Category: Federal Law Updates

Final 2021 Forms For ACA Reporting Released

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final 2021 forms for reporting under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Sections 6055 and 6056. 2021 Forms 1094-B and 1095-B are the forms that will be used by providers of minimum essential coverage (MEC), including self-insured plan sponsors that are not applicable large employers (ALEs), to report under Section 6055. 2021 Forms 1094-C and 1095-C are the forms […]

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Update: The Court Speaks, Maintains Block on Biden Vaccine Mandate

The Latest Update Confirms That President Biden’s ETS Will Remain Blocked On Friday, November 12, 2021, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals blocked President Joe Biden’s coronavirus vaccine mandate in a ruling. The three-judge panel for the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans affirmed its initial stay order from last week, stating that […]

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Penalties For The COVID-19 Vaccination And Testing ETS

We know about the OSHA ETS, but what are the penalties? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) COVID-19 vaccination and testing emergency temporary standard (ETS) prescribes specific measures employers covered by this standard must implement. This specificity will make it easier for OSHA to determine whether an employer has intentionally disregarded its obligations or […]

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Attraction and Retention Amid President Biden’s Vaccine Mandates  

President Biden recently directed the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to draft a new emergency rule requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to ensure workers are either fully vaccinated or tested for COVID-19 weekly. Read an overview of the impending rule, talent market implications, and employer considerations for employee attraction and retention.      

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2021 ACA Violations & Penalties For Employers

Failing to comply with the ACA’s requirements can cause severe consequences for an employer. This ACA Overview (PDF) summarizes the penalties and excise taxes that may be triggered by an ACA violation. Click the document below to enlarge and print.

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2022 ACA Compliance Overview

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has made a number of significant changes to group health plans since the law was enacted in 2010. Since then, several changes have been made to various ACA requirements that employers and plan sponsors should be aware of. It is important for employers to periodically review their benefit plans in order to maintain compliance with these various requirements.

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Cal/OSHA Amends Notice and Reporting Requirements for COVID-19

On Oct. 5, 2021, California approved Assembly Bill 654 (AB 654) to amend California’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA) COVID-19 notice and reporting regulations. The bill became effective upon adoption on Oct. 5, 2021. The bill requires employers to give notice of COVID-19 outbreaks to:  Qualifying individuals or employees exposed to qualifying individuals within one business day; […]

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Federal Employers Receive Deadline Of November 22 To Be Vaccinated

Breaking Down The November 22 Deadline By Vaccination October 15, 2021 – President Joe Biden announced, on Sept. 9, that OSHA would issue an ETS requiring covered businesses to mandate that their workers be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo weekly testing. Covered employers will also have to give workers paid time off to get […]

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Signs That OSHA ETS, Vaccination Mandate Is Moving Forward

As OSHA Submits Draft of COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate ETS As Next Step Recently, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that it submitted a draft of its emergency temporary standard (ETS) for private employers requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing or vaccination to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ETS will require all businesses […]

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Update On The Extension To Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC)

New Guidance on Claiming the Employee Retention Credit Although the Employee Retention Tax Credit (ERTC) is expiring at the end of 2021, there’s still time for eligible businesses to claim the credit, if they haven’t already. The ERTC, also referred to as the Employee Retention Credit (ERC), was created by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security […]

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At-A-Glance Guidance For Employers In Preparation For Biden Vaccine Mandate

President Joe Biden’s latest COVID-19 vaccination and testing mandate is one of the federal government’s most aggressive efforts yet. What’s more, we know it will directly impact many private sector workforces as well as federal employees and contractors. For more on the OSHA Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS) being proposed click HERE. We encourage you to […]

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Podcast: OSHA Vaccination ETS & Important Guidance For Employers

Steps For Employers To Reduce Risk Prior To The OSHA Vaccination & Testing Mandate On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency temporary standard (ETS). The new ETS will require private-sector employers with 100 or more employees to ensure their workforce is fully vaccinated […]

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OSHA Developing Private Sector Emergency Temporary Standard for COVID-19

Important Information OSHA’s ETS for employers with 100 or more employees will be required to: Ensure their employees are fully vaccinated; or require workers who remain unvaccinated to produce a negative test result weekly before coming to work. On Sept. 9, 2021, President Biden announced that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is developing an emergency […]

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Early Is The New On-Time For ACA Reporting Preparation

It’s not too late to prepare for ACA filing and These Resources Can Help You Prepare for 2022 ACA Reporting. 2021 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Reporting is Due in Early 2022 The IRS has released draft 2021 versions of Forms 1094-C, 1095-C, 1094-B and 1095-B that employers will use in early 2022 to report under Internal Revenue Code Sections 6055 and […]

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EEO-1 Deadline Extended Again To October 25, 2021

