How to simplify onboarding your freelancers

How much time are you spending setting up your freelancers?

If the answer is too much, then maybe it’s time to reconsider your methods. Let PayReel handle onboarding paperwork so you can spend your time and energy on the creative parts of your projects instead.

 

So what’s the problem?

Worker classification: One of the most difficult things about setting up your workforce is worker classification. That’s why we cover the topic extensively on our blog. While you may be able to answer who’s a strong worker and who might need a little bit of help, the worker classification discussion brings a lot more to the table than a black-and-white answer—especially now with the Department of Labor cracking down on worker classification errors. If the words exempt, non-exempt, W-2, and 1099 make your head spin, we can help with that.

Paying accurately: Another trick that comes into play when hiring your workforce is making sure you’re paying them accurately (we’re looking at you, minimum wage and overtime!) and in a timely manner. Did you know that some states have strict pay deadlines for specific types of employees? We know, and our team works hard to stay on top of the ever-changing wage laws at the federal, state, and local levels.

Payroll taxes: If taxes only cross your mind on or around April 15th, do the IRS (and yourself) a favor, and stop. Did you know that, along with differing wage laws, some states and localities require a different taxation method than the federal government does? It’s true. Here’s where we stress (and the only time we stress), we got it. Our team stays well versed in local, state, and ever-changing federal tax methods and laws to make sure the employee is happy, you’re happy, and of course, the IRS is happy.

 

Enter PayReel

If one, two, or all three of the points above make you sweat, give us a call and we’ll be happy to help manage your events, employees, and all the behind-the-scenes paperwork that comes with it.

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic. When it comes to event payroll, payroll taxes, and so much more, PayReel makes your life easier. We make sure our clients are able to hire who they want, when they want and see that everyone is paid properly. Leave all payroll services and details up to the PayReel team so you can focus on pulling off a flawless production. Contact us anytime at 303-526-4900 or email us.

Relax. We got it.

About the author

Nat's notes

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis is an avid fan of sports and labor laws alike. Her experience in recruitment, customer service, and ongoing HR education give her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes then meet the rest of the PayReel team!

 

 

 

When America’s pastime and labor laws collide

Unpaid training. Unpaid overtime. A $25 stipend for an entire day spent in a city you don’t live in. If that sounds great to you and you know your way around a baseball diamond, head on over to your city’s minor league baseball team. You’d be a great fit.

We’re not talking about the guys in the majors whom you watch on TV. They make six figures per year on average. We’re talking about Minor League Baseball (MiLB) players who forego payment for training, overtime, and even mandatory events—often making under the IRS-defined poverty line of $12,060/year for a one person household.

 

Hold up. How is this happening?

If you’re having trouble believing me, you’re not alone.

In a piece for ESPN advocating for higher wages, Tony Blengino, a former assistant to the GM for the Mariners, says a first-year professional can expect to make a little over $1,000 pre tax every month. While other industries may point to thin profit margins as an excuse for low wages, professional baseball doesn’t fit the bill. Recent evaluation puts the average major league team’s worth at $1.54 billion.

That’s why a group of former minor leaguers are waging a class action lawsuit against Major League Baseball, who maintains that MiLB players are akin to hourly workers. The suit cites unfair wages and unjust labor practices according to the Fair Labor Standards Act. Of the 2,200 players currently involved in the class action lawsuit, most are inactive. Kyle Johnson, one of the few active members, said players fear being blackballed and unable to get a gig in the future.

The Major League Baseball Player’s Association (MLBPA) protects major league players against low salaries and unfair labor standards. However, this protection only applies to players currently on the team’s 40-man roster. Until MiLB players unionize, many keep quiet and hope they make it to the majors quickly. They choose to endure rather than potentially lose a shot at their dream.

 

So what does it all mean?

Baseball is only one of many industries figuring out labor laws and fair pay. Uber’s recent struggles show the gig economy and the worker classification challenges it brings to the forefront are top-of-mind topics for the government and employers alike. While some workers wait for the government to adjust labor laws and employers to fall in line, others (like the minor leaguers involved in current litigation) take the matter into their own hands. Stay in tune with the conversation to know your rights and navigate the increasingly complicated waters of the American economy.

 

About PayReel

Producing multimedia content and executing live events is chaotic—and working them is even more so! At PayReel, we minimize the time and effort it takes to get you ready for your project, make sure you get paid quick and easy, and have customer service agents on call around the clock to answer your questions at 303-526-4900 or by emailing us here.

 

The next time you work an event or a production, tell your supervisor you love working with the PayReel team!

