Tag: employees

  • Opioids in America | CA Benefit Brokers

    June 5, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Lately, there’s been a big focus on America’s opioid addiction in the news. Whether it’s news on the abuse of the drug or it’s information sharing on how the drug works, Americans are talking about this subject regularly. We want to help educate you on this hot topic.

    Opioids are made from the opium poppy plant.  Opium has been around since 3,400 BC and it was first referenced as being cultivated in Southwest Asia. The drug traveled the Silk Road from the Mediterranean to Asia to China. Since then, the drug has gained popularity for pain relief but it also has gained notoriety as an abused drug. Morphine, Codeine, and Heroin are all derived from the opium poppy and are all highly addictive drugs that are abused all around the world. As the demand for these drugs has increased, so has the production.  From 2016 to 2017, the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan increased by 63 percent. In 2016, it killed some 64,000 Americans, more than double the number in 2005.

    We can see that the danger from this drug is growing rapidly. What can we do to recognize potential abuse problems and to get help? Here are some facts about opioid addiction:

    • How do they work? Opioids attach to pain receptors in your brain, spinal cord, and other areas that recognize pain signals. As they attach to the receptors, it reduces the sending of pain messages to the brain and therefore reduces the feelings of pain in your body.
    • Short-acting opiates are typically prescribed for injuries and only for a few days. They take 15-30 minutes for pain relief to begin and this relief lasts for 3-4 hours. Long-acting opiates are prescribed for moderate to severe pain and are used over a long period of time. Relief typically lasts for 8-12 hours and can be used alongside a short-acting drug for breakthrough pain.
    • Dependence is common with long-term use of an opiate. This means that the patient needs to take more of and higher doses of the medicine to get the same pain relieving effect. This does not necessarily mean the patient is addicted. Addiction is the abuse of the drug by taking it in an unprescribed way—like crushing tablets or using intravenously.
    • Americans account for less than 5% of the world’s population, but take 80% of the world’s opioid About 5% of the people who take opiates become addicted to the drug.
    • Help is available through many channels from private recovery centers to insurance providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline is 1-800-662-HELP. This line is confidential, free, and available 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. Family and friends may also call this number for resources for help. Additional resources can be found at drugabuse.com.

    Make sure you are educated about the dangers of opioid abuse. But, don’t be discouraged and think that the abuse is incurable! There are many resources that can be used to break the addiction cycle and can make real change in the lives of its victims. Ask for help and offer help.

     

  • Disability Insurance & How to Use it! | California Benefit Consultants

    May 30, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    No one foresees needing disability benefits.  But, should a problem arise, the educated and informed employee can plan for the future by purchasing disability insurance to help cover expenses when needed. Check out this short video for more!

  • A DOL Audit Can Happen to You | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    April 19, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Summary plan descriptions (SPDs) are required for all retirement, health, and welfare plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, misconceptions about this requirement are widespread. ERISA attorney Stacy H. Barrow, partner with Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, had a chat with ThinkHR about the importance of having proper ERISA documentation and the consequences of failing to do so.

    THR: What types of employers need to have an SPD?

    SHB: We tell all employers — of any size — who offer plans subject to ERISA that they need to have an SPD. This is the first item in every Department of Labor (DOL) audit. If you don’t have one and you get audited or a participant asks for plan documents, you will be scrambling to put documents together and you can’t do them fast enough to avoid an issue. In addition, cafeteria plans can only be adopted prospectively, so if you don’t have a written cafeteria plan in place, you may be jeopardizing the tax qualified status of your plan.

    THR: Won’t my broker or carrier take care of these documents?

    SHB: Employers may think that brokers or carriers take care of all required benefits documentation, but at the end of the day, it’s the employer who is responsible for complying with ERISA’s SPD requirement. Your broker may help you, but they might not be aware of every benefit you offer or your eligibility guidelines. The carrier’s documentation often is missing some of the required language, which is why you use a wrap. You don’t specifically have to use a wrap to develop your SPD, but the carrier document won’t get you there and an wrap is often the best way to comply. If the plan documents aren’t compliant, that’s not the carrier’s or broker’s responsibility, it’s the employer’s.

    THR: Do I really need to be concerned about a DOL audit?

