Archives for Human Resources

Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522) – Paid Sick Leave in CA

Posted by mnjinsurance on August 3, 2015

The new law, Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522), is effective as of January 1, 2015; however, the right to accrue sick leave becomes effective on July 1, 2015.  Affected employers should be mindful that a new law requires most businesses to provide up to 24 hours (or 3 days) per year of paid sick leave to employees who work in California for 30 or more days within a year from the commencement of employment.  Employees, including part-time and temporary employees, will earn at least one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked. Accrual begins on the first day of employment or July 1, 2015, whichever is later.  An employer may limit the amount of paid sick leave an employee can use in one year to 24 hours or three days. Accrued paid sick leave may be carried over to the next year, but it may be capped at 48 hours or six days.

 

Exceptions:

 

Employees covered by qualifying collective bargaining agreements, In-Home Supportive Services providers, and certain employees of air carriers are not covered by this law.

 

Background

  • Employees will accrue paid sick days at the rate of 1 hour per every 30 hours worked, beginning at the commencement of employment or July 1, 2015 (whichever is later).
  • Upon the oral or written request of an employee, an employer must provide paid sick days for certain purposes, including (among other things) diagnosis, care, or treatment of an existing health condition of—or preventive care for—an employee or an employee’s family member.
  • An employee is entitled to use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment, after which day he or she may use paid sick days as they are accrued.

 

Usage


  • An employee may use accrued paid sick days beginning on the 90th day of employment.
  • An employee may request paid sick days in writing or verbally. An employee cannot be required to find a replacement as a condition for using paid sick days.
  • An employee can take paid leave for employee’s own or a family member for the diagnosis, care or treatment of an existing health condition or preventive care or for specified purposes for an employee who is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Action Items for Employers to comply with the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014 (AB 1522):


Important:  Retaliation or discrimination against an employee who requests or uses paid sick days is prohibited. An employee may file a complaint with the Labor Commissioner against an employer who retaliates or discriminates against the employee for exercising these rights or other rights protected under the Labor Code.”

 

As seen on:  State of California Department of Industrial Relations as of August 2, 1015.

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only.  While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided “as is” and MNJ Insurance Solutions makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy  and completeness.  The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind.  External users should seek professional advice form their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.

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DOL Revised FMLA Definition of “Spouse”: February 25, 2015

Posted by mnjinsurance on August 3, 2015

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The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) entitles eligible employees of covered employees of covered Employers to take unpaid, job-protected leave for specified family and medical reasons.  The FMLA also includes certain military family leave provisions.  On February 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of Labor revised Family Medical Leave Act definition of a “spouse.”   The Final Rule’s definition of spouse expressly includes individuals in lawfully recognized same-sex and common law marriages and marriages that were validly entered into outside of the United States if they could have been entered into in at least one state.

 

The DOL noted in its Fact Sheet on the Final Rule that the definitional change means that eligible employees, regardless of where they live, will be able to take:

 

  • FMLA leave to care for their lawfully married same-sex spouse with serious health conditions,
  • Qualifying emergency leave due to their lawfully married same-sex spouse’s covered military service,
  • Military caregiver leave for their lawfully married same-sex spouse,
  • FMLA leave to care for a stepchild, regardless of whether the in loco parentis (in the place of parents) requirement of providing day-to-day care or financial support for the child is met,
  • FMLA leave to care for a stepparent, who is same-sex spouse of the employee’s parent, regardless of whether the stepparent ever stood in loco parentis to the employee,
  • FMLA leave for their own serious condition, or
  • FMLA leave for the birth of a child or the placement of a child for adoption or foster care and bonding.

 

Action Items for Employers:

Employers that are required to provide FMLA should train and familiarize their Human Resources, Leave Administrators, and Managers/Supervisors with this new rule if they are involved with the leave management process, as benefits available to certain employees may change with the Final Rule.

 

In addition, we recommend that employers update their FMLA policy in their Employee Handbook, forms, and notices, if they specifically defined “spouse” in any matter, so that the documentation reflects the new changes of the DOL’s definition, which takes effect March 27, 2015.

 

Additional Information on the Final Rule:

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only.  While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided “as is” and MNJ Insurance Solutions makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy  and completeness.  The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind.  External users should seek professional advice form their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.

 

Additional Medicare Tax for High Income Earners

Posted by mnjinsurance on August 3, 2015

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For taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012, employers are required to withhold Additional Medicare Tax (at a rate of 0.9%) on wages or compensation paid to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. Below are common questions and answers for individuals and employers regarding the tax increase. For additional information, please review the complete set of FAQs from the IRS.

 

Special Update: Effective November 29, 2013, final rules provide guidance for employers relating to the implementation of Additional Medicare Tax, including the employer process for adjusting underpayments and overpayments of the tax and for filing a claim for refund for an overpayment.

Frequently Asked Questions on Additional Medicare Taxes for High Income Earners

When did Additional Medicare Tax start?
Additional Medicare Tax went into effect in 2013 and applies to wages, compensation, and self-employment income above a threshold amount received in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2012.

 

What is the rate of Additional Medicare Tax?
The rate is 0.9 percent.

 

When are individuals liable for Additional Medicare Tax?
An individual is liable for Additional Medicare Tax if the individual’s wages, compensation, or self-employment income (together with that of his or her spouse if filing a joint return) exceed the threshold amount for the individual’s filing status:

Filing Status

Threshold Amount

Married Filing Jointly

$250,000

Married Filing Separately

$125,000

Single

$200,000

Head of Household (with qualifying person)

$200,000

Qualifying Widow(er) with dependent child

$200,000

 

What wages are subject to Additional Medicare Tax?
All wages that are currently subject to Medicare Tax are subject to Additional Medicare Tax if they are paid in excess of the applicable threshold for an individual’s filing status.

 

When must an employer withhold Additional Medicare Tax?
Effective January 1, 2013, an employer must withhold Additional Medicare Tax on wages it pays to an employee in excess of $200,000 in a calendar year. An employer has this withholding obligation even though an employee may not be liable for Additional Medicare Tax because, for example, the employee’s wages together with that of his or her spouse do not exceed the $250,000 threshold for joint return filers. Any withheld Additional Medicare Tax will be credited against the total tax liability shown on the individual’s income tax return (Form 1040).

 

Is an employer liable for Additional Medicare Tax even if it does not withhold it from an employee’s wages?
An employer that does not deduct and withhold Additional Medicare Tax as required is liable for the tax unless the tax that it failed to withhold from the employee’s wages is paid by the employee. An employer is not relieved of its liability for payment of any Additional Medicare Tax required to be withheld unless it can show that the tax has been paid by filing Forms 4669 and 4670. Even if not liable for the tax, an employer that does not meet its withholding, deposit, reporting, and payment responsibilities for Additional Medicare Tax may be subject to all applicable penalties.

 

Can an employee request additional withholding specifically for Additional Medicare Tax?
No. However, an employee who anticipates liability for Additional Medicare Tax may request that his or her employer withhold an additional amount of income tax withholding on Form W-4. This additional income tax withholding will be applied against all taxes shown on the individual’s income tax return (Form 1040), including any Additional Medicare Tax liability.

 

This content is provided for informational purposes only.  While we have attempted to provide current, accurate and clearly expressed information, this information is provided “as is” and MNJ Insurance Solutions makes no representations or warranties regarding its accuracy  and completeness.  The information provided should not be construed as legal or tax advice or as a recommendation of any kind.  External users should seek professional advice form their own attorneys and tax and benefit plan advisers with respect to their individual circumstances and needs.