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

Pay Matters! October 2018

10-05-2018
Tags: 

There's a lot going on in the payroll world these days?

Lucky for you, it's time for our monthly round-up of the payroll news and updates you need to know.

This is Pay Matters –  the October 2018 edition.

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


STATE PAYROLL UPDATES

Important: New Jersey Paid Sick Leave is Coming

Effective October 29, 2018, private employers in New Jersey will be required to accrue and pay sick leave to their employees.

Under the law, New Jersey employers must accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to 40 hours annually.  Sick leave must be paid at the employee’s regular rate.  Unused leave may be carried over to the following year.  However, employees are not required to grant more than 40 hours of paid leave annually. There is no obligation to pay for earned but unused sick leave at termination.

Covered employees may use earned sick leave to care for their own physical and mental health and that of a family member. Employees can also use their paid sick leave if a school or daycare is closed due to a public health concern.  Additional qualifying situations can be found here.

Employers who already have paid time off policies that comply with the time and use requirements of the new sick leave law, need not provide additional sick leave.

Though several New Jersey localities have already enacted sick leave ordinances, the state law will preempt all local laws.

Accruals must begin on October 29 or the employee’s date of hire, whichever is later.

Now is the time to review the requirements and ensure compliance with the New Jersey Paid Sick Leave Act.

For more information, click here.

New York Paid Family Leave is Changing for 2019

New York Paid Family Leave will be undergoing some changes effective January 1, 2019.

Under the current law, employers are permitted to deduct 0.126% of their employees’ gross wages up to an annual maximum of $85.56 per employee.  Effective January 1, 2019, the PFL rate will increase to 0.153% of employees’ gross wages, with an annual max of $107.97. If the annual max is reached before the end of the year, no further deductions may be made from the employee’s wages.

Benefits for eligible claimants will also increase. In 2018, eligible employees receive 50% of their average weekly wage, capped at $652.96 for each of their allowed 8 weeks of leave. In 2019, eligible employees receive 55% of their average weekly wage, capped at $746.41 for each of their allowed 10 weeks of leave.

For more information on these changes, click here.

New York Sexual Harassment Training Requirement Postponed to October 9, 2019

On October 1, 2018, New York issued final versions of a model sexual harassment policy, complaint forms, and employee training materials. New York also announced that the requirement to train employees is delayed one year until October 9, 2019.

As previously reported by Viventium, New York passed legislation in April 2018 targeting workplace sex discrimination and sexual harassment and requiring annual training for all employees.

In August, the State released draft versions of model training materials, a model complaint form, a model anti-sexual harassment policy, and an FAQ.  The final forms released on October 1 contain revisions to those drafts, as well as the delay in the implementation date.

Michigan Paid Sick Leave Law

Michigan has become the first Midwestern state to adopt a statewide paid sick leave law.

Under the Michigan Earned Sick Time Act, all Michigan private employers with one or more employees must accrue 1 hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked. The current version of the law does not indicate an annual max but does require unused sick leave to be carried over to the following year. There is no requirement to pay unused sick leave at termination.

The leave can be used by employees to care for themselves or a family member including:

  1. Preventative medical care
  2. Medical diagnosis, care, or treatment
  3. Mental or physical illness, injury, or health condition

In addition, employees can use paid sick leave to care for themselves or a family member who is a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault including:

  1. To relocate
  2. To obtain legal services
  3. To attend court proceedings

Also included in the law is a gradual increase to minimum wage until it reaches $12 per week in 2022 as well as a slow phase-out of the tipped minimum wage.

The new law is expected to go into effect April 1, 2019.


FEDERAL PAYROLL UPDATES

IRS Allows Exclusion of 2017 Moving Expenses Paid in 2018

On September 21, the IRS announced that employees’ qualified moving expenses for 2017 that are reimbursed by their employers in 2018 will be exempt from income and employment taxes. [See IRS Notice 2018-75, 9-21-18].

To qualify, payments must be for work-related moving expenses that would have been deductible by the employee if he/she had paid them directly and that weren’t deducted on the employee’s 2017 personal income tax return.

Tax Reform legislation had ended exclusion for qualified moving expenses, so this announcement clarifies how 2017 expenses reimbursed in 2018 are to be treated.

Due to uncertainty prior to this announcement, many employers have already taxed reimbursements paid in 2018 for 2017 moving expenses.  These employers may now need to make corrections by filing Form 941-X before the end of 2018.

If you have reimbursed your employees for their 2017 expenses during 2018, and have withheld and paid tax on those reimbursement, consult your tax advisor and plan to process amendments as needed before the end of 2018.

DOL Seeking Input on Proposed Overtime Law Changes

The Department of Labor is still seeking input on changes to the current overtime law and held five public sessions in September to discuss the topic.

During the Obama Administration, a drastic change to overtime law that was to go into effect December 1, 2016, was halted and invalidated by a Texas federal court. The ruling was to increase the minimum salary threshold for white-collar employees to qualify as exempt to $913 per week, up from the current $455 per week.

The DOL has already accepted over 240,000 comments from its initial request for information in July 2017 and is continuing to take public feedback as it works to determine the next changes to the FLSA.

 


ACA UPDATES

ACA Hardship Exemption More Easily Accessible

Individuals without health insurance may now have an easier way out of penalties.

Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), individuals are required to obtain minimum essential health coverage for themselves and their dependents or pay a penalty. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed by the Trump Administration repealed the individual mandate for 2019; however, the requirement is still in place for 2018.

In a response to President Trump’s executive order to all agencies to use all available authority to minimize the financial burden ACA places on families and individuals, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced a streamlined process for claiming a hardship exemption. CMS expanded the categories of hardship exemptions that individuals can claim directly on their tax return, avoiding the requirement to apply separately for an exemption certificate number (ECN). Individuals can claim the exemption without providing documentary evidence but should keep their own records of documentation.

For a list of hardship exemptions, click here.

For more information on the CMS announcement, click here.

 


HHA UPDATES

HHA Update: NYS HHAs Again Face 13-Hour Rule Uncertainty

On September 26, the New York Supreme Court ruled that the New York Department of Labor’s emergency amendment allowing the “13-hour rule” was “null, void and invalid.”  This is a major setback for the home health care industry, which had relied on the NYDOL’s longstanding policy of allowing employers to pay aides only 13 hours for 24-hour live-in shifts, provided qualifying sleep and meal periods were granted.

In September 2017, New York courts ruled against the 13-hour rule, prompting NYDOL to issue an “emergency rulemaking amendment” in support of the practice.  Emergency amendments are only effective for 90 days, and so NYDOL renewed its emergency amendment on January 5, 2018; April 5, 2018; and June 3, 2018, as previously reported by Viventium.

Now, the NY Supreme Court has found that there was no “emergency” and therefore the NYDOL was not justified in using an emergency amendment.  This decision seemingly puts HHAs in a position of having to pay for all 24 hours of a shift.  However, the court did not rule that NYDOL could not issue an amendment, only that it could not issue an emergency amendment.

NYDOL has already been working toward a permanent regulation codifying the 13-hour rule and thus ending the doubt the industry has faced for the past year.

As always, all questions regarding pay policies and practices should be directed to your legal counsel to ensure compliance.

 


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.