If you haven't dusted off your employee handbook or updated your employment procedures in a few years, now is a good time to do a compliance audit, as several new employment laws went into effect this year and more will go into effect in 2012. At a minimum, you should be taking steps to address the following:
- Updating family medical leave policies and forms to comply with the prohibition on disclosure of genetic information under the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008 (GINA).
- For most Oregon employers, eliminating the use of credit checks to screen candidates for employment.
- Updating domestic violence/crime victims leave policies to include harassment (as defined under ORS 166.065) as a reason for requesting leave.
- Modifying procedures for imposing arbitration agreements as a condition of employment (see amendments to ORS 36.620 under Oregon HB 3450).
- Modifying policies and procedures as necessary to comply with the ADA Amendments Act regulations.
- Complying with new tracking and/or reporting requirements for incentive stock options (ISOs), and the cost of health insurance.
- Adjusting 401k deferrals to allow for increases in annual limits.
- Unless the temporary reduction is extended by the federal government, adjusting for an increase in federal payroll taxes.
- Auditing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) to avoid increased penalties for improper distributions.
- Making sure all required state and federal posters are current for 2012 (including the new employee rights poster required by the NLRB).
With the proliferation of employment-related class actions, it's also a good idea to periodically review wage and hour, hiring, termination, and general employment policies for any unintended discriminatory effects. If you need assistance with a compliance audit or employment issue, we're here to help.