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Compensation & Benefits

Pregnant Workers Fairness Act adds intermittent-leave challenges

The PWFA lets pregnant employees take a new, albeit informal, form of intermittent leave—and it doesn’t always require a health-care provider’s certification. The PWFA requires pregnancy-related conditions to be reasonably accommodated. Many such conditions mean employees may miss work with little or no notice.

The benefit that gives back: Offer time off for employees who volunteer

Paid time off so employees can engage in volunteer or charity work may be just the benefit you’ve been looking for. It doesn’t cost much, it burnishes your image in the community and it has been shown to improve employees’ mental health.

In the Payroll Mailbag: March ’24

Sometimes “no” can be a good thing—as in no, this item is tax-free. Here are two perfect examples.

DOL adjusts penalties for 2024

The Department of Labor has announced the 2024 inflation adjustments to penalties for violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act and ERISA.

Old test or new, the FLSA still defaults to employee status

The Fair Labor Standards Act is remedial legislation that is meant to cover as many employees as possible. The Department of Labor’s final worker status regulations were never intended to change this. The main reason for issuing the regs was to codify the Supreme Court’s 80-year-old test. A recent case decided before the final regs were issued illustrates.

Payroll practice essentials: Communicating with employees

Your annual memo to employees explaining the entries on their W-2s shouldn’t be the beginning and end of your outreach to employees. At some point, you will need to communicate various items to employees: new-hire orientation packets, department policies or changes to payroll procedures (e.g., switching pay periods or introducing a new employee self-service platform). Communicating with employees shouldn’t strike fear in your heart.

Bubble, bubble, toil & payroll trouble

Being on the bubble isn’t where college basketball teams want to be—maybe in or, worse, maybe out. You don’t want to be on the bubble, either. Take care of these items now and your bubble won’t burst.

Paper receipts still needed to substantiate expenses

There is no substitute for paper receipts to substantiate employees’ business expenses. Expenses entered into a software program aren’t the equivalent of paper receipts, a federal trial court ruled. A couple who relied on tax software to substantiate their business expenses and losses was out of luck and out of money to the U.S. Treasury.

White-collar Wednesdays: Initial preparations for the DOL’s final salary-level regs

We are now a little over two months away from the release of final regulations raising the weekly and annual salary amounts employees must earn to remain exempt from the FLSA, as promised by the Department of Labor. Regardless of how this shakes out, it’s best to be prepared.

How to Wipe Out Fraud and Abuse Under FMLA

The medical certification process is your most potent weapon for combating potential FMLA fraud. But obtaining a certification is only the first fraud-stopping step. Here are 10 more things you can do to keep employees from gaming the FMLA system.