State Legislative Changes – April 2017

April 2017 Update

Arizona
New-Hire Procedures—Effective on the 91st day after Arizona's regular legislative session adjourns, franchisors aren't considered to be employers or co-employers of franchisees or their employees, unless franchisors agree in writing to assume that role.

Unemployment Insurance—Effective July 6, 2017, voluntary contributions to increase the reserve ratio used for calculating employers' unemployment insurance tax rate for a year must be made by Feb. 28 of that year, and there is no extension to Feb. 29 during leap years. After Arizona notifies employers of the estimated tax due, including interest and penalties for late filing of employment tax and wage reports, employers have 30 days to appeal that amount.

Income Tax Withholding—Starting with tax year 2017 forms filed in 2018, the deadline for annual returns and state copies of W-2 forms is Jan 31. Under a law enacted March 2, 2017, Arizona conforms to the Internal Revenue Code in effect on Jan. 1, 2017.

Arkansas
Health Benefit Mandates

  • Effective on or about July 20, 2017, insured group health plan provisions regarding coverage for mammography are revised.
  • Effective Jan. 1, 2018, certain plans can't apply higher coinsurance, copayments or deductibles to orally administered anti-cancer medications than to injected or intravenously administered anti-cancer medications. This requirement applies to group health benefit plans issued, renewed or extended in Arkansas, or outside the state if they cover plan participants who reside in Arkansas.

Unemployment Insurance—Effective for 2018, the taxable wage base is $10,000.

Income Tax Withholding—Starting with tax year 2017 forms filed in 2018, the deadline for annual returns and state copies of W-2 forms is Jan. 31.

Wage Payment Requirements—Effective on or about Aug. 4, 2017, corporations must pay wages to certain employees no less frequently than semimonthly.

Colorado
Health Benefit Mandates—Effective for insured group health benefit plans issued, amended or renewed on or after March 16, 2017, certain provisions are revised regarding coverage for services provided through telemedicine.

Georgia Income Tax Withholding—Effective March 21, 2017, Georgia conforms to the Internal Revenue Code in effect on Jan. 1, 2017, for taxable years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2016.

Kentucky
Health Benefit Mandates—Effective on or about June 29, 2017, insured group health benefit plans must provide coverage for certain smoking cessation medications and services.

Court and Jury Duty Leave—Effective June 29, 2017, franchisors aren't considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees and vice versa for any purpose under the court attendance leave provisions.

Emergency Response Leave—Effective June 29, 2017, franchisors aren't considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees and vice versa for any purpose under the emergency response leave provisions.

Equal Employment Opportunity—Effective June 29, 2017, franchisors aren't considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees and vice versa for any purpose under Kentucky fair employment practices law.

Wage Payment Requirements—Effective June 29, 2017, franchisors aren't considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees and vice versa for any purpose under Kentucky wage and hour law.

Massachusetts
Arrest and Conviction Records—Effective Feb. 24, 2017, Massachusetts revised its regulations on employers' use of criminal offender record information to screen employees and applicants.

Income Tax Withholding—For the second quarter of 2017, the interest rate on tax underpayments remains at 5 percent.

Nevada
Minimum Wage—Effective July 1, 2017, minimum wage rates are unchanged.

New Hampshire
Unemployment Insurance—Effective April 1, 2017, through June 30, 2017, tax rates for experienced employers range from 0.1 percent to 1.7 percent for those with a positive rating and from 3.3 percent to 7.5 percent for those with a negative rating. The tax rate for new employers is 1.7 percent.

North Dakota
New-Hire Procedures—Effective Aug. 1, 2017, franchisors aren't considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees.

Unemployment Insurance—Effective Jan. 1, 2018, unemployment insurance tax and wage reports must be submitted electronically and unemployment insurance taxes must be paid electronically.

Ohio
Workplace Violence—Effective March 21, 2017, employers can't prevent employees and other persons from transporting or storing firearms or ammunition in their privately-owned vehicle under certain conditions. Employers generally aren't liable in lawsuits for damages, injuries or death in connection with lawfully transported or stored firearms or ammunition.

