No-Match Letters, NYS Training Requirements, and More
Experts Caution Employers Not to Ignore No-Match Letters, but Not Assume the Worst
Last spring, the Social Security Administration began mailing no-match letters to thousands of U.S. employers – the first time letters of this nature had been sent since 2007. These letters notify employers that there is a name and social security number mismatch on an employee’s W-2.
Human Resources Executive Online has outlined steps for employers to follow should they receive a no-match letter (previously known as Employer Correction Requests). Employers are cautioned against ignoring the letter outright, but are equally cautioned against immediately assuming employee fraud.
To view the whole article and survey results, please click here.
Tight Job Market and Rise in Legal Marijuana Use Narrowing List of Qualified, Drug Free Candidates
U.S. employers are struggling to reconcile the legalization of marijuana in several states with the fact that it is still illegal on the federal level. Business leaders are left uncertain – should they continue strict drug testing policies, or move away from it?
OperationsInc CEO David Lewis spoke with CNBC recently to discuss the shift he has seen across the market tied to pre-employment and worker drug testing. Many employers are moving away from drug testing – several citing that they do not want to lose a top performer due to recreational or medical marijuana use outside of the office.
Other workplace experts say that the job market is already limiting the ability for many businesses to attract top talent, and that legal marijuana use is narrowing the list of qualified, drug-free candidates.
According to Quest Diagnostics, workers testing positive for marijuana use is at a 14-year high, and is up 17% across the general workforce since 2014.
For more information, please click here.
Will Your Wellness Program Get You Sued?
A class action lawsuit has been brought against Yale University, alleging that the school’s employee wellness program “uses financial incentives that violate the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA)”.
According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Yale required its 5,000 union employees (and spouses) to release their medical claims and submit to medical testing by their wellness vendor.
Those employees who do not participate are subject to a penalty of $1,300 per year.
SHRM cautions that while the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is working to develop wellness rules, employers must assess risks before offering wellness programs that include financial incentives.
For more information, please click here.
REMINDER: New York Employers Must Offer Anti-Harassment Training by October 9th
By October 9, 2019, all New York State employers, regardless of size, are required to provide Sexual Harassment Prevention & Awareness Training to their employees.
JD Supra further qualifies this requirement, noting “the training must be interactive, provided annually in the language spoken by employees, and counted as regular work hours”.
For more information about this training requirement, please click here.
Knowledge Hoarding: A Detrimental Workplace Phenomenon
While research has shown that intelligence and knowledge sharing are key components of organizational success, there is a complex workplace phenomenon called “knowledge hoarding”, where employees refuse to share knowledge and information with others.
A recent study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior explored the drivers behind an employee who will “play dumb” or purposely fail to share documents, reports, or other information with colleagues.
Key findings of the study included:
• Employees who feel they will lose competitive advantage are less likely to be forthcoming with intel.
• Individuals who feel their time is consumed by colleagues asking questions are more likely to hide knowledge.
• Reciprocity is a key driver in knowlege sharing – if an employee relies on another to complete their own work, they are more likely to work to support others by sharing their own knowledge.
• Workers who felt they had autonomy in their jobs were more likely to share information.
To view the full results of the study, please click here.
CT: Minimum Wage Increase Effective 10/1/19
Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont has signed legislation raising Connecticut’s minimum wage to $11 per hour effective October 1, 2019.
The legislation also increases the minimum wage gradually over a four-year period from the current $10.10 per hour to $15 per hour by 2023.
For more details, please click here.
IRS Releases Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements
Effective January 1, 2020, employers who do not offer group medical coverage will be able to fund “a new kind of health reimbursement arrangement” (HRA), which will be known as an individual coverage HRA (ICHRA).
The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) reports that “using an individual coverage HRA, employers will be able to provide their workers and their workers’ families with tax-preferred funds pay all or a portion of the cost of coverage that workers purchase on the individual market”.
SHRM further notes that businesses of all sizes are permitted to offer traditional group-health plans or ICHRAs, “but may not offer employees a choice between the two”.
For access to the full article, please click here.