Employers now have even more extra time to submit equal employment opportunity (EEO-1) workforce data from 2019 and 2020, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced on Aug. 18, 2021. The 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports were previously due These reports were previously due by Aug. 23, 2021, which was an extension from a previous […]

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September 2021 COBRA Deadline Getting Close

2021 COBRA Deadline Approaches As a reminder to employers, the COBRA premium assistance provided under the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) is coming to an end for all assistance eligible individuals (AEIs) on September 30, 2021. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a subsidy structure that is designed to fully […]

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Employers Deal With “Long-Haul Covid” And How It Affects The Workplace

We’re nearing the end of 2021 and we are beginning to see further effects of COVID-19 in those who have had the virus previously. As people begin to get back to work, we see that some have been affected by the COVID-19 virus with continuing symptoms. The CDC has begun to refer to this condition as having “long-haul covid.” As COVID “long-haulers” re-enter the workplace they may qualify for ADA accommodations.

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Receive A Tax Break During The Post- Pandemic Hiring Frenzy

Here’s how you could receive a tax break for hiring unemployed individuals. The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a federal tax credit for hiring applicants from certain target groups who face significant barriers to employment—including individuals unemployed for 27 weeks or longer. With 9.5 million unemployed Americans in June, according to the Bureau of […]

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PCORI Fees Now Due August 2, 2021 Instead of July 31.

This alert is of interest to all employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs).  Employers that sponsor self-insured group health plans, including health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) should keep in mind the upcoming July 31, 2021 deadline for paying fees that fund the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  As background, the […]

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Small Businesses Should Understand Form 5500

Understanding Form 5500 is important to businesses with retirement plans. Among the many fiduciary responsibilities that must be reported on the Form 5500, plan sponsors must deposit employees’ salary or wage deferrals into their accounts as soon as administratively feasible, but no later than the 15th business day of the month following the month in which […]

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IRS Guidance on Tax Credits for Employee Leave Under the FFCRA

The FFCRA employee leave requirements expired in December 2020; however, subsequent legislation extended the tax credits for employers that continued to offer FFCRA leave on a voluntary basis. The credits are currently in effect through Sept. 30, 2021. They are taken against employment taxes and are fully refundable and advanceable.

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​Hiring After COVID-19 Shutdown Still Remains A Challenge

The Status Of Unemployment Benefits Is Changing The Hiring Forecast There continues to be an increase in the number of states planning to end enhanced unemployment benefits, which were made available due to the pandemic. So where does this all stand? We hope to shed some light on the current state of hiring and unemployment […]

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More IRS Guidance on American Rescue Plan’s COBRA Subsidy

On May 18, 2021, the IRS issued Notice 2021-31, a guidance document on the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) subsidy for continuation health coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA). The Notice discusses the background of the subsidy and includes 86 questions and answers (Q&As) about its application. A Quick Recap: […]

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Mental Health Awareness Month of May

May is Mental Health Awareness month and a good month to reflect on the needs of our employees from a mental standpoint. The past year has been hard on us in many ways, but it is important to acknowledge the challenge that the COVID-19 pandemic has posed on us mentally. Many employees may have psychiatric […]

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Update: DOL Model Notices

DOL Issues Model Notices, FAQs for COBRA Subsidy in the ARPA On April 7, 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued FAQs and model notices for the COBRA premium assistance provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The ARPA provides a 100% subsidy for employer-sponsored group health insurance continued under COBRA and similar […]

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CA New Labor Law Poster

Changes Pertaining to FFCRA and Paid Time Off Reflected in New Mandatory Labor Law Poster. In California it is a requirement to post a labor law poster containing updates on the new FFCRA paid time off law. Covered Employees in the public or private sectors who work for employers with more than 25 employees are […]

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EEOC Announces 2021 EEO-1 Reporting

The portal for private-sector employers to submit equal employment opportunity (EEO-1) workforce data from 2019 and 2020 will open on April 26, 2021, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced March 29, 2021. The agency also announced that the deadline for submitting 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 data is July 19, 2021. This data collection was previously delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

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Congress Passes Extention of the PPP

PPP Extension moves beyond March 31. Congress has passed the PPP Extension Act of 2021, a 60-day extension of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP), which was set to expire on March 31. The bill will be sent to President Joe Biden shortly, who is expected to sign the extension before […]

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The ARPA Act Affects COBRA Subsidy Provisions

COBRA Subsidy Provisions of the American Rescue Plan Act Important Dates: April 1, 2021 ARPA 100% subsidy begins to cover COBRA premiums. Sept. 30, 2021 ARPA subsidy provision for COBRA premiums expires. The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), signed into law March 11, 2021, provides a 100% subsidy of premiums for employer-sponsored group health insurance […]

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The American Rescue Plan

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has passed Congress and has been signed by President Biden. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more.

