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Pay Matters! October 2019

09-30-2019

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.

DOL Releases Final Overtime Rule

 On September 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released its final overtime rule, raising the threshold amount above which employees are exempt from overtime pay under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Effective January 1, 2020 the weekly salary threshold will rise to $684, or $35,568 annually. This is significantly lower than the 2016 Obama Administration’s proposed threshold of $913 per week, although still a substantial increase from the current $455 per week and the $23,660 annual threshold.

The 2016 Obama-era rule was scheduled to go into effect December 1, 2016, but at the last minute, a Texas district federal court blocked the ruling in an emergency motion.

As under the Obama legislation, the DOL final rule allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, such as commissions, to meet up to 10% of the salary level test. In addition, the new salary level for Highly Compensated Employees (HCEs) will rise to $107,432 (including weekly payments of at least $684), an increase from the current $100,000 (including weekly payments of at least $455). The administrative, executive, and professional duties tests will remain unchanged and there will be no automatic increases to the salary threshold, although the rule does affirm the DOL’s intent “to update the standard salary level and HCE total annual compensation threshold more regularly in the future using notice and comment rulemaking”.

For a copy of the final rule click here.

Note that in states that have thresholds higher than the new DOL threshold (e.g. California and New York), the new DOL rule would not affect employers.

 ACA State Reporting to Start for 2019

New state ACA reporting requirements are in effect for the 2019 filing year.

New Jersey and Washington, DC have passed legislation requiring Applicable Large Employers (ALEs) who employ New Jersey or DC residents to e-file health coverage information based on IRS Forms 1094-C and 1095-C.  Out-of-state employers who employ New Jersey or DC residents have the same filing requirements as in-state employers.

New Jersey ACA filings are due 3/31/2020 and will be submitted using the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services’ (DORES) MFT SecureTransport system. The file format is the same as the IRS format.  Employers with fully insured, self-insured, and multi-employer plans must file.

Washington, DC ACA filings are due 6/30/20 and will be submitted to the DC Office of Tax and Revenue. The file format is the same as the IRS’s, except that the XML file must be translated into a flat CSV file. Employers with fully insured, self-insured, and multi-employer plans must file.

Paper filings will not be accepted for either state.

Several other states will require ACA reporting soon. California and Rhode Island reporting will begin in 2021 for the year 2020.  Vermont will require reporting for the 2020 year only if the federal reporting mandate is suspended or eliminated.

The following states are considering similar legislation but have yet passed a law: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.

For more information. check out these links on the New Jersey and Washington DC ACA reporting requirements.

EEOC Backtracks from Future Component 2 Data Collection

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it does not plan to collect the detailed employee compensation data (Component 2) on Form EE0-1 in the future.  Instead, it will collect only Component 1 data which is more basic employee demographic information.

Employers remain obligated to submit employee compensation data for 2017 and 2018 by September 30, 2019.

Expanded Rights for New York Agricultural Employees

Effective January 1, 2020 New York agricultural and farm laborers will be entitled to overtime pay for hours in excess of 60 in a workweek.  They will also be covered by the New York Paid Family Leave law.

New York Employers May Face Greater Liability for Failure to Pay Workers on Time

Under New York’s frequency of pay laws, manual workers must be paid no less frequently than on a weekly basis. A manual worker is defined as “a mechanic, workingman, or laborer”, but the NY Department of Labor interprets that definition broadly to include anyone who spends 25% or more of his/her working time engaged in physical labor.

A recent, unprecedented appellate court decision ruled that a manual laborer could recover liquidated damages from an employer who paid her in full but biweekly. Prior to this decision, employers were only subject to civil penalties for violation of frequency of pay laws. With this recent decision, more employers may find themselves exposed to liquidated damages, interest on wages, and liability for attorney fees for not paying workers on time.

 New Jersey Passes Expansive Wage Theft Prevention Act

On August 6, Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver signed into law the New Jersey Wage Theft Act.

Effective immediately, the law expands employer penalties for violation of the state’s wage and hour laws, adds protection for employees against employer retaliation, and extends the statute of limitations for actions under the state wage and hour laws from two years to six years.

Under the law, employers must provide all current employees and all new hires with a notice of employee rights under the state wage and hour laws. The notification requirements will take effect upon publication of a model notice by the NJ Department of Labor.

New York Paid Family Leave to Increase for 2020

The tax rate for New York’s Paid Family Leave (PFL) program will rise from 0.153% in 2019 to 0.27% in 2020, resulting in a maximum total contribution for 2020 of $196.72, up from $107.97 in 2019 .

PFL contributions are withheld from employee paychecks and remitted by employers as premiums to their third party PFL insurance carriers.  Employers may choose to forgo employee withholding and pay the premiums from company funds.

In 2020, eligible employees will receive 60% of their average weekly wage, up to a cap of 60% of the current Statewide Average Weekly Wage of $1,401.17. Thus, the maximum weekly benefit for 2020 is $840.70.

For more information click here.

California Passes Strict Independent Contractor Test

Effective January 1, 2020, California workers who fail to meet all three requirements of an “ABC” test, must be classified as employees and are entitled to minimum wage, overtime pay, and other employee protections not granted to independent contractors.

According to the ABC test, California will treat a worker as an employee unless all three of the following are met:

  • The employer does not control or direct their work and
  • The worker performs tasks outside of the employer’s usual course of business and
  • The worker is customarily engaged in an independent trade, occupation, or business where the nature of the work is the same as the work performed for the employer.

Workers in certain highly skilled professions such as doctors, lawyers and engineers would generally not have to satisfy the three conditions to be considered independent contractors.

For more information click here.

Illinois Passes 30 Day Workday Threshold for Nonresidents

Effective January 1, 2020, Illinois non-resident employees will only be subject to income tax if they work in the state more then 30 days in a calendar year.

Under the previous law, nonresident employees were subject to Illinois income tax if they worked primarily in Illinois or if their base of operations was in the state. This is the first time Illinois has passed a workday threshold.

Employers of Illinois nonresidents who work in the state must now track days worked in Illinois to determine if employees meet the 30-day threshold and are subject to Illinois income tax withholding.

Local Minimum Wage

The City of South San Francisco has adopted a $15 minimum wage effective January 1, 2020.  The minimum wage will be adjusted annually for inflation.

 


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.