California hospitals and health systems employ more than half a million people, from entry-level positions to senior executives. Many health care human resources (HR) departments are responsible for a wide range of issues, such as recruitment, staffing, compensation, benefits, labor/employee relations and employee health. Navigating the complex regulatory environment, while monitoring how it applies to HR in the health care setting, can be a challenging and dynamic task.
Representing hospitals and health systems in California, CHA provides leadership in HR policy at state and federal levels. In addition, CHA advocates on behalf of hospitals and health systems before the federal and state legislatures, federal and state administrative agencies and the public. CHA also provides educational opportunities, such as the annual Labor & Employment Law seminar, to help hospital leaders sharpen their skills and knowledge in health care HR. CHA members also participate on an HR executive e-mail list and receive periodic informational memoranda.
California hospitals and health systems employ more than half a
million people, from entry-level positions to senior
executives. Many health care human resources (HR) departments are
responsible for a wide range of issues, such as recruitment,
staffing, compensation, benefits, labor/employee relations and
employee health. Navigating the complex regulatory
environment, while monitoring how it applies to HR in the
health care setting, can be a challenging and dynamic task.
Representing hospitals and health systems in California, CHA
provides leadership in HR policy at state and federal
levels. In addition, CHA advocates on behalf of hospitals and
health systems before the federal and state legislatures, federal
and state administrative agencies and the public. CHA also
provides educational opportunities, such as the annual Labor &
Employment Law seminar, to help hospital leaders sharpen their
skills and knowledge in health care HR. CHA members also
participate on an HR executive e-mail list and receive
periodic informational memoranda.
Earlier this week, CHA sent an Advocacy Alert to hospital leaders about Senate Bill 227 (Leyva,
D-Chino), a bill that would create significant penalties for
hospitals that do not meet nurse staffing ratios. CHA urges
hospital leaders to contact their representatives about this
harmful bill, which would increase costs without providing any
benefit to patients.
CHA sent a
letter to the California congressional delegation this
week, urging support of the Resident Physician Shortage Act of
2019 (H.R. 1763), which takes steps to reduce nationwide
physician shortages by increasing the number of
Medicare-supported residency positions.
Earlier this week, a California appellate court issued a
published decision interpreting California’s reporting time pay
requirement. While the decision in Ward v. Tilly’s Inc.
was not unanimous and could be appealed to the California Supreme
Court, employers should take note of the case’s reasoning.
The California Labor Code requires an increase to the state
minimum wage each year. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, the
statewide minimum wage will increase from $11 to $12 per hour for
employers with more than 25 employees. This also impacts other
wage and hour obligations, such as the minimum salary requirement
for exempt employees, which will increase to $49,920.
A new resource from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for
Preparedness and Response details steps health care providers can
take to care for staff following a disaster. The attached tip
sheet includes ways to meet employees’ immediate needs for
shelter, transportation, and food and water, as well as
considerations for short-term needs such as clothing and laundry
services, behavioral health care, and pay and vacation practices.
The tips were developed to help health care facility executives
support their staff and ensure the continuity of a safe, healthy
workforce. CHA encourages members to review the resource in
conjunction with their emergency preparedness activities.
Today, CHA submitted comments to the California Department of
Public Health (CDPH) regarding several areas of Title 22
regulations that CDPH plans to revise. CDPH issued seven All
Facilities Letters (AFLs) earlier this month, requesting
stakeholder input to inform its regulation development process.
CHA commented on the following:
Earlier this month, the California Supreme Court provided
direction to employers that conduct background checks. In
Connor v. First Student, Inc. the court held that the
employer violated the Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies
Act (ICRAA) by failing to provide the specific notice required by
the statute, as well as failing to obtain written authorization
for the background check. This case illustrates that employers
must be diligent in compliance and cannot necessarily delegate
responsibility to a background check vendor.
