November 2017 HR Regulatory Updates

by Jill Schaefer on November 7, 2017

FEDERAL UPDATES

3 USCIS Videos Break Down I-9 Form

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released 3 roughly 90-second videos to help employees and employers correctly fill out Form I-9 for Employment Eligibility Verification.

Watch Videos

  • Section 1: Employee Information
  • Section 2: Employer Review
  • Section 3: Updating & Reverification

 

New ACA Reporting Forms
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its 1094 and 1095 B and C forms. These forms are used to provide information about health insurance coverage in compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Read KPA’s “Hey Oh! New IRS 1094 & 1095 Forms” blog post.

 

STATE UPDATES

Oregon

Updates to Paid Sick Time Law

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed S.B. 299 into law. It clarifies and amends Oregon’s paid-sick-time law and will go into effect January 1, 2018.

Among other things, the amendment clarifies that employers can limit employees’ accrual of paid or unpaid sick time to 40 hours per year.

Highlights

  • Employees can still have a maximum bank of 80 hours if they carry over 40 hours of sick leave from a prior year and accrue 40 hours in the current year.
  • If your company has a sick leave, vacation policy, personal, or other paid time off policy that is equal to or more generous to employees than Oregon’s paid sick leave law’s minimum requirements, you must comply with the law’s requirements for the first 40 hours that your policy provides per year. However, you don’t have to abide by the law’s requirements beyond the first 40 hours that your policy offers each year.
  • If employees are paid an hourly, weekly or monthly wage and on a piece-rate or commission basis, their sick leave is paid at an equivalent rate to that wage or the minimum wage, whichever is greater.
  • Employers must provide paid sick leave if they: 1) Employ at least 10 employees who work anywhere in Oregon; or 2) Employ at least six employees per day in Oregon and are located in an Oregon city with a 500,000+ population.
  • Seasonal farm stands or temporary construction offices near Portland are not subject to the lower employee count.
  • Individuals associated with a company who have a substantial ownership interest (15%+ and above other owners) are not included in the employee count. Nor are family members.

 

New York

Sample Leave Request, Certification & Waiver Forms
New York State Workers’ Compensation Board has issued samples and templates for the New York Paid Family Leave Law that will be going into effect January 1, 2018. This law provides a phased system of paid, job protected leave for eligible employees: 1) To care for a new child following birth, adoption, or placement in the home; 2) To care for a family member with a serious health condition, or 3) To cover qualifying military duty exigencies.

New York City, NY

Safe Time Part of Earned Sick Time Law
New York City’s Earned Sick Time Act was recently amended requiring employers to allow employees to use paid time off for “safe time” activities. Safe time refers to family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to sign the bill into law shortly. It will then take effect 180 days later.

According to Lexology, under the proposed amendment, safe time can be used for the employee or a covered family member to:

  1. Obtain services from a domestic violence shelter, rape crisis center, or other shelter or services program for relief from a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.
  2. Participate in safety planning, temporarily relocate, or take other actions to increase the safety of the employee or employee’s family members from future family offense matters, sexual offenses, stalking, or human trafficking.
  3. Meet with a civil attorney or other social service provider to obtain information and advice on, and prepare for or participate in, any criminal or civil proceeding, including, but not limited to, matters related to a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, human trafficking, custody, visitation, matrimonial issues, orders of protection, immigration, housing, discrimination in employment, housing, or consumer credit.
  4. File a complaint or domestic incident report with law enforcement.
  5. Meet with a district attorney’s office.
  6. Enroll children in a new school.
  7. Take other actions necessary to maintain, improve, or restore the physical, psychological, or economic health or safety of the employee or employee’s family member or to protect those who associate or work with the employee.

 

“Fair Workweek Bills”
On November 26, 2017, the “Fair Workweek” package of bills will go into effect in New York City. The laws limit scheduling flexibility for fast food and retail employers. As such, fast food and retail employers must provide new hires with good-faith estimates of the number of hours that they will work per week. Employer will also have to pay workers a premium for scheduling changes made less than 14 days in advance.

 

Uniformed Service Members to be Protected Class
The New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) was recently amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of uniformed service status. The amendment takes effect on November 19, 2017.

Highlights

  • Gives both veterans and active military personnel the same rights afforded to all other protected groups listed under NYCHRL, including safeguarding against employment discrimination.
  • Prohibits employers from indicated to a uniformed service candidate that a position is not available when it actually is, refusing to hire or employ, or to bar someone in the uniformed services, or to discriminate against uniformed service members in the compensation, terms, and conditions of their employment.
  • Prevents employers from discriminating against uniformed service members in matters of public accommodation, housing, real estate, and lending.

 

Salary History Law Resources

With the salary history ban now in effect for New York City employers, the NYC Commission on Human Rights issued 2 new fact sheets to help employers comply with the law and for applicants to understand their rights.

 

West Virginia

Right-to-Work Law in Motion
Due to a ruling last month from the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals, the Workplace Freedom Act is enforceable. It was originally slated to take effect on July 1, 2016, but entered into injunction court proceedings instead. The law prohibits both compulsory union membership and union representation dues.

Under this law, employers cannot require employees to:

  • Become or remain a member of a labor union.
  • Pay union dues, fees, assessments, or similar charges.
  • Pay any charity or third-party dues, fees, assessments, or other charges.

In addition, union and West Virginia employers are prohibited from entering into collective bargaining agreements that compel employees to join the union.

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Jill SchaeferNovember 2017 HR Regulatory Updates