Friday, August 19, 2016

SB 654 (Jackson) Parental Leave - Small Business California - OPPOSE - Assembly Floor Alert

Subject: SB 654 (Jackson) Parental Leave - Small Business California – Urgent  OPPOSE - Assembly Floor Alert
Remember a few months ago I sent an email about SB 406. This bill lowered the Family Medical Leave requirements in California from employees 50 employees to 10 employees. The bill died in the legislature.
Well it has come back in a process called a gut and amend. Senator de Leon agreed to gut his bill SB 654 which had to do with hazardous waste facility closures and amended  it with Senator Jacksons SB406 .  This was done on August 11. This will probably come up next week.  Lori has put together a floor alert asking people and associations  to tell Assembly Members of your opposition.
I am writing to ask you and or your association to sign this. If you are signing as a business make sure and provide your name, address  and your title.
Time is of the essence so please do this quickly. See below.
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

ASSEMBLY FLOOR ALERT

TO:    ALL MEMBERS OF THE ASSEMBLY

FROM:   SMALL BUSINESS CALIFORNIA

DATE:      AUGUST 18, 2016

RE:    SB 654 (Jackson) as Amended Aug 11, 2016 - Parental Leave - OPPOSE

 

On behalf of Small Business California and its network of more than 5,000 employers who 
represent 3.6 million small businesses in this state, we strongly OPPOSE SB 564 that would 
expand the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA)
 to prohibit an employer with 10 or more employees from refusing to allow an employee with
 more than 12 months of service with the employer, and who has at least 1,250 hours of 
service with the employer during the previous 12-month period, to take up to 12 weeks of 
parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, 
or foster care placement. The bill would also prohibit an employer from refusing to maintain
 and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes this leave. 
 Existing law already prohibits an employer from refusing to allow a pregnant employee 
to take a leave of absence after the birth of the child for up to 4 months before
 returning to work. Existing law also prohibits an employer from refusing to maintain
 and pay for coverage under a group health plan for an employee who takes that leave.
 However, Senate Bill 654 (Jackson) will create a hardship on 
small businesses with 10 or more employees by imposing a mandate that these 
employers provide a 12-week protected leave of absence.  This is especially difficult for
 small businesses who have multiple employees who already have protected leave and 
because the employer must hire and train a temporary employee to cover the employees’ 
duties.  
 
For these reasons, Small Business California must OPPOSE SB 654. Please contact Scott Hauge, President of Small Business California, directly at 415.680.2109, or our Legislative Advocate, Lori Kammerer, Kammerer

Last Week of Survey/ Preliminary Results

We are down to our last week of Small Business California Survey. So far we have  642 responses.  If you haven’t done so already please take a few minutes to complete our survey at www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org. Please also forward to others. The results will be delivered to every legislator in the state and the Governor.
Here are some highlights so far:


Is California heading in the right direction?
Right Direction -  32.59%
Wrong Direction - 48.42%
Don’t Know -18.99%

How do you rate:

T
he California Economy?
Very Good - 5.88%
Good -  27.66%
Moderate  -44.20%
Poor - 16.85%
Very Poor - 5.41%

The California Business Climate?
Very Good - 3.16%
Good - 23.22%
Moderate - 34.76%
Poor - 25.12%
Very Poor - 13.74%

The Business Climate for small business?
Very Good - 2.36%
Good - 13.70%
Moderate - 27.09
Poor - 27.87%
Very Poor - 28.98%

Over the last year have your revenues
Increased Significantly - 2.65%
Increased - 33.44%
Stayed the same -35.19%
Decreased - 21.02%
Decreased significantly - 7.80%

Do you see yourself in business in 3 years?
Yes - 78.32%
No - 21.68%

Which Presidential candidate would be better for small business?
Hillary Clinton - 36.38%
Donald Trump - 28.30%
Gary Johnson - 11.60%
Other  - 23.73%
 
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


Member- Coffee Club Launch

Dear Members,

I have exciting news, but first I want to ask you a question; does your office serve coffee?  Over the past several months, we have been working hard on a new way to support SB-Cal, the program is called the SB-Cal Coffee Club.  We have partnered with a McLaughlin Coffee Roasters, a bay area family company, to offer a new way for businesses to buy coffee for their offices.  For every pound of coffee purchased, $1 is donated to SB-Cal, and helps us advocate even harder for Small Business Issues.  65 million employees drink coffee at work*, that’s over 1.5 million pounds of coffee every year!  Imagine how much good we could do for Small Businesses with that kind of financial support. 

