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Compliance Updates for the New Year

As the new year has begun, it’s important to remember all of the compliance updates that went into effect.


  • A New Tax form W-4 form was released by the IRS in December 2019 to reflect tax change that occurred in 2018. Employees who have already completed the previous W-4 do not need to complete a new one. However, all new hires should complete the new form, which replaces withholding allowances with a 5-step review process.

  • Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Exempt Thresholds Increased: Effective on January 1, 2020. The FLSA thresholds for overtime adjustments increased from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $684 per week ($35,568 annually) for administrative and professional exemptions. Additionally, the “highly compensated employee” exemption threshold will increase from $100,000 to $107,432 annually.


New York State

  • New York Paid Family Leave (PFL): Effective on January 1, 2020, employee contribution rate increases to .270%. In 2020, employees taking PFL will receive 60% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 60% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,401.17. The maximum weekly benefit for 2020 is $840.70.

  • Minimum Wage Increases: Effective 12/31/19, increases to the New York State Minimum Wage are as follows:

  • New York State Achieve Pay Equity Act amendments: Effective January 6, 2020, all New York employers will be prohibited from inquiring about the salary history of a job candidate or relying on salary history in determining the wages to offer a prospective employee. This law was already in effect at the city level but will now take effect statewide.

  • Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA) amendments: Effective November 1, 2019, GENDA amended the New York State Human Rights Law (NYSHRL) to add gender identity and expression to the list of protected classes, making discrimination based on gender identity of expression unlawful, including in the workplace.


New York City

  • Human Rights Laws protect Independent Contractors: Effective January 11, 2020, the anti-discrimination protections afforded to New York City employees will extend to independent contractors and freelancers.

  • Ban on Pre-Employment Marijuana Testing: As of May 10, 2020, New York City employers will be prohibited from conducting pre-employment drug testing for THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. The law does not apply to certain safety-sensitive positions.

Please partner with an HR Representative from Kiwi Partners to ensure that all compliance updates are properly applied to employment handbooks, payroll procedures and any workplace rules.

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