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gov shutdown

Employer Services on Hold with Government Shutdown

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The United States Congress was unable to come to a resolution causing the federal government to shut down as of Oct. 1. These actions not only impact federal employees and agencies, but its effects will ripple down to employers until an appropriations bill is passed.

Below is a rundown of a variety of employment-related issues created due to the shutdown.

  • The more than 400,000 employers enrolled in the E-Verify system will not have access to determine the eligibility of prospective employees to work in the U.S. The shutdown of E-Verify will delay employers’ ability to run new employee paperwork, creating a scenario where employers may have to hold new-hire plans. As a result of the shutdown, employers will be unable to resolve Tentative Nonconfirmations (TNCs). Once E-Verify services resume, employers must process the stockpiled hires that would have otherwise been run through E-Verify, if not for the shutdown. Additionally, the following policies have been implemented to relieve some burden placed on employers:
    • The E-Verify “three-day rule” has been suspended for cases affected by the shutdown.
    • The number of days the federal government is closed won’t count against the eight federal government workdays an employee has to go to Social Security Administration or contact Department of Human Services. Additional time will be given once E-Verify reopens.
  • If you utilize Paycom’s E-Verify services, then your E-Verify process will be seamless as all stockpiled cases can be entered now and processed once E-Verify services resume.
  • The Department of Labor will furlough the majority of its employees, creating a temporary cease of all non-emergency tasks and duties. This means that audits and hearings will be postponed; however, federal labor laws remain in effect and employers are obligated to continue to comply with all such laws and regulations.

Despite the shutdown, employers must be aware that:

  • President Obama announced that state-run exchanges will open today as scheduled. Employers subject to the Fair Labor Standards Act are still required to notify employers of Marketplace opportunities and possible subsidies by the end of business today. For more information on the Notice requirement, please see here.
  • The I-9 form requirement is still active and must be completed within three business days of an employee’s start date.
  • Employers must remain compliant on unemployment benefit matters because they will continue despite the shutdown. This includes government benefits including Medicare and Social Security. It is still required that employers provide information to state agencies and appear for all hearings regarding these matters.

Paycom will continue to keep employers up-to-date on issues or resolutions concerning the government shutdown.

Author Bio: A writer, speaker and young business leader, Jason has been the communications pulse for a number of organizations, including Paycom. A featured writer on human capital management technology, leadership and the Affordable Care Act, Jason launched Paycom’s blog and social media channels, helping empower organizations around the nation. Jason is attuned to the needs of businesses and recently helped develop a tool to aid organizations in their pursuit to comply with the ACA; one of the largest changes in healthcare the country has seen. While working in athletics for ESPN and FoxSports, Jason learned the importance of hard work and branding. In his free time he enjoys adventuring with his family, reading and exploring new areas to strengthen his business acumen.


How to Train your Workforce Using 1 Item in Your Pocket

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Everyone needs training, whether it’s basic, new-hire, how-to-get-started training or professional development. Training employees provides your company with a competitive edge in business for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that you end up with knowledgeable, capable employees who are as invested in the company as you are with them.

And guess what? You’re already training your employees, whether or not you realize it. From employee orientation on day one to continuing education, you’re training your business on the essentials. The thing is, you could be training in a simpler way.

Streamlining your company’s training and learning program doesn’t have to be time-consuming or intimidating. Take Paycom Learning, for instance. If you have a camera-equipped phone or a PowerPoint slideshow, you have the materials you need to create a training! In a couple of easy steps, you can save your company time and money by creating easy, everyday trainings.

Record Your Training

Nearly two-thirds of Americans have smartphones. Simply take that phone out of your pocket and record a video (or an audio message) of the training. For example, one of the first things a new hire needs to learn is how to utilize the features of his or her desk phone. You also may want to train your restaurant hosts on how to properly welcome guests. A two-minute video with a rundown of various details is an easy way to knock out basic getting-started tasks.

Upload Training to Paycom Learning

When you are finished recording, just upload the file to Paycom Learning and assign it to employees. They’ll be able to access the training via Employee Self-Service, from wherever there is an internet connection. Employees love easily accessible information; 75 percent of millennial workers are eager to utilize online learning. Podcasts are an easy way for employees to access training at their convenience, such as on their daily commute to work.

