Here’s a quick checklist for three new compliance requirements for 2019:

  • 1/1/2019: MA minimum wage increase from $11/hour to $12/hour
  • 7/1/2019: MA Family and Medical Leave, mandatory contributions begin, and employers must start complying with the posting and notice requirements (Note: Paid leave benefits do not start until 1/1/2021)
  • 11/30/2019: Annual filing of Health Insurance Responsibility Disclosure (HIRD) due (Note: The first filing was due 11/30/2018. For information about HIRD, click here.)

Be sure to also check out our updated [email protected] Job Aid, MA and Federal Posting Requirements by Company Size. Massachusetts revised its Wage and Hour poster to incorporate the new minimum wage increases for 2019 and beyond. The Job Aid lists the posting requirements, size of employer, and websites at which you can download the posters for free. We also have the posters available on our website.

Be sure to check out our updated HR @ Work Job Aid, Compensation and Benefits by the Numbers -2019 Changes. The job aid is a one-page reference tool that lists and compares all the limits, thresholds, and other compensation and benefits requirements for 2019 and 2018, including Massachusetts and federal minimum wage requirements, Social Security and Medicare tax rates, Health Savings Accounts, high deductible plans, Affordable Care Act, flexible spending accounts, commuter benefits, adoption assistance programs, and retirement plans.

The Department of Labor (DOL) once again extended the expiration of the FMLA forms originally set to expire in May 2018 to July 31, 2018.   The forms are available on DOL’s website.  Here is a list of the forms and their website addresses where the current and any new updated forms once issued can be found.

The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) recently announced that it modified the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) regulations to exclude employees under age 18 (minors) from the EMAC supplement tax assessment.  The change was made to prevent unintended consequences of the regulations.

The EMAC supplement tax was created under An Act to Further Regulating Employer Contributions to Health Care, which was signed into law by Governor Baker in August 2017, and effective January 1, 2018.  The EMAC supplement tax is a temporary tax due to expire on December 31, 2019.  It was put into place to help offset the costs for employees who have coverage through MassHealth or subsidized coverage through the Massachusetts ConnectorCare Program until longer-term reform measures can be put into place.

For more information about EMAC and its impact on employers, be sure to read HR Insights, Issue 6.

Governor Baker signed H.4640, known as the “Grand Bargain” into law on June 28, 2018.  The new law:

  • Increases the Massachusetts minimum wage over the next five years from $11 to $15 per hour
  • Phases out certain premium pay requirements for retail employees working Sundays and holidays
  • Creates a job-protected paid family and medical leave (FML) program in Massachusetts

In addition, the new law establishes an annual permanent two-day weekend sales tax holiday starting in August of 2019.

For a summary of the Grand Bargain legislation, be sure to read our latest issue of HR Insights.

IRS has issued the inflation adjustments for Health Savings Accounts effective for calendar year 2019.  The table below shows the current annual contribution limitations and high deductible health plan levels for 2018 and 2019.

The changes to the Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA) designed to help close the wage gap between men and women performing comparable work take effect just a month away on July 1, 2018.  Is your organization prepared for the changes? For a summary of the changes and an action plan for implementing them, be sure to see our newest issue of HR Insights.

 

We are pleased to announce two quick reference tools for 2018. The first is an update to our previously published HR at Work Job Aid, Compensation and Benefits by the Numbers – 2018 Changes, which now includes the IRS mileage reimbursement rate for 2018. The new mileage rate is 54.5¢, up 1¢ from 2017.

The second is an HR at Work Job Aid on the Massachusetts and Federal Workplace Posting Requirements by Company Size. In addition, the actual posters are available on our Resource page, which may be printed on 8 ½ x 11 paper.

For a copy of the updated Compensation and Benefits by the Numbers – 2018 Changes, click here.

For a copy of the Massachusetts and Federal Workplace Posting Requirements by Company Size, click here.

For a copy of any of the posters, click here.

Governor Baker signed An Act Further Regulating Employer Contributions to Health Care (The Act) into law in August 2017, and regulations implementing The Act were issued in late 2017. Issue 6 of HR Insights discusses The Act’s impact on employers. The Act:

  • Temporarily increases the existing Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC)
  • Temporarily creates a supplemental contribution (or penalty) that employers must pay for employees who have MassHealth or subsidized health coverage through the ConnectorCare program
  • Decreases the scheduled unemployment insurance experience rate to help offset the cost of the increases in the EMAC and the supplemental contribution

To learn more about The Act, click here.