The Process of Terminating an Employee

The process of terminating an employee should not be taken lightly. Improper handling can lead to unpleasant results, such as the employee suing the company. It’s therefore vital that you follow the law when firing or laying off an employee. Luckily, Atlantic Payroll Partners offers Full-Service HR to deal with terminating an employee and many of HR processes. APP can provide valuable insight for letting someone, when the time comes you’ll be confident in the future outcome.

“At-Will” Employment

Employment is “at will” in most states—meaning, either the employer or the employee can end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason. The employer, however, cannot fire the employee for an illegal reason.

Unlawful Reasons to Fire an Employee

The following reasons constitute unlawful terminations:

  • Discrimination. Federal anti-discrimination laws protect employees from being fired because of their race, national origin, gender, religion, genetic information, disability, or age (if the employee is over 40 years old). Federal law also prohibits most employers from firing an employee because of pregnancy or a medical condition linked to pregnancy or childbirth. Many states have their own anti-discrimination laws, which, in some cases, provide broader protections for employees than federal law.
  • Retaliation. An employee cannot be fired for engaging in certain protected activities, such as reporting his or her employer’s illegal activity to a federal or state agency. The employee also cannot be fired for filing a discrimination claim against his or her employer.
  • OSHA Complaints. It is unlawful to fire employees for reporting non-compliant work conditions to the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act agency.
  • Alien Status. Employers cannot use an employee’s alien status as the basis for the firing—provided the employee has the legal right to work in the United States.
  • Other Reasons. Employers generally cannot fire an employee for refusing to take a lie detector test, and in many states, it is unlawful to fire an employee for reasons that are morally or ethically wrong to most people, such an employee’s refusal to commit an illegal act for the employer.

Layoffs

According to the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act, applicable employers must provide at least 60 days’ written notice in cases of mass layoffs or plant closings affecting 50 or more employees at a single worksite.

Employment Contracts

Will the termination violate an employment contract? That’s the pivotal question here. Regardless of whether the contract is oral or written, make sure the termination will not result in you breaching the agreement.

Final Paychecks

As a general rule, employers cannot withhold an employee’s final pay. Most states have final paycheck laws that determine when terminated workers should be paid. In some cases, the time frame depends on the employee’s industry and whether he or she was fired or laid off.

State law may dictate whether unused vacation or paid time off should be paid upon termination,  the method for disbursing final wages, and the types of deductions that can be made from the last paycheck. Other potential areas of examination include employment contracts and company policies that address final or post-employment wages.

Employment termination is a sensitive process that can have long-lasting effects on both the employee and the organization. Therefore, you may need legal counsel along the way. Call us today for additional guidance on proper terminations.

Copyright 2021

Why Atlantic Payroll Partners

The biggest payroll companies probably won’t have time for your business. It’s that simple, you’ll be a number. At Atlantic Payroll Partners, you’ll be the opposite. We’ll know more than your name; we’ll know the names of your children and their birthday’s as well. We will know you.

We’ve been helping Florida business by managing their payroll and providing workers' compensation quotes for ten years. We help keep payroll cost affordable by provided transparent PEO payroll quotes that allow you to plan your budget accordingly. Like the big payroll companies, you can manage your payroll and payroll timekeeping with us, while reaping the benefits of PEO risk management.

Thinking about payroll outsourcing can be scary. Make sure you know what to expect from payroll outsourcing providers; to make the best decision for your business. In addition to offering payroll, and workers' comp quote we offer: Human Resource consultations, Accounting services, and benefits such as, 401ks and Healthcare plans.

What you should know about the new Form W-4

Updated January 20, 2021

The following is intended as a guide, this is not a replacement for official tax or accounting advice. 

The 2021 Form W-4 is slightly different than the most recent update from the overhaul that took place on 2020. For that reason, it is important that you use the latest edition of the Form W-4 worksheet for accuracy.

Notable changes: On page 3, Step 4(b) on the “Deductions Worksheet”, on step number 2 you will notice that the amounts of the deductions have slightly increased. In 2020 Married Filing Jointly or Qualified Widow(er) is now $25,100 it previously was $24,800. The amounts for Head of Household, and Single or Married filing separately have changed as well.

On page 4 the Annual Taxable Wage & Salary Table has also been updated.

The IRS noted, “Allowances are no longer used for the redesigned Form W-4 to increase transparency, simplicity and accuracy. In the past, the value of a withholding allowance was tied to the amount of the personal exemption. Due to changes in law, currently you cannot claim personal exemptions or dependency exemptions.”


According to the IRS, a few of the visual changes that were made in the last draft shared include:

  • It is now a full page.
  • There are no withholding allowances (which is why the title of the form changed to “Employee’s Withholding Certificate”).
  • Steps 1 through 5 to guide employees through the form.
  • Instructions, worksheets, and tables follow the first page.