Along with the coffee, we will be sending out a newsletter called “Wake up California!”  Each edition will feature a different company, and highlight how we level the playing field for small businesses in California.   You can read the first edition by clinking on the blue link in the sidebar.

Each of you has invested in SB-Cal as a member and you know about our track record and motivations.  SB-Cal is unique in that we choose not to receive significant funds from large corporations, utilities or oil companies. We have nothing against larger firms or major energy companies.  Often California small business interests align with these businesses.  Sometimes though, what big firms want isn’t compatible with maintaining a level playing field for all businesses.  If we accepted funds from these firms, when the balance tips in the wrong direction, how could we fight for small businesses?

I’m asking you to help us take this first step.  If your office serves coffee, would you be willing to try ours?  If you are, let me know by email or phone or carrier pigeon! I will send you a sample bag to try for free.  If you love the coffee, we can talk about ordering some for your office.  If not, I’d love to hear your feedback and see how we can make this new program work better.  My office, CAL Insurance, has switched over to this new coffee.  It is referred to as "the good stuff" in our offices.  I hope you will try it.  Thank you for the support you have already shown SB-Cal, and I look forward to hearing from you.
 
Best, 
Scott Hauge
  

SB Cal Survey

Just an update on our survey. To date we have 371 responses.
The top 5 priority issues so far are:
The availability and rising cost of healthcare. 85% say this is a top or high priority
The Economy 79% say this is a top or high priority.
Repairing and enhancing the States infrastructure. 70% say this is top or high priority
The quality of public education. 70% say top or high priority
Too much regulation 61% say top or high priority.

45% believe that things are headed in the wrong direction
51% believe that the business climate for small business in California is poor or very poor
41% say their gross receipts have either increased or increased significantly over the last  12 months.

Thank you to all of you that have completed the survey and please to all of you that haven’t please do so. As I have said this is the most important thing Small Business California does annually.
You can access the survey by going to www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


Fast Facts on California Economy

Please see email from Toni on California Economy and JEDE committee report.
Some of this I am sure you will find very interesting. She suggest I share with you.

Again we are looking for responses to our 22the  annual survey. If you have completed thank you. If not please complete as this is the most important document Small Business California produces every year.
You can access by going to www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org


Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

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Dear JEDE Friends –

Attached is a copy of the current Fast Facts on California Economy.  JEDE publishes this document monthly, flowing the release of the state employment numbers by EDD.

This document and other economic development related materials can be found on the JEDE Internet Website:  http://ajed.assembly.ca.gov/policyissues

As always, please call if you have any questions or need our assistance.

Toni and Matt

TONI E. SYMONDS
Chief Consultant
California State Legislature
Assembly Committee on Jobs, Economic Development and the Economy
(916)319-2090


SB 482 Support

It was reported today in a Kaiser News Report  that opioid medical services have increased over 3000% since 2007. Please see email to me from Lori Kammerer SB Cal’s Public Affairs person. Please let me know if your association or your company can sign onto this. Besides Small Business California,the Cal Chamber , Consumer Federation, California Narcotics Officers Association and the Teamsters have signed letters of support. If you need additional information please let me know.

