Tag Archives: payroll administration

9 Facts About Florida’s Minimum Wage for 2018

On October 13, 2017, the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity (DEO) released information about a new minimum wage rise which will come into effect on January 1, 2018.

– Florida employees working for minimum wage can expect to see a pay bump from the current $8.10 per hour to $8.25 per hour, making this wage rise a 2% increase. Employees working full-time for that amount will earn $17,160 per annum, or $330 a week.

– The minimum wage increase is related to the DEO’s requirement to comply with Florida law to annually revisit the minimum wage rate and adjust it according to the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers in the South Region.

– The Federal minimum wage will likely remain at $7.25 for the foreseeable future, but employers in the Florida region are obligated by law to pay their non-exempt workers the hourly state minimum of $8.25 after January 1, 2018.

– The increased hourly rate will also impact the calculation of overtime compensation to which a Florida employee is entitled.

– The law further requires that employers place a minimum wage notice in an accessible and conspicuous location wherever there are employees earning minimum wage. This requirement is in addition to the need for posting notices of the federal minimum wage.

– Employers who employ minimum wage earners who receive tips and are eligible for a tip credit under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), may apply credit to satisfy the minimum wage level up to the allowable FLSA tip credit (which equates to $3.02).

– Employers must still pay tipped employees a wage as directed by the minimum wage standard, minus the tip credits. Tipped employees, as of the 2018 minimum wage rise, will earn $5.23, per hour, a which equates to a 0.15c increase per hour.

– Employers who take tip credits against minimum wage must also provide notice to the tipped employee about the number of cash wages the employer is paying the tipped employee, and the amount the employer is claiming as tip credits.

– Tip credits should not exceed the number of tips received, and the employee retains all tips wherever a valid tip pool exists. Tip credits may not apply to any tipped employee, unless the employer has informed them of the above conditions.

Improving The Way You Invest Before Thanksgiving!

Holidays are traditionally a busy period, but they can also present opportunities for the savvy entrepreneur to realize bigger returns. Timing is everything, however, as investors will need to get in as low on the upswing as possible to enjoy the best gains. Here, you can learn some important information for the modern American entrepreneur to save and invest money in a short period of time.

Two of the strongest days for the equity markets are the day before and the day after Thanksgiving. Since 1950, the S&P index has experienced an uptick 68.18 percent of the time, with the average gain holding at 0.71 percent.

E-commerce sales are growing steadily, and are taking a bigger bite out of bricks and mortar shopping year after year. In 2015 online sales accounted for 34 percent of holiday shopping, in 2016 the numbers were at 36 percent. Investors looking for easy gains can certainly take advantage of the shopping frenzy phenomenon occurring every year around the Thanksgiving holiday.

Thanksgiving is important to many industries, such as transport, and the food industries, but traditionally it holds little sway over the stock market results in general. It’s the day after, Black Friday, which holds the most clout. Analysts keep a close eye on the retail spending activity that occurs on this day, as it can determine the financial fate of retailers, big and small.

For many retailers, Black Friday can make or break their year, as many depend on the volume of sales on this day to push their ledgers into the black.

It’s also a special day for investors, as Black Friday always shows lots of promise for improving returns. Hold on to your retail merchandiser stocks for now, but be prepared to move on Black Friday to realize some juicy profits.

Also, hold on to U.S. Equities and equity exchange-traded funds as probability indicates that prices will nudge higher just before, and just after the Thanksgiving holiday.

Transportation also sees a huge upswing in business, as the US enters the gift-giving season and packages start to criss-cross the country by the millions. FedEx, and United Parcel Service are well worth a look for getting in before the rush.

The gloom and doom of 2008 hit the leisure industry particularly hard, but improvements have been seen since then. People have become more willing to open up their wallets to pay for a few of life’s little luxuries, and are willing to travel to do it.

Holidays have always been the travel industries most active months and the cruise industry, in general, is starting to see some upward momentum.

It may feel like the holiday season is some way off, but time has a bad habit of passing by unnoticed and the holidays will be upon us before we know it. Now is the time to start preparing your portfolio, so you are in a good position to take advantage of any upward movements.

5 EASY TIPS TO IMPROVE WORK-LIFE BALANCE

If you’re a working adult between the ages of 25 and 50, this might be the right article for you.