    SHB: Employers can get complacent about documentation, thinking that only large employers get audited, or it won’t happen to them. It’s not only the large corporations that get audited. It can happen to employers of any size or type. It’s important to make sure you have good benefits documentation, because if you don’t, and you do get audited, it might cause the DOL to dig deeper and look for other problems, such as looking into your 401(k) plan.

    Plan documentation is a huge part of every DOL audit. I can’t stress strongly enough that they will want to see the summary plan description and plan documents. If you can get good, compliant documents to the DOL, it increases the chances of a speedy resolution. If you can provide them quickly, it sends a message that you are ready and in compliance.

    THR: What are the consequences of being out of compliance?

    SHB: Not having the proper documents may be an issue if you get audited or there is litigation over a denied claim. You need to be prepared for this possibility. If the DOL audits and imposes penalties, it may not be because the employer didn’t have a wrap document, but rather because the document wasn’t updated, wasn’t compliant, or wasn’t distributed to employees. And the DOL may impose penalties of up to $152 per day for failure to provide an SPD upon request. Also, failure to inform participants of plan changes may invalidate those changes.

    By Rachel Sobel

    Originally published by WWW.ThinkHR.com

  • Non-profits now may have to show a profit on something from which employees profit

    April 11, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Under the new Tax Act, and effective January 1, 2018, non profit employers must pay a corporate tax (defined as 21% under Section 13703 of amended section 512(A) of the Tax Code) for the following benefits made available to employees on a cost free basis:

    • Qualified transportation plan
    • Parking facilities used in connection with qualified parking
    • On premises athletic facilities

  • New Guidance on Tipped Wages | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    March 27, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    The 2,232-page budget spending bill that was signed by President Trump on March 23, 2018, included an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibiting employers, managers, or supervisors from collecting or retaining tips made by employees, regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit.

    This law essentially blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2017 proposed rule which would have allowed tip sharing between employees who directly earn them with “back of the house” employees who “[c]ontribute to the overall customer experience,” but do not traditionally receive direct tips, such as cooks and dishwashers.

    The next step with the DOL’s proposed rule could be that the agency pulls it or conforms the rulemaking to the spending bill. However, experts are concerned that the bill did not go far enough to provide clear and concise definitions. For example, in the restaurant industry employees can wear many hats. So what happens when a food server is the shift lead? Is a shift lead a manager or supervisor because they are granted authority, be it minimal authority, over other food servers? Employers will be looking to the DOL to provide more specifics.

    For the time being, the FLSA standard continues, “[a] valid tip pool may not include employees who do not customarily and regularly received tips, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors.”

    Get the basics in our Federal Employment Law Update or go more in depth into the background and implications of tipping regulations on Eater.

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – March 2018 | CA Benefit Advisors

    March 14, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    California Supreme Court Rules on Overtime Calculations with Retroactive Application

    On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California (Alvarado) that when calculating overtime in pay periods when an employee earns a flat rate bonus, employers must divide the total compensation earned in a pay period by only the non-overtime hours worked. This means, according to the Alvarado decision, the correct calculation of overtime associated with a flat sum bonus is the amount of the bonus divided by the regular hours worked by the employee, multiplied by 1.5 (not a 0.5 multiplier, which the employer used in the case):

    (Overtime Hours x Regular Rate x 1.5) + (Bonus/Regular Hours Worked x Overtime Hours Worked x 1.5) = Total Overtime Compensation in California

    This decision applies retroactively; thus all California employers who pay flat rate bonuses must ensure immediate compliance with these calculations or risk incurring penalties and liability.

    Read Alvarado

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – February 2018 | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    February 28, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Employer Response to Immigration Inspection Notice

    In January 2018, the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE) released its pre-inspection notice, Notice to Employee Labor Code section 90.2.

    Effective January 1, 2018, and except as otherwise required by federal law, California employers must provide notice to current employees of any inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency. This notice is completed by posting the DLSE’s Notice to Employee Labor Code section 90.2 in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection.

    A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms, and any accompanying documents, must be posted or given to employees with the DLSE notice.

    See the notice

    Originally posted by www.ThinkHR.com

  • Federal Employment Law Update – February 2018 | Petaluma Benefit Brokers

    February 16, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    IRS Releases Publication 15 and W-4 Withholding Guidance for 2018

    On January 31, 2018, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Publication 15 — Introductory Material, which includes the following:

    • 2018 federal income tax withholding tables.
    • Exempt Form W-4.
    • New information on:
      • Withholding allowance.
      • Withholding on supplemental wages.
      • Backup withholding.
      • Moving expense reimbursement.
      • Social Security and Medicare tax for 2018.
      • Disaster tax relief.

