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photo of Leora KirkBy Leora Kirk

2022 brought with it many compliance complexities as we all worked to navigate the challenging and changing landscape created by the pandemic. Over the past year, we shifted our attention to a tightening labor market, rising inflation, and most recently, the mid-term elections.

As the new year approaches, in addition to the standard year-end tasks and considerations, businesses have a lot to prepare for – the to-do list can be overwhelming! In this blog we have compiled a list of some compliance considerations to keep in mind as you wrap up 2022 and prepare for 2023.

Year-end best practices:

  • Display updated labor law posters.
  • Review your benefit plan contribution limits and affordability. For large employers the affordability threshold under ACA has significantly decreased to 9.12% for an employee’s household income for 2023 plan year.
  • Review your employer size for thresholds mandating compliance for local, state, and federal employment laws.
  • Connect with your third-party vendors and partners: payroll, brokers, etc. for any updates needed to plans or policies.
  • Consider putting due dates in your yearly calendar with alerts/reminders for compliance requirements throughout the year – ACA, OSHA posting, EEO reporting, benefit plan reporting, mandated training, etc.

Minimum Wage Increases for 2023

Be aware of state and local minimum wage rates that are increasing in 2023. Here are the increases for New England states, plus New York.

State                        2022                              2023

CT                            $14                                $15 (as of 6/1/23)

ME                           $12.75                           $13.80 ($6.90 for tipped workers)

     City of Portland                                     $14 ($7 for tipped workers)

MA                           $14.25                           $15 (6.75 for tipped workers)

NH                           $7.25                              no change

NY                           $13.20                            $14.20

      New York City                                        $15

RI                            $12.25                             $13

VT                           $12.55                             $13.18

Exempt Employee Minimum Salary

In Maine, the minimum salary threshold for exempting a worker from overtime pay is also based on the minimum wage. Starting January 1, 2023, the new minimum salary threshold is $796.17 per week, or $41,401 per year. In Massachusetts and New Hampshire this amount is $684 per week or $35,568 per year following the federal standard.

Ensure Your Employment Posters are Up to Date

Year-end is a good time to check employment posters to ensure they are up to date and accessible to all employees, including those who are working remotely. See the state links below for updates.

Connecticut: https://www.ctdol.state.ct.us/gendocs/labor_posters.htm

Maine: https://www.maine.gov/labor/posters/

Massachusetts: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-workplace-poster-requirements

New Hampshire: https://www.nh.gov/labor/forms/mandatory-posters.htm

New York: https://dol.ny.gov/posting-requirements-0

Rhode Island: https://dlt.ri.gov/employers/required-workplace-posters 

Vermont: https://labor.vermont.gov/mandatory-workplace-posters-vermont

Additional Legislative Updates

Maine: Vacation Payout – beginning January 1, 2023 Maine employers with 11 or more employees will be required to pay out any accrued and unused vacation time at termination of employment.

Massachusetts: The mandatory premium pay rate for hours worked on Sundays and certain holidays, which only applied to retailers, will be fully phased out in 2023. All employers are still required to pay non-exempt employees 1.5 times their regular rate for overtime hours.

Multiple states in New England continue to expand off duty use of cannabis and considerations around accommodations for medical use.

If you have additional compliance or other HR challenges or questions, reach out to the experts at KMA today!