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This Short List addresses the following topics:
  1. EEO-1 Deadline Delayed to June 1, 2018
  2. IRS Issues Guidance on Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit
  3. Veteran Hiring Benchmark Lowered for 2018
  4. IRS Rolls Back 2018 HSA Contribution Limit Change
  5. U.S. DOL Launches Payroll Audit Pilot Program
  6. U.S. Supreme Court Settles FLSA Status of Car Dealership Service Advisors
  7. California: Staffing Agencies Need Not Police Meal Periods
  8. Emeryville, California: Minimum Wage Update
  9. Michigan: Local Governments Prohibited from Limiting Employer Interview Inquiries
  10. Nevada: Minimum Wage Will Not Change in 2018
  11. Pennsylvania: State Supreme Court Says “Actual Damages” Include Non-Economic Damages Under Whistleblower Law
  12. West Virginia: Employers May Not Prohibit Firearm Storage in Personal Vehicles


EEO-1 Deadline Delayed to June 1, 2018

Employers who missed the March 31, 2018 deadline to file their EEO-1 report can breathe a sigh of relief.  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that the due date for the 2017 filing has been extended to June 1, 2018.  Employers may visit the EEOC’s webpage for the 2017 EEO-1 Survey for more information.


IRS Issues Guidance on Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 implemented the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit.  This credit allows eligible employers to claim a business tax credit of up to 25% of wages paid to a qualified employee who takes family and medical leave.  The credit is generally available for wages paid in taxable years beginning December 31, 2017, up to December 31, 2019.

The IRS recently released a FAQ page explaining how employers may qualify for the credit and how the credit is calculated.  Employers interested in claiming this tax credit should check the IRS website for further guidance.


Veteran Hiring Benchmark Lowered for 2018

In accordance with the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (“VEVRAA”), federal contractors with affirmative action plans are required to compare the percentage of employees who are protected veterans against either (a) a customized hiring benchmark, or (b) the federally established hiring benchmark.

On March 30, 2018, the U.S. Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (“OFCCP”) announced that the federal hiring benchmark has been lowered to 6.4% (down from 6.7%).  The new benchmark applies to affirmative action plan years starting on or after March 31, 2018. Employers may view VEVRAA benchmark information, including effective dates, on the OFCCP’s associated webpage.


IRS Rolls Back 2018 HSA Contribution Limit Change

We previously reported on the IRS reducing the HSA contribution limit for families from $6,900 to $6,850.  On April 26, 2018, the IRS issued new guidance stating that the contribution limit will return to the 2017 figure of $6,900.  This is intended to resolve confusion arising from last year’s tax reform legislation, which included inflation adjustment calculations.


U.S. DOL Launches Payroll Audit Pilot Program

Last month, we reported on the DOL’s new “PAID” program, an employer self-audit initiative designed to facilitate payment of back wages.  The PAID Program has officially launched.  Employers can learn more about the program by visiting its associated webpage, or reviewing the FAQ.


U.S. Supreme Court Settles FLSA Status of Car Dealership Service Advisors

In Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, a group of auto service advisors sued their employer, alleging that they should have received overtime compensation.  In January of 2017, the Ninth Circuit stated that such service advisors are not exempt from the requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, including its overtime provisions.

Encino had come before the U.S. Supreme Court once before, and on its second review on April 2, 2018, the Supreme Court again rejected the Ninth Circuit’s ruling.  The Supreme Court declared that service advisors meet the FLSA exemption, because they are salespersons primarily engaged in servicing automobiles.  Further, the Supreme Court rejected the principle that FLSA exemptions must be narrowly construed against employers, stating instead that exemptions must be given “a fair reading.”


California: Staffing Agencies Need Not Police Meal Periods

In Serrano v. Aerotek, Inc., an employee of staffing company Aerotek, who worked as a temporary employee for Bay Bread, claimed the companies failed to ensure employees were taking their mandated meal periods while onsite at Bay Bread. The court reconfirmed that employers are not required to “police” taking meal periods, and that mere knowledge of meal periods not taken does not establish liability.

In this particular instance, Aerotek (1) had a compliant meal period policy included in the handbook, (2) provided training on said policy, (3) required employees to notify Aerotek if they felt they were prevented from taking the break, and (4) had an agreement with Bay Bread to comply with meal break regulations.  However, the court noted that there may be circumstances in which a staffing agency may be liable for missed meal periods, such as if they only had a meal policy without any additional implementation. Employers should review staffing contracts and meal period policies for compliance.


Emeryville, California: Minimum Wage Update

Emeryville recently announced that the minimum wage for employers with 56 or more employees (annually adjusted based on CPI) will increase from $15.20 to $15.69 per hour on July 1, 2018 (the rate for employers with 55 or fewer employees was previously set at $15.00 per hour).


Michigan: Local Governments Prohibited from Limiting Employer Interview Inquiries

Effective June 24, 2018, Public Act 84 will preempt local level “fair chance” or equal pay ordinances that seek to limit an employer’s ability to ask applicants about their prior salary history or criminal conviction history.  However, local governments can still implement regulations that require applicants to undergo criminal background checks when applying for licenses or permits for a governmental body.


Nevada: Minimum Wage Will Not Change in 2018

On March 30, 2018, Nevada’s Office of Labor Commissioner announced that the statewide minimum wage will not rise in 2018.  The 2006 Minimum Wage Amendment to the Nevada constitution requires annual review of the Nevada minimum wage in comparison to increases in the federal minimum wage and cost of living.  Increases in the Nevada minimum wage are typically scheduled to go into effect on July 1 of each year.

This year, the Labor Commissioner confirmed that the statewide minimum wage remains at $7.25 for employees who receive qualified health benefits from their employers, and $8.25 for employees who do not.  The daily overtime requirement also remains unchanged.


Pennsylvania: State Supreme Court Says “Actual Damages” Include Non-Economic Damages Under Whistleblower Law

In Bailets v. Pa. Turnpike Commission, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated the term “actual damages” includes non-economic damages under Pennsylvania’s Whistleblower Law, because the inclusion of “actual damages” on a list of otherwise purely economic remedies would render it superfluous.  This was also considered in the context of the purpose of the Whistleblower Law, namely, to protect employees who report wrongdoing, and compensate whistleblowers for emotional harm suffered as a result of exposing wrongdoing.


West Virginia: Employers May Not Prohibit Firearm Storage in Personal Vehicles

Governor Jim Justice recently signed the Business Liability Protection Act into law.  Effective June 8, 2018, the Act allows individuals to store firearms inside of privately owned vehicles parked on company parking lots, so long as the firearm is locked inside the vehicle and stored out of view.  Employers may not request or attempt to search privately owned vehicles for firearms, and may not condition employment on an employee’s agreement to refrain from storing firearms within a personal vehicle.

Employers may still prohibit carrying or concealment of firearms in any other area of the employer’s business (including sidewalks and buildings), or in vehicles owned, rented, or leased by the employer.


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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