    Read Publication 15 and further details here.

    EEOC Penalty Increases for Failure to Post Required Notices

    On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a final rule increasing the penalty amount from $534 to $545 for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) notice posting requirements.

    The final rule is effective February 20, 2018.

    Read the rule

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • New Tax Breaks for Health Plans | Petaluma Benefits Broker

    January 26, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Last week’s drama that shut down the federal government, then un-shut it three days later, was settled when agreement was reached on a Continuing Resolution. Included in the resolution are three tax breaks of particular interest to employers that offer group health coverage to their workers.

    Cadillac Tax: Delayed until 2022

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the value of employer-provided health coverage exceeding certain thresholds. This so-called Cadillac tax was scheduled to take effect in 2020 but now is delayed until 2022.

    Efforts to repeal the Cadillac tax are expected to continue. It originally had been scheduled to take effect in 2018, then was delayed to 2020. This additional two-year delay, to 2022, provides further relief to employers while giving Congress time to consider permanent action.

    Health Insurance Providers (HIP) Fee: Suspended for 2019

    Starting in 2014, the ACA has imposed an annual fee on certain health insurers that generally is passed on to their policyholders. It affects insured plans, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, but does not apply to self-funded plans. Most advisors estimate the current fee impacts health insurance costs by 3 to 4 percent.

    The HIP fee was suspended for 2017, then resumed for 2018. Last week’s resolution will provide another one-year moratorium: the fee is suspended for 2019.

    Medical Device Tax: Suspended for 2018 and 2019

    The ACA added a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of medical device products, starting in 2013. It was suspended for 2016 and 2017, then scheduled to resume for 2018. Analysts cite the tax as one factor in increased health care expenses that are passed on to health insurers and employers.

    The new resolution suspends the medical device tax retroactively for 2018 and 2019.

    ThinkHR continually monitors legislative and regulatory changes that affect employers and their benefit offerings.

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – January 2018 | CA Benefit Advisors

    January 24, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Workplace Discrimination Poster Updated

    In November 2017, the California Division of Labor and Employment updated its workplace discrimination poster, California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment, to include the new supervisor training requirements to prevent sexual harassment and a revision date of November 2017. All employers must conspicuously post this document in hiring offices, on employee bulletin boards, in employment agency waiting rooms, union halls, and other places employees gather. Any employer whose workforce at any facility or establishment consists of more than 10 percent of non-English speaking persons must also post this notice in the appropriate language or languages.

    Download the poster

    Oakland Minimum Wage Poster Updated

    The City of Oakland updated its official notice for the city’s minimum wage. Beginning January 1, 2018, employees who perform at least two hours of work per workweek and within the geographic limits of the city must be paid a minimum wage of at least $13.23 per hour.

    Download the poster

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • New Year, New Penalties | CA Benefit Advisors

    January 5, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    Department of Labor Publishes Updated Penalties for OSHA Violations

    On January 2, 2018, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published updated, inflation-adjusted penalties for violations of various laws regulated by the DOL and its internal components or divisions, including the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). The DOL is required to adjust the level of civil monetary penalties for inflation by January 15 each year pursuant to the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act of 1990, as amended by the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act of 2015 (Inflation Adjustment Act).

    Because of the Inflation Adjustment Act, rates for OSHA penalties have increased three times in the last 17 months (August 1, 2016, January 13, 2017, and January 2, 2018). Therefore, for violations occurring after November 2, 2015, the penalty amounts incurred by employers will depend on when the penalty is assessed, as follows:

    • If the penalty was assessed after August 1, 2016 but on or before January 13, 2017, then the August 1, 2016 penalty level applies.
    • If the penalty was assessed after January 13, 2017 but on or before January 2, 2018, then the January 13, 2017 penalty level applies.
    • If the penalty was assessed after January 2, 2018, then the current penalty level applies.