Probably the biggest question for both companies and employees is “Does everyone have to fill out the new form?” The answer, according to the August guidance, is no. The IRS says, “Employees who have submitted Form W-4 in any year before 2020 are not required to submit a new form merely because of the redesign. Employers will continue to compute withholding based on the information from the employee’s most recently submitted Form W-4.”

Pay special attention to the instructions on the Multiple Jobs Worksheet. 

  • If you have multiple jobs or you’re married filing jointly and you and your spouse each have one job be sure to complete the multiple jobs worksheet ( page 3 and 4).

Form W-4 Resources

Even though some of the numbers have changed from 2020 to 2021 the directions and the steps have not. You can and should still refer to the video if you have questions about how to complete the Form W-4.

The new Form W-4.
The IRS FAQ.
The IRS Form W-4 information page.

We’ll keep you in the loop as the IRS provides additional guidance. Be sure to read, read, and read to better understand the W-4. The FAQs are a wonderful resource to better understand the goals of the new redesign. Be sure you are using the latest Atlantic Payroll Partners New Hire packet as it includes the latest W-4.

How to complete the new Form W-4 (2020 version)

Did you really come here because you want to know how to complete the new Form W-4? Good news, we’ve created a really simple video that will walk you through the steps for various tax situations.

Form W-4 Walkthrough

 

View step by step guide as a pdf: W-4 Guide

 

Copyright 2021

Want more? Subscribe to our blog.

3 + 14 =

Why Atlantic Payroll Partners

The biggest payroll companies probably won’t have time for your business. It’s that simple, you’ll be a number. At Atlantic Payroll Partners, you’ll be the opposite. We’ll know more than your name; we’ll know the names of your children and their birthday’s as well. We will know you.

We’ve been helping Florida business by managing their payroll and providing workers' compensation quotes for ten years. We help keep payroll cost affordable by provided transparent PEO payroll quotes that allow you to plan your budget accordingly. Like the big payroll companies, you can manage your payroll and payroll timekeeping with us, while reaping the benefits of PEO risk management.

Thinking about payroll outsourcing can be scary. Make sure you know what to expect from payroll outsourcing providers; to make the best decision for your business. In addition to offering payroll, and workers' comp quote we offer: Human Resource consultations, Accounting services, and benefits such as, 401ks and Healthcare plans.

How Much Do Employers Spend on Benefits?

Offering competitive benefits is essential in a tight labor market. However, going overboard is sure to put a dent in your profit margin. The objective is to provide competitive and affordable benefits. This can be achieved by gleaning, or bench-marking, how much other employers are paying for benefits. How Much Do Employers Spend on Benefits?

Average cost of employee benefits

We took at a look at a report released on March 19, 2019. According to that report, employers paid an average of $34.05 per hour per employee. Of that amount, $23.85 (70%) went toward wages and salaries, and $10.20 (30%) accounted for benefits.
Specifically:

  • Insurance = 8% of wages; health insurance accounted for 7.5%.
  • Paid leave = 7.2% of wages.
  • Defined contribution plans (such as 401k) = 2.3% of wages.
  • Defined benefit plans (such as a pension) = 1.6% of wages.
  • Supplemental pay (such as non-production bonuses) = 3.2% of wages.
  • Legally required benefits (such as workers’ compensation) = 7.7% of wages.

Average cost of benefits administration

Administration is an intrinsic component of employee benefits, and it costs money.
A 2018 survey by Ernst & Young lists the average labor and non-labor costs for the following employee benefits tasks:

  1. On-boarding.
  2. Benefits enrollment.
  3. Training.
  4. Expense management.
  5. Time management.
  6. Separation/termination.

A few conclusions from the survey:

  • To obtain or provide plan documents and summaries for employees, employers spend an average of $12.07 in labor costs and $1.72 in non-labor costs — such as for printing, copying and postage.
  • To review or approve PTO requests, the average labor cost is $11.27. This task has no average non-labor cost.
  • To process benefit issues — such as COBRA and retirement — at termination, the average labor cost is $11.36, and the average non-labor cost is $.0.32.

The report asserts that adopting full-service human capital management technology is key to reducing labor and non-labor benefits administration costs.

Employee benefits as a strategic tool

This third aspect of employee benefits benchmarking is about understanding how employers are leveraging benefits to recruit and retain talent.
For example, how many employers offer the same benefits as you do? How do these benefits impact recruitment, retention and overall company performance? Which benefits are most popular in your industry? How are employers granularly allocating benefits costs?

