As we leap into the new year, there are at least two dozen new employment laws going into effect as of January 1. Here is a look at some employment laws that can affect your company.
Amendments to the FLSA
- Effective January 1, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) increased the minimum annual salary for most exempt employees paid on a salary basis from its current level of $455 per week (or $23,660 per year) to $684 per week (or $35,568 per year).
- Employers can now provide nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the standard salary level test, as long as they pay annually or more repeatedly.
- The minimum annual salary of employees who receive looser duties test goes from $100,000 to $107,432.
- The Department of Labor estimates an additional 1.3 million workers who are overtime exempt are to become eligible for overtime unless their employers reorganize to avoid payment.
- The FLSA provides unlimited breaks to express milk during the first year of an infant’s life. This entitles hourly employees to as many unpaid breaks as are necessary. The break room must be private and cannot be a bathroom. The rule applies to all employers with 50 or more workers. It also covers employers with at least one employee unless the employer can show complying means undue hardship.
- Many states and cities have amended paid leave laws over the past few years, however new laws for paid leave will come into effect for Nevada, Rhode Island, Austin, Texas, and Duluth, Minnesota. These may cover sick, family or other time off. Eleven states and the District of Columbia mandate it, along with 30 cities and counties in states that don’t. Be sure to follow up on rules in every location where you have workers, including those who telecommute.
Amendments to the FMLA
- Pregnancy and childbirth leave: Childbirth, or maternity and paternity leave, is distinct from paid leave, but can also overlap. For example, the FMLA provides up to 12 weeks of unpaid childbirth and bonding leave. Paid leave laws cover childbirth recovery, but not bonding time. Check the latest laws on childbirth leave, too. Only the District of Columbia and California, New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, and Washington – have paid childbirth leave laws. Your new HR rules should coordinate unpaid FMLA, paid and childbirth leave into one comprehensive policy. Be sure your childbirth and bonding leave doesn’t leave the father out as there is a rise in the amount of men who are suing for equal rights and winning.
New W-4 form
- All new hires must receive IRS Form W-4.
California Assembly Bill 5
- This California law will require companies to reclassify independent contractors as employees, offering them health benefits and paid time off, among other forms of compensation.
KRESS’s diligent team of screening professionals help ensure that companies are compliant with the ever- evolving employment laws. We work with businesses across the world to provide reliable, compliant background checks that provide useful intelligence and peace of mind. If you’d like to know more about our background check services, contact us today for a consultation with a background check professional.