How to Evaluate Your Labor Audit Liability

By Brad Johnson on July 20, 2017

Why Worry?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),

"Employers should keep in mind that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) can audit employers at any time, although the most common reason for a DOL audit is a complaint from an employee. The DOL has also targeted employers in low-wage industries for wage and hour violations, particularly in the areas of agriculture, day cares, restaurants, garment manufacturing, guard services, health care, hotels and motels, janitorial services, and temporary help."

Even if you aren't in one of the previously-targeted industries mentioned above, you should be aware of what an audit entails and what you need in order to ensure compliance.

Topics: HR, DOL Audit

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Employee Social Media Posts: Should You Go There?

By Brad Johnson on July 12, 2017


“Social media has irreparably blurred the line between one’s personal persona and one’s professional persona,” says Jon Hyman in Workforce magazine. If you consider that a recent Pew Research Center survey of 1,520 U.S. adults that found 79% of those online use Facebook, 24% use Twitter and 29% use LinkedIn, chances are pretty good that most of your employees are active on one or more social media platform. What does that mean for you, the employer?

Topics: social media, Human Resources

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$3.8 Million Disney Fine Underscores Importance of Accurate Timekeeping

By Brad Johnson on July 05, 2017

When businesses run afoul of labor provisions, the fines can be sizeable.

Recently, Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement with the Department of Labor (DOL) to pay out $3.8 million to 16,339 employees. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Florida-based Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. failed to observe the the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime, minimum wage and record keeping provisions.

Topics: automated timekeeping, timeclock

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Your 7-Point Plan for Choosing a Payroll Partner

By Brad Johnson on June 27, 2017

If you dread payroll processing, you’re in good company. In fact, it’s becoming pretty common to outsource all or part of an organization's payroll tasks. According to a 2014 survey by Deloitte, 22% of North American organizations outsource all payroll functions.  And among those who use a vendor for some payroll functions, “the most commonly outsourced functions in North America  include year-end tax form printing (87%), payroll tax preparation and filing (76%), year-end tax form distribution (63%), check printing (57%) and garnishment administration (52%).”

So why do organizations choose to outsource? And what should you look for when doing so?

Topics: HR, payroll, Human Resources

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High Turnover Does Not Have To Mean High Cost

By Brad Johnson on June 13, 2017


The restaurant industry is known for its high employee turnover rates. According to the National Restaurant Association,  "the turnover rate in the hospitality sector topped 70 percent for the second consecutive year" in 2016. 

Restaurants aren’t the only businesses experiencing high turnover. Industries like tourism, lodging, healthcare and entertainment struggle with high turnover every day. It's difficult to calculate the true cost of turnover, but estimates from the Center for American Progress show that each new employee earning less that $30,000 per year costs around $4000 to replace. Management positions can cost more than double that amount. Is there a solution?

Topics: automated timekeeping, payroll, new employee, onboarding

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Attention New Employers: Avoid These Top 3 Payroll Mistakes

By Brad Johnson on May 25, 2017


Owning a business, especially after being someone's employee, can be very rewarding. You're the captain of the ship and can chart your course without having to answer to anyone else. When you get to the point where you need your own employees, however, it’s vital to realize that being an employer can be complicated - especially when it comes to payroll. To ensure the best chance of success, be certain you avoid these three common payroll pitfalls. 

Topics: payroll

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What At-Will Employment Really Means

By Brad Johnson on May 16, 2017


At-will employment basically means that the employer or the employee can terminate their relationship at any time, for any reason. 

What this says versus what it really means often leads to misunderstanding among employers. Does this mean you can arbitrarily fire an employee without documentation, without a reason? Nope. And even if you document every detail, it still may not land in your favor.

Topics: Employee Handbook, workforce management, at-will employment

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Hire Interns Without Taxing Your HR Resources

By Brad Johnson on May 08, 2017


Creating a strong internship program is advantageous for any organization, big or small, and internships benefit both the employer and intern. That's right - internship programs aren't just for large corporations. Regardless, many employers shy away from hiring interns due to the temporary nature of their employment and the onboarding/offboarding work involved. Let’s examine why internships are important and how to more easily navigate temporary employee statuses.

Topics: payroll, onboarding, internships, interns

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Two Ways You Are Getting Ripped Off Every Time You Run Payroll

By Brad Johnson on April 17, 2017


There is an Epidemic of Employee Time Theft

As employers, we like to think we can trust our staff members. Without trust, not much can be achieved, but there are a couple of areas that provide an easy opportunity for your employees to take advantage if you aren’t watching cautiously, and it can cost you thousands.

In a survey of over 500 retail and service industry workers, over 30 percent admitted to flagrant time theft.1 Workers specifically mentioned using buddy punching and clock creep to steal time. You may already know what these are, but it's worth a review and a look at what you can do about them. 

Topics: automated timekeeping, time theft

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FLSA 101 Update: A New Administration May Not Mean a New Rule

By Brad Johnson on April 07, 2017

The Fair Labor Standard Act (FLSA) final rule on overtime was to take effect on December 1, 2016. Last fall, we explained the changes and gave some tips for compliance. Then in September, a lawsuit was filed to challenge the final rule. What’s happened since then? Let us bring you up to speed.

Topics: FLSA

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W-2 Phishing Scam Targets Small Businesses, Schools and Others

By Brad Johnson on February 14, 2017


As if you need one more thing to worry about this time of year, the IRS has issued an urgent alert regarding phishing scams. These scams target sensitive employee information which crooks can then use to commit various identity crimes, including filing fraudulent tax returns. These types of scams have previously targeted larger corporations but are now going for other sectors including school districts, tribal organizations, nonprofits and small to medium-sized businesses. What can you do to stay one step ahead?

