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Pay Matters! February 2018

02-01-2018
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We know, you’ve got a lot going on.  So much, in fact, that you don’t have a ton of time to worry about what’s new in the payroll world.  That’s where we come in!

Want to make sure you’re not missing important developments in the payroll scene?  Never fear: we’ve got the round-up of payroll news and updates that you need to know in order to stay in the loop.  This is Pay Matters –  the February 2018 edition.

Read on to stay informed and stay in compliance with relevant alerts and insights that matter most for your payroll.


UPCOMING WEBINAR – KEEP ON LEARNING!

Curious about how much you can control about your employees' social media use? Learn the basics with our upcoming HR webinar!

The Do's & Don'ts of Social Media in the Workplace

There’s a good chance that most of your employees are on social media, and some of them may use their private accounts to say things about their employment.  We’ll examine when and how you can regulate the use of social media in the workplace.  We’ll also look at the current laws surrounding social media use and provider pointers for what to include – and avoid – in your company policy.

Register for this webinar over on our webinar page.


UPCOMING EVENTS

March 2 is National Employee Appreciation Day

Are you ready for National Employee Appreciation Day on Friday, March 2? Show your employees some appreciation by participating in this fun recognition opportunity. Some ideas to try: company-provided breakfast or lunch, ‘spirit day’ with props and photo booth, or, our personal favorite, handwritten thank you cards to each employee from their manager, commemorating a great achievement or project. Whatever you decide, this is a great opportunity to show employees how much you value them. Be sure to join the fun!


FEDERAL UPDATES

Tax Reform: Here and Now

After months of Tax Reform making headline news, many individual employees are finally seeing the effects in their paychecks.

On January 11, the IRS released the much-awaited 2018 federal withholding tables. With the new tables, many employees are seeing a drop in their federal withholding tax and more money in the bank. The IRS designed the new tables to work with the existing Forms W-4 that employers have on file, so employees do not have to submit new W-4s. (As always, employees wishing to claim an exempt status for 2018 must give their employers a new each year.  In 2018, the due date for this Form W-4 is February 28 instead of February 15.)

Due to the various provisions included in the tax reform bill, employees with more complex tax situations may need to adjust their withholding to avoid over- or under-withholding.  The IRS plans to update its withholding tax calculator on IRS.gov by the end of February so that employees can check if they need to have more or fewer taxes withheld.  The IRS is also working to revise Form W-4 to reflect the new law.

Viventium implemented the 2018 withholding table on January 17, way ahead of the February 15 IRS implementation deadline.  Viventium will continue to update you as more IRS resources become available to you and your employees. For now, check out some items already available below.

Notice 1036: 2018 Withholding Table

IRS Withholding Tables FAQ

W-2 Scam May be Back for Another Round

On January 18, the IRS issued a warning reminding employers about one of the most dangerous scams in the tax community that affected thousands of employees last year.

During the last two tax seasons, cybercriminals posing as executives sent emails requesting W-2 information from company payroll or HR departments. This “spoofing” email appeared to be coming from a chief executive officer or other senior officer, and requested lists of employees and W-2 information. Some examples of the requests were as follows:

Kindly send me the individual 2017 W-2 (PDF) and earnings summary of all W-2 of our company staff for a quick review. 

Can you send me the updated list of employees with full details (Name, Social Security Number, Date of Birth, Home Address, Salary). 

I want you to send me the list of W-2 copy of employees’ wage and tax statement for 2017, I need them in PDF file type, you can send it as an attachment. Kindly prepare the lists and email them to me asap. This scam gave cybercriminals access to SSNs, names, and income information, which they used to file fraudulent tax returns. 

The IRS is urging all Finance and Payroll personnel to be on the alert this year again for unusual requests for employee data and to be put processes in place to increase data security. If an employer does fall victim to this scam they should notify the IRS by emailing dataloss@irs.gov with the subject line “W2 Data Loss”.

For more IRS information about cyberfraud, click here.

WOTC Is Here to Stay (for a couple of years anyway)

The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), originally slated for repeal by the House tax reform bill, was included under the final bill and will remain the law through 2019.

The WOTC is a federal tax credit that benefits employers who hire individuals from specific targeted groups including veterans, food stamp recipients, ex-felons, and the long-term unemployed. The credit incentivizes employers to hire individuals who face significant barriers to employment.

