March 11, 2013
At long last, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has published the revised Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9 in the Federal Register. The use of the new form is effective immediately, with a 60 day grace period, primarily for organizations that use an electronic I-9 system. The absolute last date you can use the I-9 that expired on August 31, 2012 is May 7, 2013. We recommend that you transition to the new form immediately so you don’t run the risk of missing the May 7 deadline inadvertently.
The new Form I-9 is now two pages, not one, and has six pages of instructions. So much for the Paperwork Reduction Act! The good news is the format is easier to follow and fewer mistakes should be made using the new form. Key revisions on the new form include:
- Adding data fields, including the employee’s foreign passport information (if applicable) and telephone and email addresses. My recommendation is to have the new hire use his or her work email address and telephone number. During the comment period on the new form, this requirement created a lot of discussion, and many feel this personal information is not necessary for employment eligibility verification purposes. I happen to agree, and suggest you have the new hire list their company information in those fields.
- The revised I-9 instructions, while six pages in length, are pretty easy to follow.
- The layout of the revised Form I-9 has a cleaner, easier to follow format. Hopefully this will result in fewer mistakes going forward.
So what do you need to do today?
- Go to www.uscis.gov and print out the new form. It has an expiration date of 03/31/2116 and is located on the top right-hand corner of the form. We have attached the new two-page form and the list of Acceptable Documents for your convenience, but recommend you go to the web site to review all nine pages and print out the two-page form.
- Destroy all copies of the form that expired August 31, 2012 and do not use them going forward. While you have a 60 day grace period to begin using the new form, you will be penalized if you do not use the revised form after May 7. So don’t delay, avoid the possibility of forgetting about the grace period, and start using the new form today. If you have locations away from your main office, please make sure they know about the new form and begin using it immediately.
- Please note: Do Not go back and complete the new form on employees already hired by your company. Only use the new form for persons hired from March 8, 2013 going forward.
- Now is a good time to call us to schedule an audit of your I-9’s and your Colorado Affirmation forms (if applicable). It is much better to be proactive, have your information well organized, and make sure it is current and correct.
Frazier International sends the HR Alert to our business clients and colleagues to keep you informed of the latest developments in the HR world. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this latest HR alert, or if we can assist you in any way with your Human Resource needs.
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Helpful Information As We Prepare for 2013
Each year we prepare information we feel our clients and business colleagues will find useful as we prepare for the new year
- The Social Security “holiday” for your employees is ending on December 31. The employee contribution to Social Security was reduced to 4.2% of salary two years ago. With this reduction ending, all employees will be paying the normal 6.2% contribution to Social Security. This is a good time to remind employees of this increase……you don’t want them thinking you as the employer have reduced their salary!
- The Social Security Wage Base is increasing from $110,100 to $113,700, effective January 1, 2013.
- The maximum annual amount an employee can contribute to a 401(k) Plan during 2013 is $17,500. The “catch up” contribution for those over age 50 remains unchanged at $5,500 per year.
- Colorado’s Minimum Wage is formula driven based on a Constitutional amendment several years ago. It is increasing to $7.78 per hour effective January 1, 2013. Tipped employees Minimum Wage is $4.76 The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. You are required to pay the larger of the two, so all Colorado employers must pay the $7.78 rate.
- The IRS standard mileage rate will increase from the current $.55.5 cents per mile to $.56.5 cents per mile effective January 1.
- As a reminder, all Colorado employers should now be using the revised Colorado Affirmation of Legal Work Status form that has “Expiration Date: 10/01/14″ in the upper right hand corner.
- The Form I-9 has not been revised as scheduled, so you should continue using the form that expired August 31, 2012 until the revised form is issued. Don’t look for a revised form any earlier than late January 2013. We will let you know when the revised form is issued.
- You will see rapid changes with the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in the next few months. You should be best friends with your insurance advisors at this point to be sure you are in compliance with this new law.
- This is a good time to review your numerous compliance requirements with both the state and federal governments. Review your sexual harassment policies to proactively maintain a positive work environment for all team members. Review your employee classifications to confirm team members are properly classified as exempt or non-exempt. Audit your Employer Sanctions files to ensure you have I-9’s and Colorado Affirmation forms for all current employees and have properly retained files on terminated employees for up to three years from date of termination. IRS, OSHA, DOL and ICE all have active enforcement programs, so be proactive, have everything in order, and avoid potentially huge penalties.
We appreciate your support and friendship throughout the year and wish each of you Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and a very healthy, successful and Happy 2013! Frazier International sends the HR Alert to our business clients and colleagues to keep you informed of the latest developments in the HR world. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about this latest HR Alert, or if we can assist you in any way with your Human Resource needs. Remember: We bring calmness and consistency to your chaotic kingdom!
Ned Frazier Frazier International 303.875.5078 firstname.lastname@example.org www.frazierintl.com
Be alert for several significant changes or events during 2012:
- New fee disclosure rules go into effect for calendar year plans on January 1, 2012 that require brokers to disclose all fees they receive for services related to your 401(k) plan.
- The Supreme Court will review the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) individual mandate. The court will hear oral argument on the various challenges to the mandate. The oral arguments could come as early as March, with a decision most likely in June 2012. The Supreme Court will determine whether Congress has power under the Commerce Clause to order all citizens to obtain health insurance, and, if congress has that power, whether the rest of the PPACA may stand if the individual mandate is struck down. This is a decision that will have a major impact on how businesses offer medical insurance to employees in the future. Stay tuned!
- The National Labor Relations Board has delayed the implementation deadline until January 31, 2012 that will require private employers to post a notice that outlines employee rights under the National labor Relations Act. This posting has been contested by many national business organizations. Don’t be surprised to see efforts at an injunction to stop the implementation as we get into January.
- The U.S. Department of Labor, Treasury and Health and Human Services announced they will not require sponsors of group health plans to comply with the PPACA requirement to create and distribute to employees a standardized “summary of benefits and coverage” (SBC) and uniform glossary by March 23, 2012, as they had originally proposed. The departments received many critical comments on the proposed regulations. Accordingly, the effective date has been pushed back and a final rule will be issued that takes into account the numerous stakeholder comments and feedback. This is only a delay, and sponsors of fully insured plans should discuss with their insurer who will provide the SBC to group health plan participants and beneficiaries, and when they will provide that information. Sponsors should also update plan documents and summary plan descriptions to reflect changes required by the health care reform law.
- The IRS has released their standard mileage rates for 2012. Business mileage remain unchanged at 55.5 cents per mile; Medical and moving mileage rate is 23 cents per mile; the charitable mileage rate is 14 cents per mile for 2012.
- The end of each year is a good time to review your many compliance requirements with both the federal and state governments. Review your sexual harassment policies to proactively maintain a positive work environment for all team members. Take a good look at your safety program to make sure all team members are working with proper safety equipment and are aware of your safety guidelines. Review your employee classifications to confirm team members are properly classified as exempt or non exempt. Audit your Employer Sanctions files to confirm your have Form I-9’s and Colorado Affirmation forms for all team members and the forms are completed correctly. The IRS, OSHA, Dept. of Labor and ICE all have active enforcement programs, so be proactive, have everything in order, and avoid potentially huge penalties.
The lighting of Christmas trees and Hanukkah menorahs brings family and friends together to celebrate our religious and social meanings of the Holiday season. We wish you and your family and friends good times together and a happy and healthy 2012. We will turn this economy around in 2012 by working together and supporting each other in our business activities.
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