50 (or less) Employees?
There are a number of requirements for California employers with 50 or more employees. If you have laid off employees or simply dropped below that threshold, do you still need to comply? What if you have 20 employees in California and 40 elsewhere in the country or the world? Here are a few questions we have fielded on these issues.
For mandatory sexual harassment training, where do the 50 employees have to be located and which supervisors have to be trained.
If you have 50 employees anywhere on earth, or the universe for that matter, then the mandatory supervisor sexual harassment training requirement applies to your company, even if you only have one employee in California. However, only the supervisors in California must be trained. It is always advisable to train all employees, especially supervisors in harassment awareness and avoidance, as well as how to complain in they feel they have been subject to harassment.
What if I had 50 employees last year but now have less than 50, do I still have to give California supervisors 2 hours of interactive, sexual harassment training every 2 years?
The regulations specify that "having 50 or more employees” means employing or engaging fifty or more employees or contractors for each working day in any twenty consecutive weeks in the current calendar year or preceding calendar year. There is no requirement that the 50 employees or contractors work at the same location or all work or reside in California. So, if you had 50 or more employees last year, the requirement still applies to you this year, even if you have less than 50.
What about FMLA/CFRA - if my employee count has dropped below 50 this year, do I still have to comply?
These laws define a covered employer as an employer who has employed (had on the payroll) 50 or more employees for 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding year. The workweeks do not have to be consecutive. So, if you had more than 50 employees (in the universe) last year but have dropped below 50 in 2009, you are still a covered employer. If you stay below 50 for 20 workweeks in 2009 and 2010, you will no longer be a covered employer.
Keep in mind with FMLA/CFRA the distinction between "covered employer" and "eligible employee." Eligible employees have worked for the employer for 12 total months (within the past 7 years for FMLA only leaves), for 1250 hours in the previous 12 months and work at a location with 50 or more employees within a 75 mile radius.
Thus, you could be a covered employer - which means you have to post the required posters for FMLA and CFRA and have a policy explaining employee rights - but not have any eligible employees.
We don't make up the law, we just report it.