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Compliance Bytes: Stay Ahead of the Latest Changes

Please note the list below is not intended to be comprehensive. Our team is constantly monitoring for updates that may impact organizations across the country.

With the compliance landscape in a constant state of flux, staying on top of the latest legislative and regulatory changes has never been more important. That’s why we’ve brought together these state and federal updates for the month of May.

Federal Changes

The U.S. Department of Labor has updated its FAQs for workers and employers on the Fair Labor Standards Act during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Department of Labor will also delay its “Strengthening Wage Protections for the Temporary and Permanent Employment of Certain Aliens in the United States” final rule, originally published in January, by 18 months. The rule is now set to go into effect on Nov. 14, 2022.

Legislative Updates by State

Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Illinois
Iowa
Montana
New Hampshire
Oregon
Washington
Wisconsin

Arizona

On May 3, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation allowing attorneys’ fees to be included in garnishments. House Bill 2170 says that accrued attorneys’ fees, if allowed by a judgment or contract, may be added to a garnishment order with the amount stated within the garnishment’s outstanding balance due. The bill becomes effective July 23, or 90 days after the end of the legislative session.

Arkansas

The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration posted an April 2021 version of Form AR4ECSP (Employee’s Special Withholding Exemption Certificate), which employees file with their employers to exempt earnings from Arkansas income tax withholding. Employers should keep the form on record.

California

The San Francisco Grocery Store, Drug Store, Restaurant, and On-Demand Delivery Service Worker Protections Ordinance took effect April 26. The ordinance requires grocery stores, drugstores, restaurants and on-demand delivery services to implement specified COVID-19 pandemic health and safety measures, including the provision of personal protective equipment to workers.

Additionally, three California cities — Berkeley, Milpitas and San Francisco — released new hourly minimum wages to take effect July 1:

Colorado

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment issued a press release reminding employers that as of Jan. 1, 2021, all Colorado employees have the right to paid leave for the time it takes to receive the COVID-19 vaccination and for any side effects that prevent them from working.

Connecticut

Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation removing COVID-19 pandemic layoffs from the calculation for determining unemployment tax rates. House Bill 5377 disregards an employer’s unemployment benefit charges and taxable wages between July 1, 2019, and June 30, 2021, when calculating the employer’s unemployment tax experience rate for taxable years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

The legislation similarly disregards the statewide benefits and taxable wages for calendar years 2020 and 2021 when calculating the unemployment tax rate that will apply to new employers for tax years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2022.

Illinois

An ordinance passed by the Chicago City Council on April 21 bars employers from requiring employees to get vaccinated during non-work hours. The ordinance mandates employers who require workers to be vaccinated must compensate workers for the time — up to four hours per dose — that the worker takes to make it to their vaccination appointment. Employers must not require paid time off to be used for vaccination appointments and cannot retaliate against employees who take time off for vaccination. Violators are subject to fines between $1,000 and $5,000.

A new amendment to the Illinois Employee Sick Leave Act adds “personal care” of a “covered family member” to its required approved reasons employers must allow employees to take sick leave. Under this amendment, “personal care” includes any activity an employee performs to provide medical, hygiene, nutritional, safety or emotional support to a child, stepchild, spouse, domestic partner, sibling, partner, mother- or father-in-law, grandchild, grandparent or stepparent.

Iowa

The Iowa Department of Revenue (IDR) has announced updated rules and forms related to powers of attorney and disclosure, changing several to more clearly distinguish between requests for access to confidential information and transfers of authority to act on behalf of a taxpayer. Additionally, several updates have been made to the IDR’s Power of Attorney form. The new forms can be found on the IDR website.

Meanwhile, Iowa Senate Bill 336, approved by the governor May 10, requires employers to provide employees with up to two consecutive hours of leave to voluntarily donate blood. An employee may submit a request for a leave of absence under this subsection no more than four times in a year and must submit written verification from the employee’s physician or the facility involved with the blood donation.

Montana

The 2021 Montana minimum wage poster is available. The minimum wage for 2021 is $8.75 per hour. The notice reminds employers that no tip credit, training wage or meal credits are permitted.

New Hampshire

State law requires employers keep records of their employees’ hours and wages and retain the records for three years. New legislation, effective June 11, amends the law and provides that these records may now be made, signed, acknowledged, approved and retained electronically.

Oregon

The Metro district website has been updated to provide a sample letter employers may use to inform their employees of Metro personal income tax withholding for both the Metro Supportive Housing Services tax and the Multnomah County Preschool for All tax.

Gov. Kate Brown issued Executive Order No. 21-10, extending a prior order allowing the use of Oregon paid sick leave to address COVID-19 related needs. The order also extends the relaxed unemployment eligibility requirements and the relaxed collection and recoupment activities.

Washington

Washington’s family-leave insurance program will expand the definition of a “family member” for the purpose of determining program eligibility. Effective July 25, an employee may receive family-leave insurance benefits to care for the serious health condition of a person who regularly lives in the employee’s home or where the relationship creates an expectation that the person depends on the employee for care. Family members also include an employee’s child, grandchild, grandparent, parent, sibling or spouse.

House Bill 1073, approved by the governor April 21, expands coverage of the paid family and medical leave program to allow workers who have earned $1,000 (from having worked 820 hours) and have been employed for 90 days (from 12 months) to collect benefits.

Senate Bill 5115, approved by the governor May 11, establishes health emergency labor standards, including a “first impression” presumption for front-line workers that any infectious or contagious diseases that are the subject of a public health emergency are occupational diseases. It also requires employers to report when a certain percentage of the workforce has tested positive for an infectious disease and requires employers to notify employees of potential exposure to an infectious disease.

Senate Bill 5284 eliminates subminimum wage certificates for persons with disabilities. The governor approved this bill April 16.

Senate Bill 5355 allows an employee to place a wage lien on certain property of his or her employer to recover unpaid wages. The governor approved this bill May 16.

Wisconsin

Under a bill signed April 23, tipped employees may electronically declare that their received tips and wages add up to at least the minimum wage. Existing law is adjusted to allow electronic signatures to satisfy a requirement that for employers to take a tip credit, they must have tipped employees sign a declaration each pay period that their tips and wages are at least equal to the minimum wage.

As always, please continue to follow the Paycom blog for updates that matter to you and your organization.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services or professional consulting of any kind. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional legal, tax, accounting or other professional advisers. Before making any decision or taking any action, you should consult a professional adviser who has been provided with all pertinent facts relevant to your particular situation and for your particular state(s) of operation.