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NYS Legislative Alerts: Minimum Wage Increases

As of 12/31/2017, the Minimum Wage in New York State has increased as indicated in the table below.

Location Wage Rate*
New York State $10.40
Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester $11.00
New York City – 10 or less employees $12.00
New York City – 11 or more employees $13.00

*There are different hourly rates for workers in the fast food industry and those who receive tips. Click here to access summaries of wage order rate increases through 2021.

The Minimum Wage rates are scheduled to increase each year on 12/31 until they reach $15.00 per hour. Employers must post a Minimum Wage Information poster in their establishment found here.

Do you have questions about NYS Paid Family Leave or Minimum Wage? Contact the office to speak with one of our HR Business Partners today.

 

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Contact Compass Workforce Solutions at 631-794-7400.

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NYS Legislative Alerts: New York State Paid Family Leave

Starting January 1, 2018, nearly all private employees in New York State are eligible for Paid Family Leave (PFL). PFL provides New Yorkers job-protected, paid leave to bond with a new child, care for a loved one with a serious health condition or to help relieve family pressures when someone is called to active military service.

As an employer:

  • Ensure your company has PFL coverage
  • Update your payroll processes to collect employee contributions
  • Inform ineligible employees about waivers
  • Post an employee notice from your insurance carrier (Form PFL-120) stating that you have PFL insurance

Familiarize Yourself with Paid Family Leave Forms and Other Resources provided on the New York State website at: https://www.ny.gov/programs/new-york-state-paid-family-leave

New I-9 Employment Eligibility form

In July 2017, USCIS released the newly revised I-9 form, used to verify employment. This form will be mandatory for all US employers starting September 18th, 2017. Employers must begin using the revised I-9 form by September 18th, 2017 in order to avoid fines and penalties. Although current storage and retention regulations remain the same, there are some alterations with the new I-9 form. The new form streamlines the certification process for certain foreign nationals and revised the USCIS’s “List of Acceptable Documents,” specifically updating the “List C” acceptable documents. It is not necessary for employers to redo I-9’s, but all new hires, revisions, and re-verifications should be completed using the revised I-9 form. Failure to comply in utilizing the revised form for new hires by September 18th, 2017 can result in significant fines of up to $2,200 per violation if an outdated form is used.

Do you or your Company have questions regarding the I-9 revision, or whether or not your I-9 forms are in compliance? Call to speak with one of our HR Business Partners at 631-794-7400.

NYC Enacts Fast Food Worker Protections

On May 30, 2017, NYC enacted a law aimed at improving working conditions related to employee work schedules. The law will go into effect on November 26, 2017. Under the regulation, no later than the date a new fast food employee receives their first work schedule, the employer must provide them with a good faith estimate in writing setting forth the number of hours a fast food employee can expect to work per week for the duration of the employee’s employment and the expected dates, times, and locations of those hours.

Fast food employers must also provide employees with written notices of a work schedule containing regular shifts and on-call shifts on or before the employee’s first day of work. For all subsequent work schedules, the fast food employer must provide such notice no later than 14 days before the first day of any new schedule, and schedules must span a period of no less than 7 days and contain all anticipated regular shifts and on-call shifts that the employee will work or will be required to be available to work during the work schedule. Schedules must be posted in a conspicuous place at the workplace that is readily accessible and visible to all employees, and must transmit the work schedule to each fast food employee, electronically if necessary.

Additionally, fast food employers must provide employees with schedule change premiums in addition to their regular shift pay to compensate the employee for changes the employer makes to the employee’s work schedule including canceling, shortening, or moving shifts to another date and time, on-call shifts, and adding hours to shifts already scheduled. Employers must pay the schedule change premiums when the employer pays the employee for wages owed for work performed during that week, and must be separately noted on a wage stub or other form of written documentation and provided to that employee within the same pay period.

Do you have questions about how to how these regulations could impact your business? Speak with one of our HR Business Partners today at 631.794.7400.

NYS Paid Family Leave Updates

In 2016, legislation was passed in NYS to enact an 8-week Paid Family Leave (PFL) program scheduled to go into effect in January of 2018. For these purposes, a family member is defined as a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse or domestic partner. The definition of a “serious health condition” is similar to the definition under the FMLA. Unless an employer chooses to permit otherwise, any PFL benefit must run concurrently with an employee’s available FMLA entitlement. PFL will be provided through the NYS existing Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and be available to all private sector workers, giving eligible employees the right to a leave of absence and guaranteed reinstatement.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) has released the 2018 maximum employee contribution rate under the New York State Paid Family Leave Act. A set of proposed Paid Family Leave regulations along with final DFS regulations are also available for review. The premium rate for Family Leave Benefits and the maximum employee contribution for coverage beginning January 1, 2018 will be 0.126% of an employee’s weekly wage up to and not to exceed the statewide average weekly wage, which is currently $1,305.92. The DFS is expected to set the maximum employee contribution on September 1 each subsequent year. Read more about Paid Family Leave updates here: https://tinyurl.com/ychnbf4d

Do you have questions about NYS Paid Family Leave? Contact the office to speak with one of our HR Business Partners today at 631.794.7400.

