HRW Client Alert: What's New in 2017

By Kelly Margeson   January 6, 2017

HRW wishes all of its clients a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

As we turn the page to 2017, please bear in mind the following:

  • Increased Minimum Wage.  Effective January 1, 2017, the new minimum wage in Massachusetts is $11.00 per hour; the new minimum service rate (for qualifying tipped employees) is $3.75 per hour.
  • New I-9 Form.  Beginning January 22, 2017, employers must begin using the new I-9 form developed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

For more information about the increased minimum wage, please see the Advisory recently issued by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy.  Employers should also remember to replace their wage and hour poster with the updated version, available here.

As for the new I-9 form,  the new version is available here.  According to USCIS, changes include:

  • Section 1 asks for “other last names used” rather than “other names used,” and streamlines certification for certain foreign nationals.
  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer/translator.
  • The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.
  • The revised Form I-9 is also easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

If you have any questions about these changes, please contact your HRW attorney.


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