For more information on the WOTC, click here.


STATE UPDATES

HHAs May Still Exclude Meals and Sleep Time from Pay

As previously reported, NYS DOL had issued an emergency rule allowing home health agencies to continue excluding qualified meal and sleep periods from pay despite court rulings in September, 2017 to the contrary.  This emergency rule expired on January 4, 2018, but has now been readopted until April 4.  In fact, DOL announced that it “intends to adopt this emergency rule as a permanent rule and will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the state register at some future date.”

Thus, employers can continue to rely on the emergency rule and need not pay for a qualified meal and sleep periods.  As always, all pay practices should be reviewed with your legal counsel for compliance.

New York Restaurant?  Here’s Your Chance to be Heard

New York State is considering ending the tip credit which allows employers to pay less than the minimum wage to tipped employees under certain conditions.  To give you a say, NYS DOL has announced the schedule of public hearings which “will be focused on the scope of the problem, including the hardships created by tipping, reasons for, and ramifications of eliminating the subminimum wage in impacted occupations (i.e., car wash worker, beautician, waiter, bartender, dog groomer, tow truck driver, wedding planner, tour guide, etc.) and recommendations for the potential elimination timelines and complicating factors.”

The New York City hearings for restaurants will take place during the week of June 25.  Testimony should include name, organization, contact information, and a short summary statement. Oral presentations are limited to three minutes, and written testimony must be submitted before July 1, 2018, to hearing@labor.ny.gov.

You can register for the hearings and get more information here.

Maryland Legislature Enacts Paid Sick Leave

After much debate, Maryland employees will finally receive paid sick leave.

Originally passed in 2017, Maryland’s paid sick leave law required employers with 15 or more employers to allow 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked for those employees who work at least 12 hours a week. The accrual was capped at 40 hours annually.  Smaller employers were required to provide unpaid leave.

On May 25, 2017, the legislation was vetoed by Governor Larry Hogan. However, last week, both the Maryland State House and Senate voted to override the veto.

Maryland’s paid sick leave law, as detailed above, takes effect February 11, 2018.

For a copy of the legislation, click here.


LOCAL UPDATES

New York City Gives Workers Right to Two Schedule Changes Annually

Effective July 18, employers must allow employees to make two temporary work-schedule changes for qualifying personal events, annually. Qualifying changes can be for any reason that qualifies under the New York City Earned Sick and Safe Leave Act, such as caring for a sick relative.

Employees can make changes to their work schedule for up to one business day. Changes may include remote work, unpaid leave, or changes to work-hours.

The measure does not apply for employees working fewer than 120 days for their employer, or who work fewer than 80 hours annually in New York City. The law creates a written process for communicating schedule changes and protections against employer retaliation for such requests.

For the text of the measure, click here.


HR HEADS UP

California Enacts Several New Employee Requirements in 2018

California, true to its history as an employee-friendly state, has enacted several new employer requirements effective 1/1/2018.

Salary History Inquiry Restriction

Paralleling New York, California employers are no longer allowed to inquire about a job applicant's salary history during the hiring process. An applicant is allowed to voluntarily disclose this information. The law is intended to help eradicate gender wage disparity by preventing new salaries from being based on past salary.

This law applies to all employers regardless of size and location.

Ban the Box

California employers with 5 or more employees can no longer inquire about a job applicant's criminal history until after a conditional offer of employment has been made.

After a conditional offer is made, the employer may inquire into the applicant’s criminal history. If an employer chooses to rescind an offer based on his findings, the employer must

  1. Do an assessment linking the employee’s criminal history to the specific job duties;
  2. Notify the applicant in writing that the rescinded offer was due to criminal history; and
  3. Give the applicant 5 days to respond and challenge the denial with further evidence.

Harassment Training

Employers with 50 or more employees must provide supervisory employees with at least 2 hours of sexual harassment training within 6 months of becoming a supervisor. The training must be repeated every 2 years.

Parental Leave

California expanded its parental leave protections to employees of small companies. Previously, employers of 50 or more employees were required to grant new parents with 12 weeks of unpaid leave for a qualifying purpose. Effective 1/1/18, those requirements apply to employers with 20 or more employees.