We live in a world where more and more people find themselves working in roles that could be considered “always on the job”. Studies have shown that a poor life-work balance can result in higher levels of stress, lower productivity in the workplace, and general unhappiness. Workers around the world have constant battles with the question “can I have it all?”; and leaders who care seem to struggle to provide practical solutions. How can we, then, achieve and maintain a balance between our personal lives and work?

To help entrepreneurs, managers, and employees strike the right stability, here are five tips to achieve and maintain life-work balance.

1. Recognise and share your goals and needs.

Developing good communication skills is essential for every social aspect of our lives. Identify what truly matters to you and communicate it to people around you. Don’t hide your feelings and expect other people to guess what you are looking for or what makes you happy. Let your employers know if you are going through family or personal issues; an understanding manager will always be open to listening and finding the most efficient solution for everyone. Always remember that by communicating effectively and having earnest discussions with your employer together you’ll be able to find the right balance.

2. Set boundaries.

After 5 pm, learn to leave work at work. Any task, whether it’s emails or messages pending after the closing hour, write them down, so you don’t forget then shut down your computer and leave it all for the next day. For instance, in France, a law has been passed that bans employees from checking work-related messages after 6 pm. This shows that they understand the need for people to achieve a work-life balance.

Set a time for yourself to be productive at work and don’t exceed the time set. When done, drop whatever you are doing and relax or find something that makes you happy, that way you can find closure and have balance.

3. Time Management

No matter how much time you spend at work, the real issue is how much you get done while you’re at work. Choosing to manage your time effectively is the starting point of overcoming mental blocks to time management. Monitor how you spend your work hours in a week and learn how to distribute your tasks more efficiently throughout the day. Maximise every second, minute and hour. Plan and structure your time so as to achieve a balanced life.

4. Get Social!

Everyone feels lonely from time to time, but feeling lonely for a long time can have a negative effect on your mental health. It’s important to have at least one fun activity to look forward to during the week. Get involved in the community by signing up for a cooking class, yoga events or a workshop; go for a walk in your local park, visit new places such as cafes or museums and arrange weekly dinner with friends or family. That way you can relax while doing something fun outside of the work environment.

5. Always pace yourself.

Don’t assume that you need to make big changes to bring more balance to your life. In order to live a full and enjoyable life, it is important to understand how to pace yourself. Setting realistic goals can help, such as leaving the office earlier at least two nights per week. This requires self-awareness, and once you improve it, you are going to enjoy the journey as much as the destination.

The Importance of Offering Group Benefits to Your Employees

As a business owner, it is important for you to offer your employees the protection they deserve and make your company a place where people want to work. Group Benefit plans are particularly helpful because it allows employees to track, identify and treat any issues on the spot.

The reality is simple; your workers will not be able to give you their best performance unless you make sure to provide them with the right coverage and guidance. Luckily, you are not alone. Companies like Lewis & Palmer are here to help you offer your hard working employees the assistance they need. With the proper plan, every employee can maintain a good health and stay away from conditions in the long term that may limit their work performance.

It is not easy to get the best value without the right coverage, and this is why it can be imperative to hire a group benefits company to intercede. After all, nowadays, employees do desire and expect higher benefit levels. If you are a business owner or if you are in management, it is important to have a clear understanding of the benefits that are valued the most by employees. Here is a list of group benefits that are available for you to provide to hard-working employees.

•    Group life insurance and AD&D
Group Life Insurance can provide financial assistance when an employee faces an unexpected event and needs relief. The proper insurance can make sure that the employees family members are financially protected in case of a tragic event. This kind of insurance is also in a position to provide coverage against serious accidents, which cause the loss of body parts including limbs.

•    Group long term and short term disability
The employees are always concerned about the loss of income in case of a disability. They don’t even wish to think about it. However, accidents can happen anytime, anywhere, and employees might have to face such unfortunate incidents in life. They are unavoidable, but group long term and short term disability have the ability to provide an excellent financial assistance to them in such situations. Therefore, a working person must be provided with some sort of disability insurance.

•    Group medical insurance
It is the responsibility of the employers to take care of their hard working employees. Therefore, it is crucial to provide them with a reliable group medical insurance. When employees fall ill, they will have to spend a considerable amount of money out of their pockets to go for treatments. Group medical insurance can keep them away from that hassle. This would provide an ideal environment for them to focus on their responsibilities instead of anything else.

•    Group dental care
If you want your employees to maintain proper oral health, you should encourage them to visit the office of the dentist on a regular basis. However, dental visits can cost a significant amount of money for the employees. That’s where group dental care insurance can help them with by taking care of the financial expenses that they will have to bear at the office of the dentist.

