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What Does the Families First Coronavirus Response Act Mean for HR and Payroll?

On March 18, President Donald Trump signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. This emergency measure directly imposes upon certain smaller employers new paid family leave and new paid sick leave obligations and expands unemployment insurance.

Besides dealing with immediate public health-related matters, the bill contains several
provisions that will impact employers.

Here are the highlights of the bill that may affect HR, payroll, and legal teams:

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What Happens When Payday Falls on a Holiday or Weekend?

Your employees love when payday comes around. I mean, who doesn’t? For every organization, payroll compensation distribution must be on time for employees to receive their wages. Yet, what happens when payday falls on a holiday or weekend?


Whether you pay your employees weekly,
biweekly, monthly, or semimonthly, odds are your company’s scheduled payday might land on a bank holiday or weekend sooner or later. Should that happen, don’t panic—you have options. We’ll break down all the payroll holiday rules below so you can navigate holiday and weekend paydays with ease.

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2020 Contribution Limits Released

Call it an annual holiday tradition. Every year, the IRS publishes a new set of contribution limits for a variety of popular benefits, including flexible savings accounts and commuter plans. The agency has finally settled on all major limits for 2020.  

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New Law Modernizes IRS, Updates Payroll Rules

The IRS gets a bad rap for being behind the times. Between its reliance on paper forms and complicated acronyms (1040-EZ, anyone?), you would be forgiven for not associating the agency with the state-of-the-art.

With a new law, the agency is looking to change that perception. The Taxpayer First Act, signed by President Trump earlier this month, goes a long way in modernizing the IRS’s approach to cybersecurity and some longstanding payroll forms. Below, we’ve summed up the changes most applicable to HR and payroll professionals.

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Fielding the Most Common Payroll Questions

“When’s payday?” Simple as it sounds, we all know there are no easy questions in HR. For most U.S. companies, payday is a biweekly affair. Others offer alternative frequencies such as weekly, semimonthly, and monthly. The distinctions between each cycle can often lead to questions, particularly for new hires used to a different payment schedule.

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Texas Lawmakers Pass Sweeping 'Paycard' Law

When it comes to payday, employees aren’t typically used to being asked “paper or plastic?” With a law set to take effect on September 1, 2019, Texas is set to join the growing list of states that allow employers to pay their workers via “paycards” by default.

Below, we’ll detail the sometimes controversial payment method and what the new law specifically entails for Lone Star businesses and their employees.  

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IRS Releases New Draft Form W-4

Even a federal agency like the IRS needs a “do-over” sometimes. With a recently released (and rewritten) draft Form W-4, the agency is asking HR and payroll teams for a second chance—and a second opinion.

On May 31, the agency published a new draft Form W-4, or Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate. The form, which tells HR teams how much to withhold from employees’ paychecks, is a longstanding part of the new hire onboarding process. Once finalized, new hires starting after January 1, 2020 and current employees looking to change their withholdings will need to use the new version.

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3 Payroll Lessons From Fyre Festival

Everyone knows about the ill-fated Fyre Festival. Simply put, it was supposed to be a massive festival in the Bahamas and the experience of a lifetime. Ticket holders would get the opportunity to sip margaritas and hit the pool with celebrities, supermodels, and artists. Long story short, none of that ever happened. People spent (and lost) a lot of money for what turned out to be a living nightmare. Seriously, look up the stories.

But before people arrived on the island to see their dreams dashed upon the Bahamian coast, festival staff had an inkling into the issues that would arise. How, might you ask? Payroll.

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New Washington D.C. Law Requires Companies to Outsource Payroll

A generous serving of compliance requirements is set to hit Washington D.C. businesses in the food service and hospitality industries.

Passed by the District of Columbia Council in 2018, the Tipped Wage Workers Fairness Amendment Act will soon impose a slew of training and reporting requirements for businesses with tipped workers. In an effort to help ensure compliance with the regulation, the District will require most of these businesses to outsource payroll.

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How to Change Pay Frequencies

As companies grow, there are plenty of reasons to change from semimonthly to biweekly payroll frequencies, or weekly to monthly, or any combination of the above. Regardless of the prevalence of these changes, switching pay frequencies involves a lot more than just the flip of a switch.