Connecticut recently joined several other states in enacting legislation to ban salary history questions in an effort to address the pay gap between men and women.

Under the law, which takes effect January 1, 2019, employers – or third parties they direct – will not be able to ask job applicants about their past wages and compensation during any part of the hiring process, although prospective employees may volunteer the information.

In addition, while companies can ask about other elements of an applicant’s past compensation structure, such as whether a previous employer offered stock options or other equity incentives, they can’t ask about the specific value of the benefits.

Prospective employees can bring a cause of action for violations of the law and seek compensatory damages, attorney’s fees and costs, punitive damages and other relief.

For information about how to help your hiring team comply with the new law’s requirements, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 866.658.8800.

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Complete Payroll Solutions is excited to announce several new additions to the company.

CPS Human Resources Outsourcing Division

Karyn Rhodes, Vice President/Director: Karyn brings more than 30 years of senior-level experience in human resources best practices to Complete Payroll Solutions, where she serves as Vice President/Director. She specializes in all areas of human resources, including strategic planning, employee and labor relations, recruiting, compliance, training and development, compensation and benefits, policies and procedures, organizational development, executive coaching, workforce planning, and affirmative action plans. Karyn has worked as an instructor for the Executive Development Center at Bryant University, served on the Board of Directors for RI SHRM, and was a member of the Board of Directors for NEBA (formerly SBANE). She holds a BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University, an advanced certification in Human Resource Management from Bryant University, and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources and SHRM-Senior Certified Professional.

Christopher Panell, Vice President: Christopher is a seasoned sales professional with a proven track record in assisting organizations grow, develop and effectively manage their workforces to achieve results. As Vice President at Complete Payroll Solutions, he offers guidance and solutions to mid- and large-size businesses on workforce issues, strategic employee engagement, and identifying and hiring top talent. Before joining Complete Payroll Solutions, Christopher was a sales executive with ADP, spearheaded the management development program at Guardian Life Insurance, and served as Regional Director of MassMutual Life Insurance Company. He began his career as a financial advisor with New York Life Insurance Company. Christopher earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Salem State University.

More Exciting Hires for Complete Payroll Solutions

Matt Davis, Business Solutions Consultant: In this role, Matt helps small- to mid-size businesses overcome the challenges of human capital management with innovative technology solutions and consultative expertise in benefits, HR and payroll. Matt has nearly two decades of industry experience. Prior to joining Complete Payroll Solutions, Matt held positions in sales at Paychex for 16 years, working with clients from small business owners to major market accounts. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island.

Christopher Gallivan, Business Solutions Consultant: Christopher is responsible for building and maintaining client relationships in and around the Hampshire and Franklin County areas by providing tailored systems and support to meet each company’s unique needs. Christopher has fifteen years of experience in the payroll industry, most recently serving as Outside Sales & Relationship Manager at Complete Payroll Solutions. Previously, he worked in customer service and sales at Paychex, where he provided implementation support, training and ongoing service to clients. Christopher is a graduate of Keene State College.

Mike Johnson, Regional Sales Manager: Mike joined Complete Payroll Solutions in April 2018 as Regional Sales Manager. In this role, Mike helps mid-size companies leverage Complete Payroll Solutions’ technology and expertise to transform and modernize their workplaces to position them to thrive in today’s challenging environment. Prior to Complete Payroll Solutions, Mike spent ten years in sales in the benefits, payroll and Human Resources industry with Paychex and Paylocity. He graduated from the University of Connecticut, where he majored in Business Administration.

Matt Santosuosso, Sales Engineer: In this role, Matt supports the sales team by providing technical assistance, demos and training, and system integration to optimize solutions for current and prospective clients. Matt has 15 years of experience in human capital management sales and operations. Prior to joining Complete Payroll Solutions in April, Matt served as a District Sales Manager for Proliant, selling the company’s solutions into major markets. Previously, he worked at Paychex, where he held a variety of positions, including Major Account Manager and Sales Consultant to mid- and large-size organizations. Matt earned an associate’s degree from ITT Technical Institute, where he majored in computer network systems.

Interested in joining our team? Check out our current openings.

A recent IRS announcement includes information for employers and taxpayers about changes stemming from the new tax law that affect some job-related deductions. Specifically, the announcement addresses deductions for:

Move-Related Vehicle Expenses: The IRS has suspended the deduction for moving expenses for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026. During this time, employees will not be allowed to take a deduction for use of an automobile as part of a move using the mileage rate in Notice 2018-03. The one exception to this suspension is for service people on active duty moving as a result of a permanent change of station.

Un-Reimbursed Employee Expenses: As a result of the new tax law, all miscellaneous itemized deductions subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor are also suspended for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017, and before January 1, 2026, such as unreimbursed employee expenses for:

  • Uniforms
  • Union dues
  • Business-related meals, entertainment and travel

Mileage Rates for 2018: Per Notice 2018-03, the standard mileage rates for a car, van, pickup or panel truck for 2018 are:

  • 54.5 cents for every mile of business travel driven
  • 18 cents per mile driven for medical purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Instead of the standard mileage rates, taxpayers can opt to calculate the actual costs of using their vehicle.

