CA EMPLOYMENT ESSENTIALS (CEE) is a 6 module training series of employment essentials focusing on regulatory compliance and HR best practices. Hiring to Separation: What Management and HR MUST KNOW!

MANAGEMENT EXCELLENCE SERIES (MES) is an 8 module training series focusing on practical leadership and communication skills to help managers DEVELOP OR REFINE THEIR EFFECTIVENESS AS LEADERS!

Dates of Upcoming Series:

CEE Begins:
August 1 & October 10

MES Begins: September 4

TPO's popular prescheduled three-hour (9am - noon) workshops are presented on a wide range of important regulatory and leadership topics. Many are available to attend via webinar.

Dates of Upcoming Workshops:

Excelling as a Manager or Supervisor: August 22

Health Care Reform: December 3

TPO brings you periodic briefings presented by knowledgeable subject matter experts on a variety of timely employment topics.

Dates of Upcoming Briefings:

Auditing Your HR Function: September 17

Team Communication: November 6

TPO's H&D prevention training goes above and beyond to address all forms of harassment and discrimination (age, race, religion, disability, etc.) that today's managers must be prepared to prevent and address.

Dates of Upcoming H & D:

Harassment & Discrimination Prevention:  August 27, October 22 & December 12


      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO


      by Robert Russell, SPHR-CA, TPO

3. HR Q & A

      by Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA, TPO


      by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA, TPO



by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA of TPO

Want More Details?
Click on each bill to be directed to a tracking website. From there you can read the actual text of the bill!


May 31 marked an important deadline for CA legislation to pass the house in which it was introduced. Of the employment-related bills TPO was following, only 2 remain active.

CA Pending Legislation –

Would raise the minimum wage $1.25 over the next three years and thereafter index the minimum wage based on inflation. Status: In Senate.

Indexing Minimum Wage Increases (AB 10) – Would raise the minimum wage $1.25 over the next three years and thereafter index the minimum wage based on inflation. Status: In Senate.

Additional Protected Classification (SB 400) — Would create a protected classification for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking and further require employers to accommodate such individuals. Status: In Assembly

CA FAILED Legislation (no further action this legislative session) –

Worker's Compensation Reform Changes (SB 626) — Would have modified many of the employer cost-saving provisions approved in last year's workers' compensation reform package.

"Paid Family Leave Insurance" Protection (SB 761) — Would have prohibited an employer to discharge or in any other manner to discriminate against an individual because he or she has applied for, used, or indicated an intent to apply for or use, PFL insurance benefits.

Additional Protected Classification (SB 400) — Would have created a protected classification for employees who are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Unemployment Insurance (AB 152) — Would have created a new UI program for unemployed individuals seeking to become self employed.



Federal Pending Legislation –

The Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1286) – Would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick time for every 30 hours worked, up to a maximum of 56 hours (7 days) annually. Employees could take this leave to attend to their own or a family member's illness, or use the paid time off for preventative care such as medical appointments. In addition, the bill provides leave for employees who are the victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault. Employers with 15 or more employees would be covered by the law. Last Movement: 3/20/13

The Military Family Leave Act of 2013 (H.R. 1333) – Would entitle eligible employees to take up to two workweeks of leave in any 12-month period if the uniformed service family member: (a) is notified of an impending call or order to active duty in support of a contingency operation; or (b) is deployed in connection with a contingency operation. These provisions would apply to both full and part-time employees in any size company. Last Movement: 3/21/13

The Fair Minimum Wage Act (S. 460; H.R. 1010) – Would increase the federal hourly rate from $7.25 to $10.10 in $.95 increments over a three-year period. After that time, the minimum wage would be tied to any cost of living adjustments. Last Movement: 3/5/13 and 3/6/13.

The States' Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act (H.R. 689) – Would reclassify marijuana under the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA) to make its use legal when there is an acceptable medical use, and prohibit the CSA from restricting doctors from prescribing marijuana, patients from using it, pharmacies from dispensing it, and growers from growing it in states with medical marijuana laws. Last Movement: 2/14/13.

