'Tis the Season: Is Your Business Ready to Comply with its Year-End Employment Obligations?

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As we enter the Holiday Season, business owners need to remain mindful of upcoming changes in employment laws and the year-end human resources compliance obligations that might effect their businesses.

Minimum Wage Increases

 The minimum wage in both New York and New Jersey is set to increase shortly. 

 In New Jersey, the minimum wage is increasing from $8.44 to $8.60 an hour, effective January 1, 2018. 

 New York's minimum wage increase, which becomes effective December 31, 2018, varies depending upon where a business's employees work (and potentially the number of employees the business has). 

  • In New York City:

  • For businesses with 10 or fewer employees, the minimum wage is increasing from $10.50  to $12 an hour.

  • For businesses with 11 or more employees, the minimum wage is increasing from $11  to $13 an hour.

  • In Long Island and Westchester: the minimum wage is increasing from $10  to $11 an hour.

  • In the rest of New York State: the minimum wage is increasing from $9.70 to $10.40 an hour.

New Jersey Employee Notices

Employers in New Jersey with 50 or more employees must provide each employee with Gender Equity Notices by December 31, 2017. This is an annual requirement and employers must obtain acknowledgments of receipt from each employee. The form Gender Equity Notice can be found here.

New Jersey employees with 10 or more employees should issue their annual notices under New Jersey's whistleblower law, the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), which can be found here.

New York Paid Family Leave Insurance

New York's Paid Family Leave Law becomes effective January 1, 2018 and requires nearly all private employers in New York to obtain Paid Family Leave coverage for their employees. 

 Paid Family Leave coverage will generally be included under an employer's existing disability benefits policy and may be funded through employee payroll contributions. The maximum employee contribution for 2018 is 0.126% of an employee's weekly wages.

 The Paid Family Leave Law provides paid time off benefits and job protection for employees who need time off to:

  • bond with a newborn, adopted, or foster child;

  • care for a family member with a serious health condition; or

  • in connection with a family member being deployed abroad on active military duty.

 Employers in New York will receive a Notice of Compliance from their insurance carriers, which must be posted and maintained in a conspicuous location in the workplace. Employers subject to New York's Paid Family Leave law should also update their handbooks to notify employees about their Paid Family Leave rights. Finally, employers should ensure their payroll processes are updated to begin collecting the employee payroll contributions for Paid Family Leave insurance.

 Failure to comply with any of these new or yearly requirements could expose an employer to fines or liability to employees. Please contact me if you have any questions about your business's employment-related compliance obligations.