Important Human Resource Compliance Reminders and Updates!

Posted by Christy Putnam on August 10, 2017 at 3:35 PM
Rules and regulations can change quickly and with very little notice to employers. These changes also typically come with significant penalties if employers do not comply. Following are some updates and reminders that you may want to pay close attention to:

ERISA Annual Report (Form 5500) Most employers are familiar with filing Form 5500, or the Annual Report of Employee Benefit Plan, for their retirement plans, but some employers are surprised to learn that these forms must also be filed if the employer has 100+ participants in their health and welfare plans. They must be filed by the last day of the seventh month following the end of the plan year (for calendar year plans that means July 31st). The purpose of the Form 5500 is to provide information on the operations and financial conditions of the benefit plans offered. The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed significant changes that would take effect, primarily in 2019. Employers should start familiarizing themselves with the potential DOL proposal in preparation now. If you have questions about the Form 5500 filing or ERISA, we recommend you reach out to your employee benefits broker/consultant.

EEO-1 Form This is a report filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Employers with 100 or more employees (and federal contractors with 50 or more employees and $50,000 in contracts) are required to report on the racial, ethnic, and gender make-up of their workforce by job category.

On September 29, 2016, the EEOC released an updated EEO-1 reporting form to be used beginning in the 2017 reporting year. This new form requires employers to also report employee pay information collected from W-2 forms (the exception being federal contractors with 50-99 employees, who are still required to report demographic data). To allow employers additional time to gather the required information, the submission date has been extended to March 31, 2018. Several levels of the government are trying to get this employer burden removed, but it is still the law today, and it is advised that employers be prepared for this to go either way.

Updated Form I-9 (YES AGAIN!) We published a blog on June 6th reminding everyone that the Form I-9 had been updated and that all employers needed to be using the new form effective January 22, 2017. On July 17th ,the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) once again issued an updated form. Employers must be using the new form (which has a revision date of 07/17/17by no later than September 18, 2017 or be subject to significant fines. There are very minor changes on the new form, including slight revisions to the instructions and the list of acceptable documents sections.

Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Notices This is not a new notice but oftentimes gets overlooked, or the entire process does not get completed. This requirement applies to all sizes of employers that offer prescription drug coverage. Organizations are required to provide a written disclosure notice to Medicare eligible policy holders as to whether their coverage is creditable or non-creditable. It is important to remember that members might not be eligible for Medicare only because of age but also, possibly, due to disability. Also, the employee might not be Medicare eligible, but one of their covered dependents may be. In addition to the notice, employers are required to complete the Online Disclosure to CMS  <> Form to report the coverage status. This is required to be completed 60 days from the beginning of a plan year, within 30 days after termination of a prescription drug plan, or within 30 days after any change in creditable coverage status.

Accountable Care Act (ACA) 1094/1095 Reporting Like the new EEO-1 required reporting, the ACA reporting is still the law of the land. Employers with more than 50 full-time, or full-time equivalent, employees are required to offer health insurance coverage and meet the Form 1094/1095 reporting requirements. Forms must be provided to employees by January 31st of the year immediately following the calendar year to which the statements relate. Employers are also required to annually report information to the IRS about the health coverage they offer to their employees. This must be done by February 28th (or March 31st if filing electronically).

W-2’s In 2016, the Social Security Administration changed the filing deadline for W-2’s to January 31st regardless of submitting via paper or electronically. This remains the case when filing 2017 forms. It is also important to remember if you file more than 250 W-2's, you are still required to report the aggregate cost of the employer-sponsored health plan in Box 12. The value of the contribution reported is not taxable and is for informational purposes only. This is still optional for employers that file less than 250 W-2's in a year.

OSHA Form 300A Many employers with 10+ employees are required to keep a record of serious work-related illnesses and injuries (click here to see low risk industries that are excluded). In February through April, employers are required to post a summary of the recorded incidents from the previous year, which must be maintained at the worksite for a minimum of 5 years.

A new ruling which took effect January 1, 2017 requires employers to electronically submit incident information that they are already reporting on their OSHA forms. To see if this applies to your organization and get additional information, please visit the OSHA website <>.

The rule also prohibits employers from discouraging workers from reporting a work-related injury or illness by assuring they will be free from retaliation.

Human resource compliance requires more than we can touch on in this blog post. This is not a comprehensive list of all compliance requirements, but hopefully it provides valuable insight into common areas that have had recent changes and updates or may commonly get overlooked.

Topics: Human Resources, HR Compliance

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