I think at this point, it’s better to ask the associations or individual small businesses to sign on to SB Cal’s Assembly Floor Alert that will be sent out next week.  I think we’ll have more of a response.  We just need their company name and contact and I’ll add them to the Floor Alert.  Below is a short synopsis of the bill.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdoses are the top cause of accidental death in the United States (3).  Nearly 23,000 people died from an overdose of pharmaceuticals in 2013 nationally – more than 70% of them from opiate prescription painkillers.  The CURES database is an invaluable investigative, preventive, and educational tool for law enforcement and the healthcare community.

The California Attorney General's Office believes that if doctors and pharmacies have access to controlled substance history information at the point of care, it will help them make better prescribing decisions and cut down on prescription drug abuse in California.  The current voluntary approach has not been able to attract sufficient participation to make it truly effective.

Senate Bill 482 requires all prescribers to consult the CURES system before issuing Schedule II and III drugs. This will enable prescribers to make informed decisions about their patient’s care and limit the number of people who doctor shop and over use prescription drugs. This bill will only become operative once the AG’s office certifies the system update is fully operative. Additionally, prescribers will not be held liable if at the time of the prescription CURES is unavailable.

We urge the California State Assembly to vote AYE when SB 482 (Lara) is presented for a Floor vote.

Again a reminder  to please complete our 12th Annual survey of small businesses around the state. You can access by going to www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org



Small Business Development Centers / California Governor/ SB Cal Survey

The  California Small Business Development Centers [SBDC] are a real treasure for California small business.  Next Tuesday, Lori  and I will be meeting with the Governor's Office of Business Director, Panorea Avdis and Small Business Advocate, Jesse Torres. It appears that California will not be providing  any money to the program next year. This is a  real problem because the SBA matches all money raised in California. Are you aware of the SBDC program? Do you support funding by California to the SBDC program? Have you used SBDC? What was your experience? What would you like us to tell Panorea and Jesse?

Here’s a question I would guess most of you don’t know. Who has been the Governor of California during the Democratic Convention? The answer is Tom Torlakson,  State Superintendent of Schools. There are 8 people before him in the line of succession.

Please take a few minutes to complete Small Business California’s 12th annual survey. This is the most important activity that Small Business California does each year.  The results of the survey go to every legislator and the Governor and provides them the pulse of small business.
You can access the survey by going to www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org. Please also send this to other small businesses. Thank you to those of you that have completed this.

Thank you.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


State Fund Rate Decrease/Covered California Rate Increase

We delayed our annual survey this year and are now  doing our 12th annual survey of small businesses around the state. Please see link below and complete. It would also be great if you could forward this to associations you belong to and your colleagues in the small business community. This is the most important thing we do annually and gives us a reading of the pulse of small business.  I want to thank Jim Ross and Sam Felsing of Telegraph LLC for their assistance in putting together the survey.

Here's the final link: 
State Fund has announced an overall rate decrease September 1, 2017 of 9.5%.  This is going to vary by the class codes you have been assigned. One note of caution if you are a State Fund policy holder. If you renew your policy with them be sure and check your claims activity the year prior  to renewal.
A couple of very small claims could have a major impact on pricing. I have seen accounts increase 35% to 40% because of just a couple claims under $1000.

Covered California just announced a 13.2% increase next year. You may not be with Covered California but this is a good indication that all health insurance companies will be increasing rates close to the same amount.


Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

Jackie Speier/Funding for SBDCs

Yesterday I received a call from Channel 7 asking if  Small Business California has taken a position on the Pink Tax.  Congresswoman Jackie Speier is proposing legislation, HR 5686, to repeal the so called Pink Tax. She has worked at the state level on this issue  for years, but is putting this bill forward as a result of a study by the New York Department of Consumer Affairs, which found that women paid 7% more for similar products purchased by men. The reporter indicated the US Chamber and a National Retailer Association were opposing this. I am not clear if they have filed formal opposition, but the reporter said it was because they were opposed to government involvement in pricing of private sector products. According to the reporter, they  also have said this will hurt small business because they could be subjected to lawsuits for violation of the bill.
Small Business California has not taken a position and I doubt we will, but what do you think about this legislation?

