Below is an excerpt from the January 2013 issue of SkyLines.
Are You Ready for 2013?
We want to make sure that your business is prepared to hit the ground running in 2013. Below is a “To-Do” list that we at NFC have deemed the TOP 10 PRIORITIES employers should focus on to prepare effectively for the New Year.
1: Update Your Fair Credit Reporting Act(“FCRA”)Forms
As of January 1, 2013, employers are required to use the updated FCRA forms (Appendices K, M and N to 12 CFR Part 1022) for all background checks on applicants and employees.
2: Keep Track of the “Gender Equity Pay” Posting and Distribution Requirement Expected to be “Triggered” this Year
In November of 2012, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development announced that employers with 50 or more employees must post notices detailing the employee’s right to gender equity in compensation. Although the new law is currently effective, the employer’s posting obligation is not yet “triggered” until the Commissioner of Labor issues the “Final Notice of Adoption.”
3: Check That Your Check is in the Mail
Many employers are entitled to Medical Loss Rebate checks from their Medical Plan insurers. Follow-up with your health insurance provider or your broker to find out if you are entitled to a rebate. Be aware that there are definitive procedures established by the
Federal Department of Labor and the IRS that must be followed to handle these proceeds properly.
4: Update Your Employee Handbook
Check your employee handbook and make certain that policies for electronic communications systems, social media, and wage and hour requirements are all up to date. Ensure that your social media policy and all other policies and practices are NLRA compliant. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, employers should also make sure to include an inclement weather policy in light of the increasing and unpredictable weather that can affect your employees’ ability to commute to their workplace.
5: Schedule Critical Employment Training Sessions for Q1
Plan sessions now for your managers, employees and Human Resources departments on preventing workplace harassment, managing the risks of Social Media in the workplace, performance management training, conducting effective internal investigations and complying with the Family and Medical Leave Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
6: Update Your Recruiting Practices
Ensure that your offer letters, employment agreements, and any existing commission policies/agree-ments comply with recent state law requirements.
7: Learn About the Latest Advances in Smart Phone Technology and How this Impacts Compliance with Wage and Hour Laws
Educate yourself about the DOL’s new smartphone app that lets employees track work time on their phones. Review State and Federal Wage and Hour laws to ensure compliance.
8: Determine if You Can Benefit from the IRS’s Voluntary Classification Settlement Program
If your company currently has workers classified as “Independent Contractors,” evaluate whether the classifications are appropriate and, if not, whether you are eligible to take advantage of the IRS’s Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP).
9: Be Aware that Flexible Spending Account (“FSA”) Contributions Are Now Limited to $2,500
Effective January 1, 2013, healthcare FSA contri- butions are limited to $2,500. Amend your cafeteria plans and inform employees of this new limit.
10: Work with Your Health Plan Insurer to Provide Employees with Notices of Exchanges and Premium Tax Credits
Effective March 1, 2013, employers are required to provide their employees with written notice
of their health coverage options including information about health insurance exchanges and premium tax credit eligibility. Prepare those notifications and send in a timely fashion.
By Robin H. Rome, Esq., a Partner at Nukk Freeman & Cerra, P.C., an employment law firm providing counsel to businesses in all areas of employer-employee relations.