2018 Year End HR Best Practices

Review your Handbooks

With the New Year comes changes to legislation and specific legal updates at the federal, state and local level. Additionally, if your employee headcount has increased over the course of the year, you may now need to adhere to federal, state, and local laws that previously were not applicable. 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 2019. This will ensure all new and applicable labor law notices are posted for your employees’ reference. GovDocs is a recommended vendor for ordering all-in-one labor law posters. Check out this link for more details. Otherwise, you can reference our Locally Sourced HR Newsletter for monthly labor law poster updates throughout the year.

ACA Reporting Deadlines

If you were an Applicable Large Employer in the 2018 calendar year (50 or more full time/full time equivalent employees) you are required to report in 2019. 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 Consultant with any further questions on this topic.

The deadline for filing has been extended as it has been the past few years. The deadline to distribute the 1095-Cs to your employees is March 4th, 2019.

Please keep an eye out for future StratEx communications that include important deadlines.

Prepare for State-Mandated Harassment Training

Be sure to act on any new and/or updated sexual harassment prevention training requirements if you employ in California, Delaware, and/or New York, as these three states have updated and/or implemented new training requirements effective as early as January 1st, 2019. As a reminder, Connecticut and Maine already have sexual harassment training requirements in place.

This is a good time to prepare when you’re going to conduct your training throughout the year. Reach out to your StratEx HR Consultant to discuss training solutions if you need to comply with these requirements.

Implement Sick & Family Leave Legislation

Several states, cities and counties will have new or updated paid sick or family leave legislation go into effect starting in 2019. A few specific ones to call out:

  • Remember New Jersey passed a Paid Sick Leave effective 10/29/18
  • Massachusetts Paid Family and Medical Leave Notice required to be sent on 1/1/2019 & employer and employee contributions begin on 7/1/2019
  • Michigan’s new Paid Sick Leave law is expected to take effect on 3/20/2019
  • Rhode Island Paid Sick Leave accrual and usage rate increase on 1/1/2019
  • Washington requires collection of employee contributions for paid family leave benefits beginning on 1/1/2019
  • Washington DC requires employer contributions for Universal Paid Leave on 7/1/2019
  • Westchester County, New York’s Paid Sick Leave law takes effect on 4/10/2019

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your HR Consultant 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 a great time to review for any mistakes from the past year and guard your company against costly fines. Your HR Consultant 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. As a reminder, California, Delaware, Massachusetts, Albany County, New York, New York City, Westchester County, New York, Oregon, and Vermont already prohibit employers from asking about an applicant’s salary history. In 2019, Connecticut and Hawaii join them in prohibiting salary history inquiries.

Hedge your potential liability here by reviewing your current pay structures and your application materials.

If you’re wondering where your state(s) falls in all of this, reach out to your HR Consultant.

Prepare for EEO-1 Reporting

As a reminder, 2018 EEO-1 filing will be due March 31, 2019. As of right now, salary data will not be required to be reported. If you are required to submit EEO reporting, start reviewing your demographic data. There are several reports in eStratEx to assist you in identifying any gaps. Please reach out to your Service Team or your HR Consultant for any questions on the reports.

OSHA Electronic Reporting

Employers with 250 or more employees that are subject to OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements must submit data from Forms 300A, 300 and 301 by March 2, 2019.

Employers with 20-249 employees in certain high -risk industries must submit data from Form 300A by March 2, 2019.

State Plans that have not yet adopted this rule include: California, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, South Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. OSHA clarified that employers in State Plans are expected to electronically submit data, even if their state has not completed adoption of its own state rule.

If you are wondering whether these electronic reporting requirements apply to your organization, please reach out to your HR Consultant.

If you are a StratEx client and have any questions about these topics, please reach out to your HR Consultant or your StratEx Service Team.