The Small Business Development Centers have received $300,000 to help businesses comply with the Small Business California legislation, requiring businesses in California to file their EDD quarterly  returns On Line. While it was not part of the legislation, Small Business California took the lead in pushing for this funding.
The $300,000 will be matched by the SBA.





Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) Mobile Versions Employer Fact Sheets

Please see information which outline employers responsibilities and penalties for noncompliance of labor law. While this has only 5 industries the responsibilities are similar for all employers.
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


 
The Labor Enforcement Task Force (LETF) has designed new mobile versions of fact sheets to help employers understand and follow labor, licensing and payroll tax laws. The fact sheets have been designed for employers in specific industries including:  Agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Garment, Landscaping and Restaurant.

The LETF booklet “What are your rights as a worker?” was designed to help workers understand their rights in regards to minimum wage and overtime, rest and meal breaks, safety and health on the job, and benefits for those injured or unemployed.

The mobile version of the worker booklet is available in both English and Spanish

The mobile versions of LETF materials are readable on phones and mobile devices.

Please visit our website to view all of our educational materials and resources for both workers and employers.

Relief from Private Attorney General Act Lawsuits Could Be On Its Way

PAGA has been a real problem for employers and it appears we might be getting some reliefHave any of you had a PAGA action?
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

 

Regional Director, California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse
 
Last week, Governor Jerry Brown signed a budget that included more state oversight over the thousands of frivolous Private Attorney General Act (PAGA) lawsuits being filed against California businesses. Both Senate Pro Tem Kevin de Leon and Assembly Leader Anthony Rendon also indicated to Assemblywoman Shannon Grove that they would be helpful to her efforts to reform this poorly written law.
PAGA has created a field day for unscrupulous attorneys who sue businesses for thousands, hundreds of thousands, or millions of dollars for issues of technical non-compliance.
Business owners are sued for not having a beginning and ending date on a pay check stub, a typo in the company name printed on the paycheck, or incorrectly documenting rest and meal breaks. For example, one company in Kern County had to settle for $1.5 million for incorrectly calculating an hourly bonus for workers who worked safely on the job. These infractions cost business owners $100 for the first violation and then $200 per subsequent violation multiplied by the number of employees per pay period over four years.  
This new type of legal extortion is taking a big toll on businesses forcing them to spend thousands or even millions of dollars to settle, file for bankruptcy, lay off workers, or even move their businesses and jobs out of California.
Recently, nearly 100 small business owners lined up to share their experience with unwarranted PAGA lawsuits at the California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse Small Business Summit in Bakersfield.
The Bakersfield area has been a target of PAGA lawsuits where business owners are sued over minor technical violations that become class action lawsuits.  Over 100 Kern County business owners have been sued under PAGA and 34,000 statewide, according to Assemblywoman Shannon Grove.
Your voice is needed.  Legislators need to hear you and know there is support in their local district. We urgently need you to call your local assembly and senate member asking them to support PAGA reform.
Please reach out to California Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse to sign up for our legislative alerts that will keep you up-to-date on important legislative issues and connect you with your legislator.  Click here to watch a video with Assemblywoman Shannon Grove, (R) Bakersfield, interviewing businesses owners hurt by frivolous PAGA lawsuits in Kern County.

Bag Fees to Ballot

I received this from Regina yesterday. If you are a business that charges for bags were you aware of this? Are any associations speaking out on this.
What do you think?

Bag Fees to Ballot. California voters in November will not only decide whether to uphold the state’s plastic bag ban, but also whether to redirect fees on paper and reusable bags to environmental projects. The ballot measure would require stores to deposit their bag sale proceeds into a special fund administered by the Wildlife Conservation Board. It would mandate the board develop regulations to implement the law. If the referendum is successful in stopping the statewide ban on single-use bags, then the initiative would only impact bag fees in communities with local bans in place. More here


Kindly,
Regina Dick-Endrizzi | Executive Director | Office of Small Business
regina.dick-endrizzi@sfgov.org | D: 415.554.6481 |O: 415.554.6134 |c: 415.902-4573
City Hall, Suite 110 | 1 Carlton B. Goodlett Place | San Francisco, CA 94102


Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


President Obama: "ISIL Is Under More Pressure Than Ever Before"

Yesterday I sent out information about the Orlando shooting. I received responses from many of you but I thought this one was particularly interesting

Scott,
 Thanks for sending this out.  I saw the owner of Pulse interviewed this morning and was so impressed with her outlook and kindness.
It was my honor to make a modest contribution.
Teresa .


