As 2016 ends and 2017 begins, take note of these federal and state laws and policies that could have a bearing on your business:
OVERTIME RULE CHANGES PUT ON HOLD
For two years, Alabama Retail kept members informed about the U.S. Labor Department’s plan to expand overtime. In November, a federal judge put that plan on hold. The new Congress, new president as well as the federal courts could weigh in on this issue in 2017. For now, employers need not take any action. Alabama Retail will update you if that changes. Read more.
USE NEW I-9 FORM
Starting Jan. 22, the Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification dated 11/14/2016 goes into effect. It must be completed for new hires and any existing employees who require reverifying for their work authorization. Learn more about federal I-9 compliance.
OSHA REQUIRES ELECTRONIC REPORTING FOR SOME EMPLOYERS IN 2017
The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has revised its Recording and Reporting Occupational Injuries and Illnesses regulation effective Jan. 1. The new rule requires employers with 250 or more employees and those with 20-249 employees in certain high-risk industries to electronically submit injury and illness data to OSHA that they are already required to keep under OSHA regulations. Several retail businesses including auto parts, furniture and grocery stores are considered high-risk industries. The reporting requirements are being phased in over two years. Learn more.
FOR-PROFIT AUDIT REFORMS EFFECTIVE JAN. 1
As of Jan. 1, for-profit auditors in Alabama must present a signed and dated contract upon entering a business to perform an audit on behalf of a local government. Also, a local government official must sign off on any final assessment or forced collection. Learn more about these audit reforms.
APPRENTICE TAX CREDIT EFFECTIVE 2017
Beginning with the 2017 tax year, Alabama employers can claim a $1,000 income tax credit for each of up to five qualified apprentices employed, under Act No. 2016-314. Employers must train the apprentices (16 years old or older) for at least seven months in a tax year.