In April, special agents with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE’s) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 280 employees at a company in Texas on charges of working in the country illegally. The raid on the business, who allegedly knowingly hired undocumented immigrants or workers with fraudulent ID documentation, highlights the importance of having procedures in place to ensure proper verification of the identity and employment eligibility of employees.

Here are key steps to include in your Form I-9 documentation process.

All Employees: All US employers must ensure proper completion of Form I-9 for each individual they hire for employment in the US. Forms I-9 are required for each new employee, both citizen and non-citizen. “Employee” does not include volunteers, independent contractors or those engaged in certain casual domestic employment.

Two-Part Process: Both employees and employers (or their authorized representatives) must complete the form. Specifically, the employee must attest to their employment authorization and present acceptable documents evidencing identity and employment authorization, while the employer must examine the documents and record the information on the Form I-9.

Timely Completion: The employee must complete and sign Section 1 of Form I-9 no later than the first day of employment (it should never be completed before they accept a job offer). The employer will complete the other parts of the form and is responsible for ensuring all sections are properly completed and on time.

Proper Documentation: Within three business days of starting work, the employee must present documentation to their employer establishing their identity and employment authorization from the lists of acceptable documents. The employer must review the documents in the employee’s presence to make sure they appear genuine and complete Section 2 in the same time period.

Record Retention: Employers are required to maintain for inspection original Forms I-9 for all current employees. For former employees, employers must retain the Forms I-9 for a period of at least three years from the date of hire or for one year after the employee is no longer employed, whichever is longer.

ICE audit notification can come in various forms; stay informed by using our ICE Audit Notification Overview. For more guidance with Forms I-9 and to avoid the risk of an audit or penalties, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 401.332.9325.

Under federal law, when a nonexempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek, employers must pay them 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for all overtime hours or risk violating the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime pay requirements. And that can be costly: employers guilty of willful or repeated violations are subject to a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 for each.

To correctly calculate and pay overtime, below are five common errors and tips to avoid them.

  1. Not paying employees for hours worked before or after work. Remember that you need to pay employees for all of the time they spend on activities that benefit the employer, even pre- and post-work. So be sure to calculate time spent at mandatory pre-shift meetings or cleaning equipment afterwards as hours worked that count toward overtime.
  2. Failing to count “off the clock” hours. The time employees spend checking emails outside of their normal work hours – even from their home – is compensable and counts towards overtime. To reduce this practice, advise employees not to use electronic communications beyond their regular work hours.
  3. Missing break time. While employers don’t need to pay employees for breaks that last 30 minutes or more during which they’re relieved of their duties, rest breaks of 20 minutes or less must be paid and count towards determining overtime.
  4. Avoiding certain waiting time. When employees arrive at the required start time but need to wait to begin their work because of the circumstances, they are “engaged to wait” and the time counts towards overtime hours. So know the difference between that and “waiting to be engaged,” which isn’t compensable.
  5. Not correctly classifying compensable travel time. While the DOL says time spent commuting to and from work is generally not considered hours worked, time traveling during employees’ normal work hours is compensable – locally as well as away from home unless they’re a passenger and not working – that counts toward overtime.

For more guidance on hours worked that count towards overtime, review our Overtime Policy Guide. Or contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 888-865-4470 for additional information.

Complete Payroll Solutions recently welcomed six new employees to better meet the needs of its growing client base in the Northeast.

David Rosania, Business Solutions Consultant

David Rosania has joined the company as a Business Solutions Consultant servicing clients in northern Maine. In this role, David is responsible for expanding the company’s presence in the market and delivering a high level of service to clients seeking tailored workforce management solutions. Before joining Complete Payroll Solutions, he held sales roles at Paychex for six years. Previously, he worked in telecommunications sales in Maine. David received a bachelor’s degree in Business from Shenandoah University and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Brian Roy, Business Solutions Consultant

Complete Payroll Solutions recently welcomed Brian Roy to the company as a Business Solutions Consultant servicing clients in southern Maine. In his new position, Brian develops tailored solutions to address each business’ unique workforce challenges. Previously, Brian worked at Paychex for 13 years. Brian received an associate’s degree from the University of Southern Maine and currently resides in Auburn.

Tiffany Richard, Business Solutions Consultant

The Rhode Island office of Complete Payroll Solutions has added Tiffany Richard to its team as a Business Solutions Consultant servicing clients in Northern Rhode Island. In this role, Tiffany consults with businesses to select and set up tailored solutions to their evolving workforce management needs and provides ongoing support to maximize their value. Previously, Tiffany worked at ADP for four years and at OneDigital Health and Benefits. She graduated from UMass Dartmouth. Tiffany is licensed in Life and Health for both Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

Brian Burlas, Business Solutions Consultant

Worcester resident Brian Burlas has joined Complete Payroll Solutions as a Business Solutions Consultant servicing clients in the southern Worcester County market. In this role, Brian provides consultative advice and effective solutions to clients’ workforce management needs. Before joining Complete Payroll Solutions, Brian worked for four years as a Sales Consultant at Paychex in Worcester, where he helped primarily small business owners by identifying the best solution for their needs, setting up payroll, and ensuring continued compliance. Born and raised in the Worcester area, Brian graduated from Assumption College.