Please see comments by President Obama about the Orlando  situation and what he is doing.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188
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Link to GoFundMe Account set up by Equality Florida

We are all grieving the tragedy that occurred in Orlando. What we are hearing is that Omar Mateen appears to have been influenced by the ideology of ISIS and had strong feelings against the LGBT community. Obviously, all the facts have not come out yet. One thing that had not been mentioned is that Pulse, the nightclub, is a small business with strong community roots, and they have also been devastated by this. Barbara Poma, the co-owner of Pulse, founded Pulse in 2004 in honor of her brother John who died of AIDS.
 Equality Florida has set up a GoFundMe account to aid the victims of this tragedy. I have tried to get details about Equality Florida and know it is a 501c3 organization, so contributions are tax deductible. In their flyer, they say that all contributions are going directly to the victims and they have received over $2.5 million dollars so far. I am going to contribute to this in the name of Small Business California. I would encourage all of you to do so also.
 If any of you have any additional information on Equality Florida I would appreciate hearing from you.

 https://www.gofundme.com/PulseVictimsFund


 For those of you in San Francisco June 21 from 6 to 8 there will be an event by the Golden Gate Business Association and the National Center for Lesbian Rights. This was previously set up to honor Helen Russel and Brooke McDonnell of Equator Coffees & Teas, on being named the first LGBT Certified business in history to be named National Small Business of the Year by the SBA. It will be at the LinkedIn World Headquarters at 222-2nd Street at Howard San Francisco. You can register at the GGBA website www.GGBA.com. The program will be at 6:50.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188

State Fund Rate Decrease/ SB Cal Annual Survey

State Fund announced yesterday that they would be filing for an overall  9.5% rate decrease based on an improvement in their claims cost. This is an overall rate decrease  and individual policy holders may see higher or lower decreases. The new rates will become effective September 1, 2016.
Hopefully, this is just the beginning of companies reducing rates for their workers' compensation policy holders.

We are in the process of updating our annual survey. We have traditionally sent this out in February  but have delayed until August this year. This will be our 12th survey dating back to 2005. You can see the surveys we have done dating back to 2008 by going to our website www.smallbusinesscalifornia.org
Please take a look at our survey last year and let me know of questions you might like us to change or add. Also, if you would be willing to send this  to your contacts  I would appreciate your letting me know.

In a meeting with the LA Chamber meeting  this week  Secretary of State, Alex Padilla announced that there were about 2 million uncounted votes and projected the final  vote count after the uncounted ballots are counted  will be about 8 million  voters. This represent about 45 percent  of the  17.9 million of registered voters. I believe that today is the last day that the state will be accepting  mail in votes. State law requires the final results to be in by July 8 and the certified results will be in by July 15.
There are few legislative  seats that could be impacted by these uncounted ballots.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

Bill Updates/ Workers Compensation Rate Decreases/ Injury and Illness Prevention Mandate

Last Friday  was the last day to get bills out of Suspense in the Assembly and Senate.
It was with deep sadness that Small Business California’s crowd funding bill 2178 did not get out of suspense. It appears that the Department of Business oversite stopped the bill.

We have also been watching SB 878 which was the bill requiring three weeks scheduling  for grocers, retail  and restaurants of their employees. It did not get out of suspense in the Senate.

It was announced today that the Insurance Commissioner is recommending a 5% decrease in workers compensation pure premium rates effective July 1. The insurance companies do not have to accept  this reduction but it does put pressure on them to do so.