NYC Initiates Ban on Salary History Requirement

On May 5th 2017, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio passed a bill prohibiting employers from inquiring about or relying on an applicant’s salary history. Under the local law, it is now considered illegal and discriminatory for an employer, employment agency, or employee to inquire about the salary history of a prospective employee and/or to rely on the salary history of a prospective employee in determining salary, benefits, or general compensation during the hiring process. Supporters of the new legislation expect that this regulation will assist in eliminating the gender wage gap by preventing discrimination against women who may receive lower salary offers due to their salary history.

Employers, employees, and employment agencies are permitted to discuss salary, benefit, and compensation expectations including deferred compensation or unvested equity. A candidate may voluntarily disclose salary history without prompting, which would then allow employers and employment agencies to consider and verify the candidate’s salary history. Exceptions include any agreements that authorize the verification or disclosure of salary history, and any instances where knowledge of salary history is required for internal transfer or promotion. The law is scheduled to go into effect on October, 31st 2017.

Do you have questions about how this new legislation will affect your employees or business? Contact one of our HR Business Partners to have your questions answered.

Preparing for NYS Paid Family Leave

In 2016, legislation was passed in NYS to enact a 12-week Paid Family Leave (PFL) program scheduled to go into effect in January of 2018. For these purposes, a family member is defined as a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, spouse or domestic partner. The definition of a “serious health condition” is similar to the definition under the FMLA. Unless an employer chooses to permit otherwise, any PFL benefit must run concurrently with an employee’s available FMLA entitlement.

PFL will be provided through the NYS existing Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and be available to all private sector workers, giving eligible employees the right to a leave of absence and guaranteed reinstatement. Employees eligible for PFL must be employed in New York State and have 30 working days total within a calendar year for a single employer. There is no waiting period before employees can receive PFL benefits. Eligible employees may receive up to 50% of their average weekly wage during family leave, not to exceed 50% of the state average weekly wage. Eligible employees employed for at least 26 weeks with the employer (175 days for part-time employees) may use PFL for the following:

  • Caring for a family member with a serious physical/mental health condition.
  • Bonding with a new child during the first 12 months after the child’s birth or after placement of a child for adoption/ foster care.
  • Handling obligations arising from a family member’s qualifying military service or deployment as interpreted under FMLA.

Do you have questions about NYS Paid Family Leave? Contact the office to speak with one of our HR Business Partners today to have your questions answered at 631-794-7400.

Read more about PFL here: http://eepurl.com/cKgIvT

Effective January 1st, 2017: OSHA Injury & Illness Reporting

On April 3rd, 2017 President Trump signed into law House Joint Resolution 83 (H.J. Res. 83), which declares the “Volks Rule” reviewed below invalid and no longer in effect.

Effective January 1st, 2017, OSHA required employers to submit their injury and illness reports electronically so that they could be uploaded to OSHA’s website, for the public to view. Establishments with 250 or more employees in industries covered by record keeping regulation were required to submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017. Establishments with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries, were required to submit information from their 2016 Form 300A by July 1, 2017.

This revision was put in place with the intention of making employers, the public, and the government better informed about workplace hazards, and to encourage employers to improve workplace safety for its employees. Injury and illness reports were to be posted on job sites by February 1st.

OSHA provided a secure website that offered three options for data submission. First, users would be able to manually enter data into a webform. Second, users would be able to upload a CSV file to process single or multiple establishments at the same time. Last, users of automated recordkeeping systems would have the ability to transmit data electronically via an API (application programming interface). The website was scheduled to go live in February 2017.

If you have any questions regarding current OSHA record-keeping requirements or the revoked Volks Rule above, please contact our office to speak with one of our HR business partners at 631-794-7400.

Upcoming W-2 Filing Deadline 1.31.2017

Please be advised that the deadline for filing W-2s and 1099s with the Social Security Administration is Tuesday, January 31st. Employers with 249 or less W-2s may file these forms either electronically or hard copy and employers with 250 or more W-2s must do so electronically. Employers must also provide copies of W-2s to their employees by January 31st.

If you are filing form 1099-MISC and reporting amounts in Box 7, you must file by January 31st. Otherwise the deadline remains February 28th for paper filings and March 31st for electronic filings. If you need an extension for filing W-2s, you must fill out Form 8809, Application for Extension to File Informational Return, and submit to the IRS by January 31st. If you wish to make corrections after filing a W-2, employers can file Form W-2c, Corrected Wages and Tax Statement. As an employer, it is important that your records are accurate. This includes employee information and year-end totals.

If you have any questions about W-2s, please contact our office to speak with one of our HR Business Partners at 631-794-7400.

Minimum Wage Increases for New York and New Jersey

As of December 31st, 2016 minimum wage increases went into effect for New York State. As of January 1st, 2017 minimum wage increases went into effect in the state of New Jersey along with 17 other states across the country.

New York City’s minimum wage requirements for employers with 11 or more employees must pay non-tipped employees $11.00 an hour, and tipped employees at least $8.30 or $9.35 an hour. New York City’s employers with 10 or less employees must pay non-tipped employees $10.50 an hour, and tipped employees at least $7.95 or $8.90 an hour.

Long Island and Westchester County’s minimum wage increased to $10.00 per hour for non-tipped employees, and at least $7.55 or $8.50 for tipped employees.

The remainder of New York State must pay non-tipped employees $9.70 per hour, and tipped employees at least $7.35 or $8.25 per hour.

New Jersey’s minimum wage across the state is now $8.44 per hour for all employees in hotel and motel, seasonal amusement, food service, and first processing of farm product industries.