September 2015 HR Advisor Newsletter



Get autumn off to a productive start by tackling those end-of-the-year tasks early. Whether you need to examine your pay schedules and rates, implement a performance evaluation program, or complete paperwork for the Affordable Care Act, our September HR Advisor Newsletter has the guidance you need to make everything fall into place.

HR Alert:

Employee or Independent Contractor? A New DOL Interpretation
To help employers properly classify their workers, the Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a new Administrator’s Interpretation to explain how the Fair Labor Standards Act’s definition of employee should be understood. As opposed to focusing primarily on the amount of control exerted by the employer, as was standard before, this guidance focuses more on the economic realities. According to the interpretation, an employee is a worker who is economically dependent on the employer and not in business for themselves. Most workers are employees, not independent contractors, and many workers presently classified as independent contractors should be reclassified as employees. If you currently assign work to independent contractors or will do so in the future, it would be a good idea to examine the reasons you have for classifying these workers as independent contractors instead of as employees.

The Department of Labor has announced that it will be aggressively pursuing businesses for misclassification of workers. The result of misclassification is that an employer will owe up to three years of back taxes on the misclassified employee’s wages, up to 41.5% of their total income. In addition to owing back taxes, employers could face fines, interest charges, and criminal penalties. The correct classification of workers has not only critical implications for the legal protections that workers receive, but also a significant impact on a company’s bottom line.

Tool of the Month:

FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs
Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are all benefit options employers can offer to employees, but they can be easy to confuse. This guide addresses the most frequently asked questions about each option. “FSAs, HSAs, and HRAs” can be found in the Guides section of our Documents tab.

HRCast of the Month:

Quick Tips on Forms 1094-C and 1095-C
Employer Mandate reporting requirements can be a challenge for many employers. Join our HR Pro, Ophelia, after the 15th of the month as she provides some tips for completing tax forms 1094-C and 1095-C.

HR Tip of the Month:

Breathe new life into your workplace by creating a culture of gratitude and recognition. Here are four simple steps to make this happen:

  1. Celebrate the specific achievements of individuals and teams – this can be as simple as a shout out via email for a job well done, a small gift card, or even a thank you note.
  2. Encourage employees to celebrate each other by instituting a colleague recognition program whereby they can praise co-workers for specific behaviors or attitudes.
  3. Show your appreciation for the entire team by hosting special events, whether it’s an informal happy hour in the break room, a potluck with a hosted entrée, or a monthly contest of some kind.
  4. Make “Thank you” a phrase heard daily in the office; don’t forget that the most effective role-modeling starts at the top.

With a culture of gratitude, you will not only have happier employees, but employees who are more engaged, motivated, and loyal.

    Looking Ahead:      Calendar

      September 7th: Labor Day

      September 21st: International Day of Peace

      September 23rd: Yom Kippur

      September: 23rd: First Day of Fall


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