TX LEGAL EDGE

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Dust off those Human Resources New Year’s Resolutions

Carol Keough February 25, 2013

Now nearing the last week in February 2013, how many of those New Year’s Resolutions which affect the way your business will deal with your employees are now gathering dust?  As an employer did you promise to revise your Employee Handbook and Policies to capture all the changes in state and federal laws?  Did you review the employee/independent contractor classifications for workers?  Have you revisited those job descriptions created more than a year ago before hiring new employees for those positions?  If your answer is no to one or more of these questions, you are not alone.  Look at the statistics reported by Forbes Magazine in a January 1, 2013 online article.  Just 8% of people who make New Year’s Resolutions keep them.  However, you can still beat the statistics by making those resolutions a reality.

Why is this so important?  Your employee policies should not be viewed as a document set in stone.  Federal and state agencies are changing regulations to meet the legislative changes in the ADAAA, the FMLA, healthcare law, and  workers compensation law.   The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have issued opinions and advisories that require the employer to carefully review and draft policies on social media.  The Department of Labor and the IRS will scrutinize your potential enforcement by these agencies or a court and make March 2013 the month that you review those policies and bring them up to date.  The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is always looking at whether employers have properly classified their independent contractors or if the 1099 indepedent contractors are actually employees that the employer owes employment taxes on.  So this year, it is not too late, be the 8% and keep your Human Resource policies current.

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