New Federal and West Virginia State Labor and Employment Laws in 2015

It’s important for employers, labor unions, and employees alike to be aware of the changing labor and employment laws.  Each year federal and state legislature passes new laws for the coming year.  If you have a question about a new labor or employment law or are being charged for violating a law, the experienced labor and employment defense attorneys of Hendrickson & Long, PLLC can help explain the law and defend against any charges.  Federal and West Virginia state labor and employment law changes for 2015 include: healthcare and benefit laws; wage and hour laws; tax laws; workplace safety laws; discrimination laws; and labor and management relations laws.

Healthcare and Benefit Laws

On January 1, 2015, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), changes will be in effect for the regulation of treatment of dental and vision benefits and employee assistance programs as limited excepted benefits, which are generally exempt from the Affordable Care Act for group health insurance and group health insurance issuers.  Also, on January 1, 2015, according to the IRS, generally companies with 100 or more employees will be required to provide affordable health insurance for their employees or pay a tax or premium towards public insurance for employees without private insurance.

Wage and Hour Laws

On January 1, 2015, per H.B. 4283 and H.B. 201, the minimum wage in West Virginia will raise to $8.00 per hour, the maximum tip credit for tipped employees will raise to 70% of minimum wage, and employers will be exempt from state maximum hours and overtime requirements if at least 80% of employees are subject to federal law relating to max hours and overtime.  On January 1, 2015, by Executive Order 13658, certain government contract employees’ minimum wage will raise to $10.10 per hour and the minimum wage for tipped employees will rise to $4.90 per hour.

Tax Laws

According to the IRS, for 2015, the annual contribution limitation deduction for an individual with self-only coverage under a high deductible health plan is $3,350 and for an individual with family coverage under a high deductible health plan is $6,650.

Workplace Safety Laws

On January 1, 2015 new rules from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) will be in effect, amending the list of employers exempt from keeping track of work-related illnesses and injuries and requiring employers to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations, and losses of an eye to OSHA within 24 hours of the injury.

Discrimination Laws

According to the Federal Register, on April 8, 2015, Executive Order 13672 will prohibit employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity by companies doing business with the federal government.

Labor and Management Relations Laws

On April 14, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board final rule will take effect, shortening the time between the petition and union election, expediting pre-election hearings, minimizing the evidence collected, limiting the right to appeal pre-election determinations, and requiring employers to provide to the petitioning party an employee list now including phone numbers and email addresses within two days of election approval.

Labor and Employment Defense Attorney

Keeping up with the ever changing labor and employment laws can be difficult for employers and employees.  An experienced labor and employment defense attorney at Hendrickson & Long, PLLC in Charleston, West Virginia can insure the applicable federal and state laws are followed and provide a defense for any violations of the laws.  Contact Hendrickson & Long, PLLC today.