At times, HR can feel like a game. Generally, there are overarching rules. But frequent changes in labor laws and new regulations, both on a national and local level, make it more than a challenge to keep up (and 2019 was no exception.). Add to that, any changes in your business, changes the rules. For example, if you’ve added workers in other states or reached 50 or more employees, you may have to comply with a completely new set of requirements.
If you want to compete, the end of the year is a good time assess your HR game, not only to prevent costly compliance issues but also to realign strategies and strengthen your workforce practices. To help, we’ve made it easy with a checklist of some of the most important HR-related task to take care of now.
Audit FTEs and Review Employee Classifications. Audit your FTEs to determine if you have reached or exceeded 50 employees and required to comply with FMLA in 2020.
Also check new overtime thresholds and make sure employees are classified correctly for the work performed according to the Department of Labor (DOL) guidelines.
Prepare FICA and FUTA forms. The IRS (FICA) Form 941 is due October 31, 2019 for Q3 and January 31, 2020 for Q4. Federal unemployment tax (FUTA) Form 940 is due January 31, 2020. Also note, check addresses before filing. For some employers, the filing addresses changed in 2019. Therefore, the address you used for Form 941 in Q3 may be different for the one used to file for Q4.
Update W-2 and W-3 and prepare independent contractor forms. Review employee records and update W-2 and W-3 forms. If you paid freelancers or independent contractors in 2019, you must file Forms 1096 and 1099 MISC. All forms are due January 31, 2020.
Review healthcare filing requirements and deadlines. Check deadlines and new updates for healthcare reporting and verify all requirements have been met. Open Enrollment begins November 1 and ends December 15, 2019, for coverage beginning January 1, 2020.
Prepare OSHA forms and update workplace postings. Applicable employers, with 10 or more employees, are required to post a completed OSHA Form 300A, summary workplace injuries and illnesses, every year from February 1 until April 1. The information is used to help OSHA identify and reduce injuries and illnesses. Employers, with 10 (or under) employees at all times during the calendar year are exempt from the OSHA's record-keeping requirements. Note that the employee count includes employees at all business locations combined. Also, review new legislation regarding employee privacy.
Review Labor Laws. On September 24, 2019, the Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule on overtime pay. The new rule updates the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. It also allows employers to count a portion of specific bonuses and commissions towards meeting the salary level. The new rate will take effect on January 1, 2020.
In addition to new overtime thresholds, review all city, county, state, and federal employment laws, including filing requirements for contract workers, freelancers and remote employees located in other states. Also, make sure that the correct labor laws are posted correctly in your workplace.
Prepare and distribute Medicare Part D and other notices. If you provide prescription drug coverage, you must provide a creditable coverage notice, Medicare Part D, to participants by October 14, 2019. Other annual notices that you may be required to distribute include HIPPA, privacy practices on personal health information, and CHIPRA, the Children's Health Insurance Program Reauthorization Act notice on health coverage assistance.
Schedule required compliance training. Providing compliance training for your employees ensures your employees meet federal and state laws and protect your company from costly compliance violations. Check required training, such as sexual harassment, safety, and drug-free workplace training, as requirements are different in every state. For example, sexual harassment training is not required in South Carolina but is a requirement in North Carolina for applicable employers. Also, update any mandated industry-specific certifications.
Prepare Forms 1094-C and 1095-C. Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), reporting requirements depend on the number of full-time employees (FTE). Companies with 50 or more FTEs are considered an Applicable Large Employer (ALE). If your company is an ALE, verify that you meet ACA requirements for coverage. Applicable employers have until February 28, 2020, to file Form 1095-C and March 4, 2020, to submit 1094-C.
Prepare Health Plan Summary. Under ERISA, employers must distribute a health plan summary to plan participants within 90 days of enrollment.
Prepare Form 5500. Applicable employers are required to file an employee benefits plan report with the Department of Labor (DOL) for every year the plan holds assets. Form 5500 is due on the last day of the seventh month after the plan year ends.
Develop your 2020 calendar. Create and distribute a 2020 calendar of vacation time and company-observed holidays. And don’t forget to review your employee handbook. Makes sure it addresses such areas as, privacy policies, compensation and performance reviews, social media, attendance, and time-off, break periods, benefits, and procedures for termination, discipline, workplace safety, and emergency procedures.
Share performance highlights. Hold an employee meeting to share 2019 accomplishments and to announce 2020 goals.
Check and compete
Staying on top of your game - and ahead of the competition — means taking care of critical HR-related tasks related to payroll, compliance, and employee benefits. Depending on the type of business or industry, your year-end checklist may be different and you may need additional guidance.
As an IRS-certified PEO, Propel HR has been a leading provider of human resource and payroll solutions throughout South Carolina, the Southeast and the country for more than 20 years, and among the very first PEOs to receive certification by the IRS. Our team of Propel Pros can help you make smart moves by saving both time and money, as well as protecting your company from costly compliance risks.
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