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Employees

 Delivering safe, clean, reliable and affordable energy — particularly during a time of transformation in our industry — requires significant human capital, creativity and care. At Sempra Energy®, when our people are trained, challenged and empowered to take initiative, our business thrives.

Engagement

What are the things that make a difference in how purposefully our people work; whether they want to stay at Sempra Energy; and whether they recommend our company as a place to work?

Employee engagement is a combination of satisfaction, advocacy, loyalty and pride. Every other year, our employees are asked to complete a survey to assess their engagement. The survey is administered by a third party, and aggregated results are shared and discussed across the company. Employee confidentiality is maintained.

Company leaders look closely at responses to specific items like the company’s commitment to safety or to a harassment-free workplace. Do survey responses indicate employees are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty: to put in discretionary effort?

Our most recent survey, completed in 2015, indicated overall engagement is high. Eighty-five percent of respondents stated they “agree” or “strongly agree” with the statement “Overall, I am extremely satisfied with this company as a place to work.”

Green teams: catalysts for employee engagement

Employee-run green teams at Sempra Energy headquarters, SDG&E and SoCalGas provide a way for employees to get involved in making the company more efficient. Through eco-education events during the year, they encourage employees to minimize waste and reduce water and energy use, both at work and at home. They also give back to their communities by volunteering at coastal and park clean-up events. The SoCalGas green team hosts an annual “Gathering of Green Teams,” where green teams from throughout Southern California come together to share best practices. The 2015 event brought together green teams from more than 200 Southern California companies.


Safety

At Sempra Energy, we are not satisfied unless each employee and contractor returns home safely after every workday. We work to create a safety-focused culture in which each individual feels personally responsible for their own safety as well as the safety of their co-workers.

In 2015, our employee safety performance continued to improve, and we saw decreases in both the rate of recordable injuries and illnesses and the rate of injuries that resulted in time away from work at all our principal subsidiaries. Regrettably, one SDG&E employee was fatally injured and one SDG&E contractor was fatally injured, in separate incidents. SDG&E has implemented additional safety measures to address processes involved in the fatal employee injury, and all subsidiaries have enhanced efforts regarding contractor safety. Our subsidiaries and suppliers continue efforts to improve workplace safety performance.

Safety performance

 2012201320142015
Employee work-related fatalities0101
Employee OSHA recordable incident rate12.262.412.412.35
Employee lost work time case rate20.860.880.800.77

1 The number of recordable injuries or illnesses per 100 full-time workers.
2 The number of lost time cases per 100 full-time workers.

The most common employee injuries at Sempra Energy’s subsidiaries are body sprains and strains. We work to minimize these types of injuries through specific training programs on body mechanics and ergonomics.

Safety is a part of pre-work briefings before our crews head out to the field. At safety stand-downs, we review lessons learned and underscore our safety focus. Safety best practices, near misses, alerts and messages are shared within and across principal subsidiaries.

We focus on strengthening the safety culture across our subsidiaries. SoCalGas hosted its first ever Contractor Safety Congress to emphasize the importance of creating a unified safety culture on SoCalGas construction projects. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power implemented a safety incentive program at several sites, which encourages employees to adopt an “all in” philosophy toward safety. SDG&E held a contractor safety summit with major contractors from several key areas, including construction services, capital projects and facilities. At Sempra International, an enterprise-wide incident management system was implemented to monitor near misses and injuries to proactively address safety issues in the workplace. In addition, more than 50 safety professionals from all international subsidiaries participated in the annual Safety Summit in Valparaiso, Chile.

“Stop the job”; learning from close calls

At SoCalGas, a safety best practice is “Stop the job.” This means that anyone has the power to stop a job – at any time – if they feel something is not right or if they see a condition that might be unsafe. The job can only be restarted once all concerns have been addressed and safety precautions have been taken.