The Equal Employment for All Act (H.R. 645) – Would prohibit the use of consumer credit checks against prospective and current employees for the purposes of hiring or making adverse employment decisions. This prohibition would apply even if the employee or applicant consents or otherwise authorizes the employer's procurement of the consumer credit report for employment purposes. The bill would make exceptions if the job involved national security, FDIC clearance, a supervisory, managerial, professional or executive position at a financial institution; or where a credit check is otherwise required by law. Last Movement: 2/13/13

The Bankruptcy Nondiscrimination Enhancement Act (H.R. 646) – Would prohibit any consideration of an individual's financial status for employment purposes. Last Movement: 2/13/13

Part-Time Worker Bill of Rights Act of 2013 (H.R. 675) – Would amend the shared responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act by requiring large employers to provide health insurance to their part-time as well as full-time employees or pay a penalty. Last Movement: 2/13/13

The Immigration Innovation Act ("I-Squared Act") (S. 169) – Would expand the H-1B visa program—an employment-based temporary guest worker program for foreign workers with at least college degree; and exempt foreign graduates of U.S. universities with advanced degrees in the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields from annual statutory limits on employment-based permanent immigrant visas (also known as "green cards"). Last Movement: 1/29/13

The Labor Relations First Contract Negotiations Act (H.R. 169) – Would require employers and union representatives to submit to mediation and ultimately binding arbitration if they fail to agree on the terms of a first contract. Last Movement: 1/4/13


Let your voice be heard on these and other legislative issues!
You can write letters, send e-mails, and ensure your opinions get to your legislators!


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by Robert Russell, SPHR-CA, TPO, Principal Lic: PI-25638

Since 1991, TPO's team of experts provides a unique combination of qualifications as nationally certified HR experts and CA Licensed Private Investigators* (PI-25638). We have conducted hundreds of workplace investigations combining our employee relations and HR expertise with skilled investigation techniques. Scores of laws and regulations obligate employers to conduct legally administered investigations. We are risk management and loss prevention specialists – not only in resolving current issues, but analyzing root causes, patterns and trends to reduce exposure and liability, and implement pro-active corrective actions. TPO Members receive a free initial consultation regarding investigative needs, including:

In California, legal investigations can only be performed by: Internal Employees, Attorneys, or Licensed Private Investigators. B&P Code section 7521(a-e) and 7523 (a-b) The Private Investigators Act

To schedule an initial consultation, click here!

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by Kathrine Parsons, SPHR-CA of TPO

Scenario: Your employee has been on a leave of absence (or extended sick time) for a medical reason, and now it's time for him to return to work. He brings in a note from his health care provider. You know the one I mean -- a quick scribble on a small page from an Rx note pad, and it says only that he can return to work on a certain date. Your question: Is the note sufficient?

TPO says no, and here's why. There is important information missing on the note pad that will keep your employee safe, and that will minimize your company's exposure to potential claims based on ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirements for reasonable accommodation. An employer is responsible to:

If there are restrictions, exactly what are the restrictions? Pushing, pulling, bending, standing, lifting, etc.

Based on the answers to these questions, you have solid information on which to base your next steps, which may include: reasonable accommodation (in its many forms), temporarily delegating work among your existing staff, hiring a temporary employee, etc. Unfortunately, the aforementioned "note pad" note contains none of this information. TPO's recommendation: Always use TPO's Physician's/Practitioner's Authorization to Return to Work form in conjunction with our Analysis of Job's Physical Demands & Environmental Conditions form. The combination of these forms will provide the health care provider, and the employer, with all the information you need to make strategic, fact-based decisions on how to move forward. ** These two forms are included in TPO's HR Administration Kit

If you have an employee with unique circumstances that you would like to discuss in detail, contact your TPO consultant!

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…"pre-scheduled" or "last-minute" will be the key!

by Melissa Irwin, SPHR-CA of TPO

Most organizations conduct mandatory employee meetings at times when the team can best meet without impacting client/customer demands. When these meetings occur during the regular work shift, pay continues uninterrupted. However, when these meetings are the only work conducted in the day, how to pay non-exempt employees will depend on if the meeting was pre-scheduled or not.

Reporting Time Pay Chart
Employers must pay employees who report to work and who are not provided with work for one-half of their usual or scheduled day's work, (no less than two hours and not more than four hours), at their regular rate of pay.

