IRS Notice 1036

The Internal Revenue Service has released Notice 1036, which updates the income-tax withholding tables for 2018 reflecting changes made by the tax reform legislation enacted last month. This is the first in a series of steps that IRS will take to help improve the accuracy of withholding following major changes made by the new tax law. If you have a payroll service, they should be ensuring that your organization is using the correct withholding tables.  Employers should be using these new tax withholding amounts as soon as possible but no later than February 15, 2018.  If you need assistance with ensuring that your organization is utilizing the appropriate withholding schedule....

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EMS Employer Year-End Wrap-Up and Preview

2017 was a bit of a wild ride in the employment realm.  The Trump Administration worked to change the trajectory set during the eight years of the Obama Administration.  This past year, we saw the undoing or attempts to undo many of the Obama Administration initiatives, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) updates, changes to the Persuader Rule, interpretations of Title VII as it relates to transgender protections.  Not to mention the repeated attempts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, there were several new requirements for employers that went into effect in 2017 and a few upcoming in 2018.  Here is a quick review to ensure that your service is up-to-date and compliant. The Fair Labor Standards Act Changes These changes, which would have more than doubled the minimum salary levels for those “White Collar” exemptions, were set to go into effect back in 2016.  A Federal Court in Texas enjoined and put on hold these changes until the question of whether the Department of Labor (DOL) had the authority to unilaterally change the Regulations.  In July, 2016, the DOL published an Request For Information (RFI) with responses due in late September, requesting input...

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401k Contribution Increase Announced

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced last week that it will increase the maximum 401k contribution from $18,000 to $18,500 for 2018.  Also increasing is the maximum contribution by both employer and employee from $54,000 to $55,000 for next year. This is the first time in several years that the IRS has increased these maximum amounts. Plan administrators should adjust their systems to reflect the new contributions limits and ensure that they appropriately notify all employees about the changes....

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New I9 Form Released

Last January we alerted members that the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that employers would be required to utilize the new Form I9 starting in September 2018. The new Form I9 was finally published on July 17, 2017. (Tip: The new version is identifiable as it features an expiration date in the top right corner of August 31, 2019.)

Employee Wage Deduction Restrictions

I often get questions from ambulance services regarding the things that employers can deduct from an employee’s wage. Many year ago, it was commonplace for employers to deduct the cost of uniforms or vehicle accident repairs if they were found “at fault” for the accident from employee wages. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the Federal law that restricts or governs the deductions an employer may take from an employee’s paycheck. The HR Daily Advisor published a great article about the restrictions surrounding deductions from an employee’s paycheck. As always, contact the AAA with any questions regarding this or any other Human Resource or employment law compliance question....

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FLSA Salary Threshold Rule Delayed Again

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last few months about the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rule changes that were due to be implemented on December 1, 2016.  We informed members that an injunction had been issued by a federal judge delaying the implementation of the changes that would more than double the salary thresholds for those who are eligible to earn overtime under the “white collar” exemptions.  The USDOL has requested further 60 day delay to allow them to file their brief in the injunction hearing.  Learn more about this delay and our prior AAA Advisories on FLSA and we will continue to keep members posted about any future movement with regard to this issue.

February Employment Law Updates

Last month I suggested that many of our states are the incubators for employment legislation and that ambulance services need to keep an eye on legislation at the local level and get involved if the legislation effects your business.  The leader in employment legislation from a state perspective is California.  This article highlights several pieces of legislation that were filed this year that will impact employers. As I have stated several times in prior posts, webinars, and live sessions, the “Ban the Box” movement is growing momentum.  California has introduced a bill that will extent current “Ban the Box” protections applicable to State and City employers to private employers.  This would prohibit inquiries about a candidate’s criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment was made. This is just one of the bills that were introduced.  The other include, Right to Work, Veteran’s Preference, and Employees and dependents Reproductive Health protections.  In addition, Assemblyman Freddie Rodriguez introduced legislation that may drastically impact private EMS providers and how they operate their service. Last December the Department of Labor released final rule revising the claims procedure requirements for disability benefit plans under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).  The new rules are (more…)

New I-9 Form Required

New Form I9 Effective January 22, 2017 All employers are required to begin using the new Form I9 starting on January 22, 2017. The new form can be found on the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. To ensure that you are utilizing the correct form, an expiration date of August 31, 2019 is in the top right hand corner of the form. Last year we were aware of several ambulance providers who were the subject of Form I9 audits by the USCIS which resulted in technical violations for failing to complete the form correctly. The Form I9 is the document all U.S. employers are required to have completed when hiring a new employee to assure that they are legally eligible to work in the United States. While there has been a reduction in Form I9 Audits from USCIS in 2015, employers should be prepared as the five year trend is on the rise and I am aware of several ambulance providers currently dealing with audits. The Law The Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 requires employers to examine documentation from each newly hired employee to prove his or her identity and eligibility to work in the...

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