All posts by Nate Joy

About Nate Joy

Nate is the Co-founder and Owner along with his wife Terra. Nate joined the team full-time in Spring 2017 with 10+ years of Project Management/Business Analysis experience. He works with clients on process improvement and software implementation.

Keep up on those I-9’s!

As a small business owner, some of your tasks are both exciting and important (think meeting a new client). Others, however, are important but not exciting, like picking up your mail. The task we’re going to talk about today is certainly in the later category – ensuring that the I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification Form is correctly filled out for every one of your employees.

This form is regulated by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and its purpose is to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States. There are 2 parts to the form that must be completed. Section 1 is done by the employee. Section 2 is done by the employer or an authorized representative and requires verification of the employee’s physical identification (such as a passport, birth certificate, drivers license, etc).

Something that many employers may not know is that the employee’s identification must be verified in person. This means that your employee cannot bring copies of their identification for review. It also means that if you have remote employees (a situation where verifying their identification in person is not possible) you must have your employee take their identification to an authorized agent for review and completion of section 2 of the I-9 form.

According to the USCIS, a notary public can be used as an authorized agent to verify identification in person and completed section 2. You can find more information here on remote employees I9 forms. We encourage our clients, or anybody needing advice on new hire procedures, to consult with an HR professional who is familiar with the requirements in your state.

One of the most difficult things about being a small business owner is keeping up on all of these small but critical tasks. Use this opportunity to ensure that you process is correct and also to look back at paperwork for existing employees!

Reporting Wages For Unemployment Taxes in Washington State

Today’s blog comes from our Lead Accountant, Adrienne Kaylor.

If you are an employer in Washington state, it’s important to make sure you are reporting wages for unemployment taxes correctly to the Employment Security Department. Reporting requirements are as follows:

Salaried or Commissioned Employees – Report actual hours worked. If hours are not tracked, report 40 hours per week for full-time employees.

Overtime – Report actual hours worked.

Vacation pay – Report the number of hours for leave with pay.

Payment in kind – Report actual hours worked.

Pay in lieu of notice – Report the hours that would have been worked.

Severance pay, bonuses, tips and gratuities – Report zero (0) hours.

You’ll notice that sick time hours are not listed as reportable. According to WAC code 192-310-040, any hours paid for sick time do not need to be reported, as long as they are paid under a qualified plan. A qualified plan is a plan that covers everyone and all employees have access to – in an employee handbook or posted visibly for everyone to see.

As of January 1, 2018, all WA employers are required to offer paid sick leave to their employees and to notify them in writing that the sick time is available to them. If you are abiding by these state requirements, you are paying sick leave under a qualified plan and do not need to report sick wages for unemployment taxes. For more information, or to be sure your plan meets the requirements, contact ESD’s employer registration line at 855-829-8243.