COMPENSATION & BENEFITS

DOL criteria for legitimate unpaid internships

07/06/2015

Is that summer intern down the hall working for free? Watch out! Chances are, you should be paying her at least the minimum wage. To avoid having to pay interns, employers must meet all six of these criteria laid out in U.S. Department of Labor Fact Sheet #71.

401(k) plans get 3 new safe harbors

07/04/2015
If you have an auto-enrollment 401(k) or 403(b) plan, or a plan with escalation features, then you probably have administrative problems. Run-of-the-mill 401(k) plans aren’t a piece of cake to administer, either. The IRS has created three new safe harbors under which you don’t need to make corrective contributions for missed or incorrectly calculated employee pretax deferrals if certain conditions are met. The safe harbors became effective April 2, 2015.

Aug. 3 is near; W-2c procrastinators beware

07/03/2015
Electronic W-2 filing is paying off for the Social Security Administration—it’s now able to process hundreds of millions of W-2 files per day and send that information to the IRS by the next business day.

Post-ACA, small business still shuns self insurance

07/03/2015
Small businesses are not following the lead of bigger firms by self-insuring their health benefits to avoid the costs of the Affordable Care Act, according to new research by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute.

Child care: The huge cost many of your employees pay

07/01/2015
Child care costs continue to be a heavy lift for America’s working families, according to ChildCare Aware of America’s latest Parents and the High Cost of Child Care report.

July 2015: Employer's business tax calendar

06/30/2015
Here's your monthly guide to critical payroll due dates.

Agenda tips DOL's hand on after-hours technology and pay

06/30/2015
Tucked inside the Obama administration’s Semiannual Regulatory Agenda this spring was a Department of Labor initiative worth watching: A Wage and Hour Division effort to study how employees’ after-hours use of technology might affect wages and overtime pay.

ACA decision reaffirms employer mandate

06/29/2015
The Supreme Court’s June 25 decision in King v. Burwell did more than guarantee that Affordable Care Act subsidies are available to all qualified individuals, regardless of whether they buy health insurance through a state or federal exchange. It also reaffirmed that the ACA’s employer mandate is here to stay.

Late returning from leave? No extension request? Feel free to fire

06/29/2015
Employers sometimes worry about terminating an employee who hasn’t showed up for work when her approved leave expires. That shouldn’t be a problem if you previously made it clear that it’s the employee’s responsibility to keep you updated with their status and to ask for an extension if necessary.

HHS sets 2016 adjustments for health plans

06/27/2015
The Department of Health and Human Services sets the maximum limit on out-of-pocket expenses for nongrandfathered, non-high-deductible health plans. For 2016, those limits are $6,850 for self-only coverage ($6,600 in 2015) and $13,700 for other than self-only coverage ($13,200 in 2015).

Retired is retired, even without written notice

06/25/2015
Recently, a retired employee challenged her retirement and applied for unemployment, arguing that she never put a retirement request in writing and therefore her employer couldn’t oppose her request for unemployment benefits.

What tax rules govern cellphones?

06/25/2015
Q: We currently reimburse employees who use their own cellphones to make business calls, but then add back those amounts as taxable pay. HR wants us to stop this practice and make those reimbursements a tax-free fringe benefit. Don’t the accountable plan rules apply here?

Court affirms deductions from exempt's leave bank

06/20/2015
It’s long been federal policy that you may deduct partial days off from an exempt’s accrued leave time without jeopardizing that status, because partial-day deductions from accrued leave banks aren’t the same as partial-day deductions from pay, which could throw that status into doubt. Does the result change if you overlay a state wage payment law that categorizes accrued vacation as nonforfeitable wages? No, according to a California appeals court.

Virgin's paid parental leave: Innovation or stunt?

06/19/2015
British business mogul and Virgin CEO Richard Branson is in the news again for a new workplace policy granting a full year of paid parental leave to employees of Virgin Management, the investment arm of the Virgin Group. 

Temp can't sue both the client and the agency

06/19/2015
Temporary workers who are injured on the job are eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. But who is on the hook for the workers’ comp claim? The temp agency or its client? According to a recent court ruling, it can’t be both.
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