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10 January 2018

Tagged in: Audience 

Employment compliance updates changing Jan 1, 2018

Key Compliance Updates:

Several employment compliance updates have come into effect in Jan 1 of 2018, below is a breakdown of the key points that may impact your US and Canadian workforce. We are available to consult with you on any items to ensure your team is informed and your workforce compliant with the 2018 employment compliance changes.

USA

Increase to salary exempt thresholds in NY and CA
Some locations in New York and California have increased their salary exempt thresholds to the below amounts effective January 1, 2018:

  • New York:
    • New York City: $975 per week or $50,700 per year, up from $825 per week or $42,900 per year in 2017.
    • Downstate New York (Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester): $825 per week or $42,900 per year, up from $750 per week or $39,000 per year in 2017.
    • Remainder of NY state (outside of NYC, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester) is now: $780 per week or $40,560 per year, up from $727.50 per week or $37,830 per year in 2017.
  • California: $880 per week or $45,760 per year, up from $840 per week, or $43,680 per year in 2017.
  • California computer professional: $43.58 per hour or 7,565.85 per month or 90,790.01 per year, up from $42.35 per hour or $7,352.62 per year or $88,231.30 year in 2017.

>> How does this affect your company: If you are placing salaried workers you will need to pay them above these thresholds to meet an exempt category. Hourly workers will not be affected, unless they are computer professionals in California, in which case they will need to be paid above the hourly threshold to meet the computer exemption.

Changes to Salary Exempt Thresholds 

Several states have salary thresholds for exempt employees that are higher than the FLSA salary threshold of $23,600 per year. This means that if the employees in these states do not meet the requisite salary thresholds for their states, they will be classified as nonexempt. The state specific requirements can be viewed here

>> How does this affect your company: If you are placing salaried workers in the states listed in the chart you will need to pay them above these thresholds and ensure they meet the relevant employment categories to meet the overtime exempt status. As always, PGC will thoroughly analyze the job descriptions you provide us and make an accurate assessment of whether the workers engaged through PGC fit into the exempt or nonexempt classification based on the job duties and corresponding federal and state laws.

Computer Professional Exemption

There is no computer professional exemption for employees in Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, or Pennsylvania. For a computer professional to be exempt in these states they must be salaried and fit into an Administrative, Professional, or Executive category.

>> How does this affect your company: If you are placing IT workers in the states listed above, you will have to determine whether or not they fit into an Administrative, Professional, or Executive category in order to be exempt, as there is no computer professional exemption in these states. As always, PGC will thoroughly analyze the job descriptions you provide us and make an accurate assessment of whether the workers engaged through PGC fit into the exempt or nonexempt classification based on the job duties and corresponding federal and state laws.

Salary and Criminal History Bans Take Effect
A growing number of jurisdictions across the nation are restricting an employer’s ability to seek and/or consider a candidate’s salary history or criminal history during the hiring and recruiting process. The jurisdictions with bans going into effect January 1st are:

  • California – Salary History Ban
  • San Francisco – Salary History Ban
  • Los Angeles – Salary History Ban
  • California – Criminal History Ban
  • Los Angeles – Criminal History Ban

>> How does this affect your company: If you are recruiting for positions in California ensure your team is familiar with these changes to protect yourself from violation claims from workers.

California Statewide Paid Parental leave benefits increase
California’s new Paid Parental Leave Act, AB 908, increases temporary disability and paid family leave benefits from 55 percent of an employee’s wages to 60 percent (or 70 percent for employees earning under a certain income level). Also, the 7 day waiting period for paid family leave benefits that was required under the previous parental leave act will no longer apply.

>> How do these updates affect your company: The Paid Family Leave is directly taken from employees pay according to IRS guidelines. There is no cost to you and PGC will manage any compliance.
 
Washington introduces Statewide Paid Sick Leave
Washington’s Paid Sick Leave goes into effect on January 1, 2018.  Washington employees will be able to earn 1 hour of paid sick for every 40 hours worked. Earned sick leave may be used after the employee’s 90th day of employment. On January 1, 2018, the city of Tacoma Washington will amend their current paid sick leave law to align with Washington State’s more generous offering.

>> How does this affect your company: If a worker is employed in Washington and entitled to Paid Sick Leave they will be entitled to access this. PGC will issue an update to workers, letting them know changes and will manage all accruals.

Nevada domestic Violence Time Off Law Takes Effect
Beginning January 1, 2018 Nevada employers must provide eligible employees who are the victim of domestic violence, or whose family or household members are victims with up to 160 hours of paid or unpaid leave to receive DV health or legal services, treatment, or safety planning. Employees cannot be terminated, disciplined, or discriminated against for requesting reasonable accommodations in order to receive such services.

>> How does this affect your company: All workers employed in Nevada will have access to this benefit. You are not required to offer this as paid time off, unless you would prefer to.

Canada

Ontario Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 
On November 22, 2017, Ontario passed Bill 148 or the Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act. It made a number of changes to the existing Labour Relations Act and Occupation Health and Safety Act including:

  • Notice of Termination of Assignment for Temp Help Agencies – Temporary help agencies must provide an assignment employee with at least 1 week’s written notice or pay in lieu of notice if an assignment that was estimated to last for 3 months or more is terminated before the end of its estimated term, unless another assignment lasting at least 1 week is offered to the employee. If we receive a termination inquiry from you, we will always accurately advise you whether you must provide an employee with notice or payment in lieu of.
  • Public holiday pay changes – Public holiday pay will be calculated based on the number of days actually worked in the pay period immediately preceding the public holiday. PGC will process public holiday pay in compliance with the new requirements.
  • Independent Contractor Enforcement  – Bill 148 explicitly bans employers from treating their employees as if they are not employees. The employer will bear the burden of proof in showing that an individual who is the subject of an employment standards investigation or inspection is not an employee. This provision is specifically aimed at curtailing the widespread misclassification of employees as independent contractors. PGC is the employer of your workers in Ontario, and it would fall on us to comply with this and bear the burden of proof that the Independent contractor is not actually an employee.
  • Increased Family Leave  
    • Employees with at least 13 consecutive weeks of service are entitled to up to 10 days and up to 15 weeks of leave each calendar year if the employee or child of the employee experiences domestic or sexual violence of a threat thereof. The first 5 days of the leave are to be paid by the employer.
    • Employees must be provided 2 days of paid leave and 8 days of unpaid leave in each calendar year in the event of a personal emergency.
    • The entitlement to pregnancy leave for employees who suffer a still-birth or miscarriage has increased from six weeks to twelve weeks.
    • The entitlement to family leave to provide care or support to certain family members with a significant risk of death occurring has increased from 8 weeks to 28 weeks, in a 52-week period.
    • An employee is entitled to up to 104 weeks of unpaid leave in the event of a crime related child disappearance or death.

>> How does this affect your company: PGC will manage all Canadian updates and make sure all practices in regards to your workers are compliant with these changes.  

 

That’s a wrap on the 2018 upcoming changes, if you have questions on any points, our team is available to support you!

 

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