Puerto Rico
Pay Discrimination—Effective March 8, 2017, a new equal pay law prohibits pay discrimination based on gender, prohibits certain inquiries about applicants' salary history and protects employees and applicants who ask for, discuss, request or disclose salary information. Effective March 8, 2018, employers that violate the law can be sued within one year after employees become aware of violations.

South Dakota
Health Benefit Mandates—Effective Jan. 1, 2018, certain provisions related to insured group health plan coverage for autism spectrum disorders are revised.

Unemployment Insurance—Effective starting with 2018, tax rates for experienced employers are determined through one of two schedules each year based on South Dakota's average high-cost multiplier ratio as of June 30 in the previous year. Experienced employers also are assessed an administrative fee of 0.02 percent for the year if their reserve ratio was less than 2.25 percent as of June 30 in the previous year.

New-Hire Procedures—Effective July 1, 2017, franchisors aren’t considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees.

Utah
Income Tax Withholding—Effective Jan. 1, 2018, employers that file quarterly returns must do so electronically.

Wage Payment Requirements—Effective May 8, 2017, employees must exhaust administrative remedies before filing a lawsuit for a wage claim of up to $10,000, except under certain conditions.

Virginia
Health Benefit Mandates

  • Effective July 1, 2017, for health benefit plans amended, renewed or delivered on or after Jan. 1, 2018, plans that provide coverage for contraceptives must provide coverage for up to a 12-month supply of certain contraceptives dispensed to plan participants at one time.
  • Effective July 1, 2017, group health insurance plan provisions are revised regarding prescription drug pharmacy choice.
  • Effective for insured policies, contracts and plans delivered, issued for delivery, reissued or extended in Virginia on or after Jan. 1, 2018, plans that provide coverage for cancer therapy can't apply higher standards of clinical evidence to benefit coverage decisions relating to proton radiation therapy than standards that apply to coverage decisions regarding any other type of radiation therapy.

Workers' Compensation

  • Effective July 1, 2017, employees can use employer-provided funds to purchase and modify an automobile to accommodate certain work-related injuries or illnesses if these funds aren't enough to sufficiently modify their current automobile.
  • Effective for injuries and illnesses that occur from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018, weekly benefits for total disability, partial disability and survivors' benefit claims range from $260.75 to $1,043.

West Virginia
Unemployment Insurance—Effective July 1, 2017, employers can have the penalty tax rate for late payment of unemployment insurance taxes canceled under certain conditions. The option of replacing the penalty tax rate with a penalty of twice the amount of tax due is eliminated.

Workers' Compensation—Effective July 1, 2017, employers that start operating in Wyoming can be assigned an experience-modification factor based on their out-of-state experience if they have operated in at least one other state. In addition, employers that establish a state-approved workplace drug and alcohol testing program can receive a 10 percent discount on their workers' compensation premiums. Employers that pay these premiums late are assessed interest from the due date until the premiums plus interest are paid.

New-Hire Procedures—Effective July 1, 2017, franchisors aren’t considered to be employers of franchisees or their employees, unless otherwise agreed to in writing.

Drug and Alcohol Use—Effective April 19, 2017, West Virginia allows for the medical use of marijuana to treat serious medical conditions, although identification cards authorizing such use aren't available until July 1, 2019. Employers can't retaliate against employees and applicants because they are authorized to use medical marijuana, but can refuse to accommodate such use at the workplace.

Health Insurance Marketplace—Effective on or about July 4, 2017, the law establishing the West Virginia Health Benefit Exchange is repealed

Health Benefit Mandates—Effective on or about June 19, 2017, insured health benefit plans issued for delivery, delivered, renewed or contracted in West Virginia on or after

Jan. 1, 2018, that provide coverage for prescription drugs and utilize step therapy protocols must permit plan participants and prescribing health-care practitioners to request step therapy exception or override determinations under certain conditions.

 

 

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