For more information about these job-related deduction changes, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 866.658.8800.

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We’re excited to announce our new partnership with Brookline Bank to provide cost-effective payroll, compliance and integrated human resource solutions for its business banking customers.

“A business with five employees has vastly different needs than one with 500. With Complete Payroll Solutions as our provider, Brookline Bank can deliver a range of scalable payroll solutions that offer customers greater efficiencies and affordability,” said Darryl Fess, President and CEO of Brookline Bank. “Ultimately, this is about making banking easier for business customers and helping them grow.”

Our services ensure that customers are compliant with ever-changing federal, state, and local regulations. In addition to payroll, we can offer optional human resources tools including employee handbook creation and health and benefits administration services.

Other services CPS can provide to Brookline Bank customers include:

  • Payroll, direct deposit and multi-state tax filing
  • Employee Self-Service Portal for pay stubs, W-2/1099s, pay history, etc.
  • Automated text alerts for management and employees
  • Secure document storage library for employer and employee records
  • Optional new employee onboarding, expense reporting, time and attendance
  • Ongoing customer support from industry-certified, payroll professionals
  • HR Support Center that serves as a resource for numerous HR-related issues
  • Health and benefits administration

Customers can learn more about these new services at the Brookline Bank Payroll Services web page,

Simplify Your Payroll Process

Under the ACA employer mandate, applicable large employers are required to provide affordable coverage that provides minimum value to full-time employees and their dependents. To determine affordability, every year, the IRS reviews the cost-sharing limits for group health plans and adjusts them for inflation. And for 2019, the shared responsibility affordability percentage, meaning the maximum amount employees can be required to pay for monthly premiums based on the least expensive health plan offered, went up.

In 2019, the lowest cost self-only option must not exceed 9.86 percent of an employee’s household income, which increased from 9.56 percent in 2018. Employers who don’t know their employees’ household income and choose to use one of the three affordability safe harbors – Form W-2, rate of pay or federal poverty line – should use this new limit when assessing whether the safe harbor has been satisfied.

If you’re a large employer, be sure to consider the new threshold amount when setting cost-sharing amounts for next year and offer at least one plan that meets the requirements. Otherwise, you risk penalties for failing to meet the ACA affordability threshold. And they’re steep: $3,480 annually per employee in 2018, with the penalty yet to be set for next year.

For information about your group health plan coverage for next year, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 877.253.9020.

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Vermont is the latest state to enact legislation banning employers from asking job candidates about their salary history or seeking information about their past compensation.

The law, which takes effect July 1, contains two other prohibitions as well:

  • If an employer learns of a candidate’s salary history, they may not use the information to decide whether to interview the prospective candidate.
  • Companies may not require a prospective employee’s prior pay meet a minimum or maximum criteria.

Under the law, employers may still ask about a candidate’s salary expectations or requirements. And if a prospective employee shares their current or past compensation voluntarily, an employer can seek to confirm the information after they make an offer of employment.

For information about how to help your hiring team comply with the new law’s requirements, contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 866.658.8800.

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Failure to maintain a Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), for all your workers can be a very serious offense that may result in substantial civil or criminal penalties.

U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE) recently announced that the number of worksite enforcement investigations has already doubled for this year compared to all of the last full fiscal year, with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiating 2,282 I-9 audits from just October 1, 2017 through May 4.

HSI says its stepped-up enforcement strategy is designed to encourage compliance with the Immigration Reform and Control Act, which requires employers to verify the identity and work eligibility of everyone they hire and document the information on Form I-9. And the pace of investigations is likely to continue.

Be Prepared for an I-9 Audit

The first step in the audit process is a notice of inspection. If you’ve received a notice – or even if you haven’t – now’s a good time to get your hiring records in order to ensure you’re complying with the law. If not? Violations can result in criminal and civil penalties ranging from $375 to $16,000 per violation.

Download the Quick Tips Sheet

I-9 Quick Tips

Here are five steps to help employers avoid mistakes with I-9 compliance.

  1. Read and refer to the Handbook for Employers (M-274). The M-274 is published by USCIS to help employers better understand the purpose of the I-9. The I-9 can be surprisingly confusing. The handbook should answer many of your questions about compliance.
  2. Store your I-9 forms safely. It is best to keep your I-9 forms in one place — separate from other personnel files — so that sensitive information will not be unnecessarily revealed during an audit.
  3. Perform internal audits regularly. An internal audit is the best way to detect and correct errors. It may also demonstrate a good faith effort that could spare you serious penalties in the event of a government audit.
  4. Avoid employment practices that are considered discriminatory. Employees must be treated equally regardless of citizenship or immigration status, national origin, or native language. Many well-intentioned actions can be considered discriminatory; for example, employers may not ask to see work authorization documents before hiring on the grounds that someone seems foreign or is not an American citizen.
  5. When in doubt, consult a professional. When it comes to I-9s, an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure. Consulting a professional could spare you hefty fines or even jail time.

