VEVRAA New Benchmark Effective 3/31/19

The Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act (VEVRAA), has updated its hiring benchmark to 5.9% effective 3/31/19.

The benchmarking percentage chart is updated annually to be used by contractors who choose to set a VEVRAA hiring benchmark using the national percentage of veterans in the civilian labor force. Previously it was at 6.4%. http://bit.ly/vevraa

Please contact your HR Representative if you have any questions regarding this announcement at 703-444-0096. Further details and updates can also be found at the DOL website. http://bit.ly/c2032819

Reimbursements for Qualified Moving Expenses

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the exclusion of qualified moving expense reimbursements from gross income and wages effective January 1, 2018.

Qualified moving expenses are defined as any amount received directly or indirectly from an employer as payment (or reimbursement of) expenses which would be deductible as moving expenses under Section 217, if directly paid or incurred by the employee. Previously, qualified moving expenses were excluded from an employee’s gross income for income tax purposes, and were excluded from wages for employment tax purposes.

More information on Section 217 can be found at http://bit.ly/2scqXYH

DOL Intern & Student Employee Eligibility Test

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has rejected the previous six-part test for determining whether interns and students are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Going forward, the DOL will use the “primary beneficiary” test to determine whether interns are employees under the FLSA.

The “primary beneficiary” test examines the “economic reality” of the intern employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship.

The following seven factors are part of the test:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

The DOL’s Fact Sheet with further information can be found at: https://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/whdfs71.pdf

State Minimum Wage Increases Effective 2018

Effective January 1, 2018, unless otherwise noted, the following states have made increases to their minimum wage rates:

Alaska:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $9.84 per hour.

Arizona:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour.
  • Flagg Staff minimum wage will rise to $11.00 per hour.

California:

  • Employers with 25 of fewer, minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour.
  • Employers with 26 of more, minimum wage will rise to $11.00 per hour.
  • Cupertino minimum wage will rise to $13.50 per hour.
  • El Cerrito minimum wage will rise to $13.60 per hour.
  • Los Altos minimum wage will rise to $13.50 per hour.
  • Milpitas minimum wage will rise to $12.00 per hour.
  • Mountain View minimum wage will rise to $15.00 per hour.
  • Palo Alto minimum wage will rise to $13.50 per hour.
  • Richmond minimum wage will rise to $13.00 per hour.
  • San Jose minimum wage will rise to $13.50 per hour.
  • San Mateo (nonprofits) minimum wage will rise to $12.00 per hour.
  • Santa Clara minimum wage will rise to $13.00 per hour.
  • Sunnyvale minimum wage will rise to $15.00 per hour.

Colorado:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.20 per hour.

Florida:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $8.25 per hour.

Hawaii:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.10 per hour.

Maine:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.00 per hour.

Michigan:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $9.25 per hour.

Minnesota:

  • The minimum wage will rise to $9.65 per hour.
  • Minneapolis (101 or more employees) minimum wage will rise to $10.00 per hour.

Montana:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $8.30 per hour.

New Jersey:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $8.60 per hour.

 New Mexico:

  • Albuquerque minimum wage will rise to $8.95 per hour, $7.95 if employer provides healthcare and/or childcare benefits and employer pays and amount for those benefits equal to or in excess of $2,500 annually.
  • Bernalillo County (within the unincorporated area of Bernalillo County, outside of the city limits) minimum wage will rise to $8.85 per hour. If employer provides healthcare and/or childcare benefits and employer pays an amount for those benefits equal to or in excess of $2,500 annually, the minimum wage for that employee is an hourly rate of $00 less than the current minimum wage.

Ohio:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $8.30 for non-tipped employees and $4.15 for tipped employees per hour for businesses with annual gross receipts of more than $305,000 per year. Smaller companies with annual gross receipts of $305,000 or less per year, and for 14- and 15-year-olds, the minimum wage is $7.25 per hour.

Rhode Island:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.10 per hour.

South Dakota:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $8.85 per hour.

Vermont:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $10.50 per hour.

Washington:

  • Minimum wage will rise to $11.50 per hour.
  • Seattle (more than 500 employees in the US with medical benefits) minimum wage will rise to $15.00 per hour.
  • Seattle (500 or less employees in the US) minimum wage will rise to $11.50 per hour.
  • Seattle (500 or less employees in the US with minimum compensation) minimum wage will rise to $14.00 per hour.
  • Tacoma minimum wage will rise to $12.00 per hour.

2018 Retirement Plan Limit Changes

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost of living updates for tax year 2018.

Highlights of the notices include:

  • The elective deferral or contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan will increase to $18,500.
  • The §415 limitation for defined contribution plans will increase to $55,000 for 2018.
  • The maximum compensation limit will increase to $275,000.
  • The dollar limitation concerning the definition of a key employee in a top-heavy plan will remain at $175,000.
  • The dollar limitation used in the definition of a highly compensated employee will remain at $120,000.
  • The catch-up contribution limit for those persons age 50 and over will remain at $6,000.

For additional information please go to: http://bit.ly/2gIHWt6

 

SCA Contract Administration Reminders

On July 25, 2017 the U.S. Department of Labor announced an increase to the prevailing health and welfare fringe benefit rate under the McNamara-O’Hara Service Contract Act (SCA).  The rate increased to $4.41 per hour.

For existing contracts, government contractors should check routinely to verify if new wage determinations (WD) have been published by contracting agencies (or, in the case of subcontractors, by their prime contractor) by incorporation into their contracts. Generally, the new rate will go into effect on the anniversary date (annually, or every two years for non-appropriated funds contracts) or option renewal/modification date of these contracts — whichever date for a particular contract triggers incorporation of a new WD by the contracting agency.

In addition, C2 Clients should advise C2 of any changes to their SCA contracts or award of new SCA Contracts. For clients who reconcile health and welfare dollars on a monthly basis, it is important to note if the WD number ends in an odd or an even number. This number will determine if reconciliations are completed on a one-for-one basis (odd numbers) or on an average basis (even numbers).

Further information is available at:  http://bit.ly/2zjw0cI