Important 2017 Employment Changes:
State Minimum Wage: $10.50 per hour for employers with 26 or more employees. $10.00 per hour for those with 25 or less employees. Cities throughout the state have higher minimum wages. Consult local ordinances if employees regularly work in cities outside Sonoma or Napa Counties. Note, exempt employees for employers with 26 or more employees must make at least $43,680. (For smaller employers it remains $41,600.) Exempt employees must back at least twice the minimum wage on an annualized basis based on full time employment (2080 hours).
IRS Mileage Rate: The mileage reimbursement rate for cars, vans, pickups or panel trucks is 53.5 cents per mile. This is down from 54 cents per mile for 2016.
New I-9 Form: As of January 22, 2017 employers must use the new I-9 form to document that employees are authorized to work in the United States. The new form can be found here.
Legalization of Marijuana: Although California has now legalized recreational use of marijuana, employers may continue to prohibit marijuana use, possession or impairment on the job. Employers can also continue to test for marijuana in pre-employment screening tests, subject to existing privacy rights disclosures.
Gender Neutral Bathrooms: By March 1, 2017 all business establishments, places of public accommodation or state or local government agencies must designate single-user toilet facilities as “all-gender”. A single-user toilet facility is a toilet facility with no more than one water closet or urinal with a locking mechanism controlled by the user. There is no requirement in the law that the bathroom be available to the general public.
Piece-Rate: If you pay any workers by piece-rate make sure your payroll practices are compliant with respect to calculating and reflecting rest/recovery breaks and other non-productive time and pay. Do not solely rely on your payroll service to do this properly. Verify that it is being done correctly. It is extremely complicated.
Federal Exempt Salary Increase: The new Department of Labor overtime exemption rule is on hold through court action. It is uncertain whether it will eventually be implemented, revised or squashed. If implemented the new minimum salary threshold for exempt employees would be $46,467 (higher than the current California requirement).
FEHA Policies: Check your discrimination, harassment and prevention policies and training practices to make sure they are compliant with new Department of Fair Employment and Housing regulations.
For more information on these or any other employment laws impacting your business contact Jennifer Douglas Phillips.