According to a September 15 press release from the U.S. Department of Labor, the DOL has awarded grants totaling $10.2 million to 19 states to help fund their efforts to crack down on misclassified workers.
States receiving the funds include California, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Wisconsin. According to the release, the funds will be used by the states’ Unemployment Insurance tax programs to identify instances where employers improperly classify employees as independent contractors or fail to report the wages paid to workers at all.
Read the rest of That’s a Lotta Dough!
On our Seen the Green page, we’ve documented some of the movies, TV shows and print publications where we’ve found our green clocks. It’s become something of a hobby for us, trying to identify all the places our Model 125 and Model 150 show up in broadcast, online and in print. We’ve found our clocks used as set dressing and props in various major motion pictures and TV series, in commercials for the New York Lottery and Volkswagen, on posters advertising beer, in a TED talk and in Newsweek magazine, among (many) other places.
Still, we worried we hadn’t yet reached the pinnacle of fame. As a friend of Acroprint recently commented, “They say you’ve arrived when you make it into the funny pages.” And (at least as far as we knew) we hadn’t yet appeared in the comics.
But now at last we can rest easy — we have truly made it to the top of the mountain!
Yep, Acroprint’s iconic Model 150 has made it into the “funnies!” Here’s a frame from the July 6 edition of the Baldo comic strip:
(You can tell it’s a Model 150 because he’s able to clock in using only one hand, thanks to the automatic print mechanism…)
You can see the whole comic at http://www.gocomics.com/baldo/2014/07/06.
And if you’ve “Seen the Green” anywhere, be sure to let me know! We all love to hear about your sightings.
When my family and I moved into our townhouse earlier this year, we decided that it was time to do a little “purging” before we packed. My mission for my family was clear — if you haven’t seen it, worn it, used it, or played with it in the last year, it’s going in the garbage. They knew I meant business when they saw me throwing away shoes (don’t judge me…my foot grew!) and clothes. Why would we want to move into a new place with anything that we are not going to use? It just creates clutter, and I loathe clutter…
One of the things I was assigned to do was purge the paper file folder that we have…and I was not looking forward to it. I put EVERY bill statement, cancelled check, expired debit card, and the like in that folder. It was busting at the seams, and that’s not an exaggeration. I took a deep breath in, closed my eyes, said a prayer, and got to work…
Now, you’re probably wondering “how does this relate to time and attendance?” That’s a great question, and the answer is simple. But first, let me ask you this: do YOU have a desk drawer, file cabinet, or manila folder that’s busting at the seams with paperwork that you don’t want to throw away? Chances are you do. And that’s okay. The reality is, we keep these documents as proof of what we are doing on a day-to-day basis; timesheets, payroll records, tax returns, bill statements, etc. But there are a few great tips that you can use to help “calm the clutter” and purge some of those pieces of paper that have become the bane of your existence.
Read the rest of Do I really have to keep all this stuff?
Big news! Acroprint now offers a two year warranty on most of our employee time clocks, time stamps and systems hardware. That’s twice as long as the standard one-year warranty common in our industry.
(Yep, told you it was big news!)
Why are we doing this?
Well, we know our clocks are built to last. And we figured we could say that all we wanted… but, you know, talk is cheap. Nothing can prove it like putting our money where our mouths are.
So, to celebrate our 45th anniversary, and to honor the legendary durability of our clocks, we decided to double our warranty coverage — extending it to two full years from date of purchase. (Of course, we still offer the same lifetime warranty on the Model 125 and Model 150 typewheels as we’ve always offered. For those clocks, the new two year warranty applies to the rest of the hardware.)
Just one more reason to choose Acroprint when you want to Make Every Minute Count!
You can read the official press release here, or get more detailed information at our Warranty Center.
It’s getting close to that time of year again — the American Payroll Association’s National Payroll Week celebration will take place from September 1 through September 5, 2014. And as usual, in preparation for the event, they’re running their annual “Getting Paid in America” survey.
You can access the survey through September 5, but don’t put it off too long (else you’ll forget). And you don’t want to do that, because when you complete the survey, you’ll be entered into a drawing to win a free paycheck and a trip for two to Las Vegas. Sweet!
So, you may be wondering, what is National Payroll Week all about?