    The applicable January 2, 2018 penalty levels for violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 (OSH Act) are as follows:

    • Willful violations: $9,239 – 129,936 (up from $9,054 – $126,749 after January 13, 2017 and $8,908 – $124,709 after August 1, 2016)
    • Repeated violations: $129,936 (up from $126,749 after January 13, 2017 and $124,709 after August 1, 2016)
    • Serious violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
    • Other-than-serious violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
    • Failure to correct violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)
    • Posting requirement violations: $12,934 (up from $12,675 after January 13, 2017 and $12,471 after August 1, 2016)

    These increases apply to states with federal OSHA programs and states with OSHA-approved state plans. Violations occurring on or before November 2, 2015 are assessed at pre-August 1, 2016 levels.

    Employers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with these increased penalties and consult counsel if they have questions about the penalty level applicable to a potential violation.

    By Nicole Quinn-Gato

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • Opioids in America | CA Benefit Brokers

    June 5, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Lately, there’s been a big focus on America’s opioid addiction in the news. Whether it’s news on the abuse of the drug or it’s information sharing on how the drug works, Americans are talking about this subject regularly. We want to help educate you on this hot topic.

    Opioids are made from the opium poppy plant.  Opium has been around since 3,400 BC and it was first referenced as being cultivated in Southwest Asia. The drug traveled the Silk Road from the Mediterranean to Asia to China. Since then, the drug has gained popularity for pain relief but it also has gained notoriety as an abused drug. Morphine, Codeine, and Heroin are all derived from the opium poppy and are all highly addictive drugs that are abused all around the world. As the demand for these drugs has increased, so has the production.  From 2016 to 2017, the area under opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan increased by 63 percent. In 2016, it killed some 64,000 Americans, more than double the number in 2005.

    We can see that the danger from this drug is growing rapidly. What can we do to recognize potential abuse problems and to get help? Here are some facts about opioid addiction:

    • How do they work? Opioids attach to pain receptors in your brain, spinal cord, and other areas that recognize pain signals. As they attach to the receptors, it reduces the sending of pain messages to the brain and therefore reduces the feelings of pain in your body.
    • Short-acting opiates are typically prescribed for injuries and only for a few days. They take 15-30 minutes for pain relief to begin and this relief lasts for 3-4 hours. Long-acting opiates are prescribed for moderate to severe pain and are used over a long period of time. Relief typically lasts for 8-12 hours and can be used alongside a short-acting drug for breakthrough pain.
    • Dependence is common with long-term use of an opiate. This means that the patient needs to take more of and higher doses of the medicine to get the same pain relieving effect. This does not necessarily mean the patient is addicted. Addiction is the abuse of the drug by taking it in an unprescribed way—like crushing tablets or using intravenously.
    • Americans account for less than 5% of the world’s population, but take 80% of the world’s opioid About 5% of the people who take opiates become addicted to the drug.
    • Help is available through many channels from private recovery centers to insurance providers. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helpline is 1-800-662-HELP. This line is confidential, free, and available 24-hours a day and 7 days a week. Family and friends may also call this number for resources for help. Additional resources can be found at drugabuse.com.

    Make sure you are educated about the dangers of opioid abuse. But, don’t be discouraged and think that the abuse is incurable! There are many resources that can be used to break the addiction cycle and can make real change in the lives of its victims. Ask for help and offer help.

     

  • Disability Insurance & How to Use it! | California Benefit Consultants

    May 30, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    No one foresees needing disability benefits.  But, should a problem arise, the educated and informed employee can plan for the future by purchasing disability insurance to help cover expenses when needed. Check out this short video for more!

  • A DOL Audit Can Happen to You | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    April 19, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


    Summary plan descriptions (SPDs) are required for all retirement, health, and welfare plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). However, misconceptions about this requirement are widespread. ERISA attorney Stacy H. Barrow, partner with Marathas Barrow Weatherhead Lent LLP, had a chat with ThinkHR about the importance of having proper ERISA documentation and the consequences of failing to do so.

    THR: What types of employers need to have an SPD?

    SHB: We tell all employers — of any size — who offer plans subject to ERISA that they need to have an SPD. This is the first item in every Department of Labor (DOL) audit. If you don’t have one and you get audited or a participant asks for plan documents, you will be scrambling to put documents together and you can’t do them fast enough to avoid an issue. In addition, cafeteria plans can only be adopted prospectively, so if you don’t have a written cafeteria plan in place, you may be jeopardizing the tax qualified status of your plan.

    THR: Won’t my broker or carrier take care of these documents?

