Original Date: December 28, 2018

As we are only a day away from 2019, some of our organizations will be hiring new employees for continued operation and the upcoming seasonal summer months.  New hires require new and legally updated paperwork.  State and federal forms get updated and posted on government websites for all of us to use, in either an electronic or downloadable PDF form.  These forms are not always updated at the beginning or end of the year.  Ensure you have the most current forms.

Below are the new hire forms needed in New York State:

  1. Form I-9, Eligibility to work in the United States: This form is required in every state for new hires. Organizations must verify that new employees are legally eligible to work in the United States.  Ensure the form is filled out correctly and signed by the right person in the organization, audits are a great option for an organization to review old I-9 forms.  This form changed in late 2017 and is scheduled to expire on 8/31/2019.
  2. Form W-4, wage Withholding Allowance Certificate: This form is necessary for federal withholdings. All employees should complete and sign a Form W-4 prior to starting work.  The 2019 form is now available through the link or an internet search.
  3. Form IT-2104, Employer Allowance Certificate (NYS): This is the New York State withholding form required for all new employees or any revised withholding information. Ensure you are using the 2019 version of the form, as linked above.
  4. Wage Prevention Fact Sheet: Organizations are required to provide wage notification forms to all employees, if they do not carve out specific language in the employees offer letter. See fact sheet and frequently asked question links below to understand specific requirements on offer letters.  The forms vary by hourly, salary and salaried nonexempt.  The link above provides a definition on which form to use based on the classification of the employee.  Reminder, these forms were last updated in early 2017.

Wage Prevention Frequently Asked Questions

Notice of Pay for Hourly Employees

Notice for Exempt Employees

Notice for Employees Paid a Weekly Rate or a Salary for a Fix Number of Hours (40 of Fewer in a Week)

  1. 2019 W-9 Form: These forms are utilized for consultants and others that might be working within your organization. This form was updated in October 2018.  Ensure you have an updated form from any consultants or others that are issued a 1099.   

Remember the sexual harassment policy requirements now mandated by New York State for all employers.  Continue to monitor for any local requirements as well and any significant changes at the federal and state levels.  At times, we do see date changes or language changes to forms in the middle of the year.

Happy New Year!

FMLA Impacting Year-End Bonuses:

“FMLA regulations 29 C.F.R. § 825.215(c)(2) provide that:

. . . if a bonus or other payment is based on the achievement of a specified goal such as hours worked, products sold or perfect attendance, and the employee has not met the goal due to FMLA leave, then the payment may be denied, unless otherwise paid to employees on an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave. For example, if an employee who used paid vacation leave for a non-FMLA purpose would receive the payment, then the employee who used paid vacation leave for an FMLA-protected purpose also must receive the payment. (emphasis added).

When calculating bonus payments or incentives, employers must treat employees who take FMLA leave the same as those who are on “an equivalent leave status for a reason that does not qualify as FMLA leave…

So, bottom line, if you deny bonuses and incentives to those on other, similar forms of leave—such as absences related to jury duty leave, military leave to ADA leave—you can deny the same bonus to the employee who took FMLA leave.”[i]

Other State Changes:

            Minimum wage was covered in a previous article.

new burr

[i] https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/hr-topics/benefits/pages/year-end-bonuses-and-fmla-leave.aspx

 

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