Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

DOL Revises Federal Minimum Wage and Employee Polygraph Workplace Posters

2016 Federal Banner for Blog
Revised Posters Must Be Posted as of August 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently updated its Fair Labor Standards Act and Employee Polygraph Protection Act posters. The new versions are now included in our State & Federal Combination Posters, as well as various versions of our Federal All-In-One Posters.

Background
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage, and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

Note: Employers may also have certain obligations under state and/or local laws, including minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test.

Revised Posters
Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post (and keep posted) a notice explaining the law in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

Additionally, every employer subject to the EPPA must post (and keep posted) on its premises a notice explaining the law. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment.

As of August 1, 2016, employers must post these revised versions. All In One Poster Company has revised all posters containing these notices as of July 29, 2016.

DOL Issues Guidance for Private Employers on Final Overtime Rule

Guidance Provides Options for Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance on its final overtime rule to help private sector employers evaluate current practices and transition to the rule’s requirements.

Background
The DOL’s final rule, effective December 1, 2016, updates the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (“white collar” workers) are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levelsneeded for such workers to be exempt. In particular, the final rule:

  • Raises the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or$47,476 annually) for a full-year worker;
  • Sets the highly-compensated employee (HCE) total annual compensation level equal to $134,004 annually;
  • Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every 3 years, beginning on January 1, 2020; and
  • Amends the regulations to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level, so long asemployers pay those amounts on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Note: When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

New Guidance
Among other things, the DOL’s guidance details some of the options employers may exercise in determining how to comply with the final rule. Employers have certain options for responding to the changes to the salary level, and the DOL does not dictate or recommend any method. Such options include:

  • Providing pay raises that increase workers’ salaries to the new threshold;
  • Spreading employment by reducing or eliminating work hours of individual employees working over 40 hours per week for which no overtime is being paid; or
  • Paying overtime.

Note: The rule does not require employers to convert a salaried worker making less than the new salary threshold to hourly status; employers can pay non-exempt employees on a salary basis and pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Click here to read the guidance. Additional information on the final rule, including fact sheets and Q&As, is available on the DOL’s final rule webpage.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Penalties Increase for Employers Violating Certain Federal Labor Laws

pay_or_play_penalty_and_ppacaEmployers that do not comply with certain requirements under a number of federal labor laws will face increased fines beginning with civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 (whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015).

Key Penalty Increases
Penalty increases announced by the U.S. Department of Labor that may be of particular interest include:

  • Repeated or willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage or overtime pay requirements will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,894 per violation (formerly $1,100);
  • Willful violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting requirement will be subject to a penalty not to exceed $163 for each separate offense (formerly $110) (note: covered employers must post this general notice even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave);
  • Failure to provide employees with a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice will be subject to a penalty of up to $110 per day per violation (formerly $100);
  • Failure to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,087 per failure (formerly $1,000);
  • Failure or refusal to file a Form 5500 will be subject to a penalty of up to $2,063 per day (formerly $1,100); and
  • Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s posting requirement will be subject to a maximum penalty of $12,471 for each violation (formerly $7,000).

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Minnesota Minimum Wage Rates Increase on August 1, 2016

New State and Federal Combination Poster Available for Purchase at minnesota-federal-combo-labor-law-poster-english
www.AllinOnePosters.com

The minimum wage rates in Minnesota will go up on August 1, 2016, according to the following schedule:

  • Large employersmust pay at least $9.50 an hour (annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more);
  • Small employersmust pay at least $7.75 an hour (annual gross volume of sales made or business done of less than $500,000);
  • Thetraining wage rate is $7.75 an hour (90-day training rate paid to employees who are younger than 20 years of age); andminwage
  • Theyouth wage rate is $7.75 an hour (may be paid to employees younger than 18 years of age).

Note: In cases where an employee is subject to both the state and federal m
inimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum
wages.

A new state and federal combination poster reflecting the updated rates is available for purchase. Additional information regarding Minnesota’s minimum wage rates is available by clicking here.

New York: Discrimination Based on Association Prohibited

Law Applies to Certain Employers

The New York State Division of Human Rights has issued a regulationthat prohibits discrimination against an individual because of his or herknown relationship or association with a member of a protected class under the state Human Rights Law.

Background
Under state law, it is generally an unlawful discriminatory practice for an employer with 4 or more employees to refuse to hire or employ or to bar or to discharge from employment an individual or to discriminate against an individual in compensation or in terms, conditions, or privileges of employment because of an individual’s age, race, creed, color, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, sex, disability,predisposing genetic characteristics, familial status, marital status, or domestic violence victim status (collectively referred to as “protected classes”).

Note: The prohibitions against sex discrimination (in all areas of jurisdiction where sex is a protected category) also prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or the status of being transgender.

