2020 New Years HR Updates

2020 new year hr updates

As we head into the new year, most of us are recapping 2019 and setting goals for 2020. However, this time is also critical for brushing up on new HR updates for 2020. If you haven’t already, be sure to read through these new employment law changes. (And don’t forget to update your handbook and processes, too!)

New W-4

Beginning in 2020, employers will need to provide the redesigned Form W-4 to new employees. They’ll also need to supply this form to current employees who want to change their withholding.

However, employees who have submitted Form W-4 previously are not required to submit a new form just because of the redesign. Instead, employers should continue to compute withholding based on the information from the employee’s most recently submitted Form W-4.

There have been two major changes to the form. First is the elimination of allowances, which have been replaced by dollar values to calculate withholding. Next, boxes have been added to indicate if workers hold multiple jobs or are in two-earner households. (Stay tuned for more information on the new W-4 coming soon!)

Minimum Wage & Salary Increases

New Minimum Salary for Exempt Employees

Starting January 1, 2020, most employees who are classified as exempt under the executive, administrative, professional, and computer employee exemptions will need to be paid at least $684 per week or $35,568 per year. However, other states may have their own higher minimum salaries for these employees.

For example, for 2020, the California minimum salary for exempt employees of employers with 26+ employees will be $54,080 per year. Additionally, the minimum salary for employers with 25 or fewer employees will be $49,920.

Next, the California minimum salary for exempt computer professionals will be $96,968.33 per year or $46.55 per hour if paid on an hourly basis. Finally, California’s minimum hourly rate for licensed physicians and surgeons (if paid hourly) will be $84.79.

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State Minimum Wage Increases

Effective January 1, 2020, California’s minimum wage for employers with 26+ employees will increase to $13.00 per hour. Additionally, the minimum wage for employers with 25 or fewer employees will increase to $12.00 per hour.

Keep in mind that a number of municipalities have their own minimum wage increases scheduled for January 1, 2020. To view all upcoming minimum wage changes by state and municipality, log on to the HR Support Center for our handy Minimum Wage Map tool!

Minimum Wage Increases for Federal Contractors

On January 1, 2020, the minimum wage for employees doing work on or in connection with federal contracts will increase to $10.80 per hour. Lastly, the federal minimum wage for covered tipped employees will increase to $7.55 per hour.

Handbook Policy Updates

Natural Hairstyles

Under both federal law and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, it’s unlawful for an employer to discriminate based on certain protected characteristics, including race. California now defines race, for employment purposes, to include traits historically associated with race, including hair texture and protective hairstyles such as braids, locks, and twists.

In light of this, employers who have appearance policies that prohibit natural hairstyles should revise those policies. Additionally, employers should train managers and those involved in hiring not to make judgments about professionalism or culture fit based on these hairstyles and to consider their own unconscious bias.

The ABC Test

Following the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex Ops. W Inc. v. Superior Court ruling, California employers have been subject to the “ABC test” since April of 2018. However, effective January 1, 2020, the ABC test is now part of California’s statutes as well.

The caveat? Under California’s Assembly Bill (AB) 5, there are now a number of exemptions to the ABC test. You can learn more about how to properly classify your employees and contractors in light of AB 5 here.

Independent Contractor ABC Test Webinar Thread

Lactation Accommodations Expanded

Time and a private non-bathroom space for employees to express milk were already required by state and federal law, but the new state law explicitly requires that the lactation room meet the following requirements:

  • Be safe, clean, and free of hazards
  • Have a place to sit and a surface to place a breast pump and personal items
  • Have access to electricity or charging devices suitable for an electric or battery-powered breast pump

Employers must also provide access to a sink with running water and suitable refrigeration close to the employee’s workspace. If a multipurpose room is the designated lactation space, use for lactation must be prioritized over all other uses, when needed for lactation.

For more information on the new Lactation Accommodations requirements, register to attend our 2020 Legal Updates Seminar!

Additional Time for Organ Donation

Previously, California required that employers of 15+ employees provide up to 30 business days of paid leave for organ donation. The law now requires that those employees be provided with an additional 30 business days of unpaid time off to donate an organ. This adds up to a total of 60 days of protected leave in a 12-month period.

What do you think?

Is your business ready to go for 2020? If you haven’t already, be sure to register for our 2020 Legal Update Seminar presented by our Director of Compliance, Brett Strauss, Esq. At the seminar, Brett will review all the latest on recent and pending legislation and what it means to HR professionals and employers. After, you’ll be able to ask our team any other HR questions you have!

For more HR tips and support, be sure to log on to SDP’s HR Support Center. (Free for all clients!) There, you can access our entire library of laws, articles, policies, and trainings on HR topics affecting all states and municipalities. And don’t forget to follow us out on FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn for even more business tips & tricks!

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