If the latest employment rule is any indication of what’s to come, regulations and compliance trends for employers aren’t going to slow down.
The Fair Labor Standard Act’s (FLSA) new rule will boost the salary threshold to a level that will make millions of currently exempt workers eligible for overtime. With overtime expansion on the track toward an effective date of Dec. 1, employers need to prepare now for major financial and operational challenges that may occur. The next steps involve gaining insight into the rule and estimating your company’s potential overtime costs.
FLSA overtime expansion will affect the entire nation, while other rulings are enforced on a state-by-state, city-by-city or employer-by-employer basis.
- Raise the Wage – Since the president’s call to action in 2013, 18 states have passed laws to raise their minimum wage. Even cities are taking action, with about 40 localities rising to the challenge. In 2014, Seattle became the first city to adopt the nation’s highest minimum wage when it raised employees’ pay to $15 an hour. The “fight for $15” has just begun, and though it may not affect an area near you yet, it might soon.
- Paid Family and Medical Leave – Momentum is growing to balance the demands of family time versus work time. Recently, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Connecticut have passed paid family and medical leave. The president’s 2016 budget includes more than $2 million in funds to encourage states and cities to develop paid family and medical leave programs.
- Affordable Care Act (ACA) – Applicable large employers (ALEs), those with 50 or more full-time or full-time equivalent employees, must comply with ACA requirements. On March 31, Forms 1095-B and –C were due, but this extension was not the only change with which employers must comply. This year, ALEs also must offer health care to 95 percent of their full-time employees; this is up from 70 percent in 2015. Businesses that may not have to comply yet still must be prepared in case the time comes, because ACA constantly is evolving, and one thing remains true: The mandate is here to stay.
The idea that employers have to be “big-picture thinkers” is never truer than it is today. Regulations always are coming down the pipeline, so processes cannot be short-sided. Consider this: “Is what I’m doing now going to work five years from now?”
Regulations and compliance trends aren’t slowing down, and businesses have to take necessary steps to stay afloat the treacherous waters. The silver lining in all of this is that businesses have never been better equipped with the right HR technology than they are today.
The content of this blog is intended to keep interested parties informed of legal and industry developments for educational purposes only. It is not intended as legal opinion or tax advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal or tax advice.