From the National Payroll Week website:
NPW celebrates the unique partnership among America’s workers, their companies, the payroll professionals who pay them and critical government programs such as, social security, Medicare, fair labor standards and child support… This special week celebrates many things important to each of us who work. From the economic, cultural, and social achievements of workers, to the significance of “an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay,” National Payroll Week is a celebration on many levels.
The American Payroll Association started National Payroll Week in 1996 to coincide with Labor Day. Take the survey, and if you win the drawing, be sure to let me know!
We’re so pleased to welcome aboard a new contributor to our blog. Jessica is incredibly enthusiastic about helping small businesses improve their payroll function, and we’re looking forward to hearing a lot more from her in the coming months. So without further ado, take it away, Jessica…
Photo by Joshua Davis
The Social Security Administration releases updates to the wage-base limit in October of each year. The FICA tax rate for employees and employers is 7.65% each — 6.2% for OASDI up to the wage base ($115,500), and 1.45% for HI (no maximum). Also, there is a 0.9% additional Medicare tax that applies to all wages in excess of $200,000 ($250,000 for joint returns; $125,000 for married taxpayers filing a separate return). (Code Sec. 3101(b)(2)) In effect, this makes the Medicare tax rate 2.35% for wages in excess of those amounts.
So… all of this may sound like something you want to pass on to your bookkeeper or accountant. Better yet, you really don’t care because you just realized that you won’t even meet that limit this year… or even next year. Well, let me share something with you that may bring you closer to reaching that seemingly impossible goal of OASDI freedom!
Read the rest of A Penny Saved is a Penny Earned
BREAKING NEWS: Just yesterday (April 28), the Senate voted 51-42 to approve the nomination of David Weil to be the new Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) at the Department of Labor (DOL).
The Wage and Hour Division, which is responsible for the enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family Medical Leave Act and other workplace regulations, has operating without an Administrator for years. Dr. Weil, who was nominated in September 2013, is a Boston University School of Management professor and Everett V. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Markets, Public Policy and Law.
Read the rest of David Weil Confirmed as Head of WHD
Earlier this week, the White House released the Administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2015, which begins on October 1, 2014. Of particular interest to employers, the budget calls for an additional $11.8 billion for the Department of Labor (DOL), including an increase of $41 million in funding for the Wage & Hour Division (WHD).
The WHD is the group tasked with enforcing the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and various other laws.
This money, which represents an 18% increase in the budget for the WHD, would be used to hire 300 additional inspectors. It would also allow the Division to upgrade their technology.
According to the budget, particular areas of focus for the WHD going forward will include:
Read the rest of Increased Budget for DOL in 2015
When a business has need for someone to help clear a temporary work backlog, cover for a permanent employee on vacation or leave, or handle a sudden influx of orders, they often turn to temporary or contengent workers, often called “temps” for short.
Temps can solve a lot of business problems while still allowing for staffing flexibility that might not be possible with permanent hires. But temporary staffing isn’t all rainbows, glitter and unicorns. Here are a couple of things to keep in mind if you want to prevent your temps from becoming your most expensive workers:
Read the rest of Temps Can Cost You More Than You Think
There’s been a lot of controversy over the years surrounding the issue of “donning and doffing” — that is, time spent putting on required uniforms, safety equipment and other gear at the beginning of a work shift, and taking it off again at the end of the shift — time which normally must be paid.
At issue was a clause in a section of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which was added to the law in 1949. In Section 203(o), the law allows an employer to not pay workers for time spent “changing clothes” before and after their shift — if the employees agree as part of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) that this “donning and doffing” time is not compensable.
Just to Make Sure We’re Clear…
Under the FLSA “continuous workday” rule, time spent changing into and out of a uniform, protective gear or other required clothing, accessories or tools would normally be compensable. (The only time it wouldn’t be is if we’re talking about what the laywers term a de minimis amount of time — in other words, something that happens so quickly it doesn’t really matter. For instance, if we’re just talking about grabbing a lab coat and pair of protective goggles off the rack and putting them on, such that you could already be walking to/from your work space while you’re still “donning” or “doffing,” those few seconds you pause to grab the gear probably would be considered de minimis, and thus not compensable.)
Read the rest of Supreme Court Weighs in on Donning and Doffing