In the past I have made mention that all businesses are required to have a written  Injury and Illness Program regardless of their size. Do you  have a plan in place and do you talk about it in your safety meetings. Just having a plan does not meet requirements as you must continue to refer to it and update it as  necessary, This is the number one citation for Cal OSHA.

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

Small Business

CA Made Notification of Request for Information (RFI)

Please see below for information on Made in California. This was a Small Business California sponsored bill. They are looking to identify entities to be third party certifiers. I try not to send attachments, but if you would like more information about the Request for Information, I can send it to you if you request it.

A hot topic of discussion is the extension of the Prop 30 taxes. As you will recall, this was to increase taxes for 7 years, which was passed by the voters.  It will expire at the end of 2018. Measures will be going on the ballot to continue this tax in  one form or the other. What is your position on extension of the taxes?


Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

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Underground Economy Targeted in Enforcement Effort/ Workers' Compensation Rates

Please see information from the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of California regarding Independent Contractors and Workers  Compensation Insurance rates. It is good to see the state going after the underground economy but small business must understand what the definition of an Independent Contractor is. If you want more information on this please let me know.
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 


 
 
Legislative_Update_Newsletter_Banner
Monday, May 23, 2016 
 





 
Thriving Underground Economy Targeted in Multi-Agency Enforcement Effort
The California Department of Insurance yesterday, led a statewide enforcement outreach focused on providing information to businesses that may operate in California's multi-billion dollar underground economy.
The multi-agency team, which included the Contractors State License Board, the Employment Development Department, Franchise Tax Board, Department of Industrial Relations and local district attorneys visited dozens of locations across the state to educate business owners of their obligations to comply with insurance, licensing, workplace safety, labor laws and tax codes.
Safety, licensing and insurance violations were found at approximately 20 of the businesses visited. Some were found to not have required licenses or workers' compensation insurance and were issued immediate stop work orders, others received administrative citations and penalties for workplace safety violations, and some received audit referrals.
Dave_Jones_Cropped"Businesses operating in the underground economy create an illegal competitive advantage that puts legitimate businesses at risk," said Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones. "This multi-agency effort is focused on leveling the playing field, so legitimate businesses have a fighting chance in the marketplace."
Enforcement teams visited a wide variety of businesses including security firms, restaurants, environmental waste companies, personnel services, home design, roofing, tree services, limousines and charter bus companies, moving companies, retail stores, and construction sites to verify contractors had valid licenses, workers' compensation insurance and to check that workplace safety measures were followed.
Tree trimming and removal services caught the attention of the team, as residents look to remove trees killed by wildfire or bark beetles. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported recently there are more than 40 million dead trees in California posing a significant fire danger. The team verified licenses and workers' compensation insurance and made sure the companies complied with all labor and safety code requirements.
Homeowners should make sure contractors they hire, including tree service companies, are properly licensed and have a valid workers' compensation insurance policy. If a contractor does not have workers' compensation insurance, the homeowner could be liable for any worker injuries that occur on their property.
Frictional Costs Buffer Projected Workers' Compensation Rate Cut
The Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau Bureau (WCIRB) is recommending an average pure premium rate of $2.30 per $100 of payroll for policies incepting or renewing on or after July 1, 2017.
The recommendation from Bickmore's Mark Priven, the actuary for the public members on the Bureau's Governing Committee, is for an average rate of $2.25. Commissioner Jones' approved rate for Jan. 1, 2016 policies is $2.42.
WCIRB is a non-governmental private organization financially supported by insurance carriers.
Carriers' filed rates have been coming down following two successive rate cuts by Commissioner Jones, but the proposed average rate is still nearly 10% below the industry's average filed rate. Jones noted that this gap indicates that carriers filed rates are still higher than they need to be to cover claim costs and claim handling expenses.
"To what extent are industry groups facing higher actual charges than others? Is there a way to draw a conclusion if industry groups are being under or over charged."
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones heard strong support from WCIRB and the public's actuary for a mid-year rate cut of 5% to 7% due to continuing improvement on the medical cost front. However, Jones also heard that the rate cut could be even larger if not for the continued deterioration in loss adjustment expenses due to California's high frictional costs and the abnormal claims environment in the Los Angeles region.
In particular, Jones noted an exhibit provided by Priven that showed significant variances by industry between the proposed and filed rates. In all but one instance, the chart shows that carriers filed rates are higher than the proposed rates and in many cases exceed the proposal by 20% or more  (see chart page 10). Jones noted that it is difficult to conclude from the chart if certain industries are being over or under charged and wanted more information.
"To what extent are industry groups facing higher actual charges than others? Is there a way to draw a conclusion if industry groups are being under or over charged," Jones asked, urging the Bureau to dig deeper into the issue. WCIRB chief actuary Dave Bellusci noted that the Bureau does have the charged rates by group on older years, but indicated that it would be difficult to tease out that information.



