New Year, New Employer Responsibilities for January 2017
Take note of increase to minimum wage and update in payroll/ with payroll processor
Advise employees of decreased mileage reimbursement to 53.5 cents per mile
Post updated federal, state, and local ordinance posters in common areas
Use updated I-9 form by January 21, 2017
Distribute Notice to Employee to reflect changes in wages or company polices within 7 days of the change
Update Employee Handbook (annually) and conduct Performance Reviews
Ensure personnel files are up to date with signed documents (including Anti-Harassment policy and Arbitration Agreement, among others)
Schedule Sexual Harassment training
minimum wage has been increased to $10.50 per hour in California for employers with 26 or more employees, and remains at $10.00 per hour for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
In addition, several cities will see an additional increase in the minimum wage. The following is a short list of cities with more expansive minimum wages for employers of all sizes, unless otherwise noted:
Los Angeles: $12.00 per hour for 26+ employees; $10.50 for 25 or fewer employees
Oakland: $12.86 per hour
Palo Alto: $12.00 per hour
San Diego: $11.50 per hour
San Francisco: $13.00 per hour (increased to $14.00 on July 1, 2017)
San Mateo: $12.00 per hour/ $10.50 per hour for non-profits
Santa Monica: $12.00 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees; $10.50 for employers with 25 or fewer employees; $15.37+ consumer price index increase for hotel workers
West Hollywood will increase to $12.00 per hour July 1, 2017 for employers with 26+ employees
Decreased Mileage Reimbursement
53.5 cents per mile for the use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck for business miles driven (down from 54 cents in 2016).
17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 19 cents in 2016).
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations (unchanged).
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
Use the Updated I-9 Form and Complete Within 3 Days of Hire
I-9 form is a mandatory form that must be completed by employers to confirm an employee’s eligibility to work legally in the United States. This form requires government-issued identification and must be completed within 3 days of hire. A new version of the form has been issued for 2017 and must be used by January 17, 2017.
Post Updated Posters in a Visible Location/Common Areas
In addition, Employers must post the Minimum Wage and California Paid Sick Leave Poster, and a poster for city-specific paid sick leave ordinances, if applicable (for cities such as Santa Monica and Los Angeles, which provide additional days of paid sick leave depending on the number of employees). These posters should be posted in visible common areas, such as a break room or kitchen.
Notice to Employee
Update Employee Handbooks and Documents
up-to-date Handbook that outlines the company’s policies, along with the relevant California leave laws. In addition to providing this information so that everyone in the company is aware of its policies, Employee Handbooks are used as evidence in when defending a lawsuit brought by current or former employees. Employee Handbooks should be updated annually to reflect changes in company policies and the law, and the document with the signature pages must be kept in the employee’s personnel files as evidence that the employee reviewed the document.
In addition, Employers should ensure that they have signed Anti-Harassment Policies and valid Arbitration Agreements, and update their Employees’ Job Descriptions and annual Performance Reviews. January is an excellent time to revisit these items and update them for all employees.
Schedule Sexual Harassment Training
The Grady Firm provides on-site, classroom-style training that satisfies California’s sexual harassment training requirement.
Overwhelmed with these changes? Need assistance in navigating the maze of California Employment law? Contact The Grady Firm for a copy of any updated forms, or for counseling and training on how to become compliant with these new laws.
In addition, The Grady Firm’s attorney assist with drafting/updating Employee Handbooks, hiring/firing, and sexual harassment and leadership training.
*This article is for informational purposes only, and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. This article does not make any guarantees as to the outcome of a particular matter, as each matter has its own set of circumstances and must be evaluated individually by a licensed attorney.
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