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NEW Form W-4 for 2020

NEW Form W-4 for 2020

On 12/5/19, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a new form W-4 for 2020.  The form was retitled Employee’s Withholding Certificate and has been designed to make accurate income tax withholding easier for employees.  Some of the key points that employers should note are as follows:


Posted in: IRS and Tax forms

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New Rule: Defining the “Regular Rate” of Pay under FLSA

New Rule: Defining the “Regular Rate” of Pay under FLSA

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule that will take effect on January 15, 2020, with regards to what is considered the “regular rate” of pay for nonexempt employees with regards to the calculation of overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Currently, the FLSA states that the “regular rate” for all nonexempt employees must include most nondiscretionary bonuses, shift differentials, on-call pay, and commissions, among other items, in the calculation of overtime.  Most employers were not sure if certain perks, e.g. gym memberships, longevity pay, parking benefits, etc. when paid for by the employer on behalf of an employee, had to be included in the “regular rate” of pay when calculating overtime, so the DOL has now defined what needs to be included and what does not.  The rule now clarifies that employers may exclude the following perks from the “regular rate” calculation:


Posted in: Payroll

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Labor Law Poster Changes

Employers in all states must make sure that their state labor law posters are up-to-date on a regular basis.  Here are a few state changes and their effective dates:

  • Minimum wage increases effective 1/1/18, for Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri,​Montana, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Washington.
  • Minimum wage increase effective 12/31/17 for New York.
  • Transgender rights and discrimination laws in California effective 1/1/18.
  • OSHA laws effective 1/1/18, and wage and hour laws effective 7/10/17, in Hawaii.
  • Rules to be Observed by Employers in Nevada effective 7/1/17.
  • Wage and Hour Notice to Employees in North Carolina, effective 12/31/17.
  • Reasonable Accommodations for Pregnancy in Vermont, effective 1/1/18.

All employers in these states should check their state employment law posters to make sure that they are up-to-date with the new laws effective immediately.  For additional information on these new updates, please contact us at

Posted in: HR Rules, Regulations and Laws

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The Importance of Labor Law Posters

Why is it so important to post labor law posters? Labor law posters define those federal and state employment-related laws that all employers must comply with in their place of business. In addition, employers are responsible for making sure that the posters are posted in an area where all employees have access to read them. So, while this may seem like a simple task, it is one that employers often fail to do in their place of business, or businesses.

Within the past six years, there have been over 260 mandatory labor law poster changes across the United States. To be compliant, every time the federal or state labor laws change, employers must take down the old posters and replace them with a new, up-to-date poster with the updated laws. Failure to do this may result in fines, lawsuits, or citations that could easily have been prevented. Complete failure to comply with the federal and state labor law posting requirements may result in combined fines up to $17,000 and potentially more depending on the number of business locations.

Labor law posters are designed to protect both the employee and the business. Below is a list of the mandatory federal posters that must be displayed along with some information about the law, who must post them and who enforces them:

Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Poster: Informs applicants and employees of Equal Employment Opportunity laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Equal Pay Act (EPA).

Who must post: Employers with 15 or more employees.

Who enforces: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Poster: Describes in detail the federal law regarding minimum wage, overtime pay, equal pay for equal work and child labor.

Who must post: Every private, federal, state and local government, company or business with employees who are subject to the FLSA

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) Poster: Summarizes the major provisions of the FMLA and tells applicants and employees how to file a complaint.

Who must post: Public agencies (including federal, state and local employers), public and private elementary and secondary schools, and private employers with 50 or more employees.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Poster: Explains that employees are entitled to a workplace free from recognized hazards under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, with guidance on how to report workplace hazards.

Who must post: Private employers engaged in a business affecting commerce.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Occupational Safety and Health Administration
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) Poster: Informs applicants and employees that employers are prohibited from requesting or requiring lie detector tests for employment purposes and from retaliating against them if they refuse to take lie detector tests.

Who must post: Any employer engaged in or affecting commerce, or in the production of goods for commerce

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Employment Standards Administration
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Right Act (USERRA) Notice: Summarizes the rights and benefits under USERRA, the federal law pertaining to uniformed service members and their civilian employers.

