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Are Summer Interns Subject to Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Laws?

While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires for-profit employers to pay "employees" for their work, interns and students may not be employees under the FLSA. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and many courts use the "primary beneficiary" test to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. This test examines the "economic reality" of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the "primary beneficiary" of the relationship. The following seven factors are included in the test: The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation...

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DOL Clarifies Federal Law on Tip Pooling

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance clarifying federal law on tip pooling. The guidance was issued in response to a federal law that amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act's (FLSA) tip pooling rules. The DOL guidance states that: Employers are prohibited from keeping tips received by their employees, regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit against the minimum wage for its employees. Federal regulations no longer prohibit tip pooling when employers pay tipped employees at least the full federal minimum wage and do not claim a tip credit. Employers who pay at least the full federal minimum...

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FAQs on Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit Released

The Internal Revenue Service has released FAQs on the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit, which certain employers can soon claim based on wages paid to employees on family and medical leave. The tax credit is effective for tax years 2018 and 2019. Among other questions, the FAQs answer: Which employers can claim the credit; How the credit is calculated; and How the credit impacts an employer's tax deduction for wages paid. Click here to read the FAQs. ...

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FBI Warns of Direct Deposit Phishing Attacks

The FBI warns that cyber criminals are posing as HR employees and using a phishing scam to get employees to provide the scammer with access to the company’s self-service payroll platform. When employees click on the link within the scammer’s email and provide the requested information, they unknowingly provide the scammer with their W-2 and pay stub information. The scammer can then change direct deposit instructions, passwords, credentials and email addresses linked to the account to avoid detection. In the majority of cases, employers were not aware of anything until workers reported they weren’t receiving their wages. To learn how you can...

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How does your retirement plan compare when it comes to Automatic Enrollment?

Chances are your retirement plan is already employing the use of automatic enrollment.  Among non-government plans, the use of automatic enrollment remains at around seven in ten plans (71.4%). Unsurprisingly, most plans with auto enrollment offer it to new hires (94.5%). However, a solid quarter (25.4%) have auto-enrolled existing employees either as a one-time sweep or periodic sweep. Of those that do not automatically enroll employees, nearly one in ten are very likely to implement this feature in 2018. Key reasons for not implementing automatic enrollment for non-government plans include: not being perceived as necessary and not being a priority....

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Building a sales prospect pipeline for your business

An old business adage says, “Sales is a numbers game.” In other words, the more potential buyers you face, the better your chances of making sales. This isn’t completely true, of course; success also depends on execution. Nonetheless, when a company builds a pipeline to funnel prospects to its sales team, it will increase the opportunities for these staff members to strike and close deals. Here are some ways to undertake construction. Do your research First, establish a profile of the organizations that are the best candidates for your products or services. Criteria should include: Location, Number of employees, Sales volume, Industry, and Specific needs. Next, think lead generation....

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The fine line between a small business and a hobby

It’s a matter of work vs. fun, right? No, the difference, at least from a tax perspective, is that you can fully deduct business expenses from income.  Under the new tax law you can’t deduct any hobby expenses. No single factor is determinative, but you’re probably operating a business if: You have a profit motive. You keep accounting, inventory and other records. You invest significant time and effort. You need the income you  make from it. It’s been profitable for at least 3 of the past five years. You’ve conducted similar, profitable activities in the past. You expect assets you use to appreciate in the future. You consult professional...

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Reminder: New Procedures for Disability Plan Claims Effective Soon

New Rule Changes Disability Claim Processing Requirements Effective for disability benefit claims filed after April 1, 2018, a new rule from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) requires ERISA-covered employee benefit plans offering disability benefits to provide additional procedural protections to claimants. The new rule ensures that protections for disability claimants parallel protections under the Affordable Care Act that already apply when workers file claims for group health benefits. These new protections apply to all ERISA-covered disability plans, regardless of how the benefit is characterized by the plan or whether the plan is a pension plan or a welfare plan. Changes to...

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Reminder: Group Health Plans Required to Offer Special Enrollment

Certain Events Trigger 30 or 60-Day Special Enrollment Periods Under HIPAA, certain events that happen to employees or their dependents trigger a right to "special enroll" in a group health plan. Special enrollment allows individuals who previously declined health coverage to enroll in coverage outside of a plan's open enrollment period. An employee and his or her dependents must be provided at least 30 days to request special enrollment in a group health plan because of: Loss of eligibility for other coverage, such as coverage from a spouse's employer; Termination of employer contributions toward other health coverage; or Certain life events, including marriage, birth, adoption,...

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Tax Help Available Ahead of April 17 Filing Deadline

IRS.gov Offers Many Easy-to-Use Online Tools With the April 17 federal income tax deadline fast approaching, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is reminding taxpayers that they can find most answers to their tax questions by taking advantage of the wide variety of easy-to-use online tools available on IRS.gov. The IRS's many online tools allow taxpayers to get answers to tax questions, prepare and file their taxes, or check the status of their tax refund. Notably, taxpayers get the same answers on IRS.gov as if they'd called and spoken with an IRS representative, and they can print out the answers to keep for...

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