Employees Track Hours Worked On DOL App

The U.S. Department of Labor has launched its first application for smartphones. It is a time sheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. Glossary, contact information and materials about wage laws are easily accessible through links to the Web pages of the department’s Wage and Hour Division. Both the app and the calendar can be downloaded from the Wage and Hour Division’s home Web page.

Additionally, through the app, users will be able to add comments on any information related to their work hours; view a summary of work hours in a daily, weekly and monthly format; and email the summary of work hours and gross pay as an attachment.

This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records. “I am pleased that my department is able to leverage increasingly popular and available technology to ensure that workers receive the wages to which they are entitled,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “This app will help empower workers to understand and stand up for their rights when employers have denied their hard-earned pay.”

The free app is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Labor Department will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.

For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division has a printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint.

The Advi$or would just like to point out that if you do not have an accurate, quality system to track and clearly define your employees’ time at work, such as an automated timekeeping system, you had better consider using one. If you are not able to provide qualified information in answer to any employee’s claim that they are not being paid correctly because of information generated using this app, you will have a difficult time answering to the Dept of Labor. All employees should be paid what they earn according to the law. Our intent is to provide you with the information you need to help you make sure your business is in compliance.

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Increase In Payroll Social Security Wage Base Announced for 2012

Payroll administrators should note that the Social Security Administration announced on Oct. 19 that the Social Security Old Age Survivor’s and Disability Insurance (OASDI) taxable wage base for 2012 will increase to $110,100 from $106,800. The maximum 2012 OASDI tax payable by each employee will be $6,826.20, (6.2% of the wage base) compared to $6,621.60 in 2011, an increase of $205.

Keep in mind that the 4.2% rate now in effect for employees is scheduled to expire Dec. 31 and will revert back to the 6.2% rate for 2012 unless the federal government acts to extend the current rate. There are indications that keeping the rate at 4.2% will be part of a finalized jobs stimulus program. However, some Congressional leaders are against such a reduction since the Social Security program is facing serious financial strain.

Normally the employer matches the amount of Social Security taxes paid by the employee with an equal contribution. Currently while employees are paying 4.2%, employers are still matching at 6.2%. A reduction in the employer match to 4.2% is also being considered in the jobs stimulus proposals.

The SSA also announced a 3.6% cost of living increase amount that affects several thresholds for benefits and coverage. The Social Security tax annual coverage threshold amount for domestic employees for 2012 increases to $1,800, and remains at $1,500 for election workers.

Remember the 1.45% Medicare tax portion of the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes has no wage base and all wages earned are subject to Medicare taxes except where pre-tax benefit deductions are involved.

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NLRB Postpones Employee Poster Requirement

In a recent article in this blog, we reported that as of November 14, 2011, many employers would be required to post the new employee rights notice regarding employees right to organize.

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has now postponed the implementation date for its new employee rights notice-posting rule until January 31, 2012 in order to allow for improved education and outreach to employers, particularly those who operate small and medium sized businesses.

The postponement was a result of uncertainty regarding which businesses fall under the Board’s jurisdiction, and was done, according to board members, with the goal of encouraging broad voluntary compliance. As a result of the postponement, it appears that most private sector employers will now be required to post the 11-by-17-inch notice beginning on January 31, 2012.

The notice is available at no cost from the NLRB through its website, either by downloading and printing or ordering a print by mail. Copies also are available from any of the agency’s regional offices. As we noted in the original article, employers should publish a link to the notice on an internal or external website if other personnel policies or workplace notices are posted there. And they are required to post the notice in a foreign language if that langauge is used by employees in that business.

For further information about the employee rights notice posting, including a detailed discussion of which employers are covered by the NLRA, please see the NLRB’s Frequently Asked Questions.

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IRS Announces New Voluntary Worker Classification Settlement Program

Past Payroll Tax Relief Provided to Employers Who Reclassify Their Workers as Employees

As per the IRS: The Internal Revenue Service today launched a new program that will enable many employers to resolve past worker classification issues and achieve certainty under the tax law at a low cost by voluntarily reclassifying their workers. This new program will allow employers the opportunity to get into compliance by making a minimal payment covering past payroll tax obligations rather than waiting for an IRS audit. This is part of a larger “Fresh Start” initiative at the IRS to help taxpayers and businesses address their tax responsibilities.

