Court Stalls Union Poster Rule

Small business owners will be glad to note that a federal appeals court on Tuesday temporarily blocked the National Labor Relations Board from requiring millions of businesses to put up posters informing workers of their right to form a union. The rule requiring most private employers to display the posters was supposed to take effect on April 30, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said that can’t happen until legal questions are resolved.

The NLRB rule required more than 6 million businesses to post an 11-by-17-inch notice in a prominent location explaining the right of workers to join a union and bargain collectively to improve wages and working conditions. The posters also explain that workers have a right not to join a union and that it is illegal for union officials to coerce employees into unionizing.

While a federal judge in Washington had previously found the NLRB rule acceptable,  the temporary injunction followed a federal judge’s ruling in South Carolina last week that the labor board exceeded congressional authority when it approved the poster requirement in 2011.  Since the rules inception, there has always been questions on how the NLRB was going to enforce the regulation.

Business groups have complained the posters are an unfair government effort to promote union organizing and the National Association of Manufacturers had been one of the organizations behind the court action believing that the posting requirement is an unprecedented attempt by the board to assert power and authority it does not possess.

The labor board contends the posters help workers more clearly understand their rights and protections under federal labor law. NLRB attorneys argued the board has the authority to require posters even without specific congressional approval. The NLRB  did not immediately respond to a request for comment after the new ruling.

Similar government posters explaining federal anti-discrimination laws and workplace safety rules are already fixtures in company break rooms. But U.S. District Judge David Norton, in his ruling last Friday in South Carolina, said federal laws specifically allow government agencies to require the display of those posters at work sites. In one of his first executive orders, President Obama ordered that all Federal contractors post a similar poster. Judge Norton noted, however, that  the National Labor Relations Act contains no such language.



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Higher Minimum Wage Proposed in New Jobs Bill!

A bill touted as a  job-creation bill that would increase the minimum wage and require mandatory paid sick leave, along with other regulations, was introduced in the Senate. The legislation was proposed on March 29, 2012 by Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)  who is  chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The wide-ranging bill includes provisions dealing with overtime pay protection, the minimum wage, employment for disabled workers, worker misclassification, paid sick leave, and pension protection. The measure is still awaiting a bill number.

The bill would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to increase the federal minimum wage to $8.10 an hour in the first year of enactment and to $9.80 in the second year. The wage would be indexed to inflation starting with the third year. The minimum wage rate now is $7.25 an hour  and was last increased by Congressional action in 2009.

Restaurant owners should also note that under the bill,  the FLSA also would be amended to increase the minimum wage for tipped workers to $3 per hour for the first year of enactment, and an additional 85 cents each year thereafter until the wage equals 70 percent of the federal minimum wage. The current minimum wage for tipped workers is $2.13.

The Advi$or has to admit that it does not quite understand how this kind of legislation, which is going to increase the cost of doing business for many businesses,  is going to help create jobs.

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IRS Offers Relief to Tennessee Employers

Some Tennessee employers have been offered some payroll tax filing relief by the IRS. Specifically, employers in Bradley, Claiborne, DeKalb, Hamilton, Jackson, McMinn, Monroe, Overton and Polk counties which were declared federal disaster areas after severe weather in late February allows the IRS to postpone certain deadlines for taxpayers who reside or have a business in the disaster area. Certain IRS deadlines from February 29, 2012 to May 31, 2012 have been postponed to May 31, 2012. Failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise tax deposits due from February 29 to March 15, 2012 were waived as long as the deposits were made by March 15, 2012.  (This includes the April 17 deadline for filing 2011 individual income tax returns, making income tax payments and making 2011 contributions to an individual retirement account (IRA).)

If an affected taxpayer receives a penalty notice from the IRS, the taxpayer should call the telephone number on the notice to have the IRS abate any interest and any late filing or late payment penalties that would otherwise apply.  Penalties or interest will be abated only for taxpayers who have an original or extended filing, payment or deposit due date, including an extended filing or payment due date, that falls within the postponement period.


