The Payroll Report: Aug. 27 to Aug. 31


Here is a roundup of payroll issues covered in the past week:


The Labor Department’s proposed overtime rule is to be the topic of public sessions scheduled for five cities in September, the department said Aug. 27.

The department wants to hear the views and ideas of session participants on possible revisions to the regulations that implement executive, administrative, and professional exemptions from overtime-pay requirements, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, it said in a news release (18-1386-NAT). Registration is required for the sessions.

On Aug. 28, the department issued four opinion letters dealing with Fair Labor Standards Act wage and hour requirements. The letters address:

•the compensability of time spent attending employer-sponsored benefits fairs; 

•the retail or service establishment overtime exemption for workers at companies providing merchants with electronic-payment technology; 

•the volunteer status of nonprofit members serving as global credentialing examiners; and 

•the application of the movie theater overtime exemption to businesses that function as a theater and a restaurant. 

The letters were the first issued by the department’s Wage and Hour Division since April.

Additionally, the hourly minimum wage for many federal contractors is to increase to $10.60 from $10.35 on Jan. 1, 2019, the Labor Department said Aug. 31. The minimum hourly cash wage for tipped workers performing work in connection with covered contracts is to rise to $7.40 from $7.25.


Illinois employees are to be reimbursed for costs incurred that directly relate to their work under a measure signed Aug. 26 by Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).

The measure (S.B. 2999) requires that the cost must be within the scope of employment, authorized or required, and appropriate documentation must be provided. Employees must submit expenses with appropriate supporting documentation within 30 days of when the cost was incurred. If documentation does not exist, is missing, or is lost, employees must submit a signed statement regarding receipts.

Effective Jan. 1, 2019, Pennsylvania’s unemployment tax rates generally are unchanged from 2018, the state Department of Labor and Industry said Aug. 28 on its website. Total tax rates for experienced employers are to range from 2.3905 percent to 11.0333 percent, the standard tax rate for new employers is 3.690 percent, and the tax rate for employees is 0.06 percent.

Tennessee’s unemployment tax rate for new construction employers decreased to 5.5 percent from 6 percent for fiscal 2019, the state Department of Labor and Workforce Development said Aug. 29.

An initiative to add new Colorado income tax brackets for earners of high incomes was certified Aug. 9 by the state to appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. Colorado has a flat income tax rate of 4.63 percent. The measure would keep the 4.63 percent rate for annual incomes of up to $150,000. The measure would add tax brackets of 5 percent for annual income of more than $150,000 and up to $200,000; 6 percent for annual income of more than $200,000 and up to $300,000; 7 percent for annual income of more than $300,000 and up to $500,000; and 8.25 percent for annual income of more than $500,000.


The payroll tax for Crestview Hills, Ky., is to increase to 1.15 percent in 2019, from 1 percent, the city said on its website.

The village of Payne, Ohio, plans to impose a new income tax of 1 percent on those living in or earning income in the village, effective Sept. 1, 2018, the Regional Income Tax Agency said on its website.

San Francisco’s payroll-expense tax rate decreases to 0.380 percent in 2018, from 0.711 percent in 2017, the city controller said Aug. 30 in a letter to the city treasurer. The payroll-expense tax is paid by employers in four installments. For 2018, payments were due April 30, July 31, and Oct. 31. The fourth payment, due Feb. 28, 2019, will be at the 0.380 rate.

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