Why is Now a Good Time to Review your Payroll and HR for 2021?

Why is now a good time to review your payroll and HR service for 2021?

It’s always good to have a plan for the ordinary occurrences and the extraordinary ones as well.

Taking a vacation is something we all like to do but it can be hard for small business payroll administrators to go on vacation when they have a weekly or bi-weekly payroll to get out and get out on time.  Baron understands this need and can provide backup for your payroll person. No need to plan around your payroll for your staff to take that much-needed break!

And while taking a vacation can be planned and is one of the good things about running a business, occasionally, bad stuff happens too. What do you do if your payroll person falls ill or they have to be out for several days or weeks without any notice? And, no one else in your company knows how to do payroll?  Never fear, Baron has got your back! Again, Baron can pick up the slack when you need us to, no matter the circumstances.

Call us right now at 631-266-2500 and let’s talk about your needs, both the ordinary and extraordinary, and how we can help you.

Do I Have to Pay My Employees Overtime? Here’s What New York State Law Says

There are several aspects of New York State laws to keep in mind when classifying an employee as exempt or non-exempt from overtime pay. Getting it right will save you from costly mistakes in the future.

By Larry Kagan, Founder & CEO, Baron Payroll

It may be easier to pay an employee a salary – you can avoid having to keep track of their hours, their pay will be the same every week.

But it may not always be legal.

If you’re trying to figure out whether you need to pay an employee overtime, it’s not as simple as deciding whether you want to pay an employee a salary or hourly. Legal requirements set forth who receives overtime and who doesn’t.

The terms people often use are hourly and salaried, and that salaried workers don’t have to be paid overtime. That’s not the case.

Instead, the terms to focus on are exempt and non-exempt. All employees must be classified as exempt or non-exempt. They also should have a written job description that details the work they do.

An employee either meets qualifications to not be required to receive overtime pay, or they do not meet those qualifications and must receive overtime pay.

State and federal laws dictate whether an employee is exempt from overtime. Since New York State’s requirements are more stringent, they are the ones employers who operate in the state need to follow. An employee must first meet or exceed a certain level of pay to be considered exempt. They then must fall into specific categories of workers who can be exempt from overtime.

At the beginning of the year, the threshold for what’s considered an exempt employee in New York State increases again.

Beginning in 2021, in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, the minimum salary to be considered exempt will be $1,050 per week, or $54,600 per year. In the rest of the state, it’s $937.50 per week. New York City’s rate won’t increase this year; it remains $1,125 per week.

By the end of 2021, employees in New York City and in Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties will need to make $1,125 per week to be considered exempt from overtime. For the rest of the state, the rate will remain $937.50 per week.

If you had an employee who barely met the requirement to be considered exempt this year, they now will not be, unless they receive a raise.

How can an employee be exempt?

If an employee who is not exempt from overtime works more than 40 hours per week, they receive time-and-a-half pay for their overtime hours.

Overtime pay is not optional. An employee can’t waive their right to receive it; otherwise, employers would only hire those who said they didn’t want to be paid overtime.

First, an employee must meet or exceed the financial threshold required by New York State (on Long Island, that will be $1,050 per week in 2021). If they don’t meet this threshold, they are not exempt from, and must be paid, for overtime.

If they do meet this income threshold, they must pass also pass a second test. Your employee must be a specific kind of worker with certain kinds of duties that fall into various categories of exemptions.

Many of these exemptions include work that exercises independent judgment, where an employee makes important decisions that impact the company. Specific exemptions include executive, administrative, professional, outside sales and other skilled-work positions.

An employee’s title, even if it includes the words used in the exemptions, isn’t as important as the actual work they do. Their job duties dictate whether they should be considered exempt.

Generally, if a person works with their hands, they likely are entitled to overtime.

Getting it wrong can be costly

Knowing how to properly classify an employee saves you money in the long run. If you classify incorrectly, you could end up facing a lawsuit or investigation for not just unpaid overtime, but fines and damages.

And it’s often not just one employee you would have to pay back wages to. If the state starts an investigation, it will likely include all employees.

A concept called “double liquidated damages” may also apply, which means an employee gets double the amount they would be owed in back pay.

It can be a big financial hit, as well as a reputational one. Someone at the company will likely take the fall for the impropriety.

Even if the company goes out of business, the employer could be held personally liable, putting their personal assets in danger.

