July 2022 The Essential 
Clients and Friends,

Welcome to our Summer edition of the Essential!  

What is cooking this Summer?  We bring you some recent changes to the local minimum wage, Form I-9, mileage reimbursement rate changes, and more.    These changes are effective on July 1st.  We hope you have a fun and safe summer!

Be well,
Sonya L. Kemp – Founder and President
Heat Illness Prevention
Summer is here!  Are you ready? 
 Illnesses from heat exposure are preventable.  Every year, per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), thousands of employees become sick from occupational exposure and in some cases it can be fatal.  This could happen in the first few days of working in a warm or hot environment.  The reason?  The body is not use to work in a hot environment, it may take few days to build tolerance to the heat. 

What is my obligation as an employer?   Per California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal-OSHA) employers with any outdoor places of employment must comply with the Heat Illness Prevention standard, CA Code of Regulations, title 8, section 3395 (8 CCR 3395).  The following steps to prevent heat illnesses can also be implemented in an outdoor/indoor setting where the temperature is above normal, for example, a warehouse, manufacturing, or a building with no air conditioning or proper ventilation: Training – Train all employees and supervisors/managers about heat illness prevention.Water – Provide enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least 1 quart per hour, or four 8-ounce glasses, of water per hour, and encourage them to do so.Shade – If working outside, provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for a least 5 minutes.  They should not wait until they feel sick to cool down.Planning – Develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard. 
Local Minimum Wage Increases Effective July 1, 2022
The state of California minimum wage is $15.00 per hour for employers that have 26 or more employees and $14.00 per hour for employers that have fewer than 26 employees.  However, in California, some cities and counties implement their own minimum wage requirements.  Effective July 1, 2022, the following cities and counties will increase their minimum wage:
 Location7/1/2022Employer SizePasadena$16.11No minimumL.A. County$15.96No minimumCity of Los Angeles$16.04No minimumMalibu$15.96No minimumSanta Monica$15.96No minimumWest Hollywood$16.5050+ EmployeesWest Hollywood$16.00< 50 EmployeesDon’t forget to update your posters!
Do You Hire Interns?  Must They Be Paid?
This is the time of the year when many employers give the opportunity to high school or college students to work for their company as an “intern.”  Hiring a student is a great opportunity for both, the student and the employer.  How can an employer determine if the “internship” should be paid or not?  Employers must proceed with caution when deciding if the internship is going to be unpaid.  Why?  A true “intern” must meet specific criteria.   Keep in mind that most interns are considered employees, and this means that employers must comply with wage and hour laws.  In order to determine if the internship should be paid or unpaid, the Department of Labor created a test for employers to determine whether an individual qualifies as an “employee,” the U.S. Department of Labor, and courts often apply the primary beneficiary test, included here.

If the test results indicate that the job you are hiring the student to perform should be paid, then the “intern” is entitled to minimum wage and overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA). 
Form I-9
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has allowed employers that were temporarily shut down and not able to report on-site due to the pandemic to remotely verify the employment eligibility of new hires.  The verification process can be done via Zoom, video chat, facetime, fax, e-mail, etc.  Employers may continue to verify employment eligibility remotely until October 31, 2022; however, employers are encouraged to begin, at their discretion, the in-person verification of identity and employment eligibility documentation for employees who were hired on or after March 20, 2020, and who presented such documents for remote inspection in reliance on the flexibilities first announced in March 2020.Employers may be unable to timely inspect and verify, in-person, the Form I-9 supporting documents of employee(s) hired since March 20, 2020, as described above, in case-by-case situations (such as cases in which affected employees are no longer employed by the employer). In such cases, employers may memorialize the reason(s) for this inability in a memorandum retained with each affected employee’s Form I-9. Any such reason(s) will be evaluated, on a case-by-case basis, by DHS ICE in the event of a Form I-9 audit.The current Form I-9 – Expires 10.31.22
Mileage Reimbursement Rate
The standard mileage rate for business travel will increase to 62.5 cents per mile.  The new rate is effective July 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022.  IRS Increases Mileage Rate Effective 07.01.2022.
Form W-4
Did you know that the IRS has a Tax Withholding Estimator to help estimate the federal income tax employees want their employer to withhold from their paycheck?  The IRS is encouraging employees to use this tool at least once a year to review how their current withholding affects their refund at the end of the year.   

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