Employees are encouraged to share and report safety issues because the culture at SoCalGas promotes an approach of continuous learning: Something bad could have happened, how can we learn from it? This focus can be empowering, because employees know they can get involved in problem solving in a positive way.

Solar facilities earn prestigious safety recognition

In 2015, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power’s Copper Mountain Solar 1 facility in Nevada and Mesquite Solar 1 facility in Arizona became among the first solar plants in the U.S. to receive the “Voluntary Protection Programs Star” work site designation from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The award is the organization’s highest recognition for exemplary safety performance. The STAR designation recognizes outstanding occupational safety and health efforts by both employers and employees.

Chilquinta Energía’s Tecnored receives safety recognition

Tecnored, a Chilquinta Energía company that provides energy-related services in Chile, has been named to the Chilean Chamber of Constructions’ prestigious six-star honor roll. To achieve the high distinction, a company must have been named to the five-star honor roll three times in the last five years; have no reported fatal accidents in the last two years; and have a very low accident rate. Tecnored’s safety program is certified to the international occupational health and safety assessment series (OHSAS 18001) and includes 25 different safety protocols, one for each major work process, including investigation reports, procedures, audit plans, drills and simulations.


Wellness

Wellness contributes to our success as a business. It improves employee retention and performance and may also strengthen employee recruitment.

*Data in info-graphic above is for California operations only.

Each Sempra Energy employee has unique health and wellness needs. As a responsible employer, we provide a range of resources and programs to our employees to help them live healthier lives. Programs and amenities vary by subsidiary and location, but are more widely available at facilities with more employees:

  • Fitness subsidies; on-site gyms, lockers and showers; and fitness opportunities including lunchtime boot camp, walking club, yoga and Zumba encourage employees to exercise.
  • Financial incentives and bicycle-friendly amenities (including a bicycle maintenance facility and a shower/locker area for bike commuters) promote the use of this healthy, lower-stress alternative to commuting by automobile.
  • Flexible work schedules, where available, allow for a beneficial balance between work and personal commitments
  • Backup dependent care provides a safety net for employees experiencing a scheduling conflict with regular childcare or eldercare providers.
  • Periodic “lunch and learn” sessions help employees learn more about topics such as stress management, heart health and nutrition.
  • Ergonomics consultations and free on-site flu vaccinations protect employee health and reduce sick days. Sit-stand desks are available at many locations.
  • Programs like the Employee Assistance Program give our employees free and confidential access to counseling services when they need to address personal issues. 
When we respect each employee, our workplace becomes a place where unique perspectives yield new ideas — and stronger business performance becomes possible.

Diversity and inclusion

At Sempra Energy, we are a stronger company when we value, respect and include people from all walks of life. A wide range of factors influence and impact every one of our employees, including race, color, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, education, age, marital status, veteran status, sexual identity and orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, religion, spiritual beliefs, mental and physical capabilities and life experiences.

When we respect each employee, our workplace becomes a place where unique perspectives yield new ideas — and stronger business performance becomes possible.

Our Discrimination- and Harassment-Free Workplace policy formalizes our approach. And our executive commitment is a signed statement of our leadership’s belief in the importance of diversity and inclusion.

More than 300 employees serve on our corporate-wide diversity council or on one of 13 local diversity and inclusion councils. These councils establish priorities and develop employee-focused programs and initiatives. They work to build diversity awareness, celebrate differences and foster an environment of acceptance, respect and inclusion.

Hanif Mohebi, the executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, leads a lunchtime “lunch-n-learn” session.

Diversity lunch and learns

Local employee diversity councils host panel discussions and lunch and learns to allow employees to learn about diversity-related topics. As one example, the local diversity and inclusion council at Sempra Energy headquarters invited the executive director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations to speak with employees. Hanif Mohebi led a lunch and learn session that featured open dialogue and a free-flowing Q&A period. The event was intended to help employees understand and empathize with their Muslim friends, neighbors and colleagues. Prior similar events have focused on veterans, HIV/AIDS awareness, disabilities, multicultural perspectives, mental health issues and generational diversity, among other topics.

