American Payroll Association (APA) Basic Guide to Payroll, 2013 Edition
It's more important than ever to be in compliance with payroll laws and regulations! How do you stay in compliance and avoid penalties? The APA Basic Guide to Payroll is written to make understanding the laws and regulations as easy as possible. And this single-volume guide is filled with tools to help you apply the law and make proper calculations – with ease!
Iowa.—Weekly benefit amounts. For the year beginning July 1, 2012, the maximum weekly benefit amounts are $396 for an individual with no dependents, $411 for an individual with one dependent, $426 for an individual with two dependents, $449 for an individual with three dependents, and $486 for an individual with four or more dependents. The minimum weekly benefit amounts are $59, $61, $64, $68, and $71, respectively. (IWD Communication.)
Oklahoma.—Law amended. Oklahoma has amended its Employment Security Act as follows:
Registration. The law now requires an individual to register for work within seven days of filing his or her initial claim for unemployment benefits. The Commission may waive this requirement for individuals in areas not served by an Internet service however.
Wage requirement. Under prior law, an individual was eligible for benefits if during the base period he or she had base period wages equal to or more than the annual amount of taxable wages that applied to any calendar year in which the claim for benefits was filed. The new language provides that an individual is eligible for benefits if he or she has been paid total wages equal to that amount and if he or she was paid taxable wages of any amount.
Refusal to undergo drug/alcohol testing. New language has been added providing that in any challenge to a positive drug or alcohol test, the claimant has the burden to prove a breach in the chain of custody. The employer must provide the chain of custody documentation at the claimant’s request. If the claimant fails to request a confirmation test, he or she will not be eligible for benefits. The written report of the drug or alcohol test results is acceptable as evidence with a properly documented chain of custody.
Notice, generally. The law now provides that if an employer elects to be notified by electronic means, notice is deemed given when the Commission transmits the notification by electronic means.
Notice of determination. A notice of determination can now be made by electronic means if the claimant elects this form of notification. If an employer elects to be notified by electronic means, notice is deemed given when the Commission transmits the notification by electronic means.
Overpayments. An individual who receives a fraud overpayment is now liable for a penalty of 25% of the amount of the original overpayment and interest at the rate of one per cent per month. Three-fifths of the penalty will be deposited in the Unemployment Trust Fund and the remaining amount will be deposited in the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission Revolving Fund.
Contributions. An employer can be notified of its contribution rate by electronic means if it haselected to be notified by such method. In such cases, the employer can appeal the rate notice within 20 days after the date of transmission by electronic means.
Benefit charges. A base period employer, who has elected to be notified by electronic means, can now receive notice after a claimant is issued his or her fifth week of benefits. In those cases, notice is deemed given when the Commission transmits the notification by electronic means.
Tax debtor levy. This new section provides that if a tax debtor fails to pay his or her indebtedness after receiving notice of the amount due and a demand for payment, the Commission may collect the amount owed by levy upon any of the debtor’s earnings or contract proceeds.
Veteran service awards. This new section was added to encourage the improvement of employment, training, and placement services for veterans, and to recognize local offices, divisions, or units of the Commission for excellence in the provision of services to veterans.
Disclosure of confidential information. The Commission may now disclose information to employees of the Metropolitan Planning Organization information required for use in federally mandated regional transportation planning. The law also provides that information may be released to employees of the Office of Juvenile Affairs for use in assessing results and outcomes of clients served as well as the effectiveness of state and local juvenile justice programs, under certain circumstances.
Other penalties. The law now notes that other penalties for violating the Act are provided in the Fraud Overpayment Penalty section.
Wisconsin. Law amended. Wisconsin has amended its Unemployment Insurance and Reserves Act, as follows:
Waiver. The law now provides that the requirement to conduct a reasonable search for suitable work may be waived. In addition, a claimant is ineligible to receive benefits for any week for which there is a determination that he or she failed to conduct a reasonable search for suitable work and the Department has not waived the search requirement. If the Department has paid benefits to a claimant for any such week, it may recover the overpayment.
Partial unemployment. A claimant will be ineligible to receive any benefits for a week in which one or more of the following applies to that claimant for 32 or more hours in that week: The claimant performs work or has wages as defined under the law; or the claimant receives holiday pay, vacation pay, termination pay, or sick pay under circumstances satisfying the requirements of the law for treatment as wages in that week. Moreover, a claimant will be ineligible to receive any benefits for a week if he or she receives from one or more employers: Wages of more than $500 earned for work performed in that week; or sick pay, holiday pay, vacation pay, or termination pay which, by itself or in combination with wages earned for work performed in that week, is equivalent to more than $500. In addition, a claimant will be ineligible to receive benefits for any week in which he or she conceals wages.
Determination of employer. Except as provided for a temporary help company, a professional employer organization, a corporation that pays wages to an employee who is concurrently employed by that corporation and one or more related corporations, and a provider of home health care and personal care services for medical assistance recipients, the Department will determine which of the employing units is the employer of the employee by considering the following: (a) An employing unit’s right by contract and in fact to: (1) determine a prospective employee’s qualifications to perform the services in question and to hire or discharge the employee; (2) determine the details of the employee’s pay including the amount of, method of, and frequency of changes in that pay; (3) train the employee and exercise direction and control over the performance of services by the employee and when and how they are to be performed; (4) impose discipline upon the employee for rule or policy infractions or unsatisfactory performance; (5) remove the employee from one job or assign the employee to a different job; (6) require oral or written reports from the employee; (7) evaluate the quantity and quality of the services provided by the employee; (8) assign a substitute employee to perform the services of an employee if the employee is unavailable for work or is terminated from work; and (9) assign alternative work to the employee if the employee is removed from a particular job. In addition, the Department will determine which employing unit: (1) benefits directly or indirectly from the services performed by the employee; (2) maintains a pool of workers who are available to perform the services in question; and (3) is responsible for employee compliance with applicable regulatory laws and for enforcement of such compliance.
A provider of home health care and personal care services for medical assistance recipients may elect to be the employer of one or more workers providing those services. As a condition of eligibility for election, the provider must notify in writing the recipient of any such services of its election, for purposes of the unemployment insurance law, to be the employer of any worker providing such services to the recipient, and must be treated as the employer by the IRS for purposes of federal unemployment taxes on the worker’s services.
Balancing account. The amount of any overpayments that are recovered by the Department by setoff or the amount of any overpayments resulting from fraud or failure to report earnings that are recovered by the Department by offset will be credited to the balancing account. Also credited to the balancing account are any amounts transferred to said account from the unemployment interest payment fund.
Contributions to repay federal interest. Each employer will pay an assessment to the unemployment interest payment fund at a rate established by the Department sufficient to pay interest due on advances from the federal unemployment account under Title XII of the Social Security Act. The amount of any employer’s assessment will be the product of the rate established for that employer multiplied by the employer’s payroll from the previous calendar year as taken from quarterly employment and wage reports or, in the absence of such reports, estimates made by the Department. Each assessment made is due 30 days after the date notice of the assessment is mailed by the Department. If the amounts collected are in excess of the amount needed to pay the interest due, the Department will use any excess to pay interest owed in subsequent years on advances from the federal unemployment account. If the Department determines that additional interest obligations are unlikely, it will transfer the excess to the balancing account of the fund.
Nonlapsible trust fund. There is created a separate, nonlapsible trust fund designated as the unemployment interest payment fund.
Unemployment program integrity fund. There is created a separate, nonlapsible trust fund designated as the unemployment program integrity fund. The Department will use the money in this fund for payment of costs associated with program integrity activities.
Note that this provision is set to be repealed January 1, 2014.
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