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CJAC_Logo_CroppedNorwood_Associates_BLUE_logo_SmallThe IIABCal Legislative Report is a compilation of a number of reports including "This Week in Sacramento," produced by IIABCal Lobbyist John Norwood of Norwood & Associates, and a weekly report on legislative activity affecting civil liability issues, produced by the Civil Justice Association of California (CJAC)
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SB 269 Lawsuits

Good news. The Governor signed SB 269 which would give small businesses [50 employees]that hire a Certified Access Specialist, some time to take care of the problems before a lawsuit in California courts  can be filed. It also allows some time to take care of problems with signage and warning strips. Note a suit in Federal courts is still allowed because a state cannot preempt the Federal government. It  is hoped the Federal Court will take this as a good faith effort on the part of small businesses.
Last year Senator Roth had a similar piece of legislation which would have done the same thing but had tax credits.  The Governor vetoed it because of the tax credits so SB269 does not include this.
I hope all of you have considered hiring a Certified Access Specialist.  if you are in San Francisco, I believe, a small business can have the City pick up the cost of this report Contact the Office of Small Business for details.
 
Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

Small Business Week

The California Small Business Development Centers recently announced that in 2015 through their 44 centers, provided no-cost services to 46,500 California small businesses. The positive economic  results stemming from  free one-on-one advising included SBDC clients accessing $633.7 million in loan and investment capital last year-an increase of nearly 19% over 2014.
In addition, clients credited the California SBDC program’s assistance with the creation and retention of 8462 jobs in 2015 and the launch  of 1039 new businesses and sales increases of $271.8 million.
Small Business California is actively working to increase  funding for the SBDC program especially given that money raised is matched by the SBA.
For more information on California SBDC program go to www.californiasbdc.org


Please see below request from EDD for resources for  California small businesses. 

Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

SB Cal Legislative Activity List for Sponsored and Supported Bills

Please see report by Lori Kammerer Small Business California’s  Government Affairs person.  Our crowd funding[2178] bill will be will be going to the Assembly Appropriations Committee May 4th.
For those of you who are in the retail, restaurant or grocery industries, take particular note of SB878. This will require you to provide a schedule to your employees for three weeks, one week prior to the three week period. It also has a private right of action.
All bills can be found at www.leginfo.ca.gov

Scott Hauge

President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188 

Below are the bills SB Cal is following: 

SB Cal Sponsored
AB 2178 (Chiu) Access to Capital thorough Equity Crowdfunding
SB 1175 (Mendoza) Workers’ Compensation Requests for Payment from Physicians


SB Cal Support
AB 1847 (Stone) State Earned Income Tax Credit
AB 1868 (Wagner) Regulations:  Legislative Notice  
SB 936 (Hertzberg) State Small Business Expansion Fund
SB 1228 (Runner) Small Business Regulatory Fairness Act


SB Cal Oppose
AB 2395 (Low) Telecommunications:  Public Switched Telephone Networks


