HR Compliance Update: New Laws in 2022 and How They Affect Your Business - Netchex

Welcome to 2022! As we celebrate a new year, it is important to discover and prepare for whatever we can as HR professionals and business owners—particularly with HR compliance .

With the start of every year, new laws and regulations take effect. From a HR compliance standpoint, these laws can cover almost any aspect of the business and must be addressed as early as possible.

Ranging from payroll to health care, here are the most important, HR-related laws and regulations coming into play for 2022. Some of these are location-based and may not apply to everyone.

Large Employer Vaccine Mandate

Issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Biden Administration’s push to get more Americans vaccinated accelerates with a wide-sweeping employer vaccine mandate applying to companies with over 100 employees.

Learn more about the employer vaccine mandate, including who it applies to and who it doesn’t, deadlines, and ongoing legal appeals here: https://netchex.com/employer-vaccine-mandate-faqs-and-what-businesses-should-do-to-prepare 

This mandate is currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. Please check back with us soon for more updates on the Court’s decision and potential impacts on your business.

Minimum wage raises

Twenty-one states will start 2022 with a new minimum wage increase, including:

  • Arizona (from $12.20 to $12.85/hr)
  • California (from $14 to $15/hr)
  • Colorado (from $12.32 to 12.56/hr)
  • Delaware (from $9.25 to $10.50/hr)
  • Illinois (from $11 to $12/hr)
  • Maine (from $12.15 to $12.75/hr) 
  • Maryland (from $11.75 to $12.50/hr)
  • Massachusetts (from $13.50 to $14.25/hr)
  • Michigan (from $9.65 to $9.87/hr)
  • Minnesota (from $10.08 to $10.33/hr)
  • Missouri (from $10.30 to $11.15/hr)
  • Montana (from $8.75 to $9.20/hr)
  • New Jersey (from $12 to $13/hr)
  • New Mexico (from $10.50 to $11.50/hr)
  • New York (from $12.50 to $13.20/hr)
  • Ohio (from $8.80 to $9.30/hr)
  • Rhode Island (from $11.75 to $12.55/hr)
  • South Dakota (from $9.45 to $9.95/hr)
  • Vermont (from $11 to $12/hr)
  • Virginia (from $9.50 to $11/hr)
  • Washington (from $13.69 to $14.49/hr)

In addition to these 21 states, 35 individual cities and counties are individually implementing pay increases in 2022. See a full list here.

On the federal level, minimum wage is also going up for employees who work on a federal contract.

  • For existing federal contracts, minimum wage will increase to $11.25/hr for non-tipped employees and $7.90/hr for tipped employees on 1/1/22.
  • For new, renewed, or extended contracts, minimum wage will be $15/hr starting 1/30/22

Make sure payroll and taxes are scheduled to update in the new year. Also, conduct some research to see if wage increases may impact benefits. Keep in mind, several additional states currently have pending minimum wage legislation, so don’t assume your state won’t be impacted in 2022.

Social Security Increases

As announced by The Social Security Administration (SSA), the Social Security wage base limit will increase to $147,000 for 2022.

  • This is a $4,200 increase from $142,800 in 2021.

Additionally, the maximum social security tax employees and employers will pay in 2022 is $9,114.

  • This is an increase of $260.40 from tax year 2021.

More Money in Health Care Flexible Spending Accounts

Employees are able to add an extra $100 annually to their health care flexible spending accounts (FSA).

  • This increases the maximum to $2,850.
  • Additionally, this limit revises the annual carryover limit to $570. 

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On the state level, there are numerous HR compliance laws going into effect in the early part of 2022. Below we highlight a few of note: 

Alabama

  • Described as the “first of its kind in the nation,” a new Alabama law that provides standards for the creation of non-disparagement agreements, including contracts with employees.

California

  • Beginning in 2022, employees must maintain personnel records for 4 years—up from 2 years under the current law. 
  • Intentional theft of wages (including gratuities and benefits) over 12 months will be classified as grand theft (previously, a misdemeanor) when totaling:
    • More than $950 from one employee, or
    • $2,350 altogether from two or more employees 

New Jersey

  • Misclassifying workers to evade insurance premiums is now a violation of the New Jersey Insurance Fraud Protection Act. Employers can receive penalties up to $5,000 for the first violation.

Texas

  • Lawmakers in DeSoto, Texas passed a “Fair Chance Hiring” law that forbids employers from asking about an applicant’s criminal history on the initial job application.

The “Ban the Box” campaign has grown popular in recent years, with most states and cities banning these types of questions in some form or another. 

For more HR compliance information, follow the our HR blog and follow Netchex on social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

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