2020 Brings With It Significant Changes for Employment Law

The government has been hard at work making changes to many of the laws that impact your business. The National Labor Relations Board issued several precedent-changing decisions as well as new rules and regulations this month. The IRS released a new tax form and the Department of Labor issued their final ruling on The FLSA. Find out about some of these changes below.

Confidentiality Permitted for Internal Investigations: This is a key precedent that will help employers keep investigations confidential. In the 2015 decision titled Banner Estrella Medical Center, the NLRB had changed an established precedent in the area of confidentiality. It held that it was presumed to be unlawful for an employer to prohibit an employee from disclosing information relating to an internal investigation. The NLRB has now significantly expanded employers’ flexibility in respect to confidentiality. It held that it is presumed to be lawful for an employer to maintain a ‘facially neutral’ rule that requires employees to maintain confidentiality during the course of an investigation.

NLRB Reinstates Employers’ Right to Restrict Use of Their Email Systems For Non Work Purposes: The NLRB overruled another controversial decision that was issued approximately five years ago that said it was presumed unlawful to ban employees from using work email to discuss unions and group working conditions. In Caesars Entertainment, the NLRB permits an employer to ban employees from using an employer’s email system for non-work purposes. This applies if an employer instates a “facially neutral” rule that treats all non-work email the same.

New Form W-4: Effective January 1st for New Hires
The IRS released a final version of the 2020 Form W-4, now titled Employee’s Withholding Certificate, with revisions designed to make accurate income-tax withholding easier for employees. You do not need to fill out this form for current employees but it must be used for all new hires.

New Rules for Retirement Plan Hardship Withdrawals:
The IRS has published a final rule that relaxes several existing restrictions on taking hardship distributions from defined contribution plans. Some of these changes are mandatory, requiring employers to make the changes by January 1st. It is important to understand these changes to make sure you are compliant, be sure to contact your broker.

FLSA:On January 1st, 2020 the new overtime rule goes into effect. Employees who make less than $35,568 will now be eligible for overtime pay under a final rule issued by the US Department of Labor. However, salary is not the only thing that decides if an employee is exempt or non exempt, there are many key factors that your HR partner can discuss with you.

January is a great time for your business to audit all of its polices and procedures and ensure you are following all rules and regulations .

Do you have questions about any of these changes? We are here to help!

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