“This settlement program provides certainty and relief to employers in an important area,” said IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman. “This is part of a wider effort to help give taxpayers and businesses a fresh start with their tax obligations.”

The new Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP) is designed to increase tax compliance and reduce burden for employers by providing greater certainty for employers, workers and the government. Under the program, eligible employers can obtain substantial relief from federal payroll taxes they may have owed for the past, if they prospectively treat workers as employees. The VCSP is available to many businesses, tax-exempt organizations and government entities that currently erroneously treat their workers or a class or group of workers as nonemployees or independent contractors, and now want to correctly treat these workers as employees. 

To be eligible, an applicant must:

  •  Consistently have treated the workers in the past as nonemployees,
  •  Have filed all required Forms 1099 for the workers for the previous three years
  •  Not currently be under audit by the IRS, the Department of Labor or a state agency concerning the classification of these workers

Interested employers can apply for the program by filing Form 8952, Application for Voluntary Classification Settlement Program, at least 60 days before they want to begin treating the workers as employees.

Employers accepted into the program will pay an amount effectively equaling just over one percent of the wages paid to the reclassified workers for the past year. No interest or penalties will be due, and the employers will not be audited on payroll taxes related to these workers for prior years. Participating employers will, for the first three years under the program, be subject to a special six-year statute of limitations, rather than the usual three years that generally applies to payroll taxes.

Full details, including FAQs, are available on the Employment Tax pages of IRS.gov.

As per the IRS Notice IR-2011-95  9/21/2011

 

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Time & Pay To Hold 6th Annual Blood Drive!

Time & Pay and the American Red Cross will hold the 6th Annual Time & Pay Blood Drives throughout the month of October. All drives will be held at the Johnson City American Red Cross Blood Center at 818 Sunset Dr. next to Mahoney’s Outfitters.

The Blood Drives, which are all open to the public, will be held:

  • Every Tuesday in October (2:30-7 PM) except 10/18
  • Every Wednesday in October (8 AM- 1PM)
  • Thursday Oct. 6th & Thursday, Oct. 13st (2:30-7 PM)
  • Saturday Oct. 15 (8:30 AM-1PM)
  • Monday Oct.  31st (2:00-6:00 PM)

Time & Pay will give presenting donors the chance to win an Aquarium vacation package for two to Gatlinburg. The drawing will be held in early Nov. The winner will have 1 year to use the package. “We are very pleased with the response our blood drives have received in the past,” said Time & Pay’s CEO Steve Scheu. He added, “We hope people will have just as much fun this year helping the Red Cross and our community with this very critical need.”  Presenting donors will also be entered into a national drawing to win two Delta Air Lines roundtrip tickets.

The Carolinas Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross, which serves the East Tennessee area provides lifesaving blood to more than 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet patient needs.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet height and weight requirements.

For more information, call Time & Pay at 423-854-9042 or call 1-800-Red Cross (1-800-733-2767) to schedule an appointment to donate blood.

 

 

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Time & Pay is a  godsend for a small business like mine. I no longer have to worry about paying my employees or my payroll taxes accurately or on time!  Time & Pay takes care of everything for me!
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-S T – D & S Dental, Johnson City, TN

12-19-2014

New Labor Posters Required in Many States

Human Resource Managers Need to Take Note Due to changes in state labor laws, employers in the following states must provide new, updated labor law posters as required by law and enforced by the Dept of Labor. As you can … Continue reading

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12-10-2014

IRS Announces 2015 Mileage Rate

The Internal Revenue Service announced today that the standard business mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses in 2015 is to increase to 57.5 cents a mile from 56 cents a mile in 2014. The standard mileage rate for the … Continue reading

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11-26-2014

The IRS, ACA and Payroll

The IRS recently confirmed that employers offering affordable coverage to at least 98% of qualifying employees may use simplified reporting rules under the Affordable Care Act but must verify the coverage percentage on a monthly basis. The law states that … Continue reading

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