To help you stay in compliance, we’ve compiled the above tips into a downloadable sheet for you and your team. Click here to download for free! And if you have any questions about I-9 compliance, please contact us at 866.658.8800.

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With enactment of the Healthy and Safe Families and Workplaces Act, Rhode Island employers with 18 or more employees—except for governments—will have to comply with new paid sick and safe leave provisions starting July 1.

The provisions are designed to allow workers to take time off in order to focus on their health care or the care of their families. Covered purposes include:

  • Mental or physical illnesses, injuries or conditions
  • Diagnosis and treatment
  • Preventive care
  • Leave related to domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking
  • Public health emergencies that result in closure of the employee’s workplace or their child’s school or day care
  • Exposure to a communicable disease

Final regulations issued by the Department of Labor and Training provide details on application of the new law.

Covered Employees

To determine if they need to comply with the new requirements, Rhode Island employers must count the number of employees on an annual basis to establish whether they maintained an average of 18 or more in Rhode Island during the previous payroll year’s highest two employment quarters.

An employee is considered employed in Rhode Island if their primary place of employment within the past 12 months was Rhode Island, regardless of their employer’s location.

Leave Accrual

Under the law, employees—even if they’re just part-time workers—must be allowed to accrue one hour of paid leave for every 35 hours they work. This accrual is based on hours paid, not worked, so they can earn time on a holiday or while on vacation.

The requirements will be phased in, increasing over the next three years as follows:

  • 2018: employers must provide up to 24 hours of leave
  • 2019: employers must provide up to 32 hours of leave
  • 2020: employers must provide up to 40 hours of leave


Rhode Island employers can provide a monthly lump sum of leave based on an employee’s average hours, and can front load leave at the beginning of the year to alleviate the administrative burden of tracking.

When it comes to use of the leave, the regulations include some guidelines:

  • Employers can impose a 90-day waiting period for new employees, as long as the requirement is documented in a policy.
  • When an employee’s absence is foreseeable, meaning planned at least 24 hours before it’s needed, the employee must provide notice in a reasonable timeframe. When leave is unforeseeable, the employer’s notice policies must be reasonable.
  • If an employee is out of work on sick leave for three or more consecutive days, the employer can request medical documentation.
  • Employers are not required to pay out accrued, unused sick time at separation of employment.


Employers who violate the law’s provisions will be fined $100 for a first offense and $100 to $500 for subsequent offenses. To comply, be sure to review your current sick time or PTO policies. Those employers who already provide the minimum time required under the law are exempt from its accrual, carryover and use provisions.

If you don’t have a policy in place, it’s time to create one that complies with the law. And be sure to communicate the updates in your handbook.

For more information, contact Karyn Rhodes at 401-332-9325 or by email at

HR Outsourcing for Every Budget

According to a CareerBuilder survey, 75 percent of employers have hired the wrong person. Unfortunately, the impact of a bad hire on the business can be far and wide, including:

  • Loss of morale among employees
  • Additional supervision required
  • Lost productivity and revenue
  • Impacted client relationships

And the real financial cost of all of these affects? CareerBuilder says it’s approximately $17,000 on average in just one year.

What Is a Bad Hire?

It may not take long for a company to realize they’ve onboarded the wrong person. While many factors contribute to an employee being labeled a bad hire, some of the most common signs include:

  • A bad attitude
  • Qualifications that aren’t suited for the job
  • Inability to work with coworkers
  • Poor quality work
  • Absenteeism
  • Personality mismatch

Improve Your Recruitment Process

If you’re planning to bring on more employees, hiring talent that fits with your organization can be a challenge. To make your decisions, you’ll need to go beyond a candidate’s resume today. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll avoid a poor fit, several steps can help reduce your chances, including:

  • Clearly define the job’s role and responsibilities
  • Set realistic expectations
  • Vet adequately
  • Trust your gut

To prevent the wrong person from impacting your bottom line, learn the top 10 hiring mistakes to avoid.

See the Top Ten Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

The MA Department of Unemployment Assistance (DUA) has announced immediate adoption of a change to the Employer Medical Assistance Contribution (EMAC) supplement regulations to modify the tax treatment of employees under age 18.

The EMAC supplement is a tax on employers with six or more employees whose nondisabled workers receive health insurance coverage from MassHealth (excluding the premium assistance program) or subsidized coverage through the MA Health Connector for more than eight weeks. Originally, under the regulations that went into effect on January 1, 2018, employers were assessed the supplement on all nondisabled employees, including minors.

To prevent unintended consequences of the regulations, however, now those who have not attained the age of 18 will be excluded from the assessment.

If you have any questions regarding the EMAC supplement liability, please contact Complete Payroll Solutions at 866.658.8800.

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