 

Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis is an avid sports and labor law fan alike. Her experience in recruitment, customer service, and ongoing HR education give her the tools to provide laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!

 

DOL drops the hammer on worker classification

 

If you’ve been paying attention to labor law (or more specifically worker classification) in the news or the grumbles of your last Uber driver, you may know that the on-demand driver provider is facing a three-headed monster. It’s not stoplights, stop signs, and lane changes—instead, it’s a mess of more than 70 federal lawsuits against Uber from drivers, passengers, and even the government.

What brought it all on? To start, Uber has classified their drivers (both full and part time) as contractors, while drivers feel that they’re treated as employees. As things stand today, those drivers are correct—they are employees. That decision has cost Uber $100 million in a settlement in both California and Massachusetts. More settlements and lawsuits are still pending.

The difference between W-2 employees and 1099 independent contractors occupies a grey area. This grey area has become the target of a Department of Labor crackdown. The DOL is dropping the hammer and strengthening their enforcement of worker classification. If they’re not careful, companies could face lawsuits from many angles. If Uber is any indication, that’s not likely to turn out very well.

 

The bottom line

At PayReel, compliance comes first. We don’t just classify your employees properly, we even pay them properly so that you can hire who you want exactly when you want them. If grey areas aren’t your thing and if the term “lawsuit” makes your heart skip a beat—relax, we got it. Contact us around the clock at 303-526-4900 or email us here.

 


 
Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis recapped 2016’s biggest news in freelancer management to help you prepare for 2017. Nat’s experience in recruitment and customer service set her up for success in providing laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it the most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!

 

How 2016’s overtime exemptions, minimum wage, and more will affect 2017

The ball has dropped and the confetti has settled. Now that we’re back to work, let’s talk about what changed—other than the year—when the clock struck midnight on Dec. 31, 2016.

 

Minimum wage

As of Jan. 2017, if you have employees working in one of the 29 states (plus Washington, D.C.) that passed a new minimum wage standard, they may be automatically eligible for a raise. Additionally, if your employees are working in one of the states that passed a built-in yearly minimum wage increase, they’re automatically set up for a raise until 2020. These raises don’t require a performance review and, if they aren’t honored, you could be liable for a lawsuit that’s sure to induce a headache worse than your New Year’s Eve escapades. That’s where PayReel’s smart software (and team!) comes in to make sure compliance comes first even in the most unique cases.

 

Paid sick leave

Some states are not only increasing their minimum wages; they’re also enacting a paid sick leave law. While it varies from location to location, paid sick leave essentially allows eligible employees to take paid time away from work so they or a family member can receive preventive care and/or diagnosis and care of an existing condition. As of Jan. 2017, California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, District of Columbia, and Vermont have enacted paid sick leave policies statewide. Certain counties and cities in New Jersey, Washington, New York, and Maryland also have paid sick leave for eligible employees. We’ll be keeping our eyes on paid sick leave laws because, like many things when it comes to managing contractors and freelancers, they’re likely to change and grow as the year goes on. 

 

Mileage rates

In a nutshell: You’ll be paying your freelancers less for the miles they drive on the clock in 2017.

As of Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates paid to freelancers using their personal vehicle for business purposes decreased from 2016. You can now expect to pay 53.5 cents per mile driven for business purposes (down from 54 cents in 2016) and 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes (down from 19 cents for 2016). Click here to dig into the details and find our how to take advantage of your mileage savings.

 

Overtime exemptions

One of the most impactful changes of 2017 is sure to be overtime exemptions. That is, if they ever actually happen.

The Department of Labor’s Fair Labor Standards Act (DOL FLSA) is poised to doubled the salary threshold; making over 4 million more employees non-exempt, and therefore eligible for overtime. Click here to learn how an overtime exemption overhaul can still affect you and your bottom line even while it’s in limbo.

 

The bottom line

If all those names, numbers, and abbreviations make you want to pour yourself another glass of champagne, get in touch with the PayReel team. Hire who you want, when you want while we manage all the paperwork and the risk. Contact us around the clock by calling 303-526-4900 or emailing us here.

Relax. We got it!

 


 
Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis recapped 2016’s biggest news in freelancer management to help you prepare for 2017. Nat’s experience in recruitment and customer service set her up for success in providing laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it the most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!


Overtime exemptions are on hold. How will it affect you?

 

A ruling slated to put an additional $1.2 billion per year in workers’ pockets is now on ice. Here is the state of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FSLA) and what it means for your business.

 

What exactly is  the FSLA?