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House Passes $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Economic Relief Bill

(Updated information will continue to be provided as details are made public.) The House of Representatives has passed its version of President Joe Biden’s proposed stimulus bill, which includes extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more. The bill is now with the Senate, where some provisions will likely change. Democrats hope to pass […]

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Biden Alters PPP To Benefit Smaller Busineses

The Biden administration recently announced a 14-day period of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Payment Protection Program (PPP) when only businesses with fewer than 20 employees can apply for relief.

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SBA’s PPP Fully Opens for Second Round of Loans

The U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) recently announced updates to eligibility for Payment Protection Program (PPP) loan applications, allowing borrowers to apply through larger lenders. Beginning Tuesday, Jan. 19, the portal will open for borrowers to apply for both first (known as First Draw PPP Loans) and second (known […]

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Infographic: Comparing The COVID-19 Stimulus Plans

On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law. The bill was part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year. Notably, the […]

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What’s In The Newest Covid-19 Related Bill: Aid For Businesses

Recently, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. On Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, President Donald Trump signed the bill into law. The bill was part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year. Notably, the bill provides funding for […]

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Stimulus Bill Extends FFCRA Tax Credits but Not Leave Mandate

An appropriations bill, which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020, does not extend the leave mandates created by the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLA) and the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA), which expire on Dec. 31, 2020. As a result, the requirement for employers to provide employee paid sick […]

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Trump Signs Stimulus Bill Act Into Law

Stimulus Bill Includes Ban on Surprise Medical Bills On Dec. 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 into law. The Act includes a $900 billion coronavirus relief package that provides funding for unemployment benefits, direct economic payments to individuals, vaccine distribution and rental assistance. It also includes the No Surprises Act, a […]

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Congress Passes $900 Billion in COVID-19 Aid

On Monday, Dec. 21, 2020, Congress passed an emergency stimulus package designed to deliver approximately $900 billion in COVID-19-related aid. The bill, which was part of a $1.4 trillion spending package that will keep the government open for the fiscal year, has been sent to President Donald Trump, and he is expected to sign it into law.

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Will the FFCRA be extended or not?

As of now, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) paid-leave requirements will expire on December 31, 2020. The FFCRA provided paid sick leave through the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act for certain coronavirus related instances and extended paid leave for employees with children whose child care was shut down through the Emergency Family and […]

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FFCRA Questions Keep Coming

Though it seems that COVID-19 has been top of mind for such a long time, new questions and COVID-19 related scenarios in the workplace keep coming.

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This 2020 HR Checklist Helps End The Year In Compliance

Out with 2020, in with the new year. In many ways, the final weeks of the year can be a little less demanding for most employees—a season of office parties, celebratory staff lunches, and vacation time. However, it’s one of the busiest periods for HR professionals. Before we can ring in 2021, we have to […]

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California Update on Family and Medical Leave

California Expands Family and Medical Leave Under the CFRA Effective Jan. 1, 2021, amendments to the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) expand the law’s leave requirements to cover employers with at least five employees, provide new grounds for leave and remove leave limits. Explaining the CFRA The CFRA provides 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave […]

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Verification of I-9 extended into November for some

Remote Verification of Form I-9 Documents Extended to November 19 Because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is allowing employers that are operating remotely to conduct a remote verification of approved Form I-9 documents. On Sept. 15, 2020, DHS extended yet again this exemption for an additional 60 days. […]

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What Records To Keep – FFCRA

What records do I need to keep when my employee takes paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave? Regardless of whether you grant or deny a request for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, you must document the following: The name of your employee requesting leave; The date(s) for which […]

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DOL Reveals Revised FMLA forms

The Department of Labor (DOL) revised Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) forms this summer. Extensive changes have been made that require more specific information in notices and medical certifications. The use of the forms is optional as many employers create their own. It is important to note that additional changes to the forms could be […]

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New Q&As on COVID-19 Workplace Laws

DOL Releases More Q&As on Workplace Laws and COVID-19 Pandemic On July 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the agency’s publication of additional guidance on applying federal employment laws in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The guidance is in the form of questions and answers added to sets of Q&As the […]

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COVID-19: DOL Helpful FFCRA Tool

DOL Launches Employee Tool for Assessing FFCRA Leave Eligibility The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has created an online tool to help workers determine whether they qualify for paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The tool works by posing a series of questions that […]

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DOL Revises the Fluctuating Workweek Overtime Method

On May 20, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule that allows employers to pay bonuses or other incentive-based pay to salaried, nonexempt employees whose hours vary from week to week. The final rule clarifies that payments in addition to the fixed salary are compatible with the use of the fluctuating […]

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New Model COBRA Notice Released

Two New Model COBRA Notices Available from the Department of Labor The Department of Labor (DOL), through its Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), has released updated versions of its model COBRA General Notice and model COBRA Election Notice, both with an expiration date of Jan. 31, 2023.   To administer coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus […]

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Ringing in a New W-4 Form for 2020!

