Saturday, May 27, 2023

HR Consulting and Cal-Osha Compliance – Two Topics Employers Hate To Discuss, Why?

A little over a year ago I was speaking at a trade association dinner meeting. After about 20 minutes of speaking one of the members of the group interrupted me, and asked me if they could buy a membership.

I told them that it is was not the practice of the association to have guest speakers sell their products during the meeting. I said that I would be done in about twenty minutes, and if anyone wanted to set up an appointment for the next day, I would be happy to do so.

The subject of my discussion that night was Cal-Osha Compliance and HR Consulting. After another five minutes someone else rose up and said “look we just want to buy, we really don’t want to hear anymore.”

Well, I could see they were not going to let me finish, so I asked them what is it that everyone in this room knows, but me? All of them looked at a man that I will call Charlie.

They told me that Charlie had been in the Automotive Repair business for over 30 years, but that he no longer had a shop. Dummy me, I just thought he wanted to retire and drive his motor home around the country with his bride of 30 some years.

I asked the group why was it that Charlie was no longer the owner of his business, and the response shook me to my core. The group informed me that Cal-Osha came out to his shop, and when they were done, he was fined over a $100,000.00, and did not have the money to pay, so he closed his business down.

Times have changed Cal-Osha Compliance is a must, and not only that but every employer needs to also comply with California Labor Laws too. And without a good HR Consultant and a good Safety Consultant you can forget about being on the right side of the Cal-Osha Compliance street.

I can remember when I started my business back in 1997. There really was not much to comply with. Back then employers really did not need to have an employee handbook. Employers did need to have a formally written Safety Program, along with your State and Federal Postings, but if you had those things you were pretty much good to go.

Ah, those were the days of wine and roses, and easy compliance, but how things have changed. The laws have changed so much that you almost have to be an attorney, if you want to comply.

Here is a few things that you must have in place if you are going to be on the right side of the street when it comes to Cal-Osha compliance, and yes you really will need a good HR Consulting Firm.

California Labor Law Issues

1. A Good Employee Handbook

2. Sexual Harassment Training

3. A Good Media Policy

4. Strong, as in zero tolerance Sexual and Other Unlawful Harassment Policies

5. Effective July 1, 2015 You need to have the new California Paid Sick Leave Law explained and spelled out in your employee handbook

6. Your “At-Will” Policy needs to be set up and established and used in a way that will not cost you a lawsuit but help you to win one.

There are more but I am not writing a book, but rather a note. Before we wrap this up let’s also address some of the Cal-Osha Compliance issues you need to be aware of.

Cal-Osha Compliance Issues

1. A formally written Safety Program that meets all of the eight standards that have been established by Cal-Osha.

2. A formally written Heat Illness Prevention Program, provided you have employees that work in temperatures of 90 degree heat or more.

3. Regular safety Training topics and if you are in construction that means at least every 10 days.

4. Parodic Inspections of your facilities.

5. Make sure all fire extinguishers are checked and marked off that the arrow is in the center of the meter. Then initial the card that is on the fire extinguisher. If this is not done it is a $250.00 fine per extinguisher.

Failing to have a Heat Prevention Program can cost you $18,000.00. Failing to have a Safety Program can cost you $10,000.00.

Even though compliance may be a challenge please do not do one of the following.

1. Do not bury your head in the sand because of all the complexities of getting and staying in compliance.

2. And, don’t just quit because you know you are a good employer and you are always trying to do the right thing when it comes to your employees.

Today there are 1000s of attorneys advertising on YouTube. Educating employees on how to sue their employer.

So, if you think compliance is tough, try explaining why you are not in compliance.