February 2021 COVID-19: Action Steps for Moving Forward

February 11, 2021 12:44 pm

The past year has felt a lot like trying to juggle on a unicycle – addressing multiple urgent situations at the same time, while trying to keep our balance in the face of changing regulations, safety protocols, and shut-down orders. But now, with case rates slowing and vaccines gaining momentum, we may be ready to take a deep breath and focus on longer-term policies and procedures.


Sierra HR Partners is standing by to prepare your COVID-19 Prevention Plan and assist you with necessary steps in response to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Our hope is that COVID-19 and other infectious illnesses will become less of a circus act, and more like the confidence and calm of an Olympic gymnast! (We can dream, right?)


Did You Know?

The Cal Savers state retirement savings program was created by SB 1234 in 2016, and provides automatic enrollment for workers whose employers do not sponsor a 401(k) or other retirement plan. Employers who do not offer their own retirement plans are required to register with the state according to the timeline below, report new hires, and facilitate employees’ plan contributions through payroll deductions. Employees will receive information from Cal Savers about their enrollment, with instructions for how to participate or opt out. On the Resources tab of their web site, Cal Savers provides a communication tool you may use to help employees understand the new options.

Employer Size Registration Deadline

More than 100 –  September 30, 2020

More than 50 – June 30, 2021

5 or more  –  June 30, 2022


The Department of Fair Employment and Housing has published updated versions of several required new hire notices. We recommend printing the documents below for your onboarding packets, or saving the links for use as needed. Spanish and other language versions are also available on the DFEH web site.


President Joe Biden has made no secret of his desire to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour. In one of his Executive Orders, he asks the Office of Personnel Management to make “recommendations to promote a $15 minimum wage for Federal employees.” The latest proposed COVID-19 stimulus package includes changing the federal minimum wage to $15 for all employees. While it is unlikely that this element of the stimulus plan will survive, we don’t know whether the new administration will use other means to accomplish the goal. If enacted, a $15 federal minimum wage would accelerate California’s progress toward that number, which is currently set for January 1, 2022 for employers of 26 or more employees, and 2023 for smaller businesses. We encourage employers to proactively assess any changes that would be required for exempt and non-exempt pay rates so that you can respond quickly if needed.

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