How we can help

I say this all the time — we’re not the payroll police. But as a local New York company, we are well-versed on the numerous and complex New York state and local employment laws. Unlike the national payroll companies, we have specialized knowledge in New York.

We will tell you if we notice you’re doing something wrong, so you can decide what changes, if any, may be best for you and your business to take to avoid financial danger.

We can help you figure out the best way to classify your employees and write job descriptions that clearly detail the work they do.

The dangers can be great. And one way to avoid this kind of pitfall is straightforward and financially painless.

We can reverse-engineer your payroll expenses to ensure that you’re still paying an employee the same amount per week, but that they are properly classified. Their pay statement may change to show regular and overtime hours, with regular and overtime pay, but the total amount of pay is the same as when you were paying them as a salary. You are just displaying it differently on your employee’s pay statement to comply with the employment laws.

You can make your numbers work while ensuring you’re following the laws on overtime and exempt vs. non-exempt employee classification. You will sleep better at night knowing there are no surprises or potential financial knockout punches looming over your head.

 

 

 

3 Payroll Errors That Can Sink Your Company

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You’ve Got To Get Payroll Right

If you are a business owner, you are probably busy 24/7 and can’t always give each needed task your full attention. If you get to the point where you have to put something on the back burner, make sure it’s not payroll. Baron Workforce Management Suite has convenient, powerful tools to help you avoid these common payroll mistakes.

1. Inaccurate Time Cards
Manual timekeeping systems that necessitate team members to log hours on a paper timesheet are vulnerable to errors that are both deliberate and unintended. Employees often record their authorized shift start time even when arriving late and do the opposite when leaving early. Even your most trustworthy worker can have trouble accurately recalling hours when filling out a time card several days afterward. Inaccurate timecards increase costs of labor unnecessarily and burden your HR staff (which may just be you).

Baron Workforce Management Clock tracks employee time to the minute to make sure that you only pay team members for the time they are working. Baron Workforce Management Suite maintains accurate audit-ready time and attendance reports that can guard you in case of a DOL dispute.

2. Misclassifying Employees
Employee classification influences benefits eligibility, minimum wage provisions, overtime pay eligibility, and workers’ comp eligibility. Employers who misclassify are in danger of state and federal penalties and should consult the comprehensive DOL guidance on the issue.

Baron Workforce Management Suite allows you to customize the job codes for your organization to help you stay in compliance and develop efficient scheduling strategies to keep your labor costs as low as possible.

3. Failing to Pay Payroll Taxes
Small business owners may incorrectly think that failing to pay payroll taxes is akin to not paying personal income taxes. If you get in a cash pinch, DO NOT delay paying your payroll taxes as a stopgap measure.

Meeting all of your employer tax obligations is problematic without reliable time and attendance data for each pay period. Baron Workforce Management Suite automatically collects, calculates, verifies, and submits the critical information to your payroll provider.

baronHCM serves many companies like yours and can help you avoid these dangerous pitfalls with the experience and proficiency you can count on. Call us today at 631-266-2500.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding WorkforceHUB™UPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers WorkforceHUB, the unified Human Resources portal that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and company.

WorkforceHUB includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, Baron Mobile, and ApplicantStack. We’ve just added recruitment, onboarding, benefits enrollment, performance reviews, and employee engagement! WorkforceHUB is developed for busy employers like you who need to reduce cost-per-hire, streamline scheduling, automate time tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.

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Is Our Company Required To Offer Paid Time-Off?

Let’s talk about time-off.  I’m often asked are there any regulations requiring our company to pay employees for time off?  In the old days, the answer was NO.  Today, the answer is MAYBE. 

In states, like New York, there are laws that require some employers to pay for sick time.  Other business, just choose to provide paid time off as another employee benefit.  You may be wondering how many different time-of categories should our company have? Many companies have moved away from having separate time-off buckets for vacation, sick, and personal days. 

It’s easier for companies to combine all these buckets into one called Paid Time Off or PTO.  You may be thinking isn’t if best for our company just to give employees 2 weeks paid time off, all UPFRONT, every year?

  Not necessarily.  That’s old fashioned and was popular when businesses kept tracking of time off with a spreadsheet. Businesses would lose money if an employee took two weeks PTO in January and then suddenly quit in February? 

