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Payroll Legal Alert

How can an employer reduce its exposure to claims for off-the-clock work if employees use their own electronic devices for business purposes?

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The federal FMLA doesn’t cover employees who take time off for school visits or to care for kids who aren’t seriously ill but who must stay home from school. Some state laws do. The chart below summarizes state short-term leave laws.

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To pay for health care reform, high earners—single employees earning more than $200,000 and joint ­filers earning more than $250,000—will pay an additional 0.9% in Medicare taxes, for a total tax rate of 2.35%, beginning Jan. 1, 2013. The IRS has issued “Questions and Answers for the Additional Medicare Tax” to provide guidance.

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As the hot, sticky air of summer clears out, now is the time for you and your employees to do some clearing out of your own. The payoff: A smoother year-end Payroll ­process.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that pharmaceutical sales representatives qualify as exempt outside salespeople under the FLSA, even though they technically can’t and don’t sell anything. While this case directly affects drug companies, it could have a wider impact.

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Question: We run a rural health clinic. We know that payments made under certain programs that encourage health care professionals to work in underserved areas are tax-free. Do these payments fall into that category?

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Q: A client has two stores that are separate franchises. Both stores share employees, including the store manager. How can we calculate overtime when an employee works at both stores, and how do we allocate those hours between the stores?

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Credit-reduction states are listed on Schedule A of the 2011 Form 940. If you do business in one of those 20 states, and you receive a balance-due notice from the IRS, don’t despair.

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Payroll expense is a usually a company’s largest deductible expense. That’s a huge impact on the bottom line. But there’s a world of difference between payroll and corporate taxes, according to consultant Gretchen Inouye, CPP.

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With workforces lean, it’s important to squeeze every bit of productivity out of employees. But squeeze too hard by not providing employees with state-mandated meal or rest breaks, and you’re likely to face a lawsuit. Two recent cases illustrate.

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