News & Articles

Supreme Court Spotlights Employee Status: Exempt or Not?

Posted on Fri, Jun 01, 2018

Thousands of cases are appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court every year, but usually fewer than 100 get a full-blown hearing and ruling. One case that made it through in the current court term is Encino Motorcars v. Navarro. On the surface, this case looks at whether car dealer service advisors are exempt or nonexempt. But the larger issue affecting jobs of all kinds involves just how narrowly the relevant law — the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) — can be interpreted when determining between exempt status and nonexempt.

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Tags: FLSA, Employee Compensation, Employee, Exempt

Benefits Cost Employers a Bundle

Posted on Wed, Mar 07, 2018

The national average paid out by employers for employee benefits is 39% of total payroll costs.

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Tags: Benefits, Employee

Don't Sink Profitable Ideas

Posted on Fri, Jun 09, 2017

At many companies, the mindset of managers stifles innovation and inhibits profitability. Some of the best money making ideas come from people who work on the front lines. Yet, employees often hear the same negative responses when they try to share them.

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Tags: Human Resources, New Business Idea, Employee

Non-Compete Agreements: What Can They Accomplish?

Posted on Wed, Apr 26, 2017

It may seem ironic that companies encourage innovation and brilliance while employees are on the payroll, but pull the plug on that ambition if they dare to leave. But non-compete agreements attempt to do just that to control damage.

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Tags: Employers Hiring, Employers terminating, Employee, Non-Compete Agreement

Build Teams for Growth and Success

Posted on Wed, Jan 11, 2017

Teamwork. It's a common enough term these days, and well-known companies such as General Electric, 3M, Texas Instruments and Federal Express have been using it to their advantage for decades. Now an increasing number of businesses have taken up team building for growth, efficiency and competition.

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Tags: Employers Hiring, Employee Investment, Employers, Employee

New Version of Form I-9 Issued

Posted on Mon, Nov 28, 2016

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has issued a new version of Form I-9, "Employment Eligibility Verification," that is dated November 14, 2016 and has an August 31, 2019 expiration date. Employers must use the new form beginning on January 22, 2017. Until then, the version dated March 8, 2013 may also be used.

Form Changes

Several changes have been made to the new form:

  • Section 1 (Employee Information and Attestation) now asks for "other last names used" rather than "other names used," and streamlines the certification process for certain foreign nationals.
  • The addition of prompts to ensure information is entered correctly.
  • The ability to enter multiple preparers and translators.
  • A dedicated area for including additional information rather than having to add it in the margins.
  • A supplemental page for the preparer or translator.

The instructions have been separated from the form, in line with other USCIS forms, and include specific instructions for completing each field.

USCIS says that the new version of Form I-9 is easier to complete on a computer. Enhancements include drop-down lists and calendars for filling in dates, on-screen instructions for each field, easy access to the full instructions, and an option to clear the form and start over. When the employer prints the completed form, a quick response (QR) code is automatically generated, which can be read by most QR readers.

About Form I-9

Federal law requires that every employer that recruits, refers for a fee, or hires an individual for employment in the United States must complete Form I-9. Form I-9 helps employers verify an employee's identity and employment authorization. This is done by employers physically examining acceptable documents including drivers' licenses and eligible ID cards. I-9 forms can be filed electronically or on paper.

Form I-9 requirements were established in November 1986 when Congress passed the Immigration Reform and Control Act. That law prohibits employers from hiring people, including U.S. citizens, for employment in the United States without verifying their identities and employment authorization on Form I-9.

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Tags: IRS, Employee

Margie S. (Gerencer) Brown, CPA/MBA/CGMA Named a Top Certified Public Accountant in Grand Rapids, MI

Posted on Wed, Dec 16, 2015

Margie S. (Gerencer) Brown, CPA/MBA/CGMA was recently named a top Certified Public Accountant in Grand Rapids, MI by America Top 10. The list was compiled by an independent organization who uses referrals from the public to be a successful resource for local communities. The article stated the benefits of working with someone you are comfortable with, along with the importance of having a strong connection with your CPA. With Margie's extensive knowledge, mixed with her friendly personality, it is no wonder she was honored! Congratulations, Margie!

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Tags: News, Grand Rapids, CPA Firm, Award, EHTC, Employee, Margie Brown

Tax Court Cautionary Tale: Classifying Workers as Contractors

Posted on Mon, Jun 23, 2014

The issue of whether workers should be classified as employees or independent contractors for federal employment tax purposes has been a source of controversy for decades. The saga continues. This article summarizes a recent Tax Court decision on the classification of a manager in the home care industry.

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Tags: EHTC Article, Employers, Tax Court, IRS, Independent Contractor, Articles, Worker Classification, Employee