Monday, May 19, 2008

SB-Cal Successes

Last week was a good week for Small Business California. At a Workers Compensation Forum in Monterey John Duncan the head of the Department of Industrial Relations announced the implementation of SB 869. This bill as you may recall had EDD send to the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Board [WCIRB]names of businesses to see if they have workers compensation coverage. The underground economy is a big issue for small businesses as you well know and this will begin to level the playing field. Mr. Duncan indicated that the first 500 names were sent to the WCIRB last week and applauded Small Business California for putting forth this bill.

Small Business California owes a big debt of gratitude to Christine Baker and Lach Taylor from the Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation and to Lori Kammerer our lobbyist in Sacramento.

Secondly our bill AB2181 Ruskin was passed on consent calendar in the Assembly. This bill requires insurers to provide information to businesses upon there first lost time workers compensation claim about possible lawsuits that could arise from 132a claims[wrongful termination] and Fair Employment and Housing[ FEHA] claims for not following the interactive process.

Lastly I made a presentation at the Workers Compensation forum in Monterey on Thursday representing small business and the impact of the workers compensation reforms and our vision of what is going to be the future of workers compensation for small businesses in California.

One final note for those of you that may not have heard the WCIRB has recommended no increase in workers compensation rates in July.

Scott Hauge
President, Small Business California.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

SB 1490: Independent Contractors

We all know that misclassification of Independent Contractors is a problem in California. We also know that there is a lot of confusion by small business owner what constitutes an Independent Contractor and in some cases the definition by EDD and the IRS are different.
SB1490 has been introduced by Senator Padilla. What it does according to the analysis by the Senate Committee on Labor and Industrial Relations

" Requires a person employing labor in California to provide an individual hired as an independent contractor a form developed by EDD that includes 1 a notice that the individual has been hired as an independent contractor 2 the factors EDD uses to determine to determine whether a person is an employee or an independent contractor 3 a statement explaining the impact that the individual's status has on his or her tax obligations and eligibility for labor and employment protections and 4 a notice of the individual's ability to request from EDD a determination as to whether the individual is an employee or independent contractor and means by which this determination may be obtained.

Requires an employer to maintain, for not less than two years, specified records identifying all persons hired as independent contractors and to make those records available for inspection upon request of EDD, a member of the Industrial Welfare Commission, or the Department of Industrial Relations.

Grants an individual hired as an independent contractor the right to request a determination by EDD as to whether he or she is an employee or independent contractor.

Expands the application of existing civil penalty and misdemeanor provision to the compliance requirements for record keeping and access with respect to independent contractors
Gives EDD power to develop the required form, to process the request for a determination, and to take all steps reasonably necessary to carry out the duties relating to independent contractors specified in the bill."

Please let me know your thoughts on this? Do you think this is important to small business. I will be talking to the point person in Senator Padilla's today. Your views will be expressed