A Few January 1st (and After) 2018 Employer Compliance To-Do’s in Business and at Work

Employment regulatory authorities always make January 1st and shortly thereafter interesting for employers by making new laws, regulations and requirements effective January 1st – the day (and more often than not, the week before) most of us are not at work / not working.

And this year is no exception in the great state of New York.  Below are several key initiatives that kick in as of January 1, 2018 or (December 31, 2017); and others to consider during the first quarter of 2018 (not meant to be inclusive):

  • New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) Effective January 1, 2017:  PFL covers all employers, with few exceptions, who have 1 employee or more. To ensure minimum compliance, employers must post the PFL posting provided here by the state of New York, and distribute copies of the posting to all employees.
    • A NY PFL Employee Handbook Policy is also recommended; however, distributing copies of the required posting to your employees meets the minimum January 1, 2018 compliance requirement.
    • NYS PFL Implementation Instructions (and FAQs) can be found here; there’s also a new Payroll Deduction Employee Notification Form here. (Some employers started taking the after-tax PFL employee payroll deductions last July; employers in New York are required to obtain each employee’s written consent before initiating a payroll deduction.) The implementation process has been a bit like building the plane as New York is flying it; however, it appears to be coming together for January 1st. The ever-expanding PFL website for employers, employees and disability insurers can be found here.)
  • NYS Minimum Wage and Minimum Exempt Salary Level Increases Effective December 31, 2017:
    • The required employer posting for the December 31, 2017 Minimum Wage Increase can be found here; for example, the Minimum Wage in upstate New York rises to $10.40 an hour on 12/31/2017; and
    • The schedule for exempt salary level increases can be found here; in upstate New York, the minimum exempt salary level rises to $780 a week on December 31, 2017.
  • NYS Proposed Employee On-Call and Scheduling Regulations’ Comment Period Ends January 4, 2017:  Welcoming employers back to work this coming week is the closing of the comment period on the proposed NYS Employee On-Call and Scheduling Regulations championed by Governor Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Like the Governor’s push for PFL, it appears that these proposed regulations are being fast-tracked for enactment.
    • The proposed regulations would require that employees be scheduled 14 days in advance; and that if their shift is canceled within 72 hours of their scheduled start time, affected employees would be paid 4 hours at minimum wage;
    • If employees are called into work without being scheduled at least 14 days in advance, employees would receive an extra two hours pay at minimum wage; and
    • If employees are designated as on-call and called into work (or not), affected on-call employees would be paid 4 hours at minimum wage in either scenario.
  • Workplace Harassment Prevention and Awareness:  It’s not only the right thing to do, it’s become a flash-point workplace and business issue that should be addressed clearly, expediently and repeatedly with:

Are you and your organization ready for the New Year’s employer requirements and responsibilities, in business and at work?


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