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Pay Matters! October 2017

10-16-2017

We know, you’ve got a lot going on.  So much, in fact, that you don’t have a ton of time to worry about what’s new in the payroll world.  That’s where we come in!

Want to make sure you’re not missing important developments in the payroll scene?  Never fear: we’ve got the round-up of payroll news and updates that you need to know in order to stay in the loop.  This is Pay Matters –  the October 2017 edition.

Read on to stay informed and stay in compliance with relevant alerts and insights that matter most for your payroll.


UPCOMING WEBINAR – KEEP ON LEARNING!

So you’ve just been promoted to a new manager position – congratulations!  Get ready for the role with our upcoming HR webinar!

Hire Right the First Time

Building the right team isn’t easy. From attracting the best talent to the interview and beyond, the hiring process is full of pitfalls. We’ll discuss best practices and tips so you can make the right hiring decisions. Discover effective ideas to identify and hire the best people for your organization, and be an employer of choice in your industry.

Register for this webinar over on our webinar page.


FEDERAL UPDATES

GOP Proposes Tax Overhaul

On September 27, the Trump Administration released its tax reform plan.

The proposal includes the replacement of our seven-tier tax rate system with just three tax rates: 12%, 25%, and 35%.  Under the plan, the standard deduction would be doubled for both single and married taxpayers, while all itemized deductions would be eliminated except for the mortgage interest deduction and the charitable deduction. The child tax credit would be expanded and the death tax would be eliminated.

On the corporate side, the corporate tax rate would be reduced from 35% to 20%.

For a copy of the tax reform plan click here.

IRS Proposes SSN Truncation

On September 18, the IRS released a proposal to allow employers to voluntarily truncate employee social security numbers on Form W-2. Under the regulation, the first five digits could be replaced by asterisks or X’s.

The W-2s filed with the Social Security Administration would still require a full SSN to appear.

The proposal is part of the IRS’s larger ongoing effort to prevent identity theft and fraud which has been on the rise in recent years.


STATE UPDATES

Paid Sick Leave on the Way for Rhode Island Employees

On September 28, Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill requiring employers to provide paid sick leave to their employees. Rhode Island joins many states in a growing trend requiring paid sick leave for workers.

Effective July 1, 2018, workers can take up to three earned sick days. The number of allowed sick days increases to four in 2019 and five in 2020. Employers with less than 18 employees must also allow their employees to take sick time, but it does not have to be paid time.

The law is expected to affect over 100,000 Rhode Island employees.

For more information, click here.


LOCAL UPDATES

New Law Changes How NYC Employers Can Interview

Effective October 31, 2017, employers in New York City will no longer be allowed to ask applicants about their salary history. This means many employers may need to make critical changes to their hiring procedures and related employment practices. The rationale behind the law is that women are often paid less than men; and that using salary history as a factor in determining compensation contributes to unfair or unequal pay.  According to the new law, employers can’t “rely on the salary history of an applicant in determining the salary, benefits or other compensation for such applicant during the hiring process, including the negotiation of a contract.”

Questions during the interview process regarding “Objective measures of the applicant’s productivity such as revenue, sales or other production reports,” however, are still permissible.

Reminder: New York City “Fair Work Week” Legislation going into effect

On May 30, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law the “Fair Work Week” legislation. The law primarily addresses scheduling practices for NYC retail and fast food workers with the goal of providing workers in these industries with scheduling predictability. The law goes into effect on November 26, 2017.

The law includes a requirement that NYC fast food employers must provide employees with their 7-day work schedule at least 14 days in advance.  The schedule must include details of all regular shifts and on-call shifts.  New employees must be given written “good faith” estimates of weekly hours.  Any changes to the schedule must be updated and communicated to the employee within 24 hours. Employees can decline to work any additional hours not included in the original schedule. Schedule changes with less than 14 days’ notice may entitle an employee to premium payment. Any new shifts must be offered to current employees before new employees are hired.

Retail employees must be given at least 72 hours’ notice of when they are needed to report to work. The legislation bans “on-call scheduling” which requires retail employees to be available to work at a given time, but may not necessarily be called to work. Employees must also be given a written work schedule and the work schedule of all employees at a given location must be posted in a conspicuous place. Employees must be notified of any changes to the schedule.

Posters detailing the requirements on the law must be posted in the workplace. New York City has said they will make these posters available on their website.

For the complete text of the law, click here.


MINIMUM WAGE UPDATES

Federal

Effective 1/1/18, the minimum wage for workers performing work on or in connection with federal contracts will increase from $10.20 to $10.35 per hour. Minimum wage for tipped employees working on or in connection with federal contracts will increase from $6.80 to $7.25 per hour.

State

New Jersey

Effective 1/1/18, the minimum wage will increase from $8.44 to $8.60 per hour.

South Dakota

Effective 1/1/18, minimum wage will increase from $8.65 to $8.85 per hour. The minimum wage for a tipped employee will increase from $4.325 to $4.425 per hour, which is half the minimum wage for non-tipped employees.

Montana

Effective 1/1/18, Minimum wage will increase from $8.15 to $8.30 per hour.

Ohio

Effective 1/1/18, Minimum wage will increase from $8.15 to $8.30 per hour.

Florida

Effective 1/1/18, Minimum wage will increase from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour.

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