The Payroll Report: Week of Nov. 6


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

Federal:

This week, on Nov. 7, the House passed a bill to clarify what constitutes a joint employer under federal law.

The bill, Save Local Business Act (H.R. 3441), would reverse the National Labor Relations Board’s ruling on Browning-Ferris Industries of California Inc. (362 NLRB No. 186, 2015).  Companies with indirect control over contractors, franchisees, or staffing-agency workers may be considered a joint employer of such workers for liability and bargaining purposes under federal labor law, the NLRB said.

The measure, which passed the House by a vote of 242-to-181, advances to the Senate for consideration.

State

Four states released unemployment tax data for 2018 this week.

The Ohio unemployment tax rates for experienced employers are to range from 0.3 percent to 9 percent in 2018, the state Department of Job and Family Services said Nov. 6.

For 2018, the standard tax rate for new employers is to be 2.7 percent, the rate for new construction employers is to be 6 percent, and the rate for delinquent employers is to be 11.3 percent.

Employers are to file unemployment tax and wage reports electronically starting Jan. 1, 2018, the department said.

Minnesota unemployment tax data for 2018, released Nov. 6, is to be largely unchanged from 2017. The unemployment-taxable wage base remains $32,000 and tax rates for experience-rated employers are to continue to range from 0.2 percent to 9.1 percent.

However, starting with 2018, new employers are to be assigned rates based on industry categories. The new employer tax rates may be published later this month, a spokesman for the state Department of Employment and Development told Bloomberg Tax.

The Louisiana 2018 tax rates for experienced employers are to range from 0.1 percent to 2.08 percent for positive-rated employers, and from 2.12 percent to 6.2 percent for negative-rated employers.

For 2018, unemployment tax rates for new employers that become liable for unemployment taxes in 2018 range from 1.21 percent to 3.02 percent, and the rate for unclassified new employers is to be 6.2 percent.

The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation announced the end of the quarterly bond assessment, effective starting with the fourth quarter of 2017. The assessment helped the state repay bonds issued to repay its loan balance from the federal unemployment account.

Local 

The New York City paid sick time law now also provides paid time for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and trafficking, under a measure signed Nov. 6 by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).

The measure (Intro. 1313-A), which takes effect May 5, 2018, preserves the amount of paid sick leave that may be taken, at least 40 hours in a year. The paid “safe” time may be used by those affected by domestic and sexual violence and their family members to plan their immediate next steps and focus on their safety.

Two localities raised minimum wages this week.

The hourly minimum wage in Las Cruces, N.M., is to rise on Jan. 1, 2018, to $9.45, and $3.78 for tipped workers.

The minimum wage in Montgomery County, Md., is to rise to $15. Large employers have until July 1, 2022, to adopt the higher minimum wage and small employers have until July 1, 2024, to adopt the minimum wage increase.

JAZLYN WILLIAMS

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