Question: Do you have language we can use in a company communication that will go out before our holiday party to encourage responsible drinking and appropriate conduct? Answer: Yes, we can provide some suggested content. First, we want to congratulate you on thinking through the all-important step of setting appropriate expectations for your event. Communicating…

Question: We recently interviewed an older candidate for a position. She’s well qualified, but the team she would be working with is made up of people who are much younger, and we are worried about how she will fit in. Can the criteria to hire for cultural fit outweigh potential age discrimination concerns? Answer: Your…

December 1, 2017 is the deadline for certain employers to use the Occupational Safety and Health Agency’s (OSHA) Injury Tracking Application (ITA) portal to report information from their 2016 Form 300A regarding employee illnesses and injuries. We previously reported (Breach Forces OSHA to Shut Down Reporting Portal) that OSHA suspended employer reporting through the ITA…

2018 Minimum Wage Increase On October 13, 2017, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity announced that the state’s minimum wage will increase to $8.25 per hour, and the state’s direct wage for tipped employees increases to $5.23 per hour, effective January 1, 2018. Read the announcement

2018 Minimum Wage In October 2017, the Alaska Division of Labor Standards announced that the Alaska minimum wage will increase from $9.80 to $9.84 effective January 1, 2018. Read the notice

Question: We have an employee who is on modified assignment due to a workers’ comp claim. Do we have to pay for the time spent away from work for doctor appointments or does the employee have to use PTO time? Answer: You may not necessarily have to pay for the time an employee spends at…

On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2017-64 announcing cost-of-living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items. The following is a summary of the limits for tax year 2018. For 401(k), 403(b), and most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plans: The elective deferral (contribution)…

On October 19, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced annual inflation adjustments for more than 50 tax provisions, including an increase in voluntary employee contributions to employer-sponsored healthcare flexible spending arrangements (HFSAs) to $2,650 for plan years beginning in 2018, up from the 2017 limit of $2,600. The IRS also announced an increase in…

President Trump has announced his intent to nominate Preston Rutledge as Assistant Secretary of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). The position as head of the EBSA has been vacant since Phyllis Borzi stepped down in January 2017. The White House announcement includes highlights of Mr. Rutledge’s career which clearly demonstrate his knowledge and experience…

Cleaning Product Right to Know Act of 2017 On October 15, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation (S.B. 258) applicable to manufacturers of certain consumer products, such as air care, automotive, cleaning, polish or floor maintenance products, and employers with these products in the workplace. Under the act, employers that are already required to maintain…