The year 2020 is here. Now that all the celebration has ended and we all returned to work, we now look forward to assessing our schedule. We are warned of compliance tasks to be done, but most of the time, people wait until the very last moment to handle these until it’s nearly too late. In 2020, this is the wrong move for two reasons:
- Some requirements may be eliminated
- Requirements could be added or amended
You may wind up wasting time providing compliance reporting that is no longer required.
Some rules have been rolled back by agencies in the Trump era, following Executive Order 13771, also known as the “two-for-one” rule. Others have simply eliminated reporting redundancies in order to streamline data collection and use. The following example has rolled back certain reporting requirements that were previously in the domain of the manager or the HR professional.
The agency issued a final rule that eliminates the requirement for establishments with 250 or more employees to electronically submit information from OSHA Form 300 (Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses) and OSHA Form 301 (Injury and Illness Incident Report) to OSHA each year. The rule became effective as of February 25, 2019. You still need to maintain the OSHA Forms 301 and 300 locally, and electronically report the OSHA Form 300A (Injury and Illness Summary). Establishments from 20 to 249 employees within some industries must also still report their OSHA Form 300A.
Deadline for OSHA Form 300A electronic submission: March 2, 2020.
You could be unaware of new regulation that has been passed, that went into effect in the new year.
DoL, Wage and Hour Division (WHD) Compliance
The U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule on September of 2019 to raise the standard salary level from $455 to $684 per week. The final rule became effective on January 1, 2020, and will have the intended effect of forcing employers to take a look at the compensation structure of their employees, reclassifying employees from “overtime exempt” to “overtime non-exempt” if the new salary minimum is not met. The new compliance tasks for employers therefore is to:
- Review current pay structures for improper classification due to new salary minimum.
- Identify options for raising minimum salaries (standard salary increase, bonus and incentive pay increases, or reclassification).
- Execute changes to pay in accordance with the new rule and organization strategy.
- Review current total annual compensation for “highly compensated employees”, such as executives and department heads
- Increase highly compensated employees’ salary to the minimum required salary in accordance with the new rule and organization strategy.
Increased Salary Minimum HR Compliance
Note that you could supplement a salary with bonus and incentive payments which are distributed to employees regularly, at least annually, to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level required by the final rule.
How long do we have to get our ducks in a row and execute on mandated salary changes? Since the effective date is Jan. 1, 2020, the first reporting period for the new rule is the 2020 calendar year. You have the entire first year to fully implement this rule into your company’s pay structure. It adds a compliance burden that should be checked periodically, and at the final pay period of the year. Why the final pay period of the year? Well the WHD rule itself gives that answer:
(i) If by the last pay period of the 52-week period the sum of the employee’s weekly salary plus non-discretionary bonus, incentive, and commission payments received is less than 52 times the weekly salary amount required by § 541.600(a), the employer may make one final payment sufficient to achieve the required level no later than the next pay period after the end of the year. Any such final payment made after the end of the 52-week period may count only toward the prior year’s salary amount and not toward the salary amount in the year it was paid.
“One final payment … no later than the next pay period after the end of the year.”
Therefore, according to the WHD final rule § 541.602, paragraph (a)(3), the first paycheck in January 2021 is your deadline for compliance and each year thereafter.
Just Scratching the Surface
OSHA and WHD rules are among the very top level examples of new HR compliance rules to tackle in the new decade. Unfortunately, based on the state, municipality, and industry, you have more new laws and regulations taking effect after 2020, which will only increase complexity and add paper shuffling to your workload. Here is a short list taking effect in 2020:
- California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
- New York salary threshold changes
- Two more states and two more cities ban salary history questions
- Minnesota Wage Theft Law
- Changes to the New York Paid Family Leave Law (NYPFLL)
- Washington D.C. Universal Paid Leave Act
- Nevada paid leave law, Senate Bill No. 312
- “Ban the Box” criminal history discrimination laws in more than 12 states
- Minimum wage increases in 24 states.
Do you have someone on your team dedicated to keeping your company compliant?