Tammy Flasinski, Client Relations Specialist

Tammy Flasinski now works out of Complete Payroll Solutions’ Springfield, MA, location as a Client Relations Specialist. In this role, Tammy processes payroll and assists clients with any payroll-related issues. Previously, she worked for a company monitoring electronic data transfers. Tammy recently received her Microsoft Word 2016 Certification and is currently working on her Microsoft Excel 2016 Certification.

Casey Proulx, Client Relations Specialist

The Springfield office of Complete Payroll Solutions has added Casey Proulx as a Client Relations Specialist. In this role, he works collaboratively with clients to assist them with payroll processing and related issues. Before joining Complete Payroll Solutions, Casey worked for five years as a Customer Service Supervisor with Big Y Foods and in payroll at CheckWriters. He earned an associate’s degree in Chemistry from Holyoke Community College and has been FPC certified since October 2018.

With more and more employees seeking a greater work-life balance, many companies are offering increased flexibility. And one of the most common perks is telecommuting. In fact, more than two-thirds of organizations now offer some type of telecommuting benefit.

But to ensure the productivity of remote workers while protecting themselves against risk, an effective policy is critical. Read an article by Karyn Rhodes, VP/Director at Complete Payroll Solutions, in Cape & Plymouth Business on the best approaches to telecommuting to meet the needs of both employers and employees.

For assistance with workplace policies and procedures, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 401-332-9325.

Marijuana legalization across the US is increasing recreational and medical use of the drug. And in some workplaces, that’s having an impact on productivity and safety. To maintain an optimal working environment, many organizations are developing policies governing the use and possession of the drug, as well as impairment. In Workforce magazine, Complete Payroll Solutions VP/Director Karyn Rhodes shares five tips for employers on how to handle marijuana in the workplace while protecting employee rights. Read the article here.

For more information about marijuana at work, hear Karyn speak at Cannabiz on May 22 at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa, where she’ll be part of a panel on how the law impacts the workplace and practical next steps for employers. Get event information here.

Even though employees may pass by them daily without a second glance, workplace posters are essential to alerting workers of their rights and responsibilities under state and federal law. That’s why employers must hang specific notices in an area where all employees can read them – or risk steep fines and even lawsuits. See our list of required posters.

But with hundreds of mandatory poster changes across the country over the years, staying abreast of the latest versions can be confusing and time-consuming, especially when certain businesses, like federal contractors, healthcare providers, and restaurants, have additional notice obligations. Here are three easy ways to make sure you remain compliant.

  1. Use the Correct Wording. Labor posters require specific text in order to meet the posting requirements so be sure your notifications are exact. You can download and print the correct versions free from governmental agencies. Certain states may also ask employers to fill in information like emergency phone numbers or worker’s compensation policy information. And remember that some federal posters must also be in Spanish if a significant portion of workers are not English-speaking and certain state ones must be displayed in both languages.
  2. Post in a Conspicuous Place. Identify a prominent, highly-visible location to display the posters, such as a frequented place like a break room or cafeteria or bulletin board that contains important notices. If you have employees who work remotely or travel frequently, you can send them a set of posters or use a company intranet to show you’re making an effort to advise them of their rights.
  3. Hang the most updated versions. When mandatory labor law poster changes occur, be sure to hang the updated version by the effective date; you’ll typically have at least 30 days’ notice. You don’t need to alert workers to the changes but must simply display the most current version.

Want peace of mind? Consider a labor law poster service that monitors all laws and automatically provides you the latest versions when there are mandatory updates. Contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 401.332.9325 to find out more about our service.

Should You Go Gray?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the labor force participation rate is expected to increase fastest for the oldest segments of the population—most notably, people ages 65 to 74 and 75 and older—through 2024. With this changing composition of the workforce, should your company capitalize on the trend? Here are five reasons you may want to go gray.

  1. Experience Counts: Older workers have the benefit of experience. That means they can step into a role and immediately make an impact. With their maturity, you also won’t have to worry about them getting flustered when issues arise or need to micromanage their work.
  2. Flexibility: You may have specific needs that are hard to fill with younger workers but are just what a senior wants, like part-time roles that don’t come with benefits or night and weekend shifts.
  3. Renewed Commitment: Many seniors are looking for a career change later in life or a continued purpose after they retire. And that can be inspiring, opening up opportunities that keep these workers learning, engaged and productive.
  4. Leading by Example: This demographic has a long history in the workforce, giving them experience and confidence that only comes with time. As a result, older individuals make great mentors or informal leaders for younger workers – especially because they’ve honed their communication skills and diplomacy over the years.
  5. Stability Matters: For many older workers, dedication is paramount. They understand the importance of being loyal and committed and so you can expect them to have a strong work ethic and a laser focus. And, since they’re not as likely to be looking for the next best thing, a company can count on them to stick around.

In today’s tight labor market, don’t overlook this growing segment of the workforce. Download our guide for ways to attract workers aged 65 to 74.