There is a better way.  Have your employees accrue a little bit of time and earn PTO every single pay period. Your payroll company should easily be able to do these two things for you: First, accrue PTO every pay period for all your employees, and two, accrue PTO based on each employee’s hire date. 

This way the system will automatically increase PTO accruals based on length of service, so employees with more tenure will automatically earn more PTO time.

Employee Scheduling Solution Review

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There are 1,440 minutes in a day, and here at Baron Payroll we believe that none of those should be wasted!

Running a business and managing associates is no small task and it can become problematic to make sure that your organization and employees are running smoothly 24/7. But that’s what we are here to help with! We will help you optimize the time of your managers, employees, and organization.

Baron Payroll offers Baron Scheduling, the solution for making every second count.

Baron Scheduling delivers convenient tools that all come together to give you and your employees the most efficient scheduler on the market.

Copy and Paste Schedule Templates

Set up a standard schedule for each team member, then just copy and paste it into each schedule period. From there, you can drag and drop shifts as much as you like, but you’ll already have the basic foundation established. It’s an easy way to expedite the scheduling process.

Drag and Drop Scheduling

If you are still using paper time sheets, a dry erase calendar, or an Excel spreadsheet, prepare to be amazed. Changing shift start and end times is as uncomplicated as pointing and clicking.

Share the Back-and-Forth of Shift Changes

Each staff member has only their own schedule to worry about—supervisors have everyone’s. It makes sense to share the burden of shift swapping. A worker who wants time off simply posts a request on the online message board. Managers can quickly see and approve the changes without having to track everyone down. Once a shift trade is approved, Baron Scheduling automatically alerts the affected employees.

Baron Scheduling: scheduling reinvented.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding WorkforceHUB™UPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers WorkforceHUB™, the unified Human Resources portal that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and company.

WorkforceHUB™ includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. We’ve just added onboarding, benefits enrollment, performance reviews, and employee engagement! WorkforceHUB™ is designed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.

It’s Time to Cut Your Losses

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Are you using a manual employee time and attendance system that fails to ensure the accuracy of timekeeping? If so, you are paying for time not worked. It’s time to cut your losses. 

The Cost of Time Card Estimation
You can save on labor costs by eliminating timecard estimation. How accurate is memory? When staff members forget to punch in or out and have to record missing punches on their timecard several days later, do you think they estimate in and out times in your favor? Can you recall your start and end times precisely for the past payroll period? Paying for just a few extra minutes per staff member each week can really add up.

If you have 25 employees who approximate their hours with an extra 8 minutes of time for which they were not on the job, you will overpay:

  • $184 weekly
  • $367 biweekly
  • $794 monthly

If you do the math for a whole year, you can really see that you need to stop the bleeding. This is what you would overpay for three entry-level wages:

  • $9.00/HR $7800
  • $10.00/HR $8667
  • $11.00/HR $9529

What could you do with an extra eight grand a year? Purchase new equipment? Provide additional training? Expand advertising?

The Solution
Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, a cloud-based time and attendance solution that makes reducing labor costs easy. As your employees record time on their tablets, mobile phones, or computers—or with one of our plug-and-play time clocks—you’ll reduce time card guesstimating that leads to unnecessary overpayment. 

Let us show you how Baron Time can help your company. Call today for a demo!

 

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is developed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

How to Put Your Employees in the Driver’s Seat

Islandia employee self-service timecard system

Your team members don’t call their bank when they need to check their balance, they simply access their account from their smartphone. They also purchase movie tickets and book flights without ever speaking to an actual person. Self-service access lets people manage their lives at their convenience, on their own terms.

Take the Hassle Out Of, Well, Everything
Do you offer the convenience of self-service Workforce Management to your team members? Why should they need call you (or your HR department) when they want to trade a shift or identify how much sick leave they have accrued?

Empowered Employees Are Happy Employees
Baron Time from Baron Payroll brings the ease and convenience of self-service timecard and schedule management to your associates, dramatically improving employee morale, minimizing turnover, and reducing time spent collecting and managing data.

