2017 certainly looks like it will be one of the more interesting years in the HR arena in quite some time. With a transition in Washington, changes are expected that could have a significant impact on small and medium-sized organizations. Before we look forward to some key changes for 2017, EctoHR, Inc. would like to take a moment to comment on some highlights for our team in 2016!
- With sincere gratitude, we celebrated our 10th anniversary.
- We are proud that we still have our first two clients, Victory Sales America, Inc. and focusIT, Inc., as active clients, in addition to many other long-term relationships.
- Two team members (Lindsay and Erica) were married in 2016.
- Christy welcomed her third child, and first daughter, Alexandria!
- EctoHR found its new office home in downtown Brighton. Renovation will start later this winter with an anticipated move-in of late summer or early fall.
- Erica and Colleen became shareholders as of 12/31/16.
For 2017, our team anxiously awaits information (and hopefully clarity!) on the following topics:
- The overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
- The experts seem to agree that the salary threshold will be increased in 2017 (from the current $23,660), but will be lower than the previously published amount of $47,476, which was supposed to go into effect on 12/1/16. It is also expected that a more gradual increase will be implemented over a period of a few years.
- Changes to the Affordable Care Act & how the system will be overhauled.
- One recent change related to the ACA was the adoption of the 21st Century Cures Act, which allows small employers without a group health plan to provide employees with a non-taxable reimbursement for purchase of individual or other alternate health insurance. This is great news for many employers that were operating in a somewhat murky regulation area since the adoption of the ACA.
- Planned increases to the Federal Minimum Wage
- While President-Elect Trump has indicated this should be a state issue, he has also indicated that he supports an increase to $10/hour. It will be interesting to see where the new floor is set, as this has an impact on any employer currently operating within 20-25% of the current minimum wage as they battle for entry-level employees.
- The impact of the OSHA reporting guidelines and elimination of automatic post-incident drug testing.
- The regulations, which took effect on 12/1/16, will be a work-in-progress as it relates to the implementation side. Front line supervisors will require training on determining when “reasonable suspicion” exists and businesses will need clarity on when an incident should be reported to OSHA.
Employers should continue to monitor available guidance, but not rush to make any significant changes until plans and deadlines become more clear. EctoHR will continue to assess the potential impacts of HR-related regulations and support its clients with the implementation of any necessary changes specific to each individual company and industry.
As always, the EctoHR team has its sleeves rolled up and is ready to work with and for your team in 2017. Thank you for your continued support!