2017 Employment Law Changes

As we start 2017, it is important to note some key employment law changes, on both a federal and state level, that went into effect on January 1, 2017.

It is also important to flag the fact that some of these changes were announced as late as the last few days of the year, catching some employers off-guard. Here is a summary of the key law changes your firm should review and, as needed, address:


Federal Level:
Requirement to Post Information About Employee Wellness Programs

Employers who sponsor employee wellness programs must plan now to comply with a new notice requirement. Beginning with the first plan year on or after January 1, 2017, employers sponsoring wellness programs that collect employee health information (such as through a health risk assessment or biometric screening) must issue a notice to employees before employees provide health information to the wellness program. The notice must inform employees what information will be collected under the wellness program, how it will be used, who will receive it, and how it will be kept confidential.

For more information, please click this link – Employer Wellness Plans Notice – January 2017.


Individual State Level:
Ban the Box

Ban the box prohibits employers from making inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history at the onset of the employment process, except under certain circumstances. This directly impacts questions raised during the interview process, and specifically the content of Employment Applications, which by law must now be updated to (in most cases) eliminate some questions that appeared in the application prior to 12/31/16.

Here are the states / locales affected, along with the date that the law will go into effect:

·         CT Ban the Box – January 2017

·         Vermont Ban the Box – July 2017

·         Los Angeles Ban the Box – January 2017

Wages – Minimum Wage

Several wage measures specifically involving the Minimum Wage went into effect as of January 1, 2017.

To see a list of those states and regions affected please click this link – Minimum Wage Changes.


Wages – Fair Labor Standards Act at the STATE Level

While changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) at the National level were put on hold, the State of New York implemented its own set of changes that were made effective as of January 1, 2017. There are a wide range of variables as part of this legislation that passed at the tail end of December.

To review the details please click the following link – New York FLSA.

Sick Leave

A number of states, as well as the Federal Government, implemented new Sick Leave related laws and guidelines for 2017.

They can be found using the following link – State Paid Sick Leave Changes Planned for 2017.


Pay Equality

While many pieces of legislation of this nature remain in the waiting for a legislative vote and/or implementation, California passed a bill in 2016 that went into effect 1/1/17.

Please find details by using this link – California Equal Pay Act – January 2017.
As always, please feel free to reach out to your OperationsInc consultant for guidance on how to address these new employment law changes and ensure your business is meeting compliance standards.