Pay Matters! May 2019

Welcome to Pay Matters, our monthly roundup of all the payroll and compliance news that you must know.

Stay informed and in compliance with our monthly payroll alerts and insights.

Westchester, NY Paid Sick Leave

Paid sick leave has arrived in Westchester County, New York.

Beginning July 10, 2019, employers in Westchester County with 5 or more employees must accrue paid sick leave for all employees who work more than 80 hours in a calendar year.  Paid sick leave is accrued at a rate of 1 hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours per year. Employers with less than 5 employees must accrue unpaid sick leave at the same rate. Employers who already have a paid sick leave policy that meets the requirements of the law do not have to change their policy.

A Notice of Employee Rights must be provided to current employees on or before July 10 and to new employees on their first day of employment.

Employees covered by the law can use paid sick leave for their own medical care or that of a family member. Up to 40 hours of unused sick leave is carried over to the following year.

Westchester provides a helpful website with a link to the text of the paid sick leave law as well as an employer and employee FAQ.

Viventium is ready to help you set up a compliant paid sick leave plan. If your company is subject to the Westchester paid sick leave law, reach out to your client services team to get started.

Massachusetts Paid Family Notice Due May 31

On April 17, the Massachusetts Department of Family and Medical Leave announced that written notice pertaining to the Paid Family Leave program must be given to employees by May 31, 2019. Massachusetts has provided a sample notice employers can use, or employers can create their own notice provided it contains all the required information. The notice must be given in the employee’s primary language, either on paper or electronically.

Massachusetts recently released a toolkit with additional information to help employers comply with the Family and Medical Leave program.

Viventium will be supporting the new Massachusetts Family and Medical Leave Law when it takes effect on July 1, 2019. Further information will follow on setting the new tax up for your account.

Washington Changes Due Date to Report Family and Medical Leave

Washington has postponed the due date for the first quarter 2019 paid family and medical leave reporting to July 31, 2019. Both the first and second quarter reporting must be submitted by July 31, 2019. This combined deadline is a one-time occurrence, and going forward, paid family and medical leave will be reported each quarter.

For more information on the Washington Paid Family and Medical Leave Law click here.

Social Security Wage Base Predicted to Rise in 2020

On April 22, the Social Security Administration announced that the social security wage base is expected to rise to $136,800 in 2020, a $3,900 increase from the 2019 wage base of $132,900. This would translate into a maximum employee and employer contribution for OASDI of $8,481.60 each, in addition to employee and employer Medicare contributions which are not subject to a wage base or maximum.

Two Years of EEO-1 Reporting Due on September 30

On April 25, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the over 60,000 employers subject to EEOC reporting requirements must report “Component 2” EEO-1 data by September 30, 2019.  On May 3, The EEOC announced both 2017 and 2018 as the fiscal years for which data is due by Sept. 30, 2019.

This ruling follows an over 18-month stay by the White House on new EEO-1 data collections requirements, dubbed “Component-2”, due to employer claims that new requirements place an undue burden on business.

Under the Component-2 requirements, employers must submit employee data organized into categories of race, gender, ethnicity, and one of 10 job categories. That data must then be sorted into one of 12 pay bands and annual hours worked, to create a grid representation of a workplace’s diversity.

Federal contractors that are otherwise required to file Form EEO-1 are only be required to submit Component-2 data if they have 100 or more employees (covered federal contractors with 50-99 employees are required to file standard Component-1 only).

For more information about the ruling, see Nat’l Women’s Law Ctr. v. OMB , D.D.C., No. 17-02458, order 4/25/19

NYC Releases Sexual Harassment Prevention Training Video and FAQs

Both New York State and New York City passed laws in 2018 requiring employers to train their employees annually in workplace sexual harassment prevention. The state training requirement took effect on October 9, 2018, and the city’s law took effect on April 1, 2019.

The city’s law required the NYC Commission on Human Rights to design a free “online interactive training module” for employers to use. On April 1, 2019, the Commission published a free online training program with 164 slides. The program, titled “Confronting Sexual Harassment: Tools and strategies to create a harassment-free workplace”, is available here.  This module satisfies both state and city training requirements.

Record Keeping

Employers are required to keep a record of their annual sexual harassment prevention training, including a signed employee acknowledgment. Employers are required to maintain such records for at least three years and make those records available for Commission inspection upon request. The city’s module provides a certificate of completion to the participant, which the participant may print out. It is the employer’s responsibility, however, to maintain these records, so employers that allow employees to complete the module at their own pace will need to follow up with employees to confirm completion.

The Commission also revised their sexual harassment training FAQs, available here.

New Jersey Disability Employee Wage Base to Rise in 2020

On April 9, the New Jersey Department of Labor announced that the wage base for employee contributions to temporary disability and family leave programs will almost quadruple to $131,000. The current 2019 wage base is $34,400.

Under the new law, the amount of paid family leave available to employees will increase to 12 weeks from six weeks. Eligible employees will also receive benefits of up to 85 percent of the state average weekly wage, up from 66 percent.

Temporary disability insurance is funded by both employee and employer contributions, while family leave insurance is funded solely by employee contributions. The employer wage base for disability insurance will remain unchanged. The wage base for both employee and employer contribution to unemployment insurance will also remain unchanged.

Michigan Paid Sick Leave

Michigan has launched a website to help employers comply with the new Paid Medical Leave Act that went into effect on March 29, 2019. The website includes FAQs for employers.

Michigan Paid Medical leave act applies only to employers with 50 or more employees and requires accrual of paid sick leave of 1 hour for every 35 hours worked, up to 40 hours annually.  Employers may limit the accrual to 1 hour per week, and employees can carry over up to 40 hours of accrued leave to the following year. Leave can be used to care for the employee’s own health or that of a family member.  For more details on leave eligibility and use click here.

New York Amends Voting Leave Law

On April 12, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a budget bill which included an amendment to New York’s voting leave law. In the past, employees could request up to 2 hours of paid time off to vote if they did not have 4 consecutive hours between the time of the polls opening and the start of their workday or the end of their workday and when the polls close. Under the new law, all registered voters can request up to 3 hours of paid time off to vote regardless of their work schedule.  Employers can determine when during the workday the time off can be taken.

Employees must be registered to vote to be eligible for this paid time off and must provide at least 2 days’ notice to their employers.  Employers must post a notice of employees’ voting leave rights from at least 10 days before a public election until the polls close.

For more information click here

New Mexico Increases Minimum Wage

On April 1, 2019, New Mexico announced the following schedule minimum wage increases:

January 1, 2020 $9.00

January 1, 2021 $10.50

January 1, 2022 $11.50

January 1, 2023 $12.00

The minimum cash wage for tipped employees, currently $2.13 per hour, will be increased as follows: January 1, 2020 $2.35

January 1, 2021 $2.55

January 1, 2022 $2.80

January 1, 2023 $3.00

Portland, Maine Increases Minimum Wage

Effective July 1, 2019, minimum wage in Portland, Maine will increase from $10.90 per hour to $11.11 per hour. Tipped employees’ minimum cash wage will increase from $5.00 per hour to $5.50 per hour.

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