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Get the latest in print & creative arts business updates, trends, and inspiration.

New Year, New Laws, New Regs

With what has been dominating the headlines recently on sexual harassment claims, it is absolutely imperative that organizations examine their policies regarding the reporting mechanisms for sexual harassment and discrimination. There is an absolute need for some form of awareness training (if not already mandatory by state law). Employers should also examine their fraternization and dating policies. Many employers need to be aware that condoning, ignoring or being blatantly complicit about acts of sexual harassment and discrimination will potentially increase the risk of claims, if not worse. Call me or email cheryl@vma.bz for assistance on AB 1825 training (CA state mandated training for companies with 50 or more employee). However, training does not have to be limited to state mandates. It should be done as part and parcel of your risk management strategy and as a proactive approach.

Remember EITC
You should have already sent W-2’s or Forms 1099 as they are due no later than January 31st of any given year. With that being said, another form that is essential in California is the CA Earned Income Tax Credit Notice. The EITC is a tax credit available to workers who do not exceed specific salary and investment income thresholds, have valid social security numbers, and meet certain other requirements. California law requires that employers provide the notice of possible federal and CA EITC eligibility to every employee. This notification must be made in writing, either in person or via first class mail within a week before or after the employer provides an annual wage summary (Form W-2’s or Forms 1099). A posting in the office will be considered insufficient. Sample language for this notification form can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/EITCsample.

Notice NPLA
Effective January 1, 2018, the New Parent Leave Act (“NPLA”) or SB 63, expands California’s leave laws by requiring employers with 20 to 49 employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected parental leave to bond with a new child within one year of the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement. These provisions already generally apply to employers of 50 or more persons. Similar to the California Family Rights Act, the NPLA requires employers to continue the employee’s health insurance benefits while on leave. The NPLA applies to private, state, and municipal employers. Covered employers must amend their leave policies and employee handbooks to include the NPLA, and train personnel on how to handle leaves, which in the past had only applied to larger employers.

Observe AB450
Recently, the CA Labor Commissioner’s office released a template notice form to assist employers with the posting requirements under the new immigration protection act or AB 450. If employers get an immigration law compliance inspection or audit initiated by federal authorities or Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a notice to the workforce must be provided within 72 hours. The one page document must be posted in a conspicuous location. To get the template either in English or Spanish, contact Cheryl at 323-728-9500 or cheryl@vma.bz.

Miles and Minimums
Beginning January 1, 2018, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

  • 54.5 cents per mile for business miles driven (up from 53.5 cents in 2017).
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (up from 17 cents in 2017).
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (same as 2017).

A final reminder is to check to see that your minimum wage for 2018 is in alignment with where your business is situated. While state minimum wage is set at $10.50 for companies with 25 employees or less and $11.00 for companies with 26 or more employees, your city ordinance may have a different rate. See https://www.dir.ca.gov/dlse/faq_minimumwage.htm for more information.

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