Measure Results

If you want to ensure your employees are retaining the information, considering adding a quiz. You also can monitor who has completed assigned training and easily review results.

Four Ways to Utilize Training

If you’re wondering how training applies to your company, here are four ways companies can utilize training:

  1. Practical, on-the-job training: Who is the expert in certain areas of your business? Record him or her demonstrating how to work the company alarm system, emergency procedures, email set-up and other trainings that otherwise would happen in person.
  2. Compliance training: What training is needed to comply with industry regulations? For example, how to properly wash your hands for food service or the procedures for reporting an on-site accident. Ensure that all employees are correctly and consistently trained.
  3. New-hire training: How many new hires do you have annually and how much time does it take to train them on the same standard tasks? Cut down on the time it takes to get them up-to-speed by simply recording one training and uploading it to Paycom Learning.
  4. Communicating important messages: How do you track who has seen an important companywide memo? Instead of mass-emailing employees, record important messages such as quarterly financial updates or the company’s vision statement, and post them to Paycom Learning. You then can generate reports on who has or hasn’t viewed the message.

When it comes to training, you’re already doing it, but don’t overcomplicate it. Training is easy when you use Paycom Learning.

Holly Faurot

by Holly Faurot

Author Bio: Faurot, vice president of client relations, has served in a number of roles during her tenure at Paycom, including regional vice president, sales training manager and sales consultant. A born leader and a 2012 honoree in Oklahoma’s 30 Under 30 awards, she has helped a number of individuals and clients achieve success through her energetic spirit. The product of a dairy farm in Kenefic, Okla., Faurot was taught at a young age the importance of working hard, being honest and having a desire to help others.

master compliance

3 Ways Your HR Team Can Master Compliance

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Complex rules, weighty administrative responsibilities, zero margin for error: When it comes to complying with employment legislation, the burden for U.S. businesses — both large and small — is substantial.

Small and medium-sized businesses in particular must manage their resources wisely, and can find it increasingly difficult to allocate the staff – and the time – to manage all of their company’s obligations for complying with today’s labor legislation. Larger businesses, with thousands of workers employed across state lines, face the challenge of ensuring HR teams are following the right rules. It’s no wonder managing compliance can feel overwhelming.

But it doesn’t have to be. Implementing a few best practices can make it easier to master the growing compliance burden and protect your company.

Here are three best practices to help you master compliance.

1. Automate Your Compliance Processes
Not only are government agencies producing a ton of rules and regulations, but businesses also have to deal with the mounting complexity of those regulations. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a perfect example. It’s one of the most complex pieces of federal legislation ever conceived, and despite many HR leaders’ best efforts, the nuanced nature of government regulations, like ACA, makes manually tracking and storing information time consuming and precarious.

Enter automation.

Automation improves a business’s efficiency and takes some of the guesswork out of complex processes. Specifically, the right system should be able to automate tasks like tracking garnishment payments and sending required COBRA correspondence. Through automation, businesses gain something truly valuable — peace of mind.

2. Proactively Find Areas of Risk
The risk of noncompliance is real and felt most notably in steep costs. Take the Fair Labor Standards Act as an example.

Not only do businesses have to contend with rising penalties associated with noncompliance, but class-action and wage-and-hour lawsuits add a painful one-two punch. These blows can leave marks. In fact, according to a report from Seyfarth.com, there has been a staggering 115 percent increase in value of the top 10 wage-and-hour class-action settlements since 2014.

But wait, there’s more: Litigation lawyers with splashy ads and the ubiquity of online information actually encourage employees to file claims against their employers. Additionally, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division has increased the number of investigations by 35 percent in the last six years. These investigations are launched independently of employee complaints.

With the odds seemingly stacked against businesses, foresight and planning is crucial. Businesses that have the ability to quickly audit their workforce by gathering easily accessible and accurate data can proactively manage their risk of noncompliance and find opportunities for improvement.

