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Overtime Expansion

U.S. Department of Labor Moves to Finalize Overtime Expansion

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On March 14, 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor submitted its overtime rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Once finalized, the rule is expected to expand overtime protections to millions of American workers in 2016.

The final rule could be made public as early as April, based on the OMB’s typical review process, and would take effect within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register. This potential time frame would give employers little time to comply with the new wage-and-hour standards.

Time Is Ticking for Employers

Overtime expansion is expected to have a major operational, administrative and cultural impact on many businesses and could cost employers more than $5.2 billion. Service industries like restaurants, retail and hospitality may be hit especially hard.

It’s important for companies to start evaluating their workforce now to determine the best options for controlling costs and managing the administrative burden under the new rule.

Count the Cost

A good way to get started is with Paycom’s FREE, overtime expansion calculator which allows you to quickly calculate your potential overtime costs. We even help you find the point where it may make more fiscal sense to actually raise salaries, based on the new, proposed-income threshold for exempt employees.

Stay tuned for more important information about managing overtime expansion right here on the Paycom Blog.


Brie Hobbs

by Brie Hobbs


Author Bio:

For more than eight years, Brie has been writing to both job seekers and business leaders about human resources and the challenges facing today’s workforce. Her articles have appeared on award-winning career and HR blogs, as well as on the International Franchise Association’s SmartBrief and other notable publications. With a background in franchising, Brie focuses on helping franchise organizations understand how Paycom’s human capital management technology can benefit their business.

Prevent Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

7 Best Practices to Help Prevent Pregnancy Discrimination in the Workplace

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Discrimination laws regarding pregnant women apply in every area of employment — including hiring, firing, seniority rights and job security. Employers who violate these laws potentially face huge fines and legal fees. Therefore, it is imperative to take measures to reduce the risks of pregnancy discrimination and to provide your pregnant employees with a safe and non-discriminatory work environment.

7 Best Practices

  1. Know the law. The best way to avoid pregnancy discrimination in your company is to understand the applicable federal, state and local laws, and stay up-to-date on them.
  2. Have an employee handbook or other written policies in place to address the requirements under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and other applicable state and local laws. Review and update these policies regularly, and follow them always.

Evaluate your current policies to ensure they do not disproportionately impact pregnant workers. If they do, determine whether they are necessary for the business’s operations. Include policies related to reasonable accommodations, benefits, paid or unpaid leave and time off, break times, discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

  1. Develop a procedure for investigating and responding to pregnancy discrimination complaints.
  2. Engage in dialogue with pregnant employees regarding reasonable accommodations. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the courts look closely at the interactive process documentation; therefore, establishing and documenting that process will help ensure a good-faith effort toward compliance has been made.
  3. Maintain updated job descriptions that reflect the duties, functions and competencies of job positions.
  4. Train managers and employees regularly about their rights and responsibilities.
  5. Educate management on company policies. Ensure that employment decisions are not based on management’s view of what it thinks is in the best interest of the pregnant employee. Take into consideration how the company treats non-pregnant employees who are similar in their ability or inability to work.

The EEOC has issued enforcement guidance on pregnancy discrimination, which can be found here, listing its suggested employer best practices.

For more information on pregnancy discrimination in the workplace, visit the additional posts on this topic:

 

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

Kristin Fisher

by Kristin Fisher


Author Bio:

As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Kristin Fisher monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, with a focus on labor and employment laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. Previously, she served as an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Derryberry & Naifeh LLP. Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Central Missouri, and her Juris Doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking, going to the movies and spending time with her fiancé.

Social Security Wage Base

The 2018 Social Security Wage Base increases to $128,400

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Each October, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announces cost-of-living adjustments based on changes in national average wages. These adjustments take effect the following January.

Based on available data, on Oct. 13, the SSA communicated the maximum amount of wages subject to Social Security tax for 2018 to be $128,700, an increase from $127,200 in 2017.

However, due to additional information received later that month, the SSA announced a revised amount of $128,400 – or less than $300 originally reported – on Nov. 27.

In addition, the SSA’s revision impacts the “bend points” – that is, figures used in the computation of Social Security benefits – for primary insurance and the family maximum.

