Payroll Today

Over the years, my dentist and I have come to a pleasant entente—we chat cordially, I don’t ever see any of those medieval instruments he uses and I get almost as much sedation as I want. For his part, he gets a much more relaxed patient who is not likely to bite him. Everyone wins! So the last time I was there, it surprised me that he had a shadow—a college student who wants to become a dentist. My dentist’s shadow was not an intern; she sat quietly and performed no productive work. But many interns do, and that brings up the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which sets the rules for paying (or not paying) interns.

Last week, the Department of Labor released its final regulations raising by more than 100% the amount employees must earn each week to be considered exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Included in the regulations is a new provision that allows you to partially satisfy the salary amount by including up to 10% of nondiscretionary bonuses and other incentive payments, such as commissions, in exempts’ salary. But that begs the question of just what counts as a nondiscretionary bonus.

On May 18, the Department of Labor released its long awaiting, and much anxiety producing, final regulations on the salary amounts white-collar employees must earn to remain exempt under the FLSA. The final regs become effective Dec. 1, 2016.

Silence was basically all we heard about those new white collar salary regulations from every Wage-Hour representative who attended the American Payroll Association’s 34th Annual Congress. Laura Fortman, Deputy Administrator at the Wage-Hour Division, a keynote speaker Friday morning, essentially stuck to that script. But she also may have revealed a little more than she intended.

Shockingly (or maybe not), more than half of the attendees at the APA’s identity theft workshop acknowledged that they were bait for the phishing expedition undertaken earlier this year to steal employees’ W-2 information by spoofing a company’s executives. The good news is that no one took the bait. Jane Holms, CPP, Director, US Payroll, Meggitt, USA, who conducted a portion of the workshop at the American Payroll Association’s 34th Annual Congress, provided attendees with strategies to combat this growing problem.

The highlight of Day 2 of the APA’s 34th Annual Congress was a workshop lead by Anita Bartels, Manager, Mid-States Territory SB/SE, Employment Tax, IRS. Bartels provided attendees with insight into the IRS’ latest payroll initiatives.

Bette Davis may or may not have vamped “What a mess,” but sooner or later you will encounter a mess, according to Jodi Parsons, CPP, Director, Payroll for the World Series winners, the Kansas City Royals Baseball Club, and Billy Meyerkorth, CPP, Manager, Human Resources Operations, Cetera Financial Group. Parsons and Meyerkorth gave attendees at the American Payroll Association’s 34th Annual Congress, held this year in Nashville, Tenn., some pointers on cleaning up messes.

So here we are at the beginning of May. Sooner (or maybe later) the Department of Labor will release its long awaited regulations increasing the weekly amount employees must earn to be exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Last week, we offered a checklist you could use to review the status of your executives. This week, we’re offering a checklist you can use to test the status of your administrative employees.

Get out your crystal ball. According to prognosticators, the release date for the Department of Labor’s final regulations that will raise the weekly salary amount employees must earn to remain exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) could be as soon as the middle of May. As proposed, these regs would increase the weekly amount exempts must earn by 113%. You can use the impending release of these final regs to re-evaluate the FLSA status of your entire workforce. To help you focus, use this checklist to determine the status of your executive employees.

Way back in the dim mists of antiquity (somewhere around 1996), the IRS’ website was a font of humor. There were funny headlines, photographs and even cartoons. It was easy to navigate. And then it got boring and stayed boring. And harder to navigate, with lots of clicks to get where you need to be. If you think you can do a better job, now’s your chance. The IRS has announced its Tax Design Challenge to encourage innovative ideas for the “taxpayer experience” of the future.