Meetings NOT

When non-exempt employees are required to attend a meeting on a day not pre-scheduled to work, reporting time pay is required (see chart).

For example: If, on Thursday, you notify employees they must attend next Saturday's meeting, non-exempt employees must be paid at least 2 hours for this meeting. (Note: The meeting can be shorter than 2 hours, but the pay must be at least 2 hours.)

Meetings that ARE Pre-scheduled

Providing meetings are pre-scheduled (as part of the regular posting/distribution of schedules) in advance (weeks/months), you can pay non-exempt employees for only the duration of the pre-scheduled meeting.

For example: If the posted/distributed schedule indicates a 1.5 hour meeting (even if it is the only time worked on that day), you only are required to pay for 1.5 hours. (Note: In an odd twist, if the meeting lasts less than 1.5 hours, you must actually pay for 2 hours.)

Meeting on Same Day as Work Shift

If the meeting takes place on a non-exempt employee's regularly scheduled work day but the employee must return sometime after the end of his/her shift to attend the meeting, you must pay two hours of reporting time pay.

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Rick Aldinger, General Manager

"For years, the Big Sur River Inn handled Human Resource issues in-house, doing the best we could. We finally realized we were unable to keep up with the demands of operating a fast-paced business along with ever- growing government regulations – particularly in the area of labor law and employee management. TPO has been a great partner, helping us organize our HR, and take control of an area of our business that just can't be ignored. The TPO staff has always been available to us for training, education, and any questions that come up on a day-to-day basis. Their assistance has become an integral and invaluable component of our operation."

Nestled amid towering Redwoods along the scenic Big Sur River, the historic River Inn is the essence of the Big Sur experience. Renew your spirit at the Big Sur River Inn's full service restaurant and bar. Enjoy a fabulous breakfast, lunch or dinner in the historic dining room, outside on the deck, the lawn, or along the banks of the Big Sur River. Have a seat on one of the many chairs in the river and let the smooth current cool your feet as you enjoy the best Big Sur lunch around. Experience our 100-year-old tradition of fine food, friendly, service and warm hospitality. And yes, we still serve the original homesteader's version of "Hot Apple Pie!" Sunday afternoons at the Big Sur River Inn are a long-standing tradition in Big Sur. Live music on the Riverside Deck featuring the best in all kinds of jazz, with some of our favorite folk, zydeco and world music mixed in.
For More Information:

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Welcome to Miksi Achberger! HR Expert, Skilled Trainer, Experienced Investigator With 20+ years in the field of HR, Miksi is a highly skilled and experienced Generalist who holds a BA in Human Relations from the University of Chile and is Certified in English as a Second Language; is an OSHA Certified Trainer, and CPR/EAD-First Aid Certified. You can read her full TPO bio here.

Meanwhile here are some highlights: Miksi has experience in multiple industries, including agriculture, hospitality and manufacturing where she has:

Contact Miksi right away at to discuss your Spanish Speaking HR needs and initiatives before her calendar books up for the year!


At TPO, our goal is to distinguish our team as 100% SPHR (Senior Professionals in Human Resources) certified experts to provide the highest level of expertise and support to our clients possible. Adding the CA designation to the SPHR certification is of further importance since CA has the most complicated set of employment regulations in the country.

Chris achieved her CA  designation some months ago, while Laural is our most recent honoree passing this rigorous exam just last month! Melissa Irwin and Kathrine Parsons were among the first HR professionals to earn their CA designations when the certification was first introduced.

Here are some national statistics to illustrate
how exclusive our team truly is:

Total number of certified HR professionals: 127,439
Certification As of August 2012
PHR 73,157
SPHR 52,271
GPHR 2,888
PHR-CA 466
HRBP 228
HRMP 338
Multi Designations 2,396

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We look forward to the opportunity to provide each of you with unlimited phone/email access, reduced consulting and training rates, eCompliance notices, attendance to our Annual Employment Law & Leadership Conference at no additional cost, and priority status when you require TPO support from any of our highly qualified team of nationally certified HR experts! Thank you for joining!

Click on logos to learn more!


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