Employment Laws According to Number of Employees

Employment Laws According to Number of Employees

05-05-17

ALL Employees- regardless of number of employees

 

  • FICA– Federal Insurance Contributions Act- 1935.  This Act established a federal payroll tax to be paid equally by employers and employees.  The payroll tax  was intended to fund Social Security and Medicare
    • Social Security- 6.2% of wages, up to $127,200 for 2017
    • Medicare- 1.45% of wages, with no limit on income
  • Fair Labor Standards Act- FLSA was passed in 1938 and regulates the status of employees (exempt/nonexempt) and provides for a minimum wage and overtime compensation unless the employee meets an exempt classification.  Also regulates employee versus independent contractor status.
    • Labor Sec. finally confirmed- look for revised Exempt/Nonexempt wage levels to somewhere around $33,00 instead of $47,476 after Congressional review
  • Immigration Reform & Control Act- passed in 1986, requiring all employers to complete the Form I-9 on all new hires to confirm they are hiring employees who are eligible to work in the United States.
    • Expect new law requiring all employers, regardless of size, to use the E-Verify system to confirm new hires are eligible to work in the US.
  • Uniformed Services Employment & Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA).   Originally passed in 1994 and has been amended (see FMLA section).  Prohibits employers from discriminating against military service members because of past, present, or future military service.  Protects military service workers, employment rights and benefits of employment.
  • OSHA- Occupational Safety & Health Act, enacted in 1970.  Mandates compliance with federal health and safety standards. Employers with fewer than 10 employees are exempt from certain reporting requirements.
  • Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Law says for 15 employees or more, Ned says for all employees!  Prohibits employers from discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin
    • Rapidly evolving to include gender, trans-gender, gay, lesbian. Focus on treating people right and fair, and stay tuned for additional groups.
  • Equal Pay Act- 1963.  Prohibits wage discrimination by requiring equal pay for equal work with the same skills, effort and responsibilities.  Ledbetter Act in 2007 expanded this coverage.

 

  • Consumer Credits Protection Act- 1968.  Establishes a national maximum limit on the amount of an employee’s weekly wages that can be withheld to satisfy wage garnishments.
  • ERISA- Employee Retirement Income Security Act, passed in 1974.  ERISA established standards and requirements in administering employee benefit and retirement plans, to ensure employees are actually receiving the money they set aside for a retirement plan.  Covers full time employees and part time employees working more than 1,000 hours a year.
  • Uniform Guidelines of Employee Selection Procedures- 1978.  Prohibits selection policies and practices from having an adverse impact on the employment opportunities for any race, sex, or ethnic group unless it is a business necessity.
  • Employee Polygraph Protection Act of 1988.  Prohibits employers from requiring pre-employment polygraph examinations.
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability  Act (HIPAA)- 1996.  Provides confidentiality in all employee health information, limiting access to management on a “need to know” basis.
  • Jury Systems Improvement Act- Prohibits employers from adverse employment action against employees who are summoned to jury duty in federal court.  Most state have employment laws regarding jury duty.

 

15-19 Employees

 

Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following six Acts:

 

  • Title VII, Civil Rights Act– 1964 and 1991.  Prohibits discrimination in all terms and conditions of employment, including pay and benefits, on the basis of race, religion, ethnic group, sex, national origin, or disability.  Listed in the “All employees” section but legally applies only to employers with 15 or more employees.  Ned says forget that and apply to all employers!
  • Pregnancy Discrimination Act- 1978.  Protects pregnant employees from being forced to resign or take a leave of absence.
    • Expect 2017 legislation requiring maternity leave, perhaps 12 weeks, with some exclusions for small businesses of less than 20 employees.
  • Title 1, Americans with Disabilities Act– 1990.  Protects qualified individuals with disabilities from unlawful discrimination in employment.  Discrimination is prohibited if the individual can do the essential job function.  An employer must make reasonable accommodations for such individuals unless doing so would place an undue hardship on the employer.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act- 1970.  Defines employees and potential employee’s rights regarding employers using information obtained by third party credit reporting agencies as the basis for employment decisions.
  • Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act– 2003.  Requires employers to take reasonable measures to reduce the risk of identity theft and other harm to their employees, resulting from the employer’s failure to properly dispose of confidential records.
  • Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) 2008.  Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees or applicants based on their genetic information.

 

20-49 Employees

 

Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following two Acts:

 

  • Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)– 1967.  Prohibits discrimination against employees or applicants who are age 40 or older based on their age.  Prohibits mandatory retirement ages.
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). – 1985.  COBRA requires employers to permit employees to extend their health insurance coverage at group rates for up to 36 months following a qualifying event.  Employee pays the full cost of the insurance continuation.  Employers with fewer than 20 employees comply with State Continuation plans, similar to COBRA.

 

Employers with 50 or more Employees

 

Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following Acts:

 

  • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) – 1993.  Requires that employees who have worked at least 12 months and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months are eligible to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave during any 12 month period for the purposes of birth, adoption, or foster care of a child; caring for a spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition; or serious health condition of the employee.  Additionally, the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 amends FMLA to allow a spouse, parent, son, daughter or next of kin up to 26 weeks to care for a member of the armed services suffering from injuries or illness sustained while on active duty. Allows 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a “qualifying exigency” for a son, daughter, parent or spouse on active duty.  Employer must have 50 employees or more for 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year, and work within a 75 mile radius.
  • Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  (PPACA)-Applicable large employers (over 50 employees) must offer affordable, minimum value health coverage for their full-time employees and dependents or risk paying a penalty.
    • HR 1644 passed in the House 05/04/17 to replace PPACA with American Health Care Act.  Legislation will now go to the Senate, which will most likely make significant changes to the House version.  My hope is the D’s and R’s will listen to each other and to the American insurance consumers and eventually craft a health care act that meets the needs of American families. This will be a long, drawn-out process.

