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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. IRS Mileage Rates for 2020
  2. Fair Chance Act Now Applies to Federal Contractors and Agencies
  3. ACA “Cadillac Tax” Repealed
  4. California: Employer Fails to Provide Legal Business Name on Wage Statement
  5. Michigan: Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Update
  6. New Jersey: Medical Marijuana is a Reimbursable Medical Expense
  7. New York: Tipped Workers in Some Industries Must Soon be Paid Full Minimum Wage
  8. New York: Companies Must Report Number of Women on Boards of Directors
  9. New York: Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act on Temporary Hold


IRS Mileage Rates for 2020

On December 31, 2019, the IRS announced the 2020 optional standard mileage rates.  Employers may use these rates to calculate mileage rates for the use of business-related vehicle expenses.  The new rates are:

·         57.5 cents per mile for business miles driven

·         17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes

·         14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations


Fair Chance Act Now Applies to Federal Contractors and Agencies

The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2020, signed on December 20, 2019, now prohibits federal contractors hiring for positions within the scope of a federal contract from seeking criminal history information until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.  Like other fair chance ordinances, it includes exceptions for certain industries, such as law enforcement or national security, or positions with access to classified information.  Failure to comply may result in suspension of payments owed under the federal contract, among other penalties.


ACA “Cadillac Tax” Repealed

As of January 1, 2020, the “Cadillac Tax” for employers who provide an “excess benefit” for healthcare plans has been repealed. Set to be implemented in 2022, it was a 40% tax on generous employer-provided health insurance that went over certain cost limits. Employers subject to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will no longer need to factor in this consideration when choosing health insurance plan options for employees.


California: Employer Fails to Provide Legal Business Name on Wage Statement

On April 10, 2019, in Savea v. YRC Inc., the California Court of Appeal stated that an employer’s recorded and valid fictitious business name may be used on wage statements, fulfilling the statutory requirement to display “the name of the legal entity that is the employer.” Fast forward to December 26, 2019 in Noori v. Countrywide Payroll & HR Solutions, Inc., the California Court of Appeal stated that an unregistered acronym of an out-of-state fictitious business was not sufficient to meet the requirement, particularly given that the acronym was likely to cause confusion among employees. Interestingly, the court said that even though a business name was stated on the paycheck, the paycheck is not part of the wage statement.


Michigan: Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Update

Previously, the Michigan legislature adopted the Paid Medical Leave Act and the Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act (IWOWA), with the intention of later amending the proposals before either act went into effect.  On December 18, 2019, the Michigan Supreme Court issued a split decision on whether or not this strategy was consistent with the Michigan Constitution.  As it stands, it was determined that the court lacked the jurisdiction to issue an advisory opinion; thus, both amended acts remain in place in Michigan, so employers must continue to comply with the regulations.


New Jersey: Medical Marijuana is a Reimbursable Medical Expense

On January 13, 2020, in Hager v. M&K Construction, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division, stated that a workers’ compensation judge can order an employer to reimburse its employee for the employee’s use of medical marijuana prescribed for chronic pain following a work-related accident. The court found no conflict between state and federal law given that the employer was not required to possess, manufacture, or distribute marijuana, but only to reimburse the employee for purchasing medical marijuana.


New York: Tipped Workers in Some Industries Must Soon be Paid Full Minimum Wage

On December 31, 2019, New York Governor Andre Cuomo announced that the state Department of Labor would be doing away with tip credits for “miscellaneous” industries by the end of 2020.  Examples of these “miscellaneous” industries include nail salon workers, hairdressers, valet parking attendants, tour guides, and more.  Under a pending NYDOL order, employers of such workers must pay the applicable minimum wage by the end of 2020, rather than paying subminimum wages and relying on tip credits to make up the deficit. However, hospitality workers, such as restaurant staff, bartenders, and other service employees are still permitted to receive tip credits.


New York: Companies Must Report Number of Women on Boards of Directors

Similar to California, New York, Maryland, and Illinois, a new bill requires the New York Department of State to collect data on gender diversity on corporate boards.  Specifically, foreign and domestic corporations will be required to routinely report how many directors are sitting on their board, and of those, how many are women.  This data will be used in studies conducted by the departments of state, taxation, and finance, with results published initially on or by February 1, 2022, and every four years thereafter.


New York: Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act on Temporary Hold

On January 1, 2020, the Farm Laborers Fair Labor Practices Act, which provides work protections to farm laborers, went into effect. However, on December 30, 2019, a federal district court issued a temporary restraining order against the law limited only to the extent the employee definition included disputed classes. A hearing is scheduled for February 28th to review the matter. Employers should continue to look for updates on this issue.


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.

© 2020 ManagEase

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