Employer responsibility

For 2018, an employer must withhold the following from employee wages:

  • 6.2% Social Security tax on the first $128,400 of employee wages (maximum tax is $7,960.80; i.e., 6.20% × $128,400), plus
  • 1.45% Medicare tax on the first $200,000 of employee wages, plus
  • 2.35% Medicare tax (regular 1.45% Medicare tax + 0.9% additional Medicare tax) on all employee wages in excess of $200,000.

These rates and wage limits will be updated in the Paycom system effective Jan. 1, 2018. For more information, visit the Social Security website.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Employment Law, Featured

Ali Nowrouzi

by Ali Nowrouzi


Author Bio:

As a tax research analyst for Paycom, Ali Nowrouzi monitors payroll news and information released by federal and state agencies. He previously worked in the oil and gas industry as a document and data specialist. Nowrouzi holds an associate’s degree in accounting from Rose State College and studied accounting at the University of Central Oklahoma.

Pregnancy Discrimination

How 3 States Expanded Pregnancy Discrimination and Family Leave Benefits

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Employees in every state are protected under federal laws pertaining to pregnancy discrimination and family leave benefits (discussed in these earlier blog posts); however, states and localities may pass laws that give additional protections and rights to pregnant employees.

All but five states have laws or interpretive case law in place providing protections against pregnancy discrimination. Such legislation may mirror federal laws, or in some instances expand upon them. While most states (and several cities) have passed laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant workers, at least five states and the District of Columbia have passed laws that provide paid family leave for employees caring for a new child.

Below are highlights of recent, more expansive legislation in three states.

New York

The New York Human Rights Law applies generally to employers with four or more employees. The law defines pregnancy discrimination as a form of sex discrimination and can be treated as a form of familial status discrimination.

Although the law treats pregnancy-related conditions as temporary disabilities, protections for employees go further than those under federal law by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations regardless of whether the pregnant employee’s medical condition amounts to a disability. Such accommodations could include extra breaks for bathroom trips or increased water intake.

New York also recently passed legislation requiring employers to provide paid family leave for specified purposes, including the care of a newborn child. In 2018, eligible employees generally will be allowed to take up to eight weeks of paid family leave at 50% of their average weekly wage after the child’s birth. (See “New York to Implement Nation’s Most Comprehensive Paid Family Leave Program” for more details.)

Connecticut

A recent law amending the Connecticut Fair Employment Practices Act enhances protections for pregnant workers. Now it is unlawful:

  • to refuse to make reasonable accommodations for an employee due to her pregnancy
  • to deny employment opportunities to her or an applicant due to requests for such accommodations
  • to require her to take leave
  • or to limit, segregate or classify her in a way that would deprive her of employment opportunities due to pregnancy

The law also expands the definition of “pregnancy” to include related conditions – such as lactation – and includes more precise definitions of “reasonable accommodations” and what constitutes an “undue hardship.”

Massachusetts

Similarly, the Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act goes beyond federal laws to require employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees, such as job restructuring or more frequent and longer breaks because of their pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions.

The law requires an employer to engage in a good-faith conversation with a pregnant employee to determine effective, reasonable accommodations that would allow her to perform essential functions of her job. Furthermore, the act indicates that employers may not request documentation from a health care provider when the accommodation requested is for more frequent restroom, food or water breaks; seating; or limitations on lifting over 20 pounds.

Several states have joined New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts in implementing laws that are geared toward combating pregnancy discrimination, providing affected employees with necessary accommodations and providing for paid family leave to care for newborn children. While most of these laws are similar, some differences exist, such as defining what constitutes a “reasonable accommodation” or specific eligibility requirements for paid family leave.

Make sure you’re keeping up-to-date on your state and city’s pregnancy-related laws. The previous posts in our pregnancy discrimination series can be found here:

 

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

Tags: , , , ,
Posted in Blog, Employment Law, Featured

Kristin Fisher

by Kristin Fisher


Author Bio:

As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Kristin Fisher monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, with a focus on labor and employment laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. Previously, she served as an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Derryberry & Naifeh LLP. Fisher earned a bachelor’s degree and MBA from the University of Central Missouri, and her Juris Doctor from the Oklahoma City University School of Law. Outside of work, she enjoys cooking, hiking, going to the movies and spending time with her fiancé.

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