Topics: identity theft, lifelock, Taxes, payroll

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2017 Standard Mileage Rates Announced

By Brad Johnson on December 29, 2016

In 2017 the IRS is decreasing the allowable deduction for mileage. The new deduction rates will apply to miles driven for business travel, as well as, travel for medical or charitable purposes. The IRS determines the standard mileage rate deduction based on a study conducted annually. The study considers both fixed and variable costs. Although both fixed and variable costs are used to determine mileage rate deductions for business travel, medical and charitable travel are based solely on variable costs.

Topics: Tax Credits, Taxes

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21 States Will Increase Minimum Wage in 2017

By Brad Johnson on December 29, 2016

Although anticipated FLSA overtime rule changes have been put on hold, almost half of the United States will increase their state minimum wages in 2017. So, as an employer, what does that mean for you?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes the federal minimum wage, which is currently $7.25/hour ($2.13 for tipped employees). However, FLSA also stipulates that state or local laws supersede FLSA rules if the state or local laws are more favorable to the employee. In other words, employers must pay the state minimum wage if the state minimum wage is greater than $7.25/hour. And, as previously mentioned, almost half the country will increase state/local minimum wage in 2017. The table below highlights the minimum wages you can expect in 2017.

Topics: fair labor standards act, FLSA, payroll

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Horizon Payroll Heading to Minor League Baseball Trade Show™ in Maryland Dec. 4-8

By Scott Langer on December 02, 2016

2016 Minor League Baseball (MiLB) Tradeshow™

Horizon Payroll Solutions will be participating in the 51st annual Baseball Tradeshow™ at the Gaylord National Resort and Conference Center, National Harbor, Maryland. The show offers 2 1//2 days of networking opportunities with baseball teams across the country. Horizon Payroll Solutions is happy to have the opportunity to showcase how our payroll and HR services can save baseball teams time and money when managing the complexities of a seasonal workforce.

Topics: Insider

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Keeping up with Changing Compliance Requirements

By Brad Johnson on December 01, 2016

There were a few important alerts announced this month that change federal compliance for human resource management that may affect your company. We thought it was worth going through the announcements one more time. 

Topics: Taxes, FLSA, Hiring

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FLSA 101 UPDATED: Surviving the New Overtime Rules

By Brad Johnson on October 12, 2016

It's been a strange few months. As we told you in July, FLSA changes are on their way. But these changes seem to be, well, changing.  Here are the latest updates, on both the rule and various attempts to thwart it.

As of now, the rule changes outlined below are set to go into effect on December 1, 2016. This is despite the following.

  • The House of Representatives passed a bill on September 28, 2016 that would delay FLSA changes for six months. However, H.R. 6094 is unlikely to be signed into law before December 1, if ever.
  • On September 20, 2016, 21 states filed a lawsuit, joining the Chamber of Commerce, the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Retail Federation and other business groups, alleging the changes are unconstitutional. According to the Society for Human Resource Management, however, these lawsuits are unlikely to move forward. 

So - what's an employer to do? The experts agree - prepare for the FLSA changes as if they are indeed going into effect December 1. 

Topics: overtime, FLSA

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Onboarding with a New Vendor

By Brad Johnson on October 03, 2016

In this series, we've examined hiring or onboarding an employee and the use of applicant tracking systems. But what if you're the one being onboarded - that is, being taken on as a new client? Say you're considering going with a new vendor, for one reason or another. Perhaps your company has grown and you need a new suite of services. Or - you may just be ready to splurge on the latest and greatest software. Whatever the reason, many of us dread the prospect of onboarding with a new vendor - so much so that we stay with bad vendors way too long.

The process of onboarding doesn't have to be that difficult. 

Topics: payroll, onboarding

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IT Meets HR: What to Know About Applicant Tracking

By Brad Johnson on August 25, 2016

Every single company that exists, whether it's Coca Cola, Apple, or Acadia, has a hiring process. Some are multi-phased, some are quick and simple, some informal, and others follow strict protocol. Regardless of your company or process, someone may be pulling out their hair over how to manage the flood of applications that arrive with each job opening.

An Application Tracking System (ATS) can help. An ATS is software that allows you to manage job postings, applicants and even the hiring (aka onboarding) process. The systems vary but most allow the recruiter to post directly to popular online job boards. Then, most take submissions from those same job boards and consolidate the responses, dropping them into a database. The system then crawls through each resume and searches for key words that relate to the position, qualifications, or skills you've specified.  By selecting only the resumes that contain those key words, the system selects a group of applicants that is better qualified for the position. This reduces the number of resume a recruiter must comb through by up to 70%.

Topics: HR, onboarding, Applicant Tracking, Hiring

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Onboarding a New Employee: 5 Tips

By Brad Johnson on August 08, 2016

Does the word "onboarding" make your HR team run away screaming? It shouldn't. There are many tools, tips and tricks that help ease the burden of onboarding new employees. There's also another type of onboarding you can't forget - and that's when you as a company are onboarding with a new vendor. We'll examine the former in this blog.

Topics: HR, new employee, onboarding

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Choosing a Pay Period That's Best For Your Company

By Brad Johnson on July 27, 2016

New business owner? Switching up the way you do payroll? Either way you'll need to decide when, that is, how often, to pay your employees. You may be surprised by how much you have to think about when making this decision. The four main pay periods most businesses use are:

  • Monthly pay - 12 pay periods per year
  • Semi-monthly pay - 24 pay periods per year
  • Bi-weekly pay - 26 pay periods per year
  • Weekly pay - 52 pay periods per year

Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. You must pick the one that's right for you and your business cash flow. For example, you might like bi-weekly, but if you're only generating cash at the end of each month, bi-weekly won't work. The right pay cycle must align with how the business generates cash.

Topics: pay periods, payroll

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