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Federal Employment Law Update – February 2018 | MD Employee Benefit Brokers

IRS Releases Publication 15 and W-4 Withholding Guidance for 2018

On January 31, 2018, the federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Publication 15 — Introductory Material, which includes the following:

  • 2018 federal income tax withholding tables.
  • Exempt Form W-4.
  • New information on:
    • Withholding allowance.
    • Withholding on supplemental wages.
    • Backup withholding.
    • Moving expense reimbursement.
    • Social Security and Medicare tax for 2018.
    • Disaster tax relief.

Read Publication 15 and further details here.

EEOC Penalty Increases for Failure to Post Required Notices

On January 18, 2018, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) released a final rule increasing the penalty amount from $534 to $545 for violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Title VII), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) notice posting requirements.

The final rule is effective February 20, 2018.

Read the rule

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Ask the Experts: Can a well qualified older candidate fit on a much younger team? | Maryland Benefit Advisors

Question: We recently interviewed an older candidate for a position. She’s well qualified, but the team she would be working with is made up of people who are much younger, and we are worried about how she will fit in. Can the criteria to hire for cultural fit outweigh potential age discrimination concerns?

Answer: Your obligations under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that protects workers from discrimination on the basis of age still apply, and you should weigh any employment decisions you make based on nondiscriminatory factors that include the applicant’s ability to do the job over age or generational concerns. While you should certainly think about company and even team culture when considering new hires, you may be putting the cart before the horse by worrying about how this new employee might fit, or not fit, with her new team. And, you might be overlooking the notion that older workers and millennials have more in common than you think.

For example, older workers may appreciate flexible work hours or alternative working arrangements, like many younger people in the workforce. Their responsibilities to children in the home may be done, while their younger counterparts may be pre-child-rearing stage. Older workers’ life-long experience, along with their work experience, may be highly valued and respected on a younger team. Older workers may be driven to learn new skills and new ways of working, just like their younger counterparts.

The experience of learning isn’t just about your older worker teaching or mentoring her younger teammates, however. Older employees benefit from working with younger generations in many ways, such as learning new technology, expanding mindsets to think more out-of-the-box when problem solving, and even finding encouragement to learn new skills and to think more creatively.

Adding a new employee of any age will pose challenges to a well-established team. If your candidate has the experience and the drive that will fit the position, assume all involved will enter into the relationship with open minds and will listen and learn from each other.

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Time to Start Filing Your EEO-1 and VETS-4212 Reports | Maryland Benefit Advisors

The following is a blog published by Louise Davies, an Affirmative Action Paralegal in the Winston-Salem, North Carolina, office of Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete, LLP.

It’s that time of the year!

No, back-to-school is still a few weeks away. It’s time for employers to start filing their EEO-1 and VETS-4212 reports.

The filing period for the EEO-1 and VETS-4212 Reports is now open.  Covered employers have until September 30 to submit responses to both surveys.

EEO-1 Report

If you are a federal contractor with 50 or more employees and meet the any of the following criteria, you are required to file an EEO-1 Report:

  • You are a prime contractor or first-tier subcontractor, with a  contract, subcontract, or purchase order amounting to $50,000;
  • You serve as a depository of Government funds in any amount; or
  • You are a financial institution that is an issuing and paying agent for U.S. Savings Bonds and Notes.

Also, if you’re a private employer subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and have 100 or more employees, you are required to file an EEO-1 Report, whether you’re a federal contractor or not.

To complete the EEO-1 Report, employers must use employment figures from any pay period in July, August, or September.  This year’s EEO-1 Report requires only information about race, ethnicity, and gender of your existing employees in each EEO-1 category for the pay period that you use.

Please note that your company’s password from 2015 for filing the report electronically will not work this year.  If your company has previously filed an EEO-1 Report electronically, you should receive a notification letter from the Joint Reporting Committee by August 15, 2016 with your new company password.

The EEOC’s frequently asked questions about the EEO-1 Report can be found here.

Enjoy that 2016 EEO-1 reporting while you can. If the proposed rule recently issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission goes into effect, there will be no EEO-1 reports filed during calendar year 2017. The survey period will change from the current July-September to October-December. Employers will have until March 31, 2018, to file their EEO-1 reports, reflecting the data they collected during the October-December 2017 period.

That’s the good news – the bad news is that the EEOC’s proposed rule would require employers to annually report compensation in 12 pay bands and hours worked, for each EEO-1 category, broken down by race, ethnicity, and gender. (The proposed new due date of March 31 is intended to coincide with another happy annual event – income tax time.)

VETS-4212 Report

Generally, companies with a federal contract or subcontract in the amount of $150,000 or more are required to report annually on their affirmative action efforts in employing protected veterans. The VETS-4212 Report requests the number of protected veterans currently employed, classified by EEO-1 category. In contrast to the EEO-1 Report, it also collects data on the total number of new hires, both protected veterans and non-veterans, and the number of new hires who are protected veterans.

As with the EEO-1 Report, a user name and password is required to file the survey electronically. If you have previously filed the VETS-4212 electronically, your company information remains the same; however, if you are filing for the first time, you must register your company here.

Additional information on the VETS-4212 Report can be found here.

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