Payroll Legal Alert

Whether accrued vacation pay is due to an employee upon termination is determined by state law. This chart summarizes state vacation pay laws. Some states have no laws on this issue, which means that company policy should prevail.

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Daylight saving time begins at 2 a.m., March 11. Graveyard-shift workers, therefore, will work only seven hours that day. If you pay those employees for a standard eight-hour shift, don’t include the extra hour’s pay when calculating their regular rates to determine overtime.

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You may have seen the TV ads: An announcer says that if you need money and you have a job, up to $5,000 can be transferred into your bank account. The lender isn’t a payday lender, the ad continues. The FTC begs to differ. It has sued these lenders, claiming that they are, indeed, payday lenders, who didn’t go to court before they began issuing garnishment orders to borrowers’ employers.

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Under the de minimis deposit safe harbor rule, employers that accumulate less than $2,500 in payroll taxes during the current calendar quarter can pay those taxes with their Form 941, rather than deposit them. Final regulations allow quarterly filers to use the safe harbor rule if their accumulated taxes for the current or preceding quarter are less than $2,500.

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Final medical loss ratio (MLR) regulations, which took effect Jan. 1, 2012, require group health in­­surers to spend between 80 and 85 cents of every pre­­mium dollar on medical care and health care quality improvement. Insurers that fall short must make rebates to participants, beginning Aug. 1, 2012.

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This isn’t good news for employees named Chris, Pat or Robin. The Social Security Administration has announced that it has removed the verification of gender from its Social Security Number Verification Services (SSNVS).

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Under the IRS’ Voluntary Classification Settlement Program (VCSP), you may change workers’ status from independent contractors to employees for future years. One major concern with VCSP has been potential liability for reclassified workers under the FLSA or state wage payment laws.

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The standard mileage rate, which employers may use to reimburse employees who drive their own cars on business, remains 55.5 cents a mile for 2012. You can also use the standard mileage rate to value employees’ personal use of moderately priced company cars.

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Darn that groundhog! If it knew what payroll administrators know about looming W-2 deadlines, it would never come out of its den. Paper W-2s are due to the Social Security Administration by the end of the month; e-filed forms are due by April 2.

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You couldn’t have direct deposit or online banking without the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. Unfortunately, online banking through the ACH network has generated a new cyber crime—ACH fraud. Payroll, which uses the ACH network for direct deposits and other transactions, is particularly vulnerable.

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