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This Week’s HR News and Updates
January 15, 2018

In with the New and the Old

In a reversal of policy last week, the Department of Labor (DOL) reissued 17 opinion letters that had first been issued under the George W. Bush administration. This follows an earlier announcement from the DOL that it would return to the practice of issuing opinion letters, a practice that employment attorneys feel would provide more clarity for employers.

The DOL also issued a new fact sheet clarifying when interns are subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), versus when they can be considered unpaid interns. This is a departure from the 2010 guidance, which set out a more rigorous test.

In other big news last week, the IRS issued federal tax withholding tables implementing recently passed tax reform. For information on the new tax table, click here.

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Recent/Upcoming Compliance Dates

  • January 1, 2018: The Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a final rule expanding its drug testing panel to include certain semisynthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone, and oxycodone) for DOT-regulated industries. DOT-regulated employers are required to test for these highly abused opioids beginning on January 1, 2018.
  • January 1, 2018: California’s Immigrant Worker Protection Act (AB 450) prohibits California employers from providing federal immigration authorities (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE) with access to nonpublic areas of a worksite without a judicial warrant. The Act also requires employers to provide notice of Form I-9 and other records inspections to current employees and any collective bargaining representatives within 72 hours.
  • April 8, 2018: New York City’s safe time leave law may be used for absence from work when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter (e.g., domestic violence, harassment), sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking. Employers must provide existing employees with an updated sick and safe time notice within 30 days of the law’s effective date, or May 8, 2018.

For guidance and compliance information, visit BLR® resource centers.



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