In Connor, the employer requested that its consumer
reporting agency conduct background checks on its employees on
three separate occasions in 2007, 2009 and 2010 to confirm that
the employees were “properly qualified to safely perform their
job duties.” The background reports included criminal records,
sex offender registries, address history, driving records and
Before conducting the background checks, the employer sent
employees a booklet that contained a notice authorizing the
background check vendor to prepare a consumer report or
investigative consumer report. The notice provided that employees
could view the file, receive a summary of that file by telephone
or obtain a copy of it.
Last week, the Office of Federal Contract Compliance (OFCCP)
issued the attached update emphasizing the agency’s role in
compliance assistance. Titled “What Federal Contractors Can
Expect,” the document explains that contractors “seeking
OFCCP’s assistance with satisfying their nondiscrimination and
equal employment opportunity obligations can expect clear,
accurate, and professional interactions with OFCCP’s staff. OFCCP
provides compliance assistance on a range of issues including
technical help with understanding the requirements for developing
an Affirmative Action Program.”
The release of this document came at approximately the same time
as an announcement that OFCCP Director Ondray Harris was stepping
down after eight months. Deputy Director Craig E. Leen will serve
as OFCCP’s interim director until a permanent director
is named, at which time the agency’s direction could
In 2018, the recreational use of cannabis became legal in
California. Considering the law’s significant impact on health
and wellness and major media interest, CHA has created this
communications toolkit to assist hospital communications and
government relations professionals as they address the issue
within their own organizations and communities. The toolkit
provides general information about cannabis and answers basic
questions about the law and its impact on hospital protocols.
In AHMC Healthcare Inc. v. Superior Court, the 2nd
District Court of Appeal dismissed the portion of a plaintiff’s
lawsuit challenging the employer’s timekeeping system’s rounding
practice. The issue in the case was whether an employer’s use of
a timekeeping system that automatically rounds employee time up
or down to the nearest quarter hour, and thus provides a less
than exact measure of employee work time, violates California
law. The court found that, based on the facts in that case, the
system did not violate California law.
AHMC Healthcare’s timekeeping system rounds employees’ time clock
swipes up or down to the nearest quarter hour. For example, if an
employee clocks in between 6:53 and 7:07, he or she is paid as if
he or she had clocked in at 7:00; if an employee clocks in from
7:23 to 7:37, he or she is paid as if he or she had clocked in at
7:30. In addition, meal breaks that last between 23 and 37
minutes are rounded to 30 minutes. This practice is
consistent with a federal regulation so long as the rounding
system “is used in such a manner that it will not result, over a
period of time, in failure to compensate the employees properly
for all the time they have actually worked.” While there is
no state law or regulation on the issue of rounding, plaintiffs
did not dispute that the federal regulation is applicable to
claims made under state law. The court also noted that the
California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement adopted the
federal regulation in its Enforcement Policies and
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP) has
extended the moratorium on enforcing the affirmative obligations
required of TRICARE subcontractors through May 7, 2021.
In 2014, OFCCP ordered a five–year suspension of affirmative
obligations — a requirement to take affirmative steps to ensure
equal employment opportunity in employment processes — for
TRICARE subcontractors. OFCCP committed to using the five-year
period to provide guidance on policy and procedures, as
affiliated entities and the Department of Labor had conflicting
interpretations of the law. The moratorium was set to expire
on May 7, 2019.
OFCCP will use the extended moratorium time frame to collect
additional stakeholder feedback, as well as to plan for
legislative changes that could be enacted by Congress in the near
The moratorium does not apply to health care providers
holding separate, independent, non-health care-related federal
contracts or subcontracts. In addition, the moratorium does not
affect Medicaid and Medicare providers, which are not considered
contractors or subcontractors subject to OFCCP’s jurisdiction.
The National Academy of Medicine has also developed a
Clinician Well-Being Knowledge Hub that provides clinicians
and health system leaders with valuable resources to combat
clinician burnout in their organizations and personal lives. With
peer-reviewed research, news articles, blog posts, toolkits,
reports and briefs on clinician burnout and well-being, the
knowledge hub aims to help health professionals better
understand the causes of and solutions to clinician burnout.