While the $7.25 federal minimum wage has been in place since 2009, most states and many municipalities and counties have upped their minimums since then. Of those, 25 have scheduled increases in 2021—most of which take effect on January 1. Meanwhile, longstanding efforts in Congress to raise the federal minimum, thus far unsuccessful, are expected… Continue reading

Chances are, employers don’t need  the force of law to make them care about the health of their employees, especially during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But it’s still important to know what the federal workplace safety agency—the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)—has to say about employees returning to their jobs with a measure… Continue reading

Even while conditions in some states have improved enough to allow some workers in exile to begin returning to their workplaces, life isn’t likely to return to normal for a long while, thanks to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. First, some employees worried about the chances they could become infected might balk at the idea of… Continue reading

The U.S. Department of Labor is requiring employers to post a notice of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) regarding paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave. This must be posted in a conspicuous area on the employer’s premises effective April 1, 2020. If an employer has employees who are working remotely,… Continue reading

Update on Coronavirus-related paid leave for workers and tax credits for small and midsize businesses The U.S. Treasury Department, Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (Labor) announced that small and midsize employers can begin taking advantage of two new refundable payroll tax credits, designed to immediately and fully reimburse them, dollar-for-dollar,… Continue reading

Questions from employers and employees about coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are multiplying almost as fast as the virus itself. Employers need to rely on a combination of authoritative legal and medical advice, and their own common sense, to keep employees safe. Guidance issued almost daily from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. Department of Labor’s… Continue reading

The following table provides some important federal tax information for 2020, as compared with 2019. Some of the dollar amounts are unchanged and some changed only slightly due to inflation. Social Security/ Medicare 2020 2019 Social Security Tax Wage Base $137,700 $132,900 Medicare Tax Wage Base No limit No limit Employee portion of Social Security… Continue reading

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) are a tax-smart way to cover an individual’s uninsured medical expenses. Your business can set up HSAs for qualifying employees. Then the business can fully or partially fund the accounts or let employees fund them with salary-reduction contributions. While it’s too late to add HSAs to your benefits package for 2019,… Continue reading