    SHB: Employers may think that brokers or carriers take care of all required benefits documentation, but at the end of the day, it’s the employer who is responsible for complying with ERISA’s SPD requirement. Your broker may help you, but they might not be aware of every benefit you offer or your eligibility guidelines. The carrier’s documentation often is missing some of the required language, which is why you use a wrap. You don’t specifically have to use a wrap to develop your SPD, but the carrier document won’t get you there and an wrap is often the best way to comply. If the plan documents aren’t compliant, that’s not the carrier’s or broker’s responsibility, it’s the employer’s.

    THR: Do I really need to be concerned about a DOL audit?

    SHB: Employers can get complacent about documentation, thinking that only large employers get audited, or it won’t happen to them. It’s not only the large corporations that get audited. It can happen to employers of any size or type. It’s important to make sure you have good benefits documentation, because if you don’t, and you do get audited, it might cause the DOL to dig deeper and look for other problems, such as looking into your 401(k) plan.

    Plan documentation is a huge part of every DOL audit. I can’t stress strongly enough that they will want to see the summary plan description and plan documents. If you can get good, compliant documents to the DOL, it increases the chances of a speedy resolution. If you can provide them quickly, it sends a message that you are ready and in compliance.

    THR: What are the consequences of being out of compliance?

    SHB: Not having the proper documents may be an issue if you get audited or there is litigation over a denied claim. You need to be prepared for this possibility. If the DOL audits and imposes penalties, it may not be because the employer didn’t have a wrap document, but rather because the document wasn’t updated, wasn’t compliant, or wasn’t distributed to employees. And the DOL may impose penalties of up to $152 per day for failure to provide an SPD upon request. Also, failure to inform participants of plan changes may invalidate those changes.

    By Rachel Sobel

    Originally published by WWW.ThinkHR.com

  • Non-profits now may have to show a profit on something from which employees profit

    April 11, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Under the new Tax Act, and effective January 1, 2018, non profit employers must pay a corporate tax (defined as 21% under Section 13703 of amended section 512(A) of the Tax Code) for the following benefits made available to employees on a cost free basis:

    • Qualified transportation plan
    • Parking facilities used in connection with qualified parking
    • On premises athletic facilities

  • New Guidance on Tipped Wages | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    March 27, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    The 2,232-page budget spending bill that was signed by President Trump on March 23, 2018, included an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prohibiting employers, managers, or supervisors from collecting or retaining tips made by employees, regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit.

    This law essentially blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2017 proposed rule which would have allowed tip sharing between employees who directly earn them with “back of the house” employees who “[c]ontribute to the overall customer experience,” but do not traditionally receive direct tips, such as cooks and dishwashers.

    The next step with the DOL’s proposed rule could be that the agency pulls it or conforms the rulemaking to the spending bill. However, experts are concerned that the bill did not go far enough to provide clear and concise definitions. For example, in the restaurant industry employees can wear many hats. So what happens when a food server is the shift lead? Is a shift lead a manager or supervisor because they are granted authority, be it minimal authority, over other food servers? Employers will be looking to the DOL to provide more specifics.

    For the time being, the FLSA standard continues, “[a] valid tip pool may not include employees who do not customarily and regularly received tips, such as dishwashers, cooks, chefs, and janitors.”

    Get the basics in our Federal Employment Law Update or go more in depth into the background and implications of tipping regulations on Eater.

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – March 2018 | CA Benefit Advisors

    March 14, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

    California Supreme Court Rules on Overtime Calculations with Retroactive Application

    On March 5, 2018, the California Supreme Court ruled in Alvarado v. Dart Container Corporation of California (Alvarado) that when calculating overtime in pay periods when an employee earns a flat rate bonus, employers must divide the total compensation earned in a pay period by only the non-overtime hours worked. This means, according to the Alvarado decision, the correct calculation of overtime associated with a flat sum bonus is the amount of the bonus divided by the regular hours worked by the employee, multiplied by 1.5 (not a 0.5 multiplier, which the employer used in the case):

    (Overtime Hours x Regular Rate x 1.5) + (Bonus/Regular Hours Worked x Overtime Hours Worked x 1.5) = Total Overtime Compensation in California

    This decision applies retroactively; thus all California employers who pay flat rate bonuses must ensure immediate compliance with these calculations or risk incurring penalties and liability.