•    Employee assistance plans
Lastly, you need to consider about providing group employee assistance plans. This would provide them an excellent support when they encounter frustrating situations in life such as divorce, the death of a loved one and parenting. In such instances, your employees would require additional finances to get through the difficult stage in life. The employee assistance plan is in a position to cater that financial requirement and help the employees to stay away from frustration.

Overall, productivity is crucial for your business, and giving your employees the proper guidance to approach any struggles can be incredibly beneficial for your regarding productivity and growth in the long term.

For more information about Group Benefits Plans available, contact Lewis & Palmer and set an appointment for a free consultation to find out more.

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Changes to the Minimum Wage Rate for 2017

The arrival of the new year signifies more than New Year’s resolutions. Those who work low-wage jobs have much reason to celebrate in 2017. Many states are boosting their minimum wage to compensate hard-working Americans. In total, 29 states plus the District of Columbia are hiking their minimum wage rates beyond the $7.25 required by the federal government.

Changes to the Minimum Wage

Changes to state minimum wage laws in 2017 will lift many hard-working Americans out of poverty. In fact, 22 of the 45 states with minimum wage laws on the books will hike their minimum wage in the new year. The overarching trend is toward increased compensation for workers who have been struggling to make ends meet. All-in-all, slightly less than 50 percent of states with minimum wage laws on the books will increase their minimum wage in 2017. This represents a considerable leap from the 33 percent of such states that hiked minimum wage pay rates last year.

A Look at Some Specific Changes

Florida’s minimum wage workers earned $8.05 per hour in 2016. This pay rate will climb just a bit in 2017 to $8.10 per hour. Employees who are eligible for tips will now receive a mandatory minimum wage of $5.08. Those who work low-wage jobs in California will enjoy a minimum wage hike to $10.50 per hour as long as they labor for an employer with at least 26 employees. Minimum-wage workers in the District of Columbia will be compensated with a minimum of $11.50 per hour until July 1, when compensation climbs to $12.50. Workers in Massachusetts and Washington will receive a minimum of $11 per hour beginning January 1.

FLSA, the Minimum Wage and Tip Credits

Organizations subjected to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) are required to compensate employees with at least $7.25 per hour. This level of compensation is mandatory regardless of whether the state’s laws permit a lower pay rate. Several states are altering the maximum tip credits an organization can count toward employee hourly compensation. If the rules of the FLSA apply to an organization, it can apply a maximum tip credit of $5.12 per hour. Those doing business in states with tip credit maximums that exceed the federal tip credit’s maximum can apply a higher tip credit as long as the difference between the state credit and tip credit is at least $2.13.

For more information about complete payroll, human resources and benefits administration, call the professionals at Lewis and Palmer Benefits. We have Professional resources that can help you manage your employees and business.

LP Benefits has Payroll Solutions to help you focus on what you do best

Every successful business owner knows that they need to focus on their own core competencies and those of their teams rather than ancillary business activities. Especially when just starting out, they really do not have the time, energy nor inclination to be distracted with things administrative functions such as payroll. Still, everyone must get paid.

At Lewis & Palmer Benefits, we understand this dilemma. In fact, our team has built a business around the administration of payroll and other HR functions for other companies. It is our core competency – we focus on nothing else. Here is how we can help you:

Payroll administration – At LP Benefits, we can coordinate your employee payroll. We are experienced with dealing with the tax implications of payroll on a municipal, state and Federal level. We can competently handle all administrative and reporting activities for your company and guarantee complete and timely compliance.

Benefits oversight – Similarly, the team at LP Benefits can oversee the administration of your employee and management benefits packages. We will ensure that the proper payroll deductions are made and can also act as a liaison between your employees, your company and the benefits provider. It is just one more way we can make your life easier in the running of your company.

Financial solutions – Not all compensation is based on salary. The experts at LP Benefits understand this fact and are prepared to help you and your executives manage such things as succession planning and retirement packages. We can explain everything from the initial calculations through the tax advantages to the final settlements.

There are many other factors that fall under the aegis of payroll administration. Ensure that your company is taking advantage of everyone. For further information on the benefits of proper payroll solutions for your company, please contact the experienced team at Lewis & Palmer Benefits. We can be found online at LPBenefits.com or reached directly at 954-308-7204.