Thanks to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the IRS has released a new W-4 Form for 2020 called the “Employee’s Withholding Certificate.” Learn more about the changes with the form.

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I-9 Alert: ICE Performs Largest Single-state Immigration Raid in U.S. History

Are your I-9s in Order? You are likely aware of the largest single-state immigration raid in history that was performed on August 7, in Mississippi. This is further proof that employers hiring undocumented workers continues to be a hot topic. Worksite investigations focusing on I-9 enforcement increased 255% from FY 2017 to FY 2018. The […]

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Affordable Care Act News Update

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently heard arguments on a lower court’s ruling on the Affordable Care Act. Find out where the ACA currently stands and if your business needs to continue to comply with the law.

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ICHRA: New HRA Option Benefits Small to Medium Businesses

The ICHRA provides employers a way to offer health care benefits to employees that do not count toward their taxable wages. The option also provides smaller employers a way to offer insurance without the administrative burden of offering a traditional medical plan.

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The Shelby Report: Fed Proposes New Test To Clarify Definition Of Joint Employer

HR & Benefits News is a monthly column by Chris Cooley, co-founder of MyHRConcierge and SMB Benefits Advisors. If you’re involved in a franchise arrangement or use a staffing firm to hire seasonal or temporary workers, you’ll be interested in the proposal issued by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on April 1, to more clearly define joint employer status. […]

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ALERT: EEOC Pay Data Report: Component 2 Data Now Required for 2017 & 2018

Original Component 2 Required Only Calendar Year 2018 On May 2, 2019, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that qualified employers must now submit calendar year 2017 pay data, as well as 2018 data, for Component 2 of the EEO-1 Survey by the filing date of September 30, 2019. Component 2 includes hours worked, […]

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Proposed Overtime Ruling: What Business Owners Need to Know

The U. S. Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a new ruling last month that affects whether employees are deemed eligible for overtime or not. The DOL has estimated the change will make more than 1 million employees eligible for overtime that are currently defined as exempt. If the ruling passes, some of the more important […]

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ALERT: EEOC Pay Data Report: Controversy & Due Dates

First EEO-1 Form Due Date Approaching Qualified employers must submit 2018 information for “Component 1” of the EEO-1 Survey by May 31, 2019 on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) website. This part of the report requests the number of employees a business has by job category, race, gender and ethnicity. Employers may submit their […]

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State Minimum Wage Updates for 2019

Stay Compliant with Mandatory Labor Law Poster Updates Many states will adjust their minimum wage annually in an effort to keep pace with the increasing cost of living. The chart below indicates minimum wage rate changes by state from 2018 to 2019. Employers are required to abide by minimum wage laws as determined by the State […]

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The Shelby Report: 3 Key Federal Labor Laws For 2019 Highlighted

HR & Benefits News is a monthly column by Chris Cooley, co-founder of MyHRConcierge and SMB Benefits Advisors. Grocers across the nation have many state and federal laws to keep up with throughout the year, and in 2019, they will need to ensure they stay diligent in their compliance with current laws and aware of those that are […]

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U. S. Department of Labor Proposes New Federal Overtime Rule

Pending Regulation Would Make More Americans Eligible for Overtime Pay After months of speculation, the U. S. DOL has proposed an increase of the threshold for employees who are eligible for overtime pay. Currently, the Fair Standards Labor Act (FSLA) states that salaried employees, such as managers and other specialized employees, are exempt from being […]

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The Shelby Report: Feds Step Up I-9 Audits – Be Ready

HR & Benefits News: Feds Step Up I-9 Audits – Be Ready Editor’s note: HR & Benefits News is a monthly column by Chris Cooley, co-founder of MyHRConcierge and SMB Benefits Advisors. It’s The Law “All U.S. Employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the United States. This includes citizens and […]

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IRS Releases Updated 2018 Form W-4

The IRS has issued the updated 2018 Form W-4.  The IRS previously stated that taxpayers can continue to use the old 2017 Form W-4 for 30 days after the new form was issued.  The new Form W-4 was designed to take into account the changes made by the new tax law passed in late 2017. Some […]

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President Signs Executive Order in Attempt to Weaken Affordable Care Act

The President signed an Executive Order with the intent to bring sweeping changes to the health insurance industry. The Executive Order focuses on three primary areas: Expanding Association Health Plans (AHP) Within 60 days from the date of the Executive Order, the Secretary of Labor shall consider proposing regulations or revising guidance to expand access to  AHPs. […]

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