Month: January 2015

Boxed in by Box 12 on the W-2

Another update from the HR jungle….
image013Maryann handles payroll questions for her employer. She and her coworkers have been scrambling for a couple of years to ensure they comply with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Last year was all about finding a software program that would allow the company to track the hours of its temporary employees.

This year, Maryann is looking at box 12 on the W-2. That’s the box where employers need to plug in the cost of the medical plan for the employee. Filling in this information is mandatory only for employers who filed at least 250 W-2’s in the previous tax year, meaning in 2013. Maryann’s company filed 170 W-2’s in 2013, so they aren’t required to complete box 12 for the 2014 tax year.

She knows that this January her company will issue 200 W-2’s covering the 2014 tax year. She thinks that number will rise to 250 during 2015. Maryann wants to get a head start on figuring out box 12 after some of the past fiascos in trying to comply with the ACA.

What should Maryann consider?

  1. Maryann knows that the “cost” or “value” of health coverage refers to the premium paid for medical coverage in the health plan, known as “major medical”. She needs to verify what other costs, such as FSA contributions and dental and vision premiums, may need to be included.
  2. Maryann can consult her company’s CPA firm for assistance on completing box 12.
  3. Maryann can do some research in the ACA section of the IRS website during her spare time.

Need help with HR issues? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff when the policies are implemented.

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And Now…The New Year’s Resolutions.

image006Another update from the HR jungle….

Last year, while on her Christmas cruise, Sue, the HR director developed a brilliant plan to do something for her company and something for herself.

Her company has grown rapidly in the past two years and will grow even faster as the economy continues to improve. To continue growing smoothly, Sue knows that the company’s HR policies and procedures must also grow to ensure the company complies with applicable labor and employment laws. As the number of employees increases, so does the number of laws that apply to the company.

Sue also thinks about what she wants for herself. She decided to enroll at a local community college to obtain a 2-year degree in human resources administration. This degree will give her a theoretical framework for her on-the-job knowledge and it will validate what she has learned on the job. The degree will also enhance her chances of being promoted to more responsibility as the company grows.

Steps to Success

What steps can Sue take to reach these goals?

1. Sue must create a list of the HR policies that need to be updated. Then she must create a budget calculating the estimated time and cost required to complete the updates based on her prior experience updating individual policies. She also needs to prioritize the order of the updates in case her boss decides to delay some due to budgetary constraints (i.e., lack of money).
2. Sue needs to gather information from the community college website about enrollment deadlines and tuition costs. The class schedules are designed for working adults, so the hard part will be setting aside time to study while working full time. Sue also needs to speak with a faculty advisor to see if she can get class credit for some of her real world experience. Credit for real world experience may allow her to get a degree in less than 2 year saving her time and money.

Need help with HR issues? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff when the policies are implemented.

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Time & Money

Another update from the HR jungle….

image007

Back in December, Sue, the HR director, decided she needed to review the employee handbook to ensure that all the information is still accurate. Now that her rum hangover from her cruise is gone, she’s focusing on this project.

Sue revised individual sections of the employee handbook over the past two years as the laws changed. For example, she changed the definition of employees eligible for health insurance. Under the old criteria, employees had to work at least 32 hours a week to be eligible. But under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), employees who average 30 hours per week are eligible for health coverage.

Of course, this piecemeal approach means that she may have missed something. She also knows that her company added employees since the handbook was last updated and she thinks that the increased number of employees means that additional employment laws now apply to the company. As she surveys the scope of the project, Sue worries about how she’ll manage to review and update the handbook while still keeping up with her regular duties.

What are Sue’s options?

  1. She can research federal and state government websites to collect information about employment laws and regulations that apply to employers with the number of employees that her company has.
  2. She can attend a seminar for HR professionals to learn about recent changes to federal and state employment laws, although the update won’t include existing laws that haven’t been revised and that may apply to her company.
  3. She can convince her employer that it is a better use of her time and their money to outsource this project to a subject matter expert.

Need help with HR issues? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff when the policies are implemented.

Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

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Can a Screw Up be Fixed?

Another update from the HR jungle….

mistakeBob recently bought a business that has one small retail location. He spent weeks fixing up the store to make it more visually appealing. He also researched the store’s records to identify former customers and then contacted them to introduce himself as the new owner.

While he will sell products to anyone with money, he really wants to build sales to other businesses since that will generate more revenue in the long run. So when he’s not behind the counter, he’s at a business networking event. Since he can’t afford to hire an assistant yet, a retired friend babysits the store while he’s at an event or running errands.

Two weeks ago, Bob invited another business owner that he met at one of the B2B networking groups to stop by the store so they could get better acquainted. Today, the other business owner showed up at the appointed time and was greeted by Bob’s friend. When Bob returned to the store hours later he realized he’d screwed up; he forgot the appointment.

What options are available to Bob?

  1. He can wait for the other guy to contact him, but that’s not really fair since Bob’s the one who forgot the appointment.
  2. He can ignore the screw up leaving a bad first impression on the other business owner who may think all sorts of evil thoughts about Bob’s business acumen.
  3. He can immediately call the other business owner, apologize for screwing up, and ask if it’s possible to reschedule the appointment.

What does this sort of screw up have to do with HR? Imagine how Bob’s employees (when he can afford to hire them) will feel if he blows off obligations that are important to them while holding them to a high standard of performance.

Need help with HR issues? Corporate Compliance Risk Advisor can help you create HR policies that are appropriate for your company’s size and then serve as a resource to your staff when the policies are implemented.

Join the HR Compliance Jungle today. Click here!

Follow us on Facebook & Twitter!

Visit us: http://www.complianceriskadvisor.com/