It’s the end of the year –

You know what that means, it’s time to make sure all the odds and ends of payroll, accounting, and general year end projects are done.

For most of our clients that includes:

  • Updating employee addresses in the files, so tax information is sent and received in a timely manner.
  • Updating contractor information, and ensuring that all payments are recorded for 1099 purposes.
    •  The filing deadline for 2017 W-2s and 1099 forms (including Form 1099-MISC) is January 31, 2018.
  • Strategic plans for the next year should be reviewed and tweaked as necessary.
  • Make your appointment now with your accountant for any year end, or beginning of the year strategy meetings.
  • Review any changes to the upcoming labor changes.  The California Chamber of Commerce lists the following changes.

    Parental Leave for Small Employers

    An important new law requires that small employers provide new parents with up to 12 workweeks of unpaid leave.

    SB 63, the New Parent Leave Act, requires small businesses with 20 or more employees to provide eligible employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to bond with a new child — leave that must be taken within one year of the child’s birth, adoption or foster care placement. SB 63 requires employers to provide parental leave only for baby bonding; it does not require employers to provide leave for other reasons, such as a family member’s medical issue.

    The New Parent Leave Act will have the greatest impact on employers with 20 to 49 employees who are not currently required to provide baby bonding leave under the federal Family and Medical Leave Act or the state California Family Rights Act.

    Hiring Practices and Enforcement

    Employers will see significant changes to their hiring practices in 2018, including applicant selection processes and compliance with Form I-9 and immigration laws.

    Ban-the-Box Law

    AB 1008 prohibits employers with five or more employees from asking about criminal history information on job applications and from inquiring about or considering criminal history at any time before a conditional offer of employment has been made. There are limited exemptions for certain positions, such as those where a criminal background check is required by federal, state or local law.

    No More Salary History Questions

    AB 168 bans employers from asking about a job applicant’s prior salary, compensation or benefits (either directly or through an agent, such as a third-party recruiter).

    In addition, employers cannot rely on salary history information as a factor in determining whether to hire the applicant or how much to pay the applicant. However, an employer may consider salary information that is disclosed voluntarily by the applicant without any prompting.

    Worksite Immigration Enforcement and Protections

    The Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) provides workers with protection from immigration  enforcement while on the job and imposes varying fines from $2,000 to $10,000 for violating its provisions.

    This bill also makes it unlawful for employers to reverify the employment eligibility of current employees in a time or manner not allowed by federal employment eligibility verification laws.

    Alcohol Servers

    AB 1221 requires that businesses licensed to serve alcohol make sure each alcohol server receives mandatory training on alcohol responsibility and obtains an alcohol server certification. These requirements go into effect in 2021, after the course is developed by the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

    Discrimination, Harassment and Retaliation Protections

    Several new laws expand employee protections for 2018. Many of these laws focus on gender equality and gender identity/gender expression protections.

    Harassment Prevention Training: Gender Identity/Gender Expression, Sexual Orientation

    California employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisors with two hours of sexual harassment prevention training every two years.

    Under SB 396, covered employers will have to make sure that any mandatory training course they use also discusses harassment based on gender identity, gender expression and sexual orientation.

    Gender Identification: Female, Male or Nonbinary

    SB 179 will allow California residents to choose from three equally recognized gender options — female, male or nonbinary — on state-issued identification cards, birth certificates and driver licenses. For changes to birth certificates, the law is effective on September 1, 2018. For changes to driver licenses, the law is effective on January 1, 2019.

    Employment Discrimination: Gender Neutral Language

    AB 1556 revises California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act by deleting gender-specific personal pronouns in California’s anti-discrimination, anti-harassment, pregnancy disability and family/medical leave laws by changing “he” or “she,” for example, to “the person” or “the employee.”

    Does it feel overwhelming?  We can help make sure you’re in compliance.  Call us for more information.