Politics in the Workplace: What Must Employers Allow?
As the 2016 election wraps up, some employers are losing productivity, attention to customer service and worker focus as personnel discuss or advocate their political opinions.However, private employers often can reassert control by recognizing that two commonly held beliefs about “politics in the workplace” are, in fact, misconceptions. Employers need not lose control of their workplaces during the run-up to elections. A carefully crafted and uniformly enforced policy that limits political activities and “free speech” will lower the risk of employee claims while increasing worker productivity. Read more here.
Employers Must File Copies of Form W-2 by Jan. 31
The Internal Revenue Service is reminding employers that a new federal law to make it easier for the IRS to detect and prevent refund fraud moved the annual deadline for filing copies of employees’ Form W-2 with the Social Security Administration (SSA) to Jan. 31. The earlier filing deadline is part of the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act, enacted last December. “As tax season approaches, the IRS wants to be sure employers, especially smaller businesses, are aware of these new deadlines,” IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said in a news release.
In addition, there are changes in requesting an extension to file Form W-2. Only one 30-day extension to file Form W-2 is available, and this extension is not automatic. If an extension is necessary, a Form 8809, Application for Extension of Time to File Information Returns, must be completed as soon as the employer knows an extension is necessary, but by Jan. 31 at the latest. The instructions for Form 8809 contain additional information. To make corrections after filing Form W-2 with the Social Security Administration, employers can file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement.
Be Prepared for Religious, LGBTQ Issues in Workplace
The number of workers filing lawsuits claiming discrimination based on religious faith or sexuality is on the rise in the U.S. More than 3,500 charges of workplace religious discrimination, for example, came before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2015. The number of charges has risen about 44 percent in the last 10 years, according to Michael S. Cohen, partner at Duane Morris LLP in Philadelphia. In 2014, the EEOC obtained $8 million in settlements involving religious discrimination cases. Read more here.
Feds Make it Easy to File Charges Against You
As if you didn’t already have enough reasons to stay on employees’ good sides. Now the federal government is making it easier for disgruntled workers to file charges against their employers. Federal agencies have teamed up to create Worker.gov. The website directly links employees to agencies like the EEOC, DOL, OSHA, OFCCP and NLRB, and it allows them to file charges with these agencies with just a few clicks. Read more here.