Baron Workforce Management Suite with Employee Self-Service (ESS) and the Virtual Trade Board empowers your staff to:

Manage their own timecards, decreasing the time needed to review and confirm with a supervisor
Punch in/out from a mobile device for more exact timekeeping on remote jobs
See PTO, sick leave, and vacation accrual reports
Request schedule changes, pick up extra shifts, and view approvals without having to talk with a supervisor

Baron Workforce Management Suite with Employee Self-Service (ESS) and the Virtual Trade Board enables your supervisors to:

Create and modify schedules quickly and effortlessly with drag-and-drop schedule templates
Approve shift change requests with automatic employee notices to decrease communications overhead
Automatically track PTO for more accurate and timely reporting
Monitor time and attendance with threshold reporting so you don’t miss important events
Customize overtime warnings so you can meet your scheduling, workflow, cost of labor, and compliance goals

Improved Loyalty Curtails Turnover
Why spend more time and money managing your workforce than necessary? You hire smart, capable individuals—it makes perfect sense to let them handle every possible Workforce Management task. Your staff will welcome the convenience, improved efficiency, and reduced confusion of Employee Self-Service (ESS). Let us show you how quick we can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite.

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

5 Ways Manual Timekeeping Costs Your Business

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Still using pen and paper? Have you considered how much manual timekeeping costs a business?

1. Employee Time Theft

Manual timekeeping systems can be exploited in a number of ways from hours padding to buddy punching. Some large employers who switch to an automated system are surprised by the drop in employee hours the very first pay period. Even if you notice just a small reduction, this advantage will compound, quickly paying for the cost of adopting an advanced yet affordable automated system like Baron Time.

2. Inaccurate or Insufficient Records

Without accurate employee hours data, it is difficult to make informed decisions about human resource allocation. This, in turn, curtails productivity.

3. Unnecessary Admin Costs

With old school manual timekeeping systems, your admin staff spends tedious hours troubleshooting timesheet inaccuracies and missing information, and then manually entering the data into the payroll system. When your HR staff can process payroll in minutes, they are free to work on company initiatives that improve employee productivity and loyalty.

4. Increased Overtime

Paper time card systems don’t have built-in alerts to inform supervisors when employees are approaching or have exceeded their authorized hours. The larger your company, the more unexpected overtime costs you.

5. Higher Employee Turnover

Inaccurate timekeeping and restricted access to basic information contribute to employee frustration and higher turnover. Many employers don’t realize how expensive it is to replace employees.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that it costs about 20% of annual salary to replace an associate making less than 50k a year and the costs increase with higher paid employees.* Do the math: for an associate making $30,000 a year, that would be $6,000.

Automated time and attendance systems allow associates to handle their time cards and monitor PTO, vacation, and other accruals without having to go through a supervisor or the HR department. When team members are empowered, they feel better about their jobs which leads to increased productivity.

*Heather Boushey and Sarah Jane Glynn, “There Are Significant Business Costs to Replacing Employees,” Center for American Progress, November 16, 2012, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/economy/reports/2012/11/16/44464/there-are-significant-business-costs-to-replacing-employees/, accessed March 31, 2017

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and company.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is designed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

Baron Payroll PunchLogic Prevents Punch Errors

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Has your company outgrown your time and attendance system? Have you been searching for something to increase productivity and efficiency for your business? Baron Payroll has the answer for you!

Not only is our Baron Workforce Management Suite a robust solution, it is updated continually with state-of-the-industry tools. This way, your company is never using last year’s technology. Let’s talk about the latest addition to Baron Workforce Management Suite.

Baron Time Clock With PunchLogic

Baron Time Clock is the smartest time and attendance manager on the market. What sets Baron Time Clock apart from other time and attendance systems is what we call PunchLogic.

PunchLogic makes clocking in and out more accurate by knowing what your employees should be doing next.

If an associate clocks in to work, the option to clock in again is taken away and they are presented with logical options: clock out, start a break, or start a meal. This intuitiveness decreases punch errors and increases payroll accuracy.

PunchLogic curtails duplicate punches and will significantly increase the accuracy of your timekeeping data.

When your organization is able to reduce errors on time cards, your HR staff will spend less time administering payroll. That allows them to focus on other aspects of your organization and you can feel confident that our Baron Workforce Management Suite will be doing its job!

Baron Time Clock is a powerful feature of Baron Workforce Management Suite. We are sure your organization will see an increase in efficiency, a reduction in labor costs, and better protection in case of a DOL audit!

Contact Baron Payroll for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

Baron Payroll offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our Baron Payroll ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.