Each year, legal and regulatory changes can impact everything from the amount of payroll taxes you have to pay and your withholding requirements to minimum wage and deductions for certain benefits—complicating an already challenging task. Here’s what you need to know to ensure correct calculations this year.

  • Minimum Wage: While the federal rate remains unchanged since 2009, many state and local rates are higher this year so be sure to check the laws where you do business. For a list of states with updated wage requirements, click here.
  • Social Security: In the fall of 2018, the Social Security Administration adjusted the wage base used to calculate the Social Security portion of payroll taxes. In 2019, that amount is now $132,900 so taxable wages up to that figure will be subject to the Social Security tax of 6.2%.
  • Medicare: The tax rate for Medicare taxes remains the same for this year as does the withholding for the additional Medicare tax on high earners.
  • Retirement Plans: The limits for qualified retirement plan salary reduction contributions have increased for 2019. Find the IRS cost-of-living adjustments here.
  • Unemployment Taxes: Employers are required to pay unemployment insurance on both a federal and state level. While the federal unemployment tax, known as FUTA, is still 6% assessed on the first $7,000 in wages, state rates are set each year in the fall with effective dates of January 1 so check your local requirements.
  • Transportation Benefits: For 2019, the maximum amount that employees can receive tax-free for transportation benefits is $265 a month.
  • HSAs: If you contribute to employees’ qualified Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), the amount that’s tax-free to employees and exempt from employment taxes for this year is $3,500 for individuals and $7,000 for families.

For more information about making sure your payroll is accurate, contact us at 866-658-8800.

In today’s dynamic regulatory environment, HR departments are expected to keep up with the latest requirements to ensure continued compliance. But with limited resources, staff, or expertise, it can be challenging to understand just what the IRS, DOL, OSHA, and other governmental bodies are asking of organizations, and how to supply it, putting you at risk of liability. That’s where an HR assessment can help.

An in-depth look at all of your policies and practices, an annual HR assessment can pinpoint what you’re doing well and also reveal areas for improvement. Whether you perform the audit in house or bring in outside experts for a more unbiased review, you’ll gain insight into your performance in areas such as:

  • Recruiting/hiring
  • Workplace handbooks and policies
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Safety and security
  • Employee relations
  • Discrimination
  • Discipline and separation
  • Record keeping and documentation

Once complete, you’ll receive the results of your audit, with the highest-priority areas indicated. From there, you can work with leadership to strategize on effective solutions and develop an action plan to address compliance “weak spots.” That way, you can proactively tackle the issues before they become unmanageable or result in penalties.

A comprehensive HR assessment will require a lot of documents and support from your company. But the investment will be far less than the cost of defending even one lawsuit. For an introduction on HR Assessment Basics, review our checklist. To learn about Complete Payroll Solutions’ HR assessment offering, contact us at 401.332.9325.

CPS saw more than 70% year-over-year revenue growth compared to a year ago, setting a record pace of new customer acquisitions. The momentum reflects the company’s deep investment in its people and processes to better serve clients, evidenced by several highlights from 2018:

  • Four location openings in White Plains, NY; West Warwick, RI; Portsmouth, NH; and Wakefield, MA.
  • 35 new employees across all offices.
  • An expanded sales force with 10 additional salespeople, providing enhanced resources in NH, MA, NY and CT.
  • A new HR consulting division that delivers local, personalized HR solutions to clients.
  • The addition of iSolved, an HCM technology, to complement its existing platform Kronos. Together, the solutions help clients with their workforce management processes, including payroll, time and attendance, benefits and HR, to recruit, onboard, and manage employees.
  • Partnerships with industry leaders like BankRI, Brookline Bank and First Ipswich Bank along with the company’s continued relationship with Webster Bank.


New Employees Drive Continued Success

Complete Payroll Solutions recently added several new team members to enhance our service to clients.

Matt O’Brien: Matt is a new Client Relations Specialist working out of Complete Payroll Solutions’ Springfield office. He held various positions in customer service, sales and internal help desk support with StubHub for the past six years. Matt graduated from Westfield State University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications.

Zehra Atiyah Sirkecioglu: Zehra recently joined Complete Payroll Solutions as a Benefits Account Specialist, assisting clients with designing packages that will attract and retain top talent. She brings extensive experience in customer service, marketing, finance and management to her new role. Zehra graduated with a BS in Marketing and Business Development and earned an MS in Communication and Information Management from Bay Path University.

Erin King: The Springfield office of Complete Payroll Solutions recently welcomed Erin as Operations Manager. Previously, Erin was a Senior Compliance Analyst at Valiant Inc., Operations Manager at Associated HCM Inc., and a Payroll Support Specialist at Paychex Inc., all in Long Island, New York. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in History from SUNY Brockport, and served in the US Army for seven years.

Diane Pepin: Diane is now a Time and Labor Management Implementation Specialist working out of Complete Payroll Solutions’ Auburn, MA, office, where she assists clients with onboarding, training, and service to optimize the integration of new time clocks and time and attendance systems and processes. Before joining CPS, Diane was a Time and Labor Management Implementation Specialist at ADP. She graduated from Nichols College and resides in Blackstone, MA.