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January 1, 2017

The minimum wage will rise in a number of states in 2017. Unless otherwise noted, the following minimum wage rates (per hour) are scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2017:

  • Alaska: $9.80

  • Arizona: $10.00

  • Arkansas: $8.50 for employers with 4 or more employees

  • California: $10.50 for employers with 26 or more employees (for smaller employers, the rate remains $10.00)

  • Colo...

January 1, 2017

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced that tax season will begin Monday, January 23, 2017. The filing deadline to submit 2016 tax returns is Tuesday, April 18, 2017.
 
Tax Season Begins January 23
The IRS will begin accepting electronic tax returns on January 23, 2017. Many software companies and tax professionals will be accepting tax returns before January 23 and then will s...

January 1, 2017

A new law allows certain small employers--those with fewer than 50 full-time equivalent employees who do not offer a group health plan--to offer new "qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangements" to reimburse employees for qualified medical expenses, including individual health insurance premiums, for years after December 31, 2016. The law also includes a notice requirement for these...

January 1, 2017

In July 2016, the IRS released a proposed rule addressing howopt-out arrangements--arrangements whereby an employer offers its employees a cash payment in exchange for declining coverage under an employer-sponsored plan--are to be taken into account for purposes of determining whether the coverage is affordable under certain provisions of the Affordable Care Act. While the IRS anticipated finalizi...

January 1, 2017

The new year is a great time to take stock of your company's compliance with important federal, state, and local labor law requirements. Keep these resolutions in mind to help start your company off right in 2017:

  1. Give your poster wall a thorough check-up. Make sure all of your workplace posters are up-to-date and the correct size. Check with your state labor department for any industry-specifi...

December 1, 2016

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has released a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification.
 
Background
Federal law requires employers to hire only individuals who may legally work in the United States--either U.S. citizens or foreign citizens who have the necessary authorization. To comply with the law, employers must verify the identity and employment authoriz...

December 1, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadlines for furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-B and 1095-C tocovered individuals and full-time employees, respectively, from January 31, 2017, to March 2, 2017.
 
Background
Applicable large employers (generally those with 50 or more full-time employees, including full-time equivalents or FTEs), must use Forms 1094-C and 1095-C to...

December 1, 2016

Employers subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)--generally those with 15 or more employees--that offer a wellness program that collects employee health informationmust provide a new notice to employees as of the first day of the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2017. 
 
New Notice Requirement

A recent final rule requires employers offering wellness programs...

December 1, 2016

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued guidance that increases the applicable dollar amount used to determine the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee for plan years that end on or after October 1, 2016 and before October 1, 2017.
 
Background
PCORI fees are imposed on plan sponsors of applicable self-insured health plans for each plan year ending on or after O...

December 1, 2016

Office holiday parties can build morale, offer opportunities for more casual interactions among workers, and reward employees for a productive year--but did you know they can also be a source of liability for your company? If you choose to have alcohol at your holiday party, consider the following tips to help keep you and your employees safe:

1.    Review your insurance coverage before the party....

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