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What’s New for 2017?

Thu December 1, 2016 Publications
  1. State minimum wage increases. Florida’s minimum wage increases on January 1, 2017, to $8.10 per hour and tipped minimum wage increases to $5.08 per hour. Both the federal and the state minimum wages are required to be posted at work in an area for employees to easily see. Additionally, employers should notify tipped employees in writing of the hourly wage amount the employer will pay the tipped employees.
  2. Social security tax hits higher income. The maximum amount of earnings subject to social security tax climbs from $118,500 to $127,200 effective January 1, 2017. Employer should make the appropriate adjustments to their payroll systems and notify affected employees.
  3. The EEOC has new enforcement priorities. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has announced its new enforcement priorities for 2017. Of these priorities, several are particularly notable including: 21st century employment relationships; the discriminatory backlash against those of Middle Eastern descent and those who practice associated religions; the use of data-centered hiring mechanisms by the high-tech industry; and the concept of equal pay.
  4. The EEOC has issued a new EEO-1 Report to capture 2017 pay data. The EEOC’s Employer Information Report known as the EEO-1 Report has been revised to collect summary pay data as well as the information currently collected about the number of employees by job category and by sex, race and ethnicity. This compensation data will be collected beginning January 1, 2017, to be reported by March 31, 2018.
  5. OSHA requires electronic reporting for large employers. Effective January 1, 2017, the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration will implement a new rule requiring employers with 250 or more employees in certain industries to electronically submit information regarding workplace injuries and illnesses. This data will be made public on OSHA’s website.
  6. Federal contractors must provide employees paid sick leave. The US Department of Labor issued a Final Rule on Establishing Paid Sick Leave for Federal Contractors which also becomes effective on January 1, 2017. It requires contractors entering new contracts for services, construction or concessions provide covered employees the ability to earn, accrue and use up to 56 hours or 7 days of paid sick leave per year. Some exceptions apply. The sick leave can be earned and accrued at a rate not less than 1 hour of sick leave per 30 hours of work on the federal contract, or can be dropped in a bank in whole at the beginning of the year to avoid the administrative headache of tracking employee accrual. Employees are entitled to regular written notice of their leave balance and to rollover accrued leave from year to year, though accrual can be capped at 56 hours.