You should review your posters and forms periodically to ensure that they're up to date and adhere to all applicable laws. Since the New Year typically brings a host of new laws, now is a good time to conduct this review. Here is a checklist to help you with your 2022 review:
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) typically releases a new Form W-4 each year. All new employees must complete the most recent version of the form. Existing employees who have already completed a W-4 don’t need to fill out the 2022 version unless they wish to adjust their withholding.
A number of states and local jurisdictions require employers to distribute certain notices or policies to employees annually. For example, several states—including California, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, Oregon, and Texas--require employers to provide employees with notices about the state and/or federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). Make sure you understand the annual notice requirements that apply to their business and ensure compliance with the latest versions of the notices. For more information on annual notice requirements, see our recent Tip of the Week.
Minimum wage posters:
More than 20 states and 30 local jurisdictions increased their minimum wage rates on January 1, 2022. Most of these jurisdictions require employers to post a minimum wage notice in the workplace. If you're required to post a notice, make sure it's the most up-to-date version. If an employee’s pay is affected by a minimum wage change, it could trigger additional notice obligations. For example, Minnesota, whose minimum wage will increase on January 1, 2022, requires that employers furnish each employee with a written notice of any change in pay before the change takes effect.
Equal employment opportunity posters:
Federal, state, and local laws prohibit employers from discriminating and retaliating against applicants and employees on the basis of certain protected characteristics, including, but not limited to, age, race, sex, and religion. This list of protected characteristics is often more expansive at the state and local level. For example, some states have recently enacted protections against hairstyle discrimination. Nondiscrimination laws generally require employers to post notices in the workplace about employees' rights. When these laws change, an updated poster may be required. Make sure you have posted all required notices and that they're the most up-to-date version.
States and local jurisdictions continue to enact paid family leave, sick leave, and/or COVID-19 leave laws. For example, effective January 1, 2022, Colorado employers with 15 or fewer employees must provide paid sick leave. Larger employers in the state were already subject to the requirement. Leave laws also typically require employers to provide and/or post a notice about employees' rights. Make sure you are displaying all required leave notices.
Pregnancy accommodations poster:
Many states have enacted laws requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions. A reasonable accommodation is generally a change to the work environment or way work is typically done in order to enable an employee to perform the essential functions of their role. If you're subject to a pregnancy accommodation law, you may be required to provide and/or post a notice about employees' rights.
Several states and local jurisdictions have enacted laws limiting the information employers may seek on application forms. For example, many jurisdictions have laws that restrict employers from making inquiries into an applicant's pay history during the hiring process. Some have enacted laws prohibiting employers from asking about criminal history on application forms (some make employers wait until after a job offer has been extended). Make sure your application forms avoid any questions that are prohibited under applicable laws.
Note: Even if your jurisdiction doesn't expressly prohibit questions about criminal history on application forms, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission recommends that employers avoid such inquiries. If you do decide to ask about convictions later in the selection process, the inquiries should be job related and consistent with business necessity.
ACA reporting forms:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires insurers, small employers with self-insured (including level-funded) health plans, and all Applicable Large Employers (those with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent (FTE) employees) to report certain information about health coverage to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and provide full-time employees and covered individuals with an annual statement. For the 2021 tax year, the deadline for providing the forms to employees is March 2, 2022. Additionally, employers must file the forms with the IRS by February 28, 2022 (or March 31, 2022, if filing electronically). Employers covered by these requirements should ensure they are using the latest version of these forms.
Beginning this year, instead of furnishing an annual statement to each employee, employers that have fewer than 50 full-time and full-time equivalent (FTE) employees and a self-insured plan may simply post a clear and conspicuous notice on their website stating that individuals may receive a copy of their statement upon request. The notice must include an email address, a physical address to which a request may be sent, and a telephone number that individuals may use to contact the employer with any questions.
For more information on ACA reporting, go here.
Note: Some states have recently enacted their own reporting requirements related to health coverage. For example, California, the District of Columbia, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Vermont require employer reporting of health coverage information to assist the state/district in enforcing health coverage mandates. Check your state law to ensure compliance.
Ensure that your posters and forms comply with all applicable laws and are updated as laws or company policies change.