Even though the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) employer reporting deadlines for tax year 2018 are behind us, the work with the ACA never stops. Several years into the reporting process, the IRS is still reviewing employer submissions from 2015 and 2016, and is still sending 226J penalty letters. Employers can receive a penalty letter if their submission to the IRS shows (a) a less than 95% offer of coverage rate, or (b) that a specific employee was not offered compliant coverage.
We know that employers have a lot to consider when an employee separates, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. One such consideration is when final payment is due to that employee. As the answer varies from state to state, and from one situation to the next, we’ve compiled the table below to make the determination easier. As always, we encourage you to seek legal counsel with questions and specific factual scenarios.
An employee requests the use of sick leave, vacation, or PTO to care for his ill mother. Your first instinct (and the 100% correct one) is to set that FMLA process in motion. But what if your employee wants to “save up” FMLA for scheduled surgery later in the year, or the expected birth of a child in a couple of months? What do you do if your employee says, “thanks, but no thanks” to FMLA?
On December 14, 2018, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed two laws which modified the current minimum wage and paid sick leave legislation. The changes are due to take effect on April 1, 2019. The new law, “Paid Medical Leave Act”, will replace the current “Earned Sick Time Act,” which was only recently passed. Under the new law there are several changes that will impact many businesses. For starters, this applies to all businesses with 50 or more employees.
Workplace violence is a disturbing, but real issue facing employers nationwide. News stories remind us of this reality with examples such as a recent workplace shooting in Illinois, in which a disgruntled employee shot several coworkers and police officers after learning that his employment was terminated. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about two million workers report workplace violence every year. OSHA also states that employers must provide a place of employment “free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm.” So what should employers do about this growing concern?
On Thursday March 7, 2019, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the proposal of a new overtime rule. According to the DOL press release, this rule would now make over 1 million American workers eligible for overtime. The new proposal would raise the salary threshold starting on January 1, 2020 to $679 per week, or roughly $35,308 annually. Currently, the salary threshold is at $455 per week or roughly $23,660 annually. The current salary threshold has been in place since 2004.
In a tight labor market where attracting top talent has become increasingly difficult, offering employee’s perks other than a higher salary could help an applicant considering multiple offers accept your offer instead of others. One of the perks that some companies have considered offering is unlimited paid time off (PTO) programs. Before you write off the idea as wackadoo, hear me out.
Picture this scenario: your employee, a delivery driver, makes regular stops at a production facility. The facility is not owned by your company, and your company does not employ any of the production facility workers. While at the facility, your driver is subjected to unwanted comments and touching by an employee of the facility. Your employee complains, and your HR Manager states they’ll work with management at the production facility to handle it. Your employee later returns to the facility, and the harassment continues. Your employee resigns as a result of the ongoing harassment.
On Monday February 18, 2019, the New York City Commission on Human Rights released legal guidance on our protections and enforcement actions against racial discrimination on the basis natural hair and hairstyles. These guidelines will now consider the targeting of people based on their hairstyle at work, school, or in public places racial discrimination.
To our legal clients, and followers via our Weekly Legal Brief, social media posts, and free website of forms, FAQ’s, etc. at www.myhrcounselcompliance.com – you no doubt have seen my reactions to the many non-legal “compliance” solutions in the market claiming to provide employers with equivalent legal information and protection for the HR/employment issues. We’ve even observed, since our launch in 2015, changes in explanations of these non-legal solutions offerings, and claims of what they can do for employers.
If one of your News Year’s resolutions was to go on a “news diet”, then maybe you are one of the few lucky ones who is unaware that the partial government shutdown over border wall funding that started on December 21, 2018, continues, and seems poised to do so for the near future. While you may be thanking your lucky stars that you are not one of furloughed or unpaid federal employees, you may also be wondering how this government shutdown could impact your company. Aside from the litany of personal effects such as the disaster that has befallen the national parks and the possibility that income tax refund check processing will be delayed, there are some impacts that private employers may feel.