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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. IRS Reduces Family HSA Contribution Limit for 2018
  2. Federal Spending Bill Prevents Employers from Skimming Employee Tips
  3. California: New Workplace Safety Rules for Hotel Housekeepers
  4. Colorado: Supreme Court Clarifies Statute of Limitations on Wage Claims
  5. New York: Guidance on New York Paid Family Leave Payroll Deductions


IRS Reduces Family HSA Contribution Limit for 2018

Previously, the IRS set the maximum Health Savings Account (“HSA”) employee contribution limit to $3,450 for individuals with self-only coverage, and $6,900 for individuals with family coverage.  Following the congressional tax bill in December 2017, the IRS decided to recalculate these limits and has now reduced the contribution limit for families from $6,900 to $6,850.  Employers who offer high deductible health plans with HSAs should notify employees of this change so employees may contact carriers and remove any excess contribution amounts to avoid excise tax.


Federal Spending Bill Prevents Employers from Skimming Employee Tips

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) proposed a rule allowing restaurants to share tips among more employees and permitting the employers to retain a portion of the tip money, provided that employees earn at least the required minimum wage.  However, after receiving significant negative feedback on the proposed rule, the recent federal spending bill, signed into law on March 23, 2018, includes a provision clarifying that employers may not retain any portion of tips that diners leave for workers.  As it stands in certain states, employers are still permitted to pool tips and redistribute among all employees working in the restaurant, so long as the employer does not take a tip credit and the employees earn the required minimum wage.


California: New Workplace Safety Rules for Hotel Housekeepers

Effective July 1, 2018, employers in the hotel and hospitality industries should be aware of the new health regulations for housekeepers.  The new regulation requires employers of applicable employees to maintain a specific Musculoskeletal Injury Prevention Program (“MIPP”).  The MIPP must contain:

·         Procedures for identifying and evaluating housekeeping hazards;

·         Procedures to investigate musculoskeletal injuries to housekeepers that incorporate input from housekeepers and union representatives;

·         Methods to correct any identified hazards;

·         Training for employees and supervisors on safe practices and controls; and

·         Procedure for early reporting of musculoskeletal injuries to the employer.

This new standard will be enforced by Cal/OSHA.  Applicable employers should prepare for the compliance deadline and can read more about the new standard on the CA DIR website.


Colorado: Supreme Court Clarifies Statute of Limitations on Wage Claims

The Colorado Supreme Court recently stated in Hernandez v. Rey Domenico Farms, Inc. that claims under Colorado’s Wage Claim Act must be brought within two or three years of when the wages first become due and payable.  This decision prevents employees from making claims for wages earned at any point during their employment.


New York: Guidance on New York Paid Family Leave Payroll Deductions

New York’s Paid Family Leave (“PFL”) law allows employers to collect weekly employee contributions for PFL coverage.  Recently, New York State regulators reportedly confirmed that employers do not need to cap the weekly payroll deduction for PFL at 0.126% of the New York State Average Weekly Wage (“NYSAWW”), totaling approximately $1.65 per week, but may instead deduct 0.126% of the employee’s weekly wages until they reach the annual cap of $85.56. This is helpful for employers collecting PFL from employees who earn less than the NYSAWW, but may receive bonuses or commission payments. Employers should review payroll deductions for compliance.


Disclaimer: This document is designed to provide general information and guidance concerning employment-related issues. It is presented with the understanding that ManagEase is not engaged in rendering any legal opinions. If a legal opinion is needed, please contact the services of your own legal adviser.

© 2018 ManagEase

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