IRS Releases Revamped 2020 W-4 Form

For the first time in many years the IRS has significantly revamped the Federal W-4 form for 2020.  This new form will be required to be completed by all new employees beginning on January 1, 2020. Any existing employees who wish to make changes to their federal tax withholding after January 1st will also need to use the new version. Employers can ask, but cannot require, all existing employees to submit a new version of the W-4 form. However, if an employee hired before January 1, 2020 does not complete a 2020 W-4 employers must use the last completed W-4 to calculate appropriate federal withholding for the employee. Continue reading

Illinois Artificial Intelligence Video Interview Act Effective January 1, 2020

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more and more prevalent in workplaces today and is changing the way we hire. Illinois is the first state to create regulations around using AI for video interviewing and its law becomes effective January 1st, 2020.   Continue reading

Daylight Savings Time and Wage and Hour Compliance

For employees working the graveyard shift, this weekend could be a bit longer than normal. With the exception of Arizona and Hawaii, Daylight Savings Time ends this Sunday, November 3rd at 2 AM local time for all U.S. states. At this time, thetime-371226_1280 clocks will roll back to 1 AM and repeat the hour. If you have employees that work at that time, your payroll liability will likely be higher than on a typical work day because of the additional hour worked unless scheduling modifications are made. Continue reading

Paid Leave Soon to be the Law in Nevada January 2020

Following suit with other states, Nevada will soon require employers with 50 or more employees to provide general paid leave to all employees. This include full-time and part-time employees, but excludes temporary, on-call, and seasonal employees.

Effective January 1st, 2020, employers must provide “at least 0.01923 hours of paid leave per hour of work performed.” This means that an employee who works 40 hours a week for a whole year will accrue 40 hours of paid leave. This paid leave can be used for any reason, in fact your employee does not have to give you a reason. Still, employees must give a “reasonable” amount of notice before using their paid leave. Continue reading

New Hire Reporting May Be Required for Your Independent Contractors

Most employers are aware of the federal law requiring you to report all of your newly hired employees (and rehired employees) to your state within a specified time period, but were you aware that you may also be required to report new independent contractors that begin working for you to your state as well?

New hire reporting is mandated at the federal level by The Personal Responsibility apaperclip-178126_1920nd Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 (PRWORA), but specific details as to the requirements of the new hire reporting vary from state to state.  States determine how the new hire reporting information should be submitted, in what format, in what amount of time (maximum of 20 days from date of hire per federal law), and who should be reported. The “who” includes independent contractors for many states such as California. Continue reading

Connecticut Expands Sexual Harassment Training Requirements

A new law in Connecticut, “An Act Combatting Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment” (also known as the “Time’s Up Act”), signed on June 18, 2019, significantly expands existing sexual harassment prevention laws. document-428331_1920

The new law will require all Connecticut employers to provide sexual harassment training to supervisors on or before October 1, 2020. After October 1, 2020, all supervisors must receive sexual harassment training within 6 months of their assumption of a supervisory position.  Connecticut employers with three or more employees must provide this sexual harassment raining to all other employees, not just supervisors, also on or before October 1, 2020. For new employees hired after October 1, 2020, the sexual harassment training must be conducted within 6 months from the date of hire. Continue reading

New DOL Ruling Increases the Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

club-2492011_1920This morning the Department of Labor (DOL) announced the new salary threshold for exempt employees. Currently employees who meet certain job duties tests and are paid on a salary basis equal to at least $455 per week can be considered exempt from overtime. The new ruling increases the salary threshold from $455 per week to $684 per week. This new threshold is effective January 1, 2020.

The new threshold means that employers who have exempt employees making less than $684 need to either reclassify the employees as non-exempt (making them eligible for overtime pay when working more than 40 hours in a workweek ) or need to increase wages to be above the weekly minimum. Continue reading

California Bill Would Significantly Change the Definition of an Employee

California businesses who rely on “gig workers” to perform the work for the company may soon need to restructure their business model based on a new bill that has been passed by Congress in California and is expected to be signed soon by Governor Gavin Newsom. This new bill would require that companies using these “gig workers” (the two biggest companies being Uber and Lyft) reclassify their workers to be considered employees rather than continue to be classified as independent contractors.  

It’s important to note that this would only apply to California workers. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled earlier this year that Uber drivers (and similar workers) were independent contractors because they used their own equipment, set their own schedules, could work for competitors, and were responsible for their own profit and/or loss. Continue reading

California Sexual Harassment Training Requirements Expanded

With the passing of Senate Bill 1343, training requirements have changed for California businesses. California employers with 5 or more employees are now required to provide sexual harassment training to both supervisory employees as well as nonsupervisory employees. By January 1, 2020, supervisory employees must receive 2 hours of sexual harassment training and nonsupervisory employees must receive 1 hour of training. Going forward, this training must occur every two years. For all new employees, training must occur within six months of hire. For all new temporary or seasonal employees, training must occur within 30 calendar days or 100 hours worked, whichever comes first. Continue reading

Veteran’s Day a Required Day Off in Some States

Veteran’s Day, a day to commemorate and honor those who have served in our nation’s military in the past and present, is November 11. It dates back to 1918 when the fighting ceased on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month during World War I. For this reason, November 11, 1918 is largely considered the end of the war “to end all wars.” It was in November 1919 that President Wilson declared November 11 as the first Armistice Day. In a speech he stated, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” It was generally celebrated with parades and cessation in business beginning at 11:00 am.

However, much has changed since November 1919. Through the hustle and bustle of modern-day business, it has caused much confusion about how employers should observe Veteran’s Day and what legal obligations they have. In Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Oregon employers may be required to provide veterans a day off if they are normally scheduled. Continue reading