Employees are eligible for this leave only if they have worked for the employer for at least 12 months, and have completed 1,250 hours of work in the 12 months immediately prior to taking the leave

For more information on the recently enacted California laws, click here.

 


This information is for educational purposes only, and not to provide specific legal advice. This may not reflect the most recent developments in the law and may not be applicable to a particular situation or jurisdiction.

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Overtime Shuffle - Lyrics

Overtime, oh, it’s a complicated game, Different rules in every state, it’s never the same, Multiply by 1.5, but there’s more to see, In this overtime equation, it’s not that easy, you see.

VERSE 1
In the world of work, there’s a tale to be told, About overtime hours, and the payroll gold, A consistent paycheck, that’s the worker’s dream, But when it comes to overtime, it’s not as easy as it seems.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, Susie worked hard in San Francisco town, But the rules around overtime, they had her feeling down, 42 hours this week, she gave her all, Now it’s time to calculate, let the numbers fall.

CHORUS
Overtime, oh, it’s a complicated game, Different rules in every state, it’s never the same, Multiply by 1.5, but there’s more to see, In this overtime equation, it’s not that easy, you see.

VERSE 2
Exempt or non-exempt, the title they hold, Where they work, where you’re based, it’s all in the fold, California or New York, the laws they diverge, For payroll admins, it’s a never-ending surge.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, the DOL’s website, a labyrinth to explore, State regulations galore, it’s quite a chore, Staying compliant, it’s a tricky art, Missing out on requirements can break your heart.

CHORUS
Overtime, oh, it’s a complicated game, Different rules in every state, it’s never the same, Multiply by 1.5, but there’s more to see, In this overtime equation, it’s not that easy, you see.

BRIDGE
But here’s a method that can save the day, A payroll software, to keep errors at bay, Input the info right, integrate with ease, No more manual labor, no more overtime fees.

VERSE 3
Back to Susie’s story, she’s owed her due, According to FLSA, it seems we have a clue, $860 on the table, that’s what we’d say, But California’s got its rules, changing the way.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, California says, hours past eight, Are overtime-eligible, don’t underestimate, Now Susie’s owed $900, that’s the decree, In this overtime puzzle, you gotta set it free.

CHORUS
Overtime, oh, it’s a complicated game, Different rules in every state, it’s never the same, Multiply by 1.5, but there’s more to see, In this overtime equation, it’s not that easy, you see.

OUTRO
So when it’s overtime, and the rules entwine, Choose a payroll software, let it all align, Viventium’s the name, we’ve got the key, To make overtime calculations a breeze, you’ll see.

ENDING
Don’t overwork yourself, don’t you fret, With Viventium by your side, it’s a safe bet, Relax, you’re with us, in this overtime fight, With the right tools in hand, everything’s gonna be alright.

Retroactive Rhythms

Take back time, like a winding clock, Retroactive pay, mending every block. Calculate the hours, with precision and grace, In the world of care, in this payroll space.

VERSE 1
In the world of care, where time slips away, Caregivers dedicate, every single day. But when the hours are missed, in the daily race, Retroactive pay, steps up to embrace.

PRE-CHORUS
A caregiver tired, at the week’s end, Forgot to log hours, a mistake to mend. Admins face the challenge, calculations to make, To set it right, for the caregiver’s sake.

CHORUS
Take back time, like a winding clock, Retroactive pay, mending every block. Calculate the hours, with precision and grace, In the world of care, in this payroll space.

VERSE 2
Manual calculations, prone to a flaw, Dealing with shifts, odd hours, and the law. As your business grows, the cost takes flight, Automated solutions, shining bright.

PRE-CHORUS
Compliance is key, with FLSA’s might, Calculate and compensate, get it right. Avoid the audit’s gaze, fines and the cost, Retroactive pay, no longer lost.

CHORUS
Take back time, like a winding clock, Retroactive pay, mending every block. Calculate the hours, with precision and grace, In the world of care, in this payroll space.

BRIDGE
Employee satisfaction, a crucial part, Resolve mistakes, a work of heart. Relationships flourish, in pay’s embrace, A payroll software, creating a trace.

VERSE 3
Star caregivers, valued and strong, Retention and recruiting, where they belong. Automated solution, a total pay dance, Establish your business, a work-life romance.

PRE-CHORUS
A self-winding watch, Viventium’s grace, Optimizing payroll, in every case. No more struggles, in the payroll game, In it with you, time and time again.

