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December 21st, 2018 / by Mike Cooney

Quick Flash

Oregon has its own W4 starting in 2019

Changes to the tax laws at the federal level may result in Oregon workers not having enough taxes taken from their paychecks to cover their state liability come tax time. In an effort to encourage employees to ensure they have enough taxes... more

June 25th, 2018 / by Mike Cooney

Fair Chance in Washington State

Washington State’s new Fair Chance Act went into effect June 6th, 2018. This version of a ban-the-box law specifically prohibits employers from obtaining information, either in writing or verbally, about job applicants prior arrests or convictions until after the applicant is determined to be qualified or the position. Once a candidate has been identified as qualified, the law does not restrict employers from then inquiring or otherwise obtaining background information, such as criminal convictions.

This Act covers expansive groups of employers including: public agencies, private individuals, businesses and corporations, contractors, temporary staffing agencies, training and apprenticeship programs, and job placement, referral, and employment agencies. If you fall under one of those categories, we’ve compiled some quick tips for compliance with the new law below.

1. Update job applications to remove questions about criminal history. 2. Review job postings to ensure there is no deterrent language such as “no felons” or “no criminal... more

October 13th, 2017 / by Mike Cooney

Effective Immediately – Oregon Equal Pay Act of 2017

Effective immediately Employers are no longer allowed to ask candidates, or their former employers, about prior salary history. While the full protections of the Oregon Equal Pay Act don’t go into effect in January of 2019, parts of the multi-layered law are effective October 6th, 2017. Similar to the law passed in Massachusetts earlier, this law aims to quickly close pay gaps by prohibiting employers from screening applicants based on salary history. Further, employers cannot rely on salary history in determining compensation for a position based on a prospective employee’s current or past compensation. A second part of the law expands on existing prohibitions of discriminating against protected classes such as: race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability or age, making it illegal to pay employees who perform comparable work differing rates of pay should they hold one of the statuses listed prior. Getting Ready The law... more

August 14th, 2017 / by Mike Cooney

Did Someone Say Audit?

With all the daily nagging pressures of running a small business, trying to find the time to asses how the HR side of things is running can be daunting. If things seem to be running smoothly, why go looking for problems? The word audit strikes fear into the hearts of almost everyone, but correcting minor HR issues now with an HR Audit or HR Assessment can protect a company against costly legal claims in the future, and can also achieve smaller immediate gains, like better employee retention and more accurate vendor payments. So have no fear, take a look at the most commonly made mistakes listed below and see if your company can benefit from some improved practices.

Recruiting and Onboarding – Consistency is key. Are all candidates put through the same clear screening process? Things such as drug testing, background checks, reference checks, and pre-employment testing should be administered... more

March 14th, 2017 / by Mike Cooney

What Does the Handbook Say

HR experts agree that small and medium sized businesses should create handbooks as protection from lawsuits, but handbooks can also serve to welcome and inform new employees in a positive way. The success of a handbook is determined by what policies are included and how they are worded. A good handbook is a living document that reflects the true culture of the business.

The Basic Do’s. Things to Include in Every Handbook

• With each edition, mention that this document trumps any other policy documents and is subject to change. • Include wording that states at no time does this document create or intend to create an employment contract. In Oregon, this is where to mention the ‘at will’ employment. • How the company addresses any harassment or complaints of harassment. Having a clear policy can protect against misunderstandings in the future, good protection should an employer find themselves in a legal situation. •... more

November 22nd, 2016 / by Mike Cooney

New I-9 Form is Live

The new Form I-9, or Employment Authorization Verification, will be made available via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website on November 22, 2016.

The new I-9 is purported to include some handy new features. Now offered is an online ‘smart form’ to help eliminate the most commonly made errors. However, it is important to know that the new I-9 is not an electronic form. The form will still need to be printed, signed and stored appropriately.

A 2-month grace period will be provided for employers to integrate the new form into their onboarding procedures. This means that employers must begin using the new I-9 form for all new hires and reverifications no later than January 22, 2017. After that date, all previous versions of the I-9 Form will be invalid. Employers using older forms will be considered in violation, possibly resulting in fines.

As with any new implementation, now is... more

April 12th, 2016 / by Mike Cooney

I-9 Form Updates

Did you happen to notice that the current I-9 Form has expired? The I-9 Form actually has an expiration date of March 31, 2016. Unlike that food in your refrigerator, don’t throw it out quite yet. It is still good to use.

That is right. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has advised employers to continue using the current version of the Form I-9, even though the March 31, 2016 expiration date on the form has passed.

Employers must complete Form I-9 within three days of hire for all newly hired employees to verify their identity and authorization to work in the U.S.

USCIS will provide updated information about the new version of Form I-9 as it becomes available.

Please contact us if you have any questions or need more information about the I-9 Form.

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