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Children’s Paradise Inc. is a state-of-the-art early learning company, providing “Family Care” to...
By Shannon Massena, Director of HR
As ever, the beginning of the year heralds a host of new state HR laws and regulations. The Golden State of California is leading the charge with changes to diversity and harassment legislation, while Arizona recently passed a new mini-COBRA law. Minimum wage increases have shot up across the board. At a federal level, you’ll notice changes to H-2B visas, joint employment, and overtime rules, to name a few. While we explore just some of the new federal and state details below, bear in mind that there are also likely to be city regulations that may affect you. Fear not, wherever you’re based Optima Office is here to help you navigate the complex HR landscape.
Federal Level HR Regulations
Changes made to laws surrounding H-2B visas last year will spill over into 2019, possibly with further updates. Let’s recap.
If you’re an employer who relies heavily on H-2B visas you’re probably praying that 2019 brings another round of cap increases. Whatever happens, the best advice we can give you is to stay up to date on compliance.
This year we’re likely to see an increase in the federal minimum wage for white-collar administrative workers after a proposed raise from $23,660 to $47,476 was successfully challenged in court in 2016. The new raise is under review so keep your ears pricked for announcements in early 2019.
New regulations surrounding the definition of joint employment and overtime are predicted to emerge around March. The new rules are expected to make it harder for an employer to be determined a ‘joint employer’ under FLSA. It’s also expected that employers will be given flexibility when interpreting and imposing overtime rules.
Since Jan 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car, van, pickup or truck for business purposes have changed to:
New HR Regulations in Arizona
New HR Regulations in California
In addition to minimum wage increases, California has passed (or is in the process of passing) additional local laws that will further affect you as an employer.
Paid Leave Update Elsewhere
Washington has now joined California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York by enacting paid family leave law, as signed on July 5, 2018 by Governor Jay Inslee. The new law requires employers and employees to pay a 0.4% payroll tax into an insurance fund. Payments began on January 1, 2019, although benefits will not become available until January 1, 2020.
Washington employers with fewer than 50 employees are exempt from the employer portion of the premiums, while companies with up to 150 employees can apply for a grant to offset wage costs while an employee is on leave. They can also opt out of the state-run program if they have a comparable plan and pay a $250 fee to the Employment Security Department.
Here’s what the new paid leave deal in Washington looks like:
For more details about waivers, waiting periods, funding and benefits, get in touch with our HR team today.
Fortune Favors the Prepared
Regardless of your state, it’s likely that as an employer in 2019 you’ll encounter new notice requirements and laws that dictate your relationship with employees. Navigating these issues with HR managers and directors with senior level expertise (no compliance police here) gives you the peace of mind that comes from partnering with a trusted advisor who not only understand the laws most pertinent to your business, but who also finds ways to help you protect your culture and long term vision.
Think of us as mitigation experts. Together we’ll identify and address those HR areas that pose significant financial risk, be it discriminatory wage levels, classification of workers, or any of the above issues.
If you have any questions concerning the latest changes to HR law, contact us today to schedule your HR review.
DISCLAIMER – Due to the daily changing environment and guidelines being provided by the government, this information could be outdated. Please contact our office for the latest updates and guidelines. Optima Office is not responsible for any actions taken due to the information provided. The information provided here is for instructional purposes and does not represent legal advice being given by Optima Office.
Anne Nolie was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and spent most of her summers traveling to...
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