The New Year brings a great many good things for millions of small businesses around the nation, as well as some challenges in terms of employment laws and reform taking place now. These HR and employment laws can and will affect your business in 2012 in both positive and negative way. The best course of action is to be prepared for these changes and keep informed through resources found here at the Davis Staffing blog. To help you stay on top of employment law trends, here is a short breakdown of the most important things you need to know going into Twenty-Twelve.
9 Employment Laws Impacting Business in 2012
Employment Wage Laws – Many US states are being backed by the US Department of Labor to create new employment laws that will clarify and set standards in the overtime and minimum wage requirements. These laws are to help employers better explain to workers what they are owed. Now may be a good time to update your minimum wage and overtime posters company-wide.
Employee Classification – Now is the time to review your employee classification system, because several US states are enacting stricture guidelines and fines for companies that misclassify workers, or appear to use disparaging wage tactics to cut costs. Take the time to review job descriptions, salary vs. non-salaried workers, and employee vs. contractor, mandatory work hours, and overtime rules.
Health Insurance Reform – The Affordable Care Act of 2010 got things changing in terms of how health care insurance works, including how businesses provide access to group benefits. Be aware of these laws by visiting http://www.healthcare.gov/ for updates on these laws. This includes the new dependent care laws that require insurance coverage for young adults up to age 26. Additionally, employers filing 250 or more W-2 forms in the past year will need to include the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage on the 2012 W-2 form.
Hiring Incentives and Entrepreneurialism – As President Obama continues to focus on bringing tax credits to small businesses as well as tax cuts to ordinary working citizens, we will keep seeing legislation geared towards job creation in America. Consider making some of your temporary workers into permanent employees to see these benefits. Also, there will be more funds available for those who wish to start their own businesses in 2012.
Unemployment Insurance – Congress is working on reinstating the federal unemployment surtax, which could cause businesses to see increases in unemployment taxes going into 2012. This is to offset the burdens of a national average of just under 9 percent unemployment nation-wide, and to cut down on unemployment insurance fraud.
401(k) Retirement Savings – In 2012, employers will also have to provide additional fee disclosures to employees who participate. Reforms in 401(k) laws will also restrict how many loans employees can take from their funds for emergencies and hardships. Look for alternatives to 401(k) plans to give employees more options when it comes to saving for retirement.
Immigration Reform – This is a big one with many states and the federal government, that will be cracking down on the hiring of illegals and employers who don’t pay minimum wage or provide benefits to green-card carrying immigrants. More use of E-verify will become mandatory in the USA as a way to identify illegals.
Debt and Deficit Reduction – Going into 2012 be aware that Congress has a focus on reducing the national debt in big ways, starting with tax reform for businesses and individuals. While the recent extension of payroll-tax cuts for an additional two months benefits many, expect that some of the tax credits you enjoy now may be gone by the end of this election year, and plan accordingly.
Business Security and Privacy – With cybercrimes on the rise in recent years, many businesses are ramping up privacy and security in a big way going into the New Year. This means you may need to review your current safety and security policies to make sure they comply with state and federal laws, including the way you store data about your employees.
If you are looking for more ways to stay on top of HR and employment laws for your company, be sure to come back often to the Davis Staffing blog for up-to-the-minute advice and resources. We encourage you to reach out to us if you have questions about temporary staffing or employment updates.