New Regulation
Where the term “unlawful discriminatory practice” is used in the Human Rights Law, it is construed to prohibit discrimination against an individual because of his or her known relationship or association with a member (or members) of a protected class covered under the relevant provisions of the Human Rights Law.

The new regulation is effective as of May 18, 2016. Click here to read the text of the new rule. The text of the New York State Human Rights Law is available here.

 

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Oklahoma Clarifies the Relationships Between Franchisors, Franchisees, and Employees

Law Effective November 1, 2016

Under a new law in Oklahoma, a franchisor is not considered the employer of a franchisee or a franchisee’s employees.

Additionally, the law clarifies that the employees of a franchisee are not considered employees of the franchisor, and the employees of a franchisor are not considered employees of a franchisee.

The law is effective November 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law, which includes definitions of key terms.

To review other laws specific to Oklahoma, visit the State Laws section, click on Oklahoma, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

San Francisco: Minimum Wage Rises to $13.00 Per Hour on July 1, 2016

As a reminder, the San Francisco minimum wage will rise to $13.00 per hour san-francisco-ordinances-non-laminated-minimum-wage-paid-sick-hcso-fair-chance-family-friendly-imagebeginning July 1, 2016. A new poster reflecting the updated rate (in multiple languages) is now available by clicking here.

Future Minimum Wage Increases in San Francisco
Additional raises are expected according to the following schedule:

  • $14.00 per hour beginning on July 1, 2017;
  • $15.00 per hour beginning on July 1, 2018; and
  • Increased annually by an amount corresponding to the prior year’s increase (if any) in the Consumer Price Index beginning on July 1, 2019.

Click here for more information.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Connecticut Law Allows Employers to Pay Wages Using Payroll Cards

Law Effective October 1, 2016

A new law in Connecticut, effective October 1, 2016, allows employers to pay wages using payroll cards, if certain conditions are met. Highlights of the law include the following:

  • An employer may offer the use of payroll cards to deliver wages, salary, or other compensation (“wages”) to employees, provided:
    • Each employee has the option of receiving wages by direct deposit and by negotiable check; and
    • The employee voluntarily and expressly authorizes—in writing or electronically—the payment of wages by means of a payroll card account without any intimidation, coercion, or fear of discharge or reprisal. An employer may not make the payment of wages by means of a payroll card account a condition of employment or a condition for the receipt of any benefit or other form of remuneration.
  • Prior to an employee electing to receive wages by means of a payroll card account, each employer using payroll card accounts must provide such employee with clear and conspicuous notice, in writing, and in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related policies to its employees, of certain information (§ 1(c)).
  • Each pay period (but not more frequently than each week) an employee with a payroll card must be allowed to make at least 3 withdrawals from the payroll card account at no cost to the employee—one of which permits withdrawal of the full amount of his or her net wages (for the pay period) at a depository financial institution or other convenient location.
  • None of the employer’s costs associated with paying wages using a payroll card or establishing the payroll card account may be deducted from or charged against the employee’s wages.
  • Each employer must provide the employee a means of checking his or her payroll card account balance through an automated telephone system, automated teller machine, or electronicallywithout cost to the employee 24 hours per day and 7 days per week.

Note: Employers utilizing payroll cards are subject to additional requirements under state law, and must also comply with certain federal laws and regulations, including guidance from the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Federal Contractors and Subcontractors: 2016 VETS-4212 Reporting Season Runs from August 1 to September 30

Reports May Be Submitted Online

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is reminding federal contractors and subcontractors that the 2016 VETS-4212 reporting season starts onAugust 1, 2016 and ends on September 30, 2016.

Background
The DOL’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS) is responsible for administering the requirement under the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act that federal contractors and subcontractors track and report annually the number of employees in their workforces who belong to the categories of veterans covered under the affirmative action provisions of the law.

Filing Threshold
Federal contractors and subcontractors with certain contracts or subcontracts of $150,000 or more are required to file a VETS-4212 Report.

Note: Effective as of October 1, 2015, the previous $100,000 threshold for VETS-4212 reporting is increased to $150,000. Accordingly, for the2016 filing year beginning on August 1, 2016, the filing threshold for contracts entered into prior to October 1, 2015, is still $100,000; for contracts entered into on or after October 1, 2015, the filing threshold is$150,000. The filing threshold for contractors continuing to file their VETS-4212 Reports for 2015 is still $100,000.

Reporting Requirements
Federal contractors and subcontractors completing the VETS-4212 Report are to provide information on the number of employees and new hires during the reporting period who are protected veterans.

The 2016 filing season for the VETS-4212 Report starts on August 1, 2016 and ends on September 30, 2016. Any reports entered prior toAugust 1, 2016 are considered part of the 2015 filing cycle.

VETS encourages online website submission of reports. Additional information, including instructions and FAQs, is available on the VETS-4212 website.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM