Employment Law Update January 2012

2012 brings some new developments in employment law.  Here are a few deadlines and extensions employers should be aware of:

Ohio’s minimum wage increased:

Effective January 1, 2012, the minimum wage for Ohio employees is $7.70/hour.  For smaller businesses (those who gross less than $283,000), the minimum wage is the same as the federal rate of $7.25/hour.

Cell phone ban for truck drivers:

Effective January 3, 2012, new rules set by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration restrict the use of hand held cell phones by certain commercial truck drivers.  Employers can be fined over $11,000 for violations, and the truck drivers also face fines of up to $2,750 and suspension of their CDL license.

NLRB posting:

The deadline for posting of the notice employee rights under the National Labor Relations Act has been delayed to April 30, 2012.  Covered employers will be required to post the notice where other workplace rights notices are posted.  Employers who post other employment notices or workplace policies on their internal or external website should also post the notice (or a link) on the site.

UPDATE 4/20/2012: Due to legal challenges, the posting requirement will not take effect on 4/30/2012. There is no new deadline for the posting requirement at this time.

Payroll tax cut:

The federal two percent payroll tax cut has been temporarily extended through February 29, 2012.  Congress is expected to approve further extensions, possibly through the end of 2012.

Veteran hiring credit:

A new law enacted in November 2011 law expanded and extended earlier tax credits for hiring veterans.  Under earlier versions, only veterans hired prior to January 1, 2012 were covered.  The latest extension covers veterans hired before January 1, 2013.  (Qualification for the credit is dependent upon a number of factors.)

Written by Jennifer Corso