3. Be the Ultimate Resource for Your C-Suite
Big regs can mean big changes for businesses. Take, for example, recent changes to overtime regulations. On its face, overtime expansion looks like a simple question of time and labor. The solution may seem simple as well: Cut a few hours here or reassign a few duties there in order to avoid increased labor costs. However, because the salary threshold essentially has doubled, controlling overtime costs can require many changes to how a large percentage of a company’s workforce is paid and scheduled.

That’s why it’s so important to provide your C-suite with the data and information it needs to make the best decisions for your company.

Experienced executives rely on key event alerts; intuitive, automatic reporting; and legislation overviews to keep them at the top of their game. Additionally, those types of tools give HR leaders crucial time to prepare solutions and points of reference when presenting recommendations in the boardroom.

Just as the Industrial Revolution’s spinning jenny replaced the laborious job of hand-spinning wool and cotton, HR technology can drastically improve a business’s efficiency and output. Automation features like push reporting allow companies to schedule reports for things like expiring employment authorization documents and ACA status changes.

We know when it comes to leading your company through intensifying government regulations, you don’t simply want to make it — you want to master it. With these tips and the right HR technology, you can be well-positioned to do just that.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.

Katy Fabrie

by Katy Fabrie

Author Bio: Katy Fabrie is a Marketing Specialist at Paycom where she assists with executing integrated marketing campaigns. With extensive experience in both writing and research, Katy enjoys crafting content that helps HR professionals develop strategies to reach their goals. Katy has created both digital and printed content for a myriad of local and national companies, and she enjoys continually expanding her HR knowledge base. Outside of work, Katy enjoys reading, running and spending time with her husband, Colby, and dog, Fox.

Paper work

IRS Releases Final, Updated 2016 ACA Forms

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By now, it’s likely you’re aware that several forms of transition relief from the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that were available in 2015 have expired, and only limited relief continues to apply in 2016.

As a result, the Internal Revenue Service has removed references to 2015 transition relief from 2016 Forms 1094- and 1095-C. It’s important that employers understand how these changes affect the way they will complete 2016 forms and provide data to the IRS.

In summary:

  1. Transition Relief check box removed

Employers no longer will be able to select “The Qualifying Offer Method Transition Relief” box on Form 1094-C, or use codes 1I and 2I to complete Forms 1094 and 1095-C. In 2016, employers will use new codes 1J and 1K to show they offered minimum essential coverage to employees, their spouses and dependents for all 12 months of the calendar year.

  1. Safe harbor increases to 95 percent

Applicable large employers (ALEs) now must offer health care coverage to 95 percent of their full-time employees in order to check “yes” in Part III of Form 1094-C.

  1. Full-time reminder added to Form 1094-C

ALEs with 50 or more full-time or full-time-equivalent employees must follow guidelines in 2016. On Form 1094-C, the phrase “Section 4980H” was added to remind filers that the 30-hour-per-week definition of “full-time employee” applies for purposes of completing Part III of Form 1094-C.

What you can do

While these changes seem insignificant, not taking them into account when completing your ACA reporting could result in noncompliance with increasingly strict requirements. This, combined with elevated penalties and fast-approaching 2017 reporting deadlines, may have you looking for a payroll provider who can assist you with ACA compliance. If so, choose a company that can file Forms 1094/1095-B or -C on your behalf and offers ongoing monitoring and education features to help you proactively manage ACA compliance.


DISCLAIMER: The information provided in this blog is for general informational purposes only. Accordingly, Paycom and the writer of the above content do not warrant the completeness or accuracy of the above information. It does not constitute the provision of legal advice, tax advice, accounting services, or professional consulting. The information provided herein should not be used as a substitute for consultation with professional tax, accounting, legal or other professional services.


by Amy Double

Author Bio: Amy, a tenured professional in sales and marketing with over 10 years of experience, is dedicated to creating content focused on helping organizations achieve their business goals. As an experienced writer, Amy is committed to researching and blogging about topics that affect businesses across multiple industries, including manufacturing, hospitality and more. Outside of work, Amy enjoys reading, entertaining and spending time with family.

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