political discussions in the workplace can have a big impact on your employees’ job performance.

The APA surveyed U.S. employees about the impact of political discussions after the 2016 presidential election, and found that these discussions have a detrimental effect on job performance and relationships with co-workers. The survey found that 40 percent of employees have experienced a negative outcome following a workplace political discussion, such as reduced productivity or difficulty getting work done. Additionally, 24 percent of employees said they avoid some co-workers solely because of their politics.

According to the APA, social networks and constant news reports can cause individuals to adopt an “us versus them” political mentality, which can lead to conflict. As a result, it’s important to encourage respect, collaboration and courtesy in your workplace to ensure that your employees feel supported and remain productive.

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 4:34 pm June 14, 2017

New Year, New Labor Law: Take Advantage of WGBCO’s HR Services

With each coming year, new regulations and laws are passed; making it almost impossible to stay informed on the ever-changing world of HR. In the beginning of 2016, we decided to offer an exclusive HR service menu to our clients: HR Hotline and HR360

Through the HR Hotline, powered by the California Employers Association, consultants answer questions related to a broad range of topics, including:
•Employee Relations/Employee Behavioral Issues
•Harassment and Discrimination Allegations
•Discipline and Terminations
•COBRA Compliance
•Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
•Wage and Hour Issues
•Employee Benefits
•Leaves of Absence
•Performance Management

We also offer HR360, an HR library and attorney-reviewed source for HR news, tools, forms and training.
Use HR360 for:
•Latest Health Care Reform tools and guidelines
•How to interview, hire and terminate employees
•How to do performance reviews at every level
•Interactive Tools including:
-Job Description Builder
-Salary Benchmarking Tool
-Employee Cost Calculator
•Hundreds of Downloadable Forms and Policies
•Customizable Employee Handbook
•State and federal compliance information
•State labor laws guidance
…and more!

Offering these services to you, our valued clients, is something we take pride in. Advancing beyond the realm of insurance and helping you navigate all risks associated with running a business.

To get started on utilizing these tools, contact WGBCO’s Benefits Service Manager, Erin Ocheltree: or (916) 380-5325

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:55 pm December 22, 2016

Designing an Employee Handbook

An employee handbook is an easy way to transmit important information to employees in a comprehensive manner. Employee handbooks provide company information for new employees, serve as a reference for seasoned employees, ensure that all individuals are consistently treated with regard to company policies and procedures, and can protect the company from potential lawsuits.

When creating a handbook for your company, draft it as a quick reference guide for employees. Generally, it is best to keep the document under 20 pages. Handbooks should be reviewed every one to three years to ensure the policies and procedures are still relevant and up to date. In addition, it is best to individualize your handbook so that each policy pertains specifically to your company and employees.

Employee Handbook Best Practices
1. Have your handbook reviewed by legal counsel to ensure it does not contain unlawful provisions or language that could be interpreted as creating an employment contract.
2. Make sure your handbook clearly states that it is not a contract and that the employment relationship is “at will” and can be ended at any time with or without cause.
3. Include a statement that has the right to revise policies at any time.
4. Include an effective date on each page of the employee handbook and include a statement that the current handbook replaces any previous handbook.
5. Require employees to sign a statement acknowledging that they have received the handbook and understand its provisions. Keep a copy in each employee’s personnel file.
6. Make sure that your handbook includes a list of offenses which are subject to discipline (but also note it is not a comprehensive list).
7. Be sure to include an email, voicemail and Internet usage policy.
8. Include a section concerning equal employment opportunity and harassment.
9. General language gives you flexibility and allows your handbook to be changed easily.
10. Common trouble areas include policies on discipline/progressive discipline, layoffs, severance pay, probationary periods, performance evaluations, work rules and employee benefits. If you choose to include policies on these topics, legal counsel should carefully review them.
11. Make sure that the documentation within your organization is consistent.
12. Define the terms that you use, such as “excessive tardiness,” “insubordination,” etc.
13. Make sure supervisors understand that their discretion is limited and that they cannot modify the handbook. Consider supervisor training sessions on policies such as FMLA, ADA, harassment, employee discipline, interviews, etc.
14. Review your handbook annually to make changes and then have legal counsel review those provisions. Give employees notice and have them sign off on significant changes.

Filed under: HR — Jillian Bender-Cormier @ 2:55 pm May 27, 2016