Our workforce demographics provide strong evidence of our commitment to diversity and inclusion. When job openings occur, we cast a wide net to build a diverse pool of candidates. Across the company, women comprise 28 percent of the workforce and 33 percent of management. Since 2010, minority representation in our U.S. workforce has increased from 53 percent to 57 percent; the U.S. utility average is 25 percent.


Training and development

Employee development at Sempra Energy is an employee-driven process utilizing company-provided tools and resources. We encourage each employee to develop a career and development plan and we ask them to engage in an open dialogue with their manager to discuss their career aspirations, including both short- and long-term goals.

My Info is an online portal and one-stop shop for any learning or development an employee needs. It tracks past and present performance reviews, short- and long-term career goals, required and completed training, compensation, benefits and other information. Via My Info, employees may update their career interests and be notified via email when matching jobs are posted.

For training, employees may access an online menu of business courses via My Info. Courses focus on areas such as accounting, finance and safety. We also encourage employees to pursue educational opportunities outside of work; our Professional Development Assistance Program provides up to $5,250 per year to cover the educational expenses of employees working toward a degree or certificate. More than 550 employees participated in this program in 2015. For information on required compliance training, see Risk management.


Labor relations

Nearly one-half of Sempra Energy’s U.S. employees and nearly 30 percent of our non-U.S. employees are represented by labor unions. We respect our partnerships with unions and work with them to achieve business results that benefit our employees, our businesses and the communities we serve. We also seek opportunities to collaborate with our unions.

SoCalGas

Field, technical and most clerical employees at SoCalGas are represented by the Utility Workers Union of America or the International Chemical Workers Union Council.

SDG&E

Field employees and some clerical and technical employees at SDG&E are represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.

Sempra South American Utilities

Field, technical and administrative employees at Luz del Sur are represented by the Unified Trade Union of Electricity Workers of Lima and Callao, and the Trade Union of Employees of Electrolima.

Field, technical and administrative employees at Chilquinta Energía are represented by Labor Union Number 1 Chilquinta Energía, Labor Union Number 2 Chilquinta Energía, Litoral Labor Union, Luzlinares Labor Union, Tecnored Labor Union Number 1, Negotiating Group Luzparral and Negotiating Group Casablanca.

Professional employees at Chilquinta Energía are represented by Professional Union.

Mobile Gas*

Field employees at Mobile Gas are represented by the United Steelworkers Union.

*On April 24, 2016, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power agreed to sell Mobile Gas and Willmut Gas, subject to customary regulatory approvals.

For more details of our agreements with labor unions, please see our 10-K.

SDG&E apprenticeship program

SDG&E employees, particularly union employees, who are interested in becoming electric line workers, electric meter testers, substation electricians or distribution system operators, can apply to be considered for a paid apprenticeship with the company. The apprenticeship programs are administered jointly by SDG&E and IBEW Local 465.

Each apprentice must complete a prescribed number of hours of training and demonstrate preparedness for successful transition to the journeyman-level designation and professional certification. In addition to completing the SDG&E academic and job skills training, each apprentice must complete six prescribed electricity courses taught through San Diego City College to receive a certificate of achievement or two-year degree. Students combine electrical theory with laboratory and practical applications.

Working with labor unions on safety

New safety-related initiatives at SDG&E in 2015 included the creation of the Gas Safety Subcommittee which includes represented employees, management and the IBEW Local 465 leadership. The committee is empowered to resolve issues brought in from the frontline workforce.

There was also an additional Grassroots Culture Change Team created at the utility’s Kearny district. This is an employee-led team which addresses cultural safety issues by creating and implementing projects which directly impact the workforce and help resolve safety concerns.

Working with employees and employee organizations is a critical part of our approach to safety – at SDG&E and throughout the Sempra Energy family of companies.