 

Employers with 100 or more Employees

 

Employers required to comply with all of the previously mentioned Acts, plus the following Acts:

  • Worker Adjustment and Retaining Notifications Act (WARN). Employers required to provide a 60-day advance notice to employee4s of imminent covered plant closings and covered mass layoffs.
  • EEO-1 Report filed annually. The Employer Information Report (EEO-1) requires employers to submit employment data categorized by race/ethnicity, gender, job category, and wages and hours to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

 

 

 

 

Contact Ned Frazier at ned@frazierintl.com or call 303.875.5078 with any questions.

 

Posted in Uncategorized by nfrazier. Comments Off on Employment Laws According to Number of Employees

HR Alert- 2017 Contribution Limits

 

Inflation in 2016 remained low. Many of the federal contribution levels are unchanged from 2016.  Biggest change is the Social Security Wage Base.

 

  • The Social Security Wage Base for 2017 increases significantly from $118,500 in 2016 to $127,200 for 2017, an increase of over 7%. The maximum yearly Social Security tax withholding amount increases $539 from $7,347 to $7,886 (6.2% of $127,200).  The 6.2% Social Security tax contributed by the employee is matched by the employer.

 

  • Medicare tax remains at 1.45% for most employees (matched at 1.45% by employers) with no limit on income.

 

  • The maximum annual amount an employee can contribute to a 401(k) Plan during 2017 remains unchanged at $18,000. Employees age 50 and above can contribute an additional “catch-up” contribution of $6,000, for a total maximum contribution of $24,000.

 

  • The maximum annual amount an employee can contribute to a traditional IRA or a Roth IRA in 2017 remains unchanged at $5,500; the additional catch-up contribution for employees age 50 and above remains $1,000, for a total contribution of up to $6,500.

 

  • Simple IRA’s have a maximum annual contribution of $12,500 for employees in 2017. Employees age 50 and above have a catch-up contribution limit of $3,000, and a total contribution limit of $15,500 in 2017.

 

  • The Dependent Care annual limit under Section 125 remains at $5,000 for married and filing joint returns and $2,500 for married filing separate returns.

 

  • The limit on contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts increases from $2,550 in 2016 to $2,600 in 2017.

 

  • Amendment 70 passed in November, mandating increasing the Colorado minimum wage to $12.00 per hour by January 1, 2020.  Colorado’s Minimum Wage increases from $8.31 per hour to $9.30 per hour, effective January 1, 2017.  The Tipped Employee’s Minimum Wage increases January 1, 2017 to $6.28 per hour.

 

  • The 2017 IRS standard mileage rates are: $0.53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (down from $0.54 in 2016); $0.17 cents per mile for medical or moving purposes (down from $0.19 in 2016; and $0.14 cents per miles driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged).

 

  • Employers are required to comply with the following federal legislation (number of employees listed in parenthesis):

> Immigration Reform and Control Act (Form I-9) (1 or more employees) Note: revised Form I-9 must be used by no later than January 22, 2017

> Colorado Affirmation Form has been repealed and is no longer used by Colorado employers

> USERRA (1 or more employees)

> Fair Labor Standards Act (1 or more employees) Note: Proposed overtime rules not in effect- stay tuned

> Americans with Disabilities Act (15 or more employees)

> Age Discrimination in Employment Act (20 or more employees)

> Family and Medical Leave Act (50 or more employees)

> EEO-1 Reports (100 or more employees; 50 or more for federal contracts)

 

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 at 303.875.5078 if you have any questions about this latest HR Alert, or if we can assist you in any way with your Human Resource needs.

 

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year to all!  2017 promises to be a year of significant changes in HR and we will keep you updated as events unfold.

Posted in HR Alert by nfrazier. Comments Off on HR Alert- 2017 Contribution Limits

Revised Form I-9 Must Be Used No Later Than January 22, 2017

 Finally, after many months of delay, the revised Form I-9 was published by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) yesterday.  The new form is dated November 14, 2016 and can be used immediately. It MUST be used no later than January 22, 2017  or employers will face a civil penalty of up to $2,156 for each use of the expired form that has an expiration date of March 31, 2016.

Go to www.uscis.gov and locate the revised Form I-9 under “forms”.  Here are the key changes:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” instead of “other names used.”
  • Section 1 added a box to check if the employee did or did not use a preparer or translator.
  • Section 2 added additional instructions to tell the employer to document information from the approved list of documents provided by the new hire.
  • Section 2 is more specific on the name of employer or authorized representative.
  • Other changes include:
    • Addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
    • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
    • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add additional information to the margins of the Form I-9.
    • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator if needed.
    • The revised Form I-9 should be easier to complete on a computer, including drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over.

My recommendation is to print the new Form I-9, compare it to the one that expired in March, then destroy all copies of the Form I-9 with the March 31, 2016 expiration date and immediately start using the new Form I-9 with the August 31, 2019 expiration date.  This will ensure that you don’t lose track of the mandatory date of January 21, 2017 and put yourself at risk for penalties for using an expired Form I-9.

Leading HR sources indicate the new administration will most likely introduce legislation to make the E-Verify system mandatory for all employers, with a phase-in schedule based on the number of employees.   E-Verify (in my humble opinion) is the best tool out there for employers to show good faith compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act.  Complete, timely and accurate Form I-9’s, combined wiht the use of E-Verify, are both strong tools to help you stay in compliance.  As always, feel free to call us with any questions.  We are pleased to be able to refer you to a leading immigration attorney if you have legal questions about  compliance.

 

 

Posted in HR Alert by nfrazier. Comments Off on Revised Form I-9 Must Be Used No Later Than January 22, 2017