New form available: HIRE Act Tax Credit Form

Are you hiring again? Because if you are hiring previously unemployed workers, you may be eligible for two tax benefits. If only you had the proper form to cash in on those recent hires.

Well, wish no more! You can now access the IRS’s payroll tax credit form by clicking here.

For additional information on the HIRE Act (such as the always important “who is eligible?”), read the IRS’s release “Two New Tax Benefits Aid Employers Who Hire and Retain Unemployed Workers” which is available by clicking here.

You can also check out the answers to some frequently asked questions about this tax benefit by clicking here.


Got a question on health care reform?

ACCR is in the process of putting together a plain-English guide to help you understand the new health care reform act. There is so much to know and with fines and penalties at every turn, we know you are depending on us to provide you with answers. A goal for the new guide is to have more question-and-answer sections. So instead of “Share Your Experience,” this week we want to know:

Q: What question(s) do you have on the new health care reform?

Feel free to be as specific or as general as you want. If you have the question, I bet a bucket of marbles someone else is wondering the same thing. Help us create the ultimate guide and get the answers you’re looking for!

You can submit a question by posting a comment below. (No sign in is required. You can even feel free to stay anonymous!)

Yar! Off the starboard bow! It be labor law changes!

Remember on America’s Funniest Home Videos when they’d string together a series of clips of unsuspecting people getting scared by their friends popping out of strange places? I have a new respect for the victims in these videos because sometimes I scream in fright when these surprise labor laws pop up!

Workforce.com has a great article called “Seven New Labor Law Proposals to Keep an Eye On” that outlines our seven most likely attackers. It briefly overviews the laws, who they cover, and how close they are to being passed into law. You’ll want to be on the look out for:

  • Healthy Families Act – would require employers to provide paid (yes, paid!) sick leave to employees who work more than 30 hours per week
  • Paycheck Fairness Act – would put greater responsibility on the employer to justify any pay difference between men and women doing the same work
  • Family Leave Insurance Act – would extend FMLA leave to employees who need to care for an ill domestsic partner (or the domestic partner’s child)
  • FOREWARN Act – would increase the WARN notice requirements from 60 days to 90 days

Don’t be scared. Be prepared! To read the article, click here.

(If you’re more interested in seeing videos of people getting scared on AFV – set to Frank Sinatra’s “I Get a Kick Out of You” – click here.)


Health care reform: a to do list for 2010

Is your head hurting trying to wrap you brain around the health care reform? Then let “Health Care Reform: The Eight Steps for Employers Now” be your ibuprofen. This article, by our partners at Barran Liebman, is a simple guide to what you need to do today to get in compliance with the health care laws – not what you need to do three years from now.

Here are the first four steps listed in the article:

  1. Assemble and review plan documents
  2. Identify impacted plans
  3. Understand requirements for 2010-11 plan year
  4. Prepare for notice requirements

To get scoop on how to execute these four steps (plus access the remaining four), click here.


10 Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make

Small businesses are the backbone of this country. The nation’s 17 million small, non-farm businesses constituted 99.7% of all employers, employed 52% of private workforce and accounted for 51% of the nation’s sales. But many small businesses don’t know which laws (if any) apply to them. That’s why, in celebration of Small Business Week, ACCR has written “10 Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make.” Click here to read the article.

New legislation for misclassifying employees?

If you’ve been following HRidiot at all, you know we’ve been hot on employee classification. How can you not be when the government sets aside $25 million for the Department of Labor to hire 90 investigators and 10 lawyers? And with the senators proposing new bills like the Employee Misclassification Prevention Act (EMPA) that would impose all sorts of additional restrictions on employers?

The attorneys at Pepper Hamilton LLP have put together a comprehensive article on independent contractor misclassification that will help you get up to date on what the legal landscape looks like for employers using independent contractors, how the government is finding violators, and some tips to help minimize risks. To read “Independent Contractor Misclassification: How Companies Can Minimize the Risks,” click here.

If you need a refresher course on the differences between employees and independent contractors, click here for the Independent contractors chapter from our Human Resources Manual.


FREE OSHA webinar from Fisher & Phillips LLP

It seems like all our old friends are turning against us these days. Et tu, Occupational Safety and Health Administration?

In days past, OSHA’s approach to enforcement was cooperative efforts with employers, but our partners at Fisher & Phillips are warning us that significant changes to OSHA are on the way, and we’ve got to be prepared for more aggressive enforcement. To help us get in the know, they have scheduled a FREE webinar on June 2 and 23rd that will cover:

  • New enforcement-focused OSHA and Congressional changes coming in the near future
  • The essential elements of OSHA compliance and an effective workplace safety and health program
  • How safety compliance can be a “profit center” and not an administrative cost

The webinar will hosted by the co-chairs of the Workplace Safety and Catastrophe Management Practice Group at Fisher & Phillips LLP. Did I mention it’s free?

To learn more about the webinar and register, read “Thirteen Strategies To Improve Workplace Safety, Reduce OSHA Exposure and Improve Profitability” by clicking here.