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Virginia Payroll Tax News

Here’s the latest regarding payroll and payroll taxes in Virginia……

Employees covered by Virginia’s minimum wage law must be paid $7.25 an hour.  All employees of employers with at least four workers (including the employer’s spouse, parents or children) are covered except for:

  • employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act;
  • outside salespersons on commission;
  • farm laborers or employees;persons whose earning capacity is impaired by physical or mental disability;
  • employees working in primarily public-supported charitable institutions;
  • cab drivers and operators;
  • individuals employed on a piece-rate basis;employees under age 16 or over age 64;
  • full-time students under age 18 not employed more than 20 hours a week;
  • and students of any age enrolled in a full-time work study program or the equivalent at an educational institution.

Virginia employees are subject to a state income tax. The law requires employers to withhold state income tax from their employees’ wages and remit the amounts withheld to the Department of Taxation. Virginia employers are exempt from withholding requirements for certain nonresident employees who live in the District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania or West Virginia, and who commute daily to work in Virginia and receive wages for services performed in Virginia for an employer within the geographical limits of Virginia.

State unemployment taxes are less favorable for 2012. Although the Fund Balance Factor remains unchanged at 50%, the Pool Cost Charge has increased from 0.47% to 0.53%. Additionally, the Fund Building Charge of 0.20% remains part of the tax rate calculation thus adding to the cost of the tax over base rates. Tax rates for 2012 range from 0.83% to 6.93%. The Virginia unemployment taxable wage base remains unchanged at $8,000. The new employer unemployment rate is 3.23%

For further assistance with Virginia payroll, contact our offices in Newport News, VA  or Johnson City, TN

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Time & Pay – Johnson City Red Cross Blood Drive

Time & Pay announces Blood Drive winner—

Time & Pay and the Red Cross are pleased to announce that Bobby Tipton, a local American Red Cross blood donor, recently won a two-night Gatlinburg, TN vacation from Time & Pay.  Time & Pay,  NE Tennessee’s premier payroll service provider,  has teamed up with the Johnson City Blood Donation Center for their 6th annual blood drive. Tipton, a regular blood donor, donated blood during the month long drive. Tipton’s  name was randomly drawn to win the vacation, which includes a two-night stay at the Edgewater Hotel in Gatlinburg and two adult tickets to Ripley’s Aquarium.

“We are glad we have the opportunity to help out our community Red Cross by raising awareness for the need of blood donations and what the Red Cross does,” said Stephen Scheu, chief executive officer of Time & Pay.  “We truly enjoy providing an incentive to encourage people to donate blood.  We look forward to next year’s drive!”

The Johnson City Blood Donation Center is located at 818 Sunset Drive in Johnson City and is open 2-3 days per week.  Anyone wishing to give the gift of life may schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS or 1-800-733-276.

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand.  Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day.  There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

The Red Cross of Johnson City notes that blood can be safely donated every 56 days.  Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets.  Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

Steve Scheu presents Booby Tipton with Blood Drive prize!

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“After working with one of the national firms, the transition to Time & Pay was easy and beneficial. Their products and services exceeded what we were getting, were more cost effective, and their customer service goes above and beyond. We are very happy we made the change.”
-R V – Mountain Treasure Corral, Kingsport, TN

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-B G – HobbyTown USA, Omaha, Nebraska

“Having Time & Pay as a payroll service has been a wonderful partnership. Their customer service, punctuality and attention to detail have surpassed our expectations and we are glad to have them as a partner in conducting all of our payroll functions. I would highly recommend their services to companies, large and small.”  
-T W – Little Things, LLC, Chattanooga, TN

“As a former customer of one of those big national firms, not only does Time & Pay perform better in the payroll processing area with better products and services, but you are also way ahead of them in the customer service area. It is a pleasure working with your staff knowing that any help we need is readily available.”
-C – Comprehensive Community Services, Johnson City, TN

“Opening up a large retail operation, the last thing I wanted to concern myself with was payroll and all the compliance hassles. Time & Pay takes care of all my payroll needs. With their services, my payroll worries are eliminated. We would recommend your services to any one.”
-D K – DW Express LLC, Bristol, VA


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