In response to the last question, the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2018 Employee Benefits survey concludes that 83% of organizations share health care costs with their employees, while 16% pay the full amount. In addition, 18% of companies “charge a higher premium for health care coverage of employees who smoke.”

Benefits during a pandemic

The world has changed drastically since we first released this blog in January of 2020. In the United States at the time of this update the unemployed are currently getting additional benefits from the Federal Government. The additional $600 a week to help with the unprecedented unemployment from COVID-19 is set to run out of 7/31/2020. Our question to business owners is simple, how do you plan on standing out when people start looking for work again? If you’re not already offering benefits now is the time to start. Benefits have been proven to help retain employees longer, increase morale, and get higher quality potential hires. A lot of business have had a difficult time appealing to new hires, who potentially can earn more at home. Offering benefits can help appeal to new talent more quickly.

Get support…

We at Atlantic Payroll Partners would be happy to review your benefit options with you to ensure that you aren’t overspending and that you are remaining competitive in today’s market, feel free to contact us today for more information.

 

Copyright 2021

Want more? Subscribe to our blog.

6 + 8 =

About Atlantic Payroll Partners

At Atlantic Payroll Partners we believe we are the best, local payroll provider to help you grow your business. Even more than that. We’re a professional employment organization that offers an incredible suite of solutions for your business. In addition to offering payroll services we offer, full-service HR, workers’ compensation, accounting, and health care benefits. Our solution suite is back by over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO space.

We’re proud to say that we’ve helped businesses reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, make more money, and lighten their daily load by working with us. Our clients can offer their employees’ health care benefits and access to the same 401k plans that the Fortune 500 companies use without breaking the bank.

We welcome you to continue exploring our website, to learn more about Atlantic Payroll Partners and how we can help improve your business. We do our job, so that you can focus on yours.

Do you have a winning voluntary benefits strategy?

Do you have a winning voluntary benefits strategy?

Studies have shown that voluntary benefits, and compensation continue to be the key to retaining employees. As noted by consulting firm Willis Towers Watson, voluntary benefits have historically been viewed as “something nice to offer.” Now, however, they are regarded as essential. With the workforce becoming more diverse, voluntary benefits are no longer seen as just add-ons. It’s more important than ever to have a winning voluntary benefits strategy.  At Atlantic Payroll Partners we offer a full range of benefits and are ready to help you, offer the most valuable benefits to your team.

Winning Strategy:

It’s best to start with the demographics of your workforce — that is, what your employees need or value the most.

Employee surveys are one way to obtain more specifics. For instance, surveys can help you determine whether you should offer wellness benefits, pet insurance, long-term care insurance, hospital indemnity insurance, identity theft protection or student loan assistance. Employee surveys can also help you decide which types of health insurance, investment options and flexible spending accounts to provide.

Creating a winning voluntary benefits strategy isn’t just about fulfilling employee needs.

It’s also about ensuring your benefit offerings are conducive to achieving your business goals. This is a comprehensive process that requires a collaborative effort. Smart Business Magazine suggests the following four-tiered approach:

  1. Consulting. We can help you collect and analyze data on your employee population, and conduct a risk assessment.
  2. Creative solutions. Based on the results of the analysis and risk assessment, we come up with solutions for the voluntary benefits program.
  3. Compliance. Atlantic Payroll Partners saves you time and the headache of considering regulations pertaining to revenue Code and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission guidelines on employee benefits.
  4. Cost. By implementing steps 1, 2 and 3, you’ll be able to set realistic budget objectives, lower risk and more easily predict costs for your voluntary benefits program.

Benefits Retain Employees

Benefits retain employees. It’s important to keep an eye on what you offer compared to your competitors. In 2018 the Society for Human Resource Management surveyed employees and 29% of employees said their overall benefits package was a reason to look for a position outside of their current company. 32% of those surveyed who were unlikely to look for employment elsewhere, attributed their current benefits plan as a reason to stay. In all, over 60% of those surveyed cited benefits as a top reason to stay or leave their current position. Benefits retain employees.

 

Copyright 2021

About Atlantic Payroll Partners

At Atlantic Payroll Partners we believe we are the best, local payroll provider to help you grow your business. Even more than that. We’re a professional employment organization that offers an incredible suite of solutions for your business. In addition to offering payroll services we offer, full-service HR, workers’ compensation, accounting, and health care benefits. Our solution suite is back by over 100 years of combined experience in the PEO space.

We’re proud to say that we’ve helped businesses reduce employee turnover, increase revenue, make more money, and lighten their daily load by working with us. Our clients can offer their employees’ health care benefits and access to the same 401k plans that the Fortune 500 companies use without breaking the bank.

We welcome you to continue exploring our website, to learn more about Atlantic Payroll Partners and how we can help improve your business. We do our job, so that you can focus on yours.