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Pay Matters! February 2020

02-04-2020
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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.

DOL Issues Final Joint- Employment Rule

On January 12, the US Department of Labor issued its anticipated Final Rule interpreting joint employer status under the FLSA. This rule, to take effect on March 16, will limit the wage and hour liability of franchises and staffing firms.

In the final rule, the DOL clarifies that joint employment is when an employee performs work for an employer and that work also benefits another entity that is acting, directly or indirectly, in the employer’s interest with regard to the employee.

Thus, if Jane works for Bob’s Bookkeeping Business and that work also benefits Sam’s Staffing Service, and Sam’s carries the disability and worker’s compensation policies for Bob’s with regard to Jane, then both Bob’s and Sam’s may be joint employers of Jane.

Similarly,  if Joe works as a home health aide for Mr. Bob Boss and that work also benefits Andy’s Home Care Agency, and Andy’s serves as a fiscal intermediary for Bob with regard to Joe, then both Bob and Andy’s may be joint employers of Joe.

The rule further clarifies that an employee’s “economic dependence” on a potential joint employer is not taken into consideration when determining a joint employer relationship., nor are certain contracts or business practices.

Instead, the rule outlines a 4-factor test to weigh the joint employer status of the “other entity”,  checking if it:

  •  hires or fires employees,
  •  supervises and substantially controls work schedules and employment   conditions,
  •  determines workers’ wage payment rates and methods, and
  •  maintains employment records.:

One consequence of a joint employment determination is that the joint employer must aggregate all hours worked by an employee for all employers and pay overtime once that aggregated total exceeds 40.

For more information please visit the DOL site.

ACA Challenges Continue

Although complying with employer provisions of ACA have become a familiar routine, legal challenges to the law continue.

On December 18, 2019, a Federal appeals court confirmed a prior finding that the Individual Mandate is unconstitutional, but sent the case back to a lower court for further research.

As part of Tax Reform at the end of 2017, Congress lowered the individual responsibility payment to 0.  Subsequently, the State of Texas filed a suit claiming that since the individual payment was now 0, it was not a tax and therefore exceeded Congress’s authority to impose.  In fact, Texas argued, since this one part of ACA is unconstitutional, the entire ACA is unconstitutional.

The US Department of Justice decided that the individual mandate was indeed unconstitutional, but that the provisions of ACA were independent of each other, and the unconstitutionality of one part did not strike down the other parts.

However, a district court ruled that the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate indeed struck down the rest of ACA, including its employer provisions, since Congress would never have passed the law without the individual mandate.

The case then went to the aforementioned Federal appeals court, which upheld the unconstitutionality of the individual mandate, but declined to address the remainder of the law, referring the issue back instead to a lower court for continued analysis.

The case may go to the US Supreme Court, but until there is a clear decision, the employer mandate remains in effect and employers should continue to comply with all aspects of ACA.

Viventium is following developments closely and will keep you informed.

IRS releases 2020 Publications 15, 15-A, 15-B, and 15-T

The IRS has released the 2020 versions of the Publication 15 series: 15, 15-A, 15-B, and 15-T.

Publication 15, also known as Circular E, provides general instructions to employers on their responsibilities for payroll and nonpayroll withholdings. This publication used to include the federal withholding tables, but they are now contained in Publication 15-T.

Publication 15-A, the Employer’s Supplemental Tax Guide, provides more details to employers on the general topics mentioned in Publication 15.

Publication 15-B, the Employer’s Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, provides employers with guidance on the tax treatment of various fringe benefits.

Publication 15-T, Federal Income Tax Withholding Methods, provides detailed instructions on withholding taxes for both pre-2020 and post-2020 Forms W-4.

IRS Releases 2020 Form W-4P

The IRS has issued the 2020 version of Form W-4P.

The form still maintains the old system of claiming withholding allowances. Viventium and other industry stakeholders are awaiting IRS guidance on whether the IRS intends to eliminate the “allowances” line of the 2021 W-4P. We will continue to monitor the latest developments and keep you updated.

New York to End Tip Minimum Wage Credit for Miscellaneous Industries

The New York State Department of Labor issued an order to end tip credits in the miscellaneous industries.  This change will affect 70,000  workers including car washers, nail salon workers, hairdressers, and valet parking attendants. The tip credit will remain in place for those employed in the hospitality Industry including restaurants and hotels.

The tip credit elimination will be phased in as follows:

  • On June 30, 2020, the difference between minimum wage and minimum tipped wage will be cut in half.
  • On December 31, 2020 the tip wage will be eliminated and employees in the miscellaneous industry must be paid regular minimum wage,

The decision to eliminate the tip credit came following extensive research by the New York State Labor Commissioner who found there to be widespread confusion regarding tip credits leading to rampant wage theft. You can read the Subminimum Wage Report and Recommendations here.

 Massachusetts 2020 Parking and Transportation Limits

Massachusetts has announced its 2020 monthly parking and transportation fringe benefits limits.

Unlike federal law, which created parity between parking and transportation limits, Massachusetts sets different limits for the income tax withholding exclusion for parking and transportation.

The 2020 Massachusetts monthly exclusion amount for transportation is $270, while the monthly exclusion amount for parking is $140.

For a copy of the MA Technical Information Release click here.

Pittsburgh, PA Paid Sick Leave

Effective March 15, 2020, employers in the City of Pittsburgh must provide paid sick leave to their employees.

This legislation was originally enacted in 2015 but was struck down by a court.  After a series of appeals by the City of Pittsburgh, the State Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of Pittsburgh.

The Paid Sick Leave law covers all employees working within the city limits and requires employers to accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 35 hours worked.  Employers with 15 or more employees must accrue up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually. Employers with 15 employees or less can cap the accrual at 24 hours annually. In addition, for the first year after the effective date of the Ordinance, employers with fewer than 15 employees are only required to provide unpaid sick leave.

Employees can use sick leave to care for their own physical or mental illness or that of a family member. Employers must provide all employees with written notification of their rights under the Ordinance.

For the final guidelines of the Ordinance click here.

Chicago, IL to Increase Minimum Wage

Effective July 1, 2020, Chicago minimum wage will increase according to the following schedule:

Employers with more than 20 employees:

  • July 1, 2020 $14.00 per hour
  • July 1, 2021 $15.00 per hour

Employers with 4-20 employees:

  • July 1, 2020 $13.50 per hour
  • July 1, 2021 $14.00 per hour
  • July 1, 2022 $14.50 per hour
  • July 1, 2023 $15.00 per hour

Denver, CO Minimum Wage Increase

Effective January 1, 2020 minimum wage in Denver, Colorado increased and will continue to increase as follows:

  • January 1, 2020 $12.85 per hour
  • January 1, 2021 $14.77 per hour
  • January 1, 2022 $15.87 per hour

Mountain View, CA Minimum Wage Increase

Mountain View, California, has announced that effective January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the city will increase from $15.65 per hour to $16.05 per hour.

 


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.