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) FSLA includes new overtime exemptions. If and when it goes into effect, the law will nearly double the salary threshold (from $455/week to $913), thereby making up to 4.2 million more people non-exempt and eligible to be paid overtime.

On November 22, 2016, a week before the ruling was to take effect, a judge in Texas won a preliminary injunction against it. While the twenty other states that fought to end the act breathed a sigh of relief, the DOL cried foul and filed an appeal.

As of this posting, the battle continues.

 

What do stalled overtime exemptions mean for businesses?

Like all things involving government and money, it’s complicated. And it’s likely to cause headaches for anyone digging in to the nitty gritty details.

With the issue in limbo at a federal level, states are trying to figure this thing out on their own—which makes room for a lot of gray areas. Gray areas are where lawsuits live. There are different labor laws at the federal and state levels. In most legal situations, federal trumps state. It’s different with labor laws, though, because states are only required to use federal guidelines as a baseline.

Another place with plenty of room for confusion is worker classification, which we cover in an ongoing blog series here. Often, workers fall into both exempt and non-exempt classification categories, which affects eligibility for a slew of benefits, including overtime. In these cases, classification depends on a weighted scale of the employees’ duties. It’s shockingly easy to misclassify workers and rack up legal fees and fines before you know it. Classifying workers correctly the first time around puts employers in a better position to adjust to changing laws in the future.

PayReel’s policy pros—in conjunction with our custom PayReel OnLine software—protect your sanity and your finances by sifting through the legal complexities and taking responsibility for your workers. As the employer of record for our clients, we are the ones on the hook if we get it wrong. The good news is, that rarely happens.

With PayReel, you can hire who you want, when you want, without worrying about overtime exemptions and worker classification. As the ones who are legally liable for our employees, and morally liable to our clients, we’re dedicated to understanding the ins and outs of both so we can make the right decisions.

 

What’s the bottom line?

The end of the year is a great time to review your payroll practices to be sure you are compliant or are in a position to stay compliant as laws change. If you don’t have the time, resources, or expertise to make sure you’re not trapped in a legal gray zone, get in touch with a team who does. PayReel’s policy pros are available around the clock at 303-526-4900, or you can shoot us an email by clicking here.

 


 
Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis recapped 2016’s biggest news in freelancer management to help you prepare for 2017. Nat’s experience in recruitment and customer service set her up for success in providing laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it the most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!


Paying non-exempt employees after the minimum wage increase

 

One hotly-contested topic this election year has been minimum wage increase. While we still don’t know exactly how federal minimum wage will be affected once our new president takes office; what we have right now is a mashup of  states who are implementing gradual increases, several whose increases depend on a litany of caveats, and a few who are holding steady at or near their current local minimum wage.

If you’re paying employees in one of the 29 states that recently passed the minimum wage increase, you may be wondering—what does a local minimum wage increase look like?

If you’re anything like I was before I started at PayReel, the fact that there are both federal and local minimum wages is likely confusing. While some states (like Wyoming and Georgia) have minimum wages lower than the federal minimum wage, the federal minimum wage sets the benchmark.

Since July 2009, the federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 per hour for non-exempt employees. This means that if your employees are working in the United States, and are eligible to receive overtime, you are going to be paying them a minimum of $7.25 per hour. But wait, there’s more! If your employee is working in a state that has a minimum wage set above the federal limit (there will be 29 such states, as well as Washington, D.C., on January 1, 2017), they must be paid that wage. For example, if your employee works in Washington, D.C., and lives in Virginia – you must pay them the minimum wage in Washington, D.C.

Paying non-exempt employees after federal and local minimum wage increases is only bound to get more confusing. Luckily, at PayReel we eat, sleep, and breathe compliance and have already updated our software to handle changing minimum wage rates.

If you want your business to stay complaint (read: avoid back taxes, keep your livelihood, and stay out of jail!), we always recommend reviewing your payroll practices around the first of the year. If you find yourself in over your head, get in touch with PayReel at 303-526-4900 or shoot us an email by clicking here.

We’re happy to help you hire who you want, when you want while keeping your compliant and your workers paid.

 


 
Nat's notes

About the author

PayReel Customer Experience Manager Natalie “The Go Getter” McGinnis recapped 2016’s biggest news in freelancer management to help you prepare for 2017. Nat’s experience in recruitment and customer service set her up for success in providing laser-focused attention and assistance to the PayReel employees and clients who need it the most. Click here to read more of Nat’s Notes and meet the rest of the PayReel team by clicking here!