Bills to Consider Supporting/Opposing
AB 2230 (Chu) Workers’ Compensation:  Language Interpreters (Recommend Oppose)
AB 2610 (Holden) Securities Regulations (Recommend Watch)
AB 2637 (Wilk) Negotiated Franchise Sales Exemption (Recommend Support)
AB 2879 (Stone) The Service Member Employment Protection Act (Recommendation Watch)
SB 878 (Leyva) The Reliable Scheduling Act (Recommend Watch)
SB 1010 (Hernandez) Drug Pricing Public Notification (Recommend Support)
SB 1160 (Mendoza) WC Utilization Review/Workers’ Compensation Information System (Recommend Watch)
SB 1166 (Jackson) New Parent Leave Act (Recommend Oppose)
SB 1241 (Wieckowski) Arbitration Consumer Contracting (Recommendation Watch)
SB 1272 (Runner) Employee Savings Plan/Tax Credit (Recommend Watch)
SB 1379 (Mendoza) WC Interpreter Certification Requirements (Recommend Support)

Important Activities
SB Cal Supports Dan Kim’s Confirmation as Director of DGS
Scott’s Letter (3/16//16) to Asm JEDE in Support of More Funding for SBDC Program w/cc to GO-Biz
Scott’s Follow-Up (4/11/16) Letter to Asm JEDE with SBDC Stats from Kristen Johnson/SBDC  

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Lori Kammerer
Kammerer & Company, Inc.
1215 K Street, 17th Floor
Sacramento, CA 95814
Tel: (916) 441-5674  Cell: (916) 716-5674

SB 868 Scheduling/ Disabled Access/ Minimum Wage

SB 878 the Reliable Scheduling Act has been introduced by Senator Connie Leyva. The bill requires  that workers  receive advance notice of their schedule and modified pay when their planned shift is changed. SB 878 would ensure that
workers receive their schedule for the next three weeks at least one week in advance. There are some very limited exceptions to this.
As I read it, this applies to all businesses.  There are penalties imposed  for violation of this. How would this affect your business? For full information go to www.leginfo.ca.gov

The California Commission on Disabled Access is looking to produce a guide for businesses on how to comply with Federal and State disability laws. What questions would you like answered? Examples of questions are -  is my business grandfathered from liability? Are all businesses subject to these laws? Please get back to me on this.

Please see email from  Howard Fine at LA Business Journal


Impact Beyond Hourly Workers
But the state minimum wage increase affects more than the nonexempt workers who received the minimum wage; the increase also affects the classification of employees as exempt versus nonexempt.
In order for employees to qualify as “exempt” under any of the six exemptions in California, they must meet the salary-basis test, which is two times the monthly minimum wage. Under SB 3, that amount in January 2022 will rise from the current annual salary of $41,600 to at least $62,400, which is an increased cost to employers of $20,800 per exempt employee.
Employers should be mindful of the effect of the minimum wage increase on exempt/nonexempt classifications and ensure that employees meet the salary-basis test for the particular exemption claimed.

I’m trying to find Los Angeles companies with “exempt” employees that would be dramatically impacted by this: i.e.: those companies that had been paying their exempt employees less than $50,000 as of last year. (As of Jan. 1, 2016, Obama administration change to federal law kicked in, raising the exemption threshold to $50,000 a year…).

Can you use your email tree to see if there are any Los Angeles-area companies that meet the above criterion and that would be willing to talk about what they intend to do about their exempt employees as the threshold climbs to $62,000 a year?

I’m on a deadline for late PM on Monday, April 11. Email is best for initial feedback; then I can follow up with phone conversation.

Thank you very much in advance,
 
  • Howard

Howard A. Fine
Staff Reporter
Los Angeles Business Journal
5700 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 170
Los Angeles, California 90036
Direct Dial: (323) 556-8327
Mobile: (310) 435-0565
E-mail: hfine@labusinessjournal.com


Scott Hauge
President
Small Business California
2311 Taraval Street
San Francisco, CA  94116
shauge@cal-insure.com
415-680-2188