Consider WARN Act Legalities If You Need to Lay Off Employees   Protection against the harshness of sudden job loss was the purpose of a law passed back in 1988. The Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act was adopted to help employees prepare to find new jobs — particularly if some training is needed to expand their employment opportunities — when their employer is for...

There's been bipartisan activity in Congress to expand the existing scope of protection from adverse employment actions against pregnant workers. That protection is embodied in the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) — a law that has been on the books since 1978. While it's unclear today whether the proposed "Pregnant Workers Fairness Act" (HR 2694) will become law this year, knowing where its supp...

  The subject of payroll has been top-of-mind for business owners this year. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered economic changes that caused considerable fluctuations in the size of many companies’ workforces. Employees have been laid off, furloughed and, in some cases, rehired. There has also been crisis relief for eligible businesses in the form of the Paycheck Protection Program and the pa...

  October 15 is the deadline for individual taxpayers who extended their 2019 tax returns. (The original April 15 filing deadline was extended this year to July 15 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) If you’re finally done filing last year’s return, you might wonder: Which tax records can you toss once you’re done? Now is a good time to go through old tax records and see what you can discard. ...

  If your small business is planning for payroll next year, be aware that the “Social Security wage base” is increasing. The Social Security Administration recently announced that the maximum earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase from $137,700 in 2020 to $142,800 in 2021. For 2021, the FICA tax rate for both employers and employees is 7.65% (6.2% for Social Security a...

  When encountering the phrase “employee with a disability,” you might immediately envision a person with an obvious physical impairment. Even the internationally used symbol for accessible areas is a human being in a wheelchair. However, many disabilities aren’t so apparent. Conditions such as Crohn’s disease, diabetes and fibromyalgia — as well as mental health diagnoses such as bipol...

  In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, federal agencies have extended certain claims and appeals periods for employee pension benefits plans subject to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). The relief also applies to qualifying group health plans, as well as eligible disability plans and other employee welfare benefit plans. The extension permits the “outbreak period” — ...

  IRS audit rates are historically low, according to the latest data, but that’s little consolation if your return is among those selected to be examined. But with proper preparation and planning, you should fare well. In fiscal year 2019, the IRS audited approximately 0.4% of individuals. Businesses, large corporations and high-income individuals are more likely to be audited but, over...

  Whether it’s a smart phone, tablet or laptop, mobile devices have become the constant companions of today’s employees. And this relationship has only been further cemented by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has thousands working from home or other remote locations. From a productivity standpoint, this is a good thing. So many tasks that once kept employees tied to their desks are now doa...

  As a result of the current estate tax exemption amount ($11.58 million in 2020), many estates no longer need to be concerned with federal estate tax. Before 2011, a much smaller amount resulted in estate plans attempting to avoid it. Now, because many estates won’t be subject to estate tax, more planning can be devoted to saving income taxes for your heirs. While saving both income an...