The Website and Blog of HR Author and Speaker Lori Kleiman

Lots Happening for Your Business in 2016!

Labor Laws

An election year generally means a quiet time for HR, but this year is already off to a bang with new initiatives. The biggest driver of HR change is the trend for local and state governments to take a stand on a number of laws that impact employee policy.

The high impact business changers to watch in 2016 include:

  • Changes in wage base to your exempt level employees. While the changes have been pushed back, they will not be going away. You can assume that by the end of 2016 all exempt employees that are exempt from overtime will be earning approximately $50,000. If you missed our overview of the changes, visit the blog from last summer.
  • Minimum wage changes by municipality. We have always been familiar with the various minimum wage standards by state, but now awareness of the minimum wage by city and county is essential.  This is particularly onerous for those that operate in multiple locations, or entities that complete across lines with different wage basis. You can click here for up to the minute minimum wage rates.
  • Ban the box. This is the fairly new regulation that dictates when in the employment process you can ask candidates whether or not they have been convicted of a felony.  To date, regulations are in place in 19 states and 100 municipalities and growing. To learn more, visit this website. Ban the box does not say you can’t ask – it simply requires you to remove the question from employment applications and inquire about convictions later in the employment process.  We anticipate seeing this expand throughout the country fairly quickly.
  • ACA compliance. The amount of reporting required by the Affordable Care Act has many HR professionals focused solely on this during the New Year. Your benefit broker and payroll vendor should be aligned with your team to ensure the data they need is at their fingertips and easy to generate the required reports.  If there is any question talk to your trusted advisors to ensure you are meeting all requirements for your organization.
  • Paid leave. There are a great number of states that are now mandating paid leave for employees. This is generally seen in a number of sick or personal days an employee must be given during the year. This concept is also being seen in a variety of local governments. The regulations vary based on the region.
  • Pregnancy accommodation. While pregnancy is generally viewed to be covered under FMLA and ADA, we are now seeing specific laws introduced and passed that will provide additional coverage.  Many of the laws define guidelines for lactation, infertility treatments and other situations that come up in the employment relationship for pregnant employees. Check our your state requirements here.

It is anticipated that the federal congress will remain quiet during such a visual election cycle in 2016, but beware this will only fuel the fire of your state and local politicians. Be aware of what is on the table, and compliance dates that might be relevant to your organization.

As always – stay connected to HR Topics for breaking news!

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