CHORUS
Take back time, like a winding clock, Retroactive pay, mending every block. Calculate the hours, with precision and grace, In the world of care, in this payroll space.

OUTRO
As your business grows, in the hustle and fight, Viventium by your side, making it right. No more worries, in the payroll chain, In it with you, time and time again.

In the Arms of Geo Tax - Lyrics

Geo Tax, oh Geo Tax, our savior in the night, Guiding us through tax laws, shining a bright light. No more payroll worries, no more sleepless nights, With Viventium’s help, we’ll be alright.

VERSE 1
In the world of business, we all aim to thrive, Year after year, our dreams taking flight. But as we soar higher, we start to see, More money, more problems, just like B.I.G. Outgrowing our shell, it’s an exciting phase, But it brings with it some challenging days. Solutions we had, now show their flaws, As we push the boundaries, breaking through the walls.

CHORUS
Geo Tax, oh Geo Tax, our savior in the night, Guiding us through tax laws, shining a bright light. No more payroll worries, no more sleepless nights, With Viventium’s help, we’ll be alright.

VERSE 2
Employees across states, in different localities, Tax laws aplenty, creating complexities. Our old software’s limits, we’ve begun to see, Scaling up our business, we need to break free. Calculating pay and taxes, where it all begins, Errors in this process, lead to countless sins. Employees rely on us, trust in our might, To withhold what’s needed, get it just right.

CHORUS
Geo Tax, oh Geo Tax, our savior in the night, Guiding us through tax laws, shining a bright light. No more payroll worries, no more sleepless nights, With Viventium’s help, we’ll be alright.

BRIDGE
Taxes, they’re not simple, that’s for sure, A world of complexity, there’s always more. But Viventium stands with us, in this fight, Geo Tax, our ally, making everything right.

VERSE 3
CPAs may struggle, and admins too, Keeping up with taxes, what can they do? The rules keep changing, it’s hard to keep pace, But Viventium’s here, in this challenging space.

CHORUS
Geo Tax, oh Geo Tax, our savior in the night, Guiding us through tax laws, shining a bright light. No more payroll worries, no more sleepless nights, With Viventium’s help, we’ll be alright.

OUTRO
So relax, dear business, and set your mind free, With Geo Tax on our side, we’re the best that we can be. Viventium’s got us, in this tax-filled fight, No more worries, no more sleepless nights.

REPEAT CHORUS
Geo Tax, oh Geo Tax, our savior in the night, Guiding us through tax laws, shining a bright light. No more payroll worries, no more sleepless nights, With Viventium’s help, we’ll be alright.

Payroll Grid Serenade - Lyrics

Configurable Payroll Grids, a helping hand in sight, In the realm of admin life, where details are rife. With custom views and filters, they navigate through the night, Let’s celebrate this feature, it’s the heart of our work life.

VERSE 1
In the world of admin tasks, where changes often arise, There’s a tool that’s been a savior, under office fluorescent skies. With flexibility and precision, it eases their daily strife, Let’s sing about this feature, it’s the pulse of our work life.

CHORUS
Configurable Payroll Grids, a helping hand in sight, In the realm of admin life, where details are rife. With custom views and filters, they navigate through the night, Let’s celebrate this feature, it’s the heart of our work life.

VERSE 2
Admins wear many hats, in their daily grind, Sometimes they need to adjust, leave no errors behind. Adding extra hours, bonuses, or fixing pay, They need a simple method, to make it all okay.

CHORUS
Configurable Payroll Grids, a helping hand in sight, In the realm of admin life, where details are rife. With custom views and filters, they navigate through the night, Let’s celebrate this feature, it’s the heart of our work life.

BRIDGE
Custom views and filters, tailor it to your need, Focus on the important, no need for needless speed. A hundred-dollar bonus, a few clicks and it’s in flight, Admins get it done, making sure it’s right.

VERSE 3
In the admin’s world, where numbers have their say, This tool steps in gracefully, making tasks less gray. An interface so intuitive, like an Excel sheet, Changing data effortlessly, making work complete.

CHORUS
Configurable Payroll Grids, a helping hand in sight, In the realm of admin life, where details are rife. With custom views and filters, they navigate through the night, Let’s celebrate this feature, it’s the heart of our work life.

