Download our latest e-book The Interstellar Guide to Benefits Administration now!

Pay Matters! February, 2019

02-11-2019

Welcome to Pay Matters, our monthly roundup of all the payroll and compliance news that you must know.

Stay informed and in compliance with our monthly payroll alerts and insights.

Overtime Changes May be on the Way

2019 may be the year that marks a major change to the current overtime rules.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) sent a proposed new overtime rule to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Public release of the proposal is expected soon. The proposal will raise the salary threshold at which executive, administrative, and professional employees are exempt from overtime pay. Although the  amount of the proposed threshold is unknown, Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta stated that it would be approximately $33,000 per year.  This is significantly lower than the Obama Administration’s proposed threshold of $47,476, although still a substantial increase from the current $23,660 threshold. The Obama-era overtime rule was scheduled to go into effect December 1, 2016 and would have affected the pay of over 4 million workers nationwide. At the last minute, a Texas federal court blocked the ruling in an emergency motion. The ruling was later invalidated on August 31, 2017.

This new proposal was a long time in the making. In July 2017, the DOL issued a request for information to help determine a new salary threshold. This comment period ended September 25, 2017. And the DOL has just submitted its proposal to the OMB. The future of the new overtime rule remains uncertain. The proposal could stall in the OMB, or it may not make it through Congress.  Viventium will continue to monitor the situation and keep you updated on future developments.

IRS Offers Tax Reform Relief to Taxpayers

Due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (“Tax Reform”),  the IRS announced a waiver of the estimated tax penalty for taxpayers who paid at least 85% of total liability either through federal income tax withholding or quarterly estimated tax payments. The percentage in previous years was 90%.

Stated simply, if you paid at least 85% of your 2018 taxes throughout 2018 through paycheck withholding or estimated payments, you won’t pay a penalty even if your tax return shows an underpayment. This relief is meant to help taxpayers who didn’t have enough taxes withheld due to the major tax overhaul passed in December 2017.

The IRS still encourages all employees to check their withholding for 2019 to ensure they have the right amount of taxes withheld and offers tools to help make the determination.

NY Overtime Exemption Salary Increase

Although the federal overtime exemption salary has not increased since 2004, the salary threshold for workers in New York continues to rise annually together with minimum wage.

The minimum salary requirement for executive and administrative employee to be exempt from overtime increased on December 31, 2018 as follows:

  • New York City, 11 or more employees: $1,125.00 per week, or $58,500 per year
  • New York City, 10 or fewer employees: $1,012.50 per week, or $52,650 per year
  • Nassau, Suffolk & Westchester counties: $900.00 per week, or $46,800 per year
  • Remainder of the state: $832.00 per week, or $43,264 per year

If an employee is not paid at least the above salary threshold, he must be paid time and a half for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek.

For more information check out the Minimum Wage Order for Miscellaneous Industries and Occupations.

New Jersey to Raise Minimum Wage              

Employees in New Jersey will soon see a significant increase in minimum wage.

After months of deliberation and negotiation, an agreement was reached to raise New Jersey minimum wage from the current $8.85 per hour, to $10 per hour on July 1, 2019 and then again to $11 per hour on January 1, 2020. Minimum wage will then continue to increase by $1 every January 1 until reaching $15 per hour on January 1, 2024.

Seasonal workers and small businesses with five employees or less will see a slower increase, with minimum wage reaching $15 per hour by January 1, 2026.

The minimum wage increase is expected to impact over 1 million New Jersey workers.

For more information click here.

Michigan Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Changes

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed Senate Bills 1171 and 1175 to amend and limit Michigan’s paid sick leave and minimum wage laws.

Effective March 29, 2019, The Paid Medical Leave Act will no longer cover all private employers, but rather only those with 50 or more employees. “Exempt” employees who do not receive overtime are no longer eligible to accrue Paid Family Leave, nor are variable hour employees as defined by the Affordable Care Act. In addition, the accrual rate of the paid leave will be 1 hour for every 35 hours worked, rather the previously passed 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. The amendment also limits the reasons an employee may take leave, revises the notice requirements, and narrows the definition of covered family members.

Under the original bill passed in September, Michigan minimum wage was set to increase from $9.25 to $10.00 per hour on April 1, 2019, with annual increases every January 1 until reaching $12 per hour on January 1, 2022. Under the amended bill, minimum wage will only increase by $0.21 to $0.26 per year, reaching $12.05 only in 2030. The first increase from $9.25 per hour to $9.45 per hour will take place on March 29, 2019. In addition, the tip credit has been reinstated to 38% of minimum wage. The tip credit had originally been scheduled to be phased out.

Washington Launches Paid Family and Medical Leave Website

To assist with their new Paid Family and Medical Leave Law, the Washington Employment Security Department (ESD) has launched a website with information for employers, employees, and benefit providers. The website contains FAQs and an employer toolkit.

The employee benefit takes effect January 1, 2020 and will provide workers with up to 12 weeks of paid medical leave and up to 12 weeks of paid time off to care for a new child or sick family member. The leave is capped at 16 weeks for employees who require both types of leave in one year. Eligible employees will receive up to 90% of their wages, capped at $1,000 per week.

Beginning January 1, 2019, employees and employers began contributing to the program. Employers with 50 or more employees pay a premium equal to 0.4% of employees’ wages up to the Social Security wage base ($132,900). However, employers can share this cost with their employees by withholding up to 63.33% from the employees’ paychecks. The employer must pay the remaining 36.67%. Employers with less than 50 employees will withhold premiums from employees but are not required to pay the employer share. Premiums must be remitted to the Washington ESD on a quarterly basis.

 


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.

Subscribe To Our Monthly Roundup

Flexible Software Anyone Can Use

Viventium-Logo

By filling out this form, you submit your information to Viventium, who will use it to communicate with you regarding updates and other services.

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.