(Note: This post was written in conjunction with Emily Quinn, StratEx’s HR Practice Leader.)
It’s almost time to say: Happy New Year! And with the new year comes our annual list of “Must-do” HR updates for a successful and friction-free year. Please read through our 2018 HR recommendations and implement them wherever they apply to you.
Review your Handbooks
With the New Year comes changes to legislation and specific legal updates at the federal, state and local level. Make sure to revise any updated policies or procedures in your handbook in order to remain compliant in the coming year.
Update Labor Law Posters
If there have been major updates since the last time you ordered labor law posters, you should order new federal and state labor law posters for 2018. This will ensure all new and applicable labor law notices are posted for your employees’ reference. Check out this link for more details about posters and how to order them.
ACA Reporting Deadlines
If you were an Applicable Large Employer in calendar year 2017 (50 or more full time/full time equivalent employees) you are required to report in 2018. Make sure you have a plan in place for issuing and filing 1094/5-C forms.
StratEx offers ACA reporting services. Please reach out to your HR Account Manager with any further questions on this subject.
If you are not using StratEx for reporting, as of right now, the deadline for filing has not been extended as it has been the past few years. So for now, plan for the January 31st deadline to have the 1095-Cs distributed to employees.
Implement Sick & Family Leave Legislation
Several states, cities and counties will have new paid sick or family leave legislation go into effect starting in 2018. A few specific ones to call out:
- Washington and Vermont on the state level have passed sick leave for 1/1/18
- New York has passed Paid Family Leave for 1/1/18
- California has implemented an unpaid Parental Leave for small employers (separate from Paid Family Leave)
- Rhode Island has passed sick leave for 7/1/18
Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your HR Account Manager regarding which state and local leave laws may be affecting your location(s) and/or your business.
Conduct an I-9 Audit
With increased focus on immigration compliance, the new year is great time to review for any mistakes from the past year and guard your company against costly fines. Your HR Account Manager can assist both with audit best practices and proactive training to prevent further errors.
Review your Pay Practices
Many states have been passing Equal Pay laws over the past few months, and we anticipate that this trend will continue. Some states, such as Massachusetts and California, prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history.
Hedge your potential liability here by reviewing your current pay structures and your application materials.
If you’re wondering where your states falls in all of this, reach out to your HR Account Manager.
Prepare for EEO-1 Reporting Updates
The proposed requirements to add salary data have been put on pause. However, the reporting deadline extension of March 31, 2018 is still being respected. If you are required to submit EEO reporting, start reviewing your data. There are several reports in eStratEx to assist you in identifying any gaps. Please reach out to your Service Team or HR Account Manager for any questions on these.
Implement OSHA Changes
2017 OSHA Checklist
On November 1, 2017, employers should have:
- Review your OSHA poster to ensure it is up to date
- Updated/established reporting procedures
- Reviewed and revised drug testing policies
Find more details on these requirements here.
2017 Electronic Reporting & Anti-Retaliation Provisions
- These have been updated to apply to very specific industries.
- You can read more about this topic and find out if this applies to you on the OSHA website here.
Webinar Recording Available
The new year always includes changes in employment law. Please keep these topics in mind and make updates wherever necessary to keep your company as friction-free as possible. For more detail on these and other exciting HR topics, you’ll want to watch this free webinar that our HR Account Management Team recently put together. It will walk you through some important updates for next year.
If you are a StratEx client and have any questions about these topics, please reach out to your HR Account Manager or your StratEx Service Team.