OUTRO
So here’s to Payroll Grids, in our song of praise they gleam, For admins working diligently, they fulfill a dream. In the world of office hustle, they bring much-needed light, Let’s tip our hats to this tool, and its invaluable might.

Automation Anthem - Lyrics

Rule-Based Automation, it’s the name of the game, Less manual toil, less stress and shame, With policies and standards, we’ll pave the way, To automate your chores and brighten your day.

VERSE 1
In the world of payroll, a daily task we face, Admins work hard, in this complex space, They handle policies, with attention and care, But there’s a solution that’s beyond compare.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, payroll admins, your role’s crucial and true, But there’s a tool we’ve got, just for you, Let’s explore rule-based automation, my friend, With Viventium, your tasks will gently mend.

CHORUS
Rule-Based Automation, it’s the name of the game, Less manual toil, less stress and shame, With policies and standards, we’ll pave the way, To automate your chores and brighten your day.

VERSE 2
Standardize policies, that’s the key, For tenure, role, union status, you’ll see, PTO, bonuses, pay rates defined, Automation makes your workload more aligned.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, payroll admins, the burden’s a load, But rule-based automation lightens the road, No more tiresome chores, no more dread, With Viventium, it’s smoother ahead.

CHORUS
Rule-Based Automation, it’s the name of the game, Less manual toil, less stress and shame, With policies and standards, we’ll pave the way, To automate your chores and brighten your day.

BRIDGE
In the world of payroll, where tasks repeat, We’ve got the solution, it’s oh so neat, “If this, then that,” it’s simple and sly, With Viventium by your side, you’ll reach for the sky.

VERSE 3
Tenure-based PTO, a common request, With Viventium, it’s passed the ultimate test, Set it up once, and then you’ll see, Automation handles the chore, oh so free.

PRE-CHORUS
Oh, payroll admins, take a breath, take a pause, With Rule-Based Automation, you’ll find no flaws, It’s easy, it’s simple, no programming in sight, Viventium’s got you covered, day and night.

CHORUS
Rule-Based Automation, it’s the name of the game, Less manual toil, less stress and shame, With policies and standards, we’ll pave the way, To automate your chores and brighten your day.

OUTRO
So if you’re a payroll admin, feeling the weight, Let Viventium’s Rule-Based Automation be your fate, No more worries, no more strife, With Viventium, you’ll transform your work life.

The Data Groove - Lyrics

Oh, the Report Library, it’s the heart of the show, Where numbers come alive and insights start to flow. With Viventium’s aid, it’s a breeze, can’t you see? Reporting made easy, for your company to be free.

VERSE 1
In the world of business, it’s a complex game, With factors and figures, it’s never the same. Decisions are key, they’ll determine your fate, So listen up closely, don’t be a bit late.

PRE-CHORUS
Gather your data, don’t let it fade, In the depths of spreadsheets, don’t let it cascade. Your HCM software, is it up to the task? To capture and store, to help you unmask.

CHORUS
Oh, the Report Library, it’s the heart of the show, Where numbers come alive and insights start to flow. With Viventium’s aid, it’s a breeze, can’t you see? Reporting made easy, for your company to be free.

VERSE 2
Once the data’s collected, it’s time to report, But it can be daunting, that’s the common retort. Pre-built solutions, they’re your guiding light, Turning raw data into visions so bright.

PRE-CHORUS
No more manual hours, no errors in sight, With report library’s might, everything’s right. Payroll summaries, tax liabilities, and more, All in a flash, you’ll have what you adore.

CHORUS
Oh, the Report Library, it’s the heart of the show, Where numbers come alive and insights start to flow. With Viventium’s aid, it’s a breeze, can’t you see? Reporting made easy, for your company to be free.

BRIDGE
Viventium’s here, with a passion so true, Constantly improving, for folks just like you. A Report Library, a gift from the stars, For data-driven dreams, it’ll take you far.

CHORUS
Oh, the Report Library, it’s the heart of the show, Where numbers come alive and insights start to flow. With Viventium’s aid, it’s a breeze, can’t you see? Reporting made easy, for your company to be free.

OUTRO
So remember this lesson, in the business terrain, It’s all ’bout decisions, don’t let ’em wane. With data as your guide, and Viventium’s grace, You’ll conquer the challenges you’ll face.