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Posts published in “Benefits”

Jury Duty – An Employers Responsibilities

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Jury duty.  It is something that many people dread being called for, but being summoned and responding is a civic duty and an honored privilege, critical to our judicial system.  That can be an article all to itself, but today we will cover how the employer handles calls to jury duty by their employees. Employers are prohibited by state laws from terminating or penalizing an employee, in any way, who is called to serve on jury duty.  Being laid off would certainly dissuade people from serving, so the states provide a bit of protection to the employee.  If the employee…

“Work Today, Get Paid Tomorrow”

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Whether you call it ‘earned wage access’, ‘instant pay’, ‘on-demand pay’, ‘pay on-demand’ or ‘wages on-demand’, this employee benefit is one of the fastest growing employee wellness programs in the market. Nearly 3 out of every 4 U.S. employees (72%) want access to their wages before their pay day, according to The UKG Workforce Institute study. With the increasing demand, there’s been a massive explosion in the number of companies offering earned wages on-demand to employees. You will find many employment ads that state “work today, get paid tomorrow” in their job offering. It is becoming a competitive advantage for…

COBRA: Two Sizes That Cover Just About Every Employer

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The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) of 1985 gives workers, and their families who lose their health benefits, the right to choose continued group health benefits provided by their group health plan for a limited period of time under certain circumstances such as voluntary or involuntary job loss, reduction in the hours worked, transition between jobs, death, divorce and other life events. Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102% of the cost to the plan. The law generally applies to all group health plans maintained by private-sector employers with 20 or…

The Gift of Donated Paid Time Off

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I have not been asked about this topic in my previous 25 years, yet in the past few months, I have received at least half a dozen inquiries. I am not sure of the reason this has become a hot topic lately; maybe it is COVID-19, but here are the details and considerations: Paid time off, whether it is Vacation, Sick, PTO, or whatever a company may call it, is a great benefit to its employees. It is there in the event that the employee cannot, or maybe just does not want to go to work, yet receives their pay…

Priority of Deductions

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There are times when an employee’s actual gross pay (excluding taxable fringe items) is insufficient to accommodate all of their deductions in full.  In those cases where there is not enough net pay, there is an order in which deductions are to be processed until the check is zero.  I am going to cover the basics of that order without going into the details of each specific deduction, as this would end up being a super-sized blog.  Be sure to check out my previous blogs for details on some of the specific deductions.   Deductions are taken in the order below,…

Gifts to Employees – A Taxing Topic

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We all know that when we pay an employee in cash/wages, it is a taxable transaction to the employee.   What is less commonly known is what should happen when something of value other than cash/wages is given.  Gifts such as a Thanksgiving turkey, a $25 store gift card for a job well done, a Caribbean cruise vacation for meeting a sales quota, or even a Rolex watch for an employee’s twenty-year anniversary with the company all have different tax consequences.  Sometimes the exact same gift given under two different situations may be taxed differently. This article will cover the…

Payroll Tax Treatment of Health Benefits for Domestic Partners

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Ever since the 2015 Obergefell v. Hodges case in which the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples by both the Due Process Clause and the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, it has been shown that the number of employers offering domestic partner benefits has significantly decreased. A year before the ruling (2014), a survey reflected that 59% provided benefits to same-sex domestic partners and just one year later (2016), 48% are providing benefits with that number decreasing each year. The reason…

Pitfalls of Employee Loans

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According to a 2017 study by CareerBuilder, they determined that 78% of US workers live paycheck-to-paycheck and 75% of workers were in debt.   With those statistics, many employers find it common to be approached by an employee for a loan or advance.   While it may be seen as a way to improve employee morale, productivity, and employee loyalty, there are many other factors to take into consideration to avoid a detrimental impact.  In this article, I will cover some of the little known aspects of employee loans and advances. First off is whether or not the loan is going to…

Reimbursing Employees for Health Insurance Can Be a Costly Mistake

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As we get into the health insurance renewal season, there are some smaller, non-ACA mandated businesses (less than 50 FTEs) that may consider dropping their small group health plan all together.  An average of 20-30% group rate hikes year after year do take a toll on the bottom line, so it would not be surprising. In lieu of carrying a group health plan, some employers may even decide to simply reimburse their employees a set amount for them to obtain individual coverage, or maybe even pay for the employees individual health insurance costs directly.   Unfortunately, 2013 guidance from the IRS…

Legal Insurance. What is that?

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We carry health insurance for routine ‘maintenance’ and unforeseen events, auto and home insurance for unexpected property losses, but what about protection and assistance with the day to day situations that could require legal assistance? Review of an agreement or contract ♦ securing a mortgage ♦ collecting or settling a debt ♦ credit report issues ♦ probate ♦ bankruptcy ♦ immigration ♦ divorce ♦ preparing a will ♦ traffic citation ♦ marriage ♦ purchasing faulty merchandise/consumer protection ♦ notary services ♦ these are all situations where having an attorney would be of great value, but sometimes the cost can be discouraging from having the much needed legal assistance.  Studies have shown that 7 out of 10 people have experienced some sort of legal event in…