Supporting Our Community this Holiday Season


Sierra HR Partners has selected a worthwhile cause to help support our community during the holiday season. We’re supporting a local agency that cares for families in our Community year-round – the Ronald McDonald House of Central California.

Located adjacent to Valley Children’s Hospital, this 22,000 sq. ft. House is a refuge for families with children receiving treatment. Being together as a family is never more important than around the holidays.  Join us in donating items needed for the House listed below. Or if you prefer, you may donate directly to the Ronald McDonald House through their website.

  • Golf Cart (4-6 seats) – or financial contribution
  • Bellhop Cart (hotel baggage cart)
  • Electric Mixers (handheld or Kitchen-Aid)
  • Portable Standing Fans
  • Hair Blow dryers
  • Wheel chairs
  • Irons
  • Ironing Boards
  • Corelle Brand Dishware (white)

The deadline for participation is December 8, 2017.

For questions about participation, e-mail our office manager, Kayla Thomas.


Conviction History and Salary History


Conviction History and Salary History           

AB 1008 was signed into law by Governor Brown last week, which imposes greater restrictions on an employer’s ability to question an applicant’s conviction history – prior to a conditional job offer being extended. Effective January 1, 2018, it will be an unlawful employment practice for any employer with five or more employees to do any of the following:

1. To include on any application for employment, before the employer makes a conditional offer of employment to the applicant, any question that seeks the disclosure of an applicant’s conviction history.

2. To inquire into or consider the conviction history of the applicant, until after the employer has made a conditional offer of employment to the applicant.

For more information, please read AB 1008.

Governor Brown also signed into law AB 168, which adds section 432.3 to the CA Labor Code that prohibits employers from considering an applicant’s salary history when deciding whether to hire him/her or when determining what compensation to offer. Employers may not seek an applicant’s salary history, whether verbally or in writing. However, the applicant may still voluntarily disclose salary information so long as it is not prompted from the employer.

For more information, please read AB 168.

What this means, is that your Employment Application form now needs to be modified to eliminate questions about an applicant’s prior convictions and salary history. If you use Sierra HR Partners for your background investigations, effective, 1/1/18, we will no longer inquire about an applicant’s salary history during the employment verification process.

If you have any questions about this new legislature, please contact our office by phone, or reach out to one of our certified consultants or Executive Director, by e-mail:

Janet Keene, PHR – keene@sierrahr.com

Dan Larsen, PHR – larsen@sierrahr.com

Brenda Budke, SPHR – budke@sierrahr.com

You can also submit inquiries through our contact page. To do so, click here.


October 2017 HR Bulletin: Change is the Law of Life

HR Bulletin

October 2017 HR Bulletin: Change is the Law of Life

October 2017 HR Bulletin

Last week Governor Brown signed into law SB 63, known as the New Parent Leave Act, that will become effective January, 1, 2018. This law significantly increases the burden on small employers. While there is no change for employers already subject to FMLA and CFRA, if your business has 20 or more employees, you will soon be required to provide up to 12 weeks of leave for employees who wan to bond with a new child, within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

In order to be individually eligible for this bonding leave, an employee must:

     •      Work for your business for at least 12 months

     •      Work at least 1,250 hours within the last 12 months

     •      Work at a location with 20 employees within 75 miles

This leave is in addition to Pregnancy Disability Leave, which can already last up to four months. During both Pregnancy Disability Leave and this newly mandated bonding leave, a company must also maintain an employee’s benefits at the level and under the conditions that benefits would have been provided had the employee been active.

Employers are also prohibited from retaliating against employees who exercise their right to this leave. Employers can face litigation if they take adverse action against employees who request to take leave or if they refuse to provide leave as required.


It May be a Dry Heat, but it can be a Deadly Heat, Too!

HR Bulletin

It May be a Dry Heat, but it can be a Deadly Heat, Too!

Dry Heat

We are experiencing record breaking heat in the Central Valley and across much of California. It is a good time to evaluate your Heat Illness Prevention Program (HIPP) so that you can protect your employees from heat illness and heat stroke. Bill Krycia, Cal/OSHA Heat Program Coordinator, met recently with safety professionals from the Central Valley to discuss California’s Heat Illness Prevention Standard. He outlined the three most common problems with HIPPs.

1. Lack of or Inadequate Heat Illness Prevention Plan

The most common error is the failure to maintain a meaningful HIPP. While Cal/OSHA has developed a model plan, Krycia said that printing the model and filing in the blanks is not enough. Company plans need to address the specific hazards they face.

For example, Aaron Hansen owns The Smokin’ Burrito food truck. He told The Fresno Bee that his generator can’t run the air conditioner and the cooking equipment at the same time. Without air conditioning, it can get hotter inside the truck than outside. The HIPP for Hansen’s business will need to address how to keep employees safe at those extreme temperatures. A plan must also be readily available to all employees. Having the plan “back at the office” is not enough. If a plan isn’t available at each worksite, employers violate the Heat Illness Prevention Standard.

2. Lack of or Inadequate Employee Training

Another common employer error is the failure to provide adequate training. California law requires that all employees receive proper training before starting work in high temperatures. Consider the employee who joined the company after the company held its annual heat illness training. The employer violates the Standard when an employee begins work that could expose him/her to risk a of heat illness before receiving training.

3. Lack of or Inadequate Provision of Potable Water

The third most common violation of the Standard is the employer’s failure to provide adequate drinking water. Outdoor employers are required to provide water that is “fresh, pure, suitably cool, and provided to the employee free of charge.” Water must also be located “as close as practicable” to where employees are working. Employers sometimes leave water in the trunks of cars parked at worksites. It might be closer to employees, but water in a locked trunk is neither accessible nor suitably cool.

While California heat illness regulations are directed at outdoor workplaces, the Standard may apply to indoor workplaces, as well. The California Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board recently upheld citations issued against employers who failed to address indoor heat. We will address the application of the outdoor Standard to indoor workplaces in a subsequent newsletter.

Want to read the full newsletter?  Become an HR Business Partner and receive our monthly updates by email.

As an HR Business Partner, you receive:

• Unlimited phone consultation by certified HR consultants Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

• Free monthly legal seminars for designated representative

• Breaking employment news & best practices

• Discounted project rates

• Peace of mind


Notice to Victims of Domestic Violence


Notice to Victims of Domestic Violence


Pursuant to LaNotice to Victims of Domestic Violencebor Code § 230, all employers must provide time off for employees who are seeking relief or assistance from domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. Pursuant to Labor Code § 230.1, businesses with 25 or more employees are required to provide additional time off to employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

The law, as amended in 2016, requires employers to provide a form notifying employees of their rights under sections 230 and 230.1. The form must be provided to all employees upon hire, and to existing employees upon request.

The Labor Commissioner recently created the form, which is available online.

The form should be included in the new hiring packet provided to employees.

 Have questions? Become an HR Business Partner and receive unlimited phone consultation, with our trusted consultants.