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.
Oregon's minimum wage increases to $8.80 per hour on Jnauary 1, 2012. All employers are required to post the updated minimum wage poster. Employers with at least 25 employees in Oregon must also post an Oregon Family Leave Act poster.
BOLI has issued new wage and hour and OFLA posters for 2012, available here.