    Read Alvarado

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – February 2018 | Petaluma Benefit Consultants

    February 28, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Employer Response to Immigration Inspection Notice

    In January 2018, the California Department of Labor Standards and Enforcement (DLSE) released its pre-inspection notice, Notice to Employee Labor Code section 90.2.

    Effective January 1, 2018, and except as otherwise required by federal law, California employers must provide notice to current employees of any inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms or other employment records conducted by an immigration agency. This notice is completed by posting the DLSE’s Notice to Employee Labor Code section 90.2 in the language the employer normally uses to communicate employment-related information to the employee within 72 hours of receiving notice of the inspection.

    A copy of the Notice of Inspection of I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification forms, and any accompanying documents, must be posted or given to employees with the DLSE notice.

    See the notice

    Originally posted by www.ThinkHR.com

  • Federal Employment Law Update – February 2018 | Petaluma Benefit Brokers

    February 16, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    IRS Releases Publication 15 and W-4 Withholding Guidance for 2018

    On January 31, 2018, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Publication 15 — Introductory Material, which includes the following:

    • 2018 federal income tax withholding tables.
    • Exempt Form W-4.
    • New information on:
      • Withholding allowance.
      • Withholding on supplemental wages.
      • Backup withholding.
      • Moving expense reimbursement.
      • Social Security and Medicare tax for 2018.
      • Disaster tax relief.

    Read Publication 15 and further details here.

    EEOC Penalty Increases for Failure to Post Required Notices

    On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a final rule increasing the penalty amount from $534 to $545 for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) notice posting requirements.

    The final rule is effective February 20, 2018.

    Read the rule

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • New Tax Breaks for Health Plans | Petaluma Benefits Broker

    January 26, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

    Last week’s drama that shut down the federal government, then un-shut it three days later, was settled when agreement was reached on a Continuing Resolution. Included in the resolution are three tax breaks of particular interest to employers that offer group health coverage to their workers.

    Cadillac Tax: Delayed until 2022

    The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a 40 percent excise tax on the value of employer-provided health coverage exceeding certain thresholds. This so-called Cadillac tax was scheduled to take effect in 2020 but now is delayed until 2022.

    Efforts to repeal the Cadillac tax are expected to continue. It originally had been scheduled to take effect in 2018, then was delayed to 2020. This additional two-year delay, to 2022, provides further relief to employers while giving Congress time to consider permanent action.

    Health Insurance Providers (HIP) Fee: Suspended for 2019

    Starting in 2014, the ACA has imposed an annual fee on certain health insurers that generally is passed on to their policyholders. It affects insured plans, including medical, dental, and vision insurance, but does not apply to self-funded plans. Most advisors estimate the current fee impacts health insurance costs by 3 to 4 percent.

    The HIP fee was suspended for 2017, then resumed for 2018. Last week’s resolution will provide another one-year moratorium: the fee is suspended for 2019.

    Medical Device Tax: Suspended for 2018 and 2019

    The ACA added a 2.3 percent excise tax on the sale of medical device products, starting in 2013. It was suspended for 2016 and 2017, then scheduled to resume for 2018. Analysts cite the tax as one factor in increased health care expenses that are passed on to health insurers and employers.

    The new resolution suspends the medical device tax retroactively for 2018 and 2019.

    ThinkHR continually monitors legislative and regulatory changes that affect employers and their benefit offerings.

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

  • California Employment Law Update – January 2018 | CA Benefit Advisors

    January 24, 2018

    Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

    Workplace Discrimination Poster Updated

    In November 2017, the California Division of Labor and Employment updated its workplace discrimination poster, California Law Prohibits Workplace Discrimination and Harassment, to include the new supervisor training requirements to prevent sexual harassment and a revision date of November 2017. All employers must conspicuously post this document in hiring offices, on employee bulletin boards, in employment agency waiting rooms, union halls, and other places employees gather. Any employer whose workforce at any facility or establishment consists of more than 10 percent of non-English speaking persons must also post this notice in the appropriate language or languages.

    Download the poster

    Oakland Minimum Wage Poster Updated

    The City of Oakland updated its official notice for the city’s minimum wage. Beginning January 1, 2018, employees who perform at least two hours of work per workweek and within the geographic limits of the city must be paid a minimum wage of at least $13.23 per hour.

    Download the poster

    Originally published by www.ThinkHR.com

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