Who must post: All employers.

Who enforces: U.S. Department of Labor – Veterans’ Employment and Training Service

Along with the federal labor law posters that must be displayed there may be state labor law posters that employers are required to post, as well. State employment-related laws typically include information about: teen work hours, workers’ compensation, unemployment insurance, state minimum wages, Equal Employment Opportunity, individual State Family and Medical Leave benefits (FMLA), and individual State whistleblower laws. There may be cases where both the federal and state labor law posters address the same topic. States may pass laws that are stricter than what federal laws state, which is why both posters, regardless of conflicting information, must be posted. Employers must abide by the law that is most favorable to the employee.

Staying up-to-date with federal and state employment law updates is time-consuming and may pose a risk to employers. So, there are organizations that provide subscription services to employers to assist them with remaining compliant. An employer is able to choose their respective state, and they will automatically provide the employer with updated posters every time that there is a change in either federal or state employment-related laws. The costs vary from vendor to vendor and for most businesses participation is a no-brainer, as the potential penalties for not having compliant posters is much greater than what the subscription service costs.

For additional information on federal and state labor law posting requirements, please contact us at

Written By: Patrick McKenna, SHRM-CP
HR Coordinator

Posted in: HR Rules, Regulations and Laws, Policies and Procedures

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Mandatory Compliance Poster Changes

All employers are required to post mandatory compliance posters in an area visible to all employees within each workplace. In 2014 there were 50 mandatory changes to the combined federal and state posters and in 2015 there have been 43.

Are your organization’s combined federal or single state posters up-to-date?


Posted in: News

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Sponsors of group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage…

Mandatory Notice

Medicare Part D Coverage Disclosure

Sponsors of group health plans that provide prescription drug coverage must notify Medicare-eligible participants and beneficiaries as to whether the drug coverage offered is “creditable” or “non-creditable” prior to October 15th. Note that the rule is to provide the notice to both participants and beneficiaries (ex. spouses), so unless the plan sponsor is 100% certain that no individual on the plan, either subscriber or member, is eligible for Medicare, we recommend providing this notice to all employees on an annual basis (prior to Oct. 15) and include it in the Summary Plan Description or wrap document given to new hires.

Medicare Part D is a federal program to subsidize the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. If the employer-sponsored prescription drug plan is expected to pay out as much as standard Medicare drug coverage it is considered “creditable” coverage, and if it is expected to pay out less than it is “non-creditable” coverage. This is an important distinction for the newly eligible, for they need to be aware of the options available in order to enroll in the appropriate plan; they will choose the employer-sponsored coverage if it is creditable or enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that covers prescription drug services if employer-sponsored coverage is non-creditable.

Individuals can sign up for Medicare Part D coverage when they become eligible for Medicare Part A and Part B, or during the open enrollment period. The open enrollment period for Medicare Part D is October 15th to December 7th. Employers must distribute notices to Medicare-eligible plan participants and beneficiaries so that these individuals can make prudent choices regarding their prescription drug coverage. If an individual does not join Medicare Part D when initially eligible, and does not have creditable coverage and enrolls at a later date, the premium he or she will pay will include a penalty payment for late enrollment. This penalty is cumulative over time.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) provides model notices for employers – click here.

Employers are encouraged to send the notice via first-class mail, by hand, or post electronically if all plan participants have easy access to computers.

Posted in: News

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Important New Affordable Care Act Deadline Affects Employers

Have you been holding off dealing with Affordable Care Act because it doesn’t become effective until January 1, 2014? If so, we have some very important information that not only you, but your network must know before October 1, 2013! (more…)

Posted in: Employee Benefits, News, Operating a Small Business

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Questions and Answers for the Additional Medicare Tax

The following questions and answers provide employers and payroll service providers information that will help them as they prepare to implement the Additional Medicare Tax which goes into effect in 2013. The Additional Medicare Tax applies to individuals’ wages, other compensation, and self-employment income over certain thresholds; employers are responsible for withholding the tax on wages and other compensation in certain circumstances. The IRS has prepared these questions and answers to assist employers and payroll service providers in adapting systems and processes that may be impacted. (more…)

Posted in: News

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