How can employers feed timekeeping data into payroll?
Steve Yager for Payroll Network explains how employers can feed TimeVantage data into the Payroll Network payroll suite. At the end of each pay period, after all of the managers have approved their employees time entries, the payroll administrator makes sure the data is ready for final processing.The system then generates an event to ensure that there are no periods of time missing, a file is saved and then fed into the payroll grid for processing. Once it is in the payroll system, the payroll administrator can review again, make any necessary changes and submit for final processing.
Will TimeVantage remind our managers of important events regarding their employees?
Steve Yager for Payroll Network discusses how TimeVantage sends email notifications to managers on or before important events, such as:
- Anniversary Date
- Review Date
- End of Pay Period Reminders
Also, TimeVantage can be configured to notify the employee if a manager makes a change to their time sheet and when the employees time-off request has been approved, canceled or denied.
How do managers use dashboards to review and approve employees' time entries and PTO requests?
Steve Yager for Payroll Network discusses how managers can log-in, review the requests, review time entries and, ultimately, give the necessary approvals. The TimeVantage system allows the manager to customize the appearance of his first screen. The first screen is a dashboard - the combination of a set of most frequently used reports, all on the same page. Popular reports include:
- Time Off Request Awaiting Management Approval
- Birthday and Anniversary Calendars
- Timesheets Needing Approval
- Previously saved reports
Audit trails are automatically set up to show when the employee entered his time and when the manager approved it.
How can employees request days off electronically with TimeVantage?
Steve Yager for Payroll Network explains how employees can request partial or full days off electronically with TimeVantage in realtime, plus see a detailed history. An email is automatically sent to the employees manager who can approve or reject the request.
What is the TimeVantage Electronic Time and Attendance Solution?
Steve Yager for Payroll Network presents an introduction to the TimeVantage Electronic Time and Attendance Solution. TimeVantage is a web-based application that allows employees to enter their time and request PTO and for managers to review, approve and generate reports regarding their employees' time from any computer that has Internet access. The presentation can be customized to include the company name, logo even the color scheme. Employees can use one user name and password to enter their time, to request time off, to view pay stubs and W2s, all through a single portal that is personalized for their organization. There are several methods for employees to enter their time:
- Time stamp method - primarily for non-exempt employees. Clock in/clock out in real time
- Start-stop method - time can be entered for each day and for each grant or project on any given day
- Bulk hours - employees enter the total number of hours worked on each workday and can also break up those hours by project code
What are the organizational timekeeping best practices for grant-funded nonprofits?
- Do you record hours worked with paper time sheets?
- Can you precisely track budgeted vs. actual hours on all grants, contracts and projects?
- Can you easily supply this data with gross-to-net into your general ledger?
- Does your timekeeping solution support DOL, Federal Agency or OMB audit compliance?
Tracking and recovering indirect costs are among the biggest challenges that grant administrators. Steve Yager for Payroll Network discusses how an electronic time and attendance system can help ensure compliance for grant-funded nonprofit organizations. He starts with some best practices for timekeeping regardless of method for (1) capturing time -- punch in/punch out, manual start and stop, or paper time entry for the number of hours worked each day -- should be with a daily entry by the employee with approval at the end of the pay period by the manager (2) requesting time off and (3) submitting time sheets at the end of the pay period for approval by the manager. The nonprofit managers should be able to generate and export reports as needed.
IRS Form W-2c “Corrected Wage and Tax Statement” is used by employers to correct wage and tax information reported on an employee’s original Form W-2. Below are a few items for employers and employees to keep in mind when preparing or receiving a W-2c:
- Form W-2c should be used only to update information that was reported incorrectly on the original form W-2. Any wage or tax information that was correct on the original W-2 should not be reported on the W-2c.
- If an employee receives a W-2c from their employer, when they file their personal income tax return the employee must include a copy of the original Form W-2 as well as the W-2c showing the adjustments made.
- Employee copies of Form W-2c include Copy B for Federal tax return, Copy C for employee records, Copy 2 for state tax return and Copy of “Notice to employee.”
- The employer retains Copy A to file with the SSA (if applicable), Copy 1 to file with the state tax department (if applicable) and Copy D to keep for their records.
Michael Thom - General Manager, Tax Services, Payroll Network
Can an employer log in to an employee's personal email account to review his communications?
Q.We suspect that an employee has been using his personal email account (e.g., Gmail) to communicate confidential company information to a competitor. Our company has a policy that employee use of company computers (including the internet) is subject to monitoring at any time. Since the employee is using company computers to access his personal email account, can we log in to that employee’s personal account to review his communications?
A. Unless your employee has explicitly authorized you to access his personal web-based email accounts (like Gmail, Yahoo! Mail or Hotmail), accessing such accounts may be a violation of the federal Stored Communications Act (SCA) – even if your employee has saved login and password information to a company-owned computer. Depending on where your employees are located, unauthorized access of private email accounts may also violate state law.
Under the SCA, it is illegal to intentionally access, without authorization, communications that are stored on computer servers. This area of law continues to develop, but the courts that have considered this issue have ruled that, in order to access personal web-based email accounts, it is not enough for a company to simply notify employees that usage of company computers will be monitored. While such notices may be sufficient to allow a company to monitor emails stored on company servers, recent court decisions have found that such notices do not satisfy the “authorization” requirement under the SCA in the case of web-based email services. These courts reason that communications through these services are not being stored on company-owned computers or networks, but on computer networks owned and maintained by third party companies such as Google, Yahoo! and Microsoft. As such, compliance with the SCA would likely require that companies obtain explicit authorization from employees before accessing web-based email accounts.
In short, tread carefully: violation of the SCA is a criminal offense and could subject your company to statutory fines, civil liability and, in the case of willful and intentional violations, punitive damages. Other penalties may result from violations of related state and federal laws, depending on the circumstances. Be aware that you may also be barred from using information gained through unauthorized access in a later lawsuit – information that, but for such unauthorized access, you could have obtained by subpoena.
The above question and answer on email access were provided by Tina Hsu, a partner in the Employment and Labor Law and Intellectual Property practices at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. in Potomac, Maryland, which regularly addresses employment law issues for The Payroll AnswerMan.
How soon after employment termination must a terminated employee be given his or her final paycheck?
This will depend on the wage payment law of the state in which the employee is employed; these laws are not all the same. Typically, the final paycheck must be provided by no later than the day on which the employee would have been paid if employment had not terminated (e.g., by the next regular payday). Payment may be required sooner, however, depending on the state. The time by when payment is required may also depend on whether the employee was fired or resigned. For instance, in Maryland and Virginia, the final paycheck is required to be paid by the date on which the employee would normally have been paid. In the District of Columbia, when the employer discharges the employee payment is normally required no later than the working day following the discharge; if the employee quit or resigned, payment is normally due upon the next regular payday or within 7 days from the date the employee quit or resigned, whichever is earlier.
The above questions and answer was provided by Michael J. Froehlich, a partner in the Employment and Labor Law Practice at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. in Potomac, Maryland, which regularly addresses employment law issues for The Payroll AnswerMan.
One of my employees quit and has not returned a company-owned laptop that was provided to the employee. Can I withhold the employee’s final paycheck until the laptop is returned or deduct the cost of the laptop from the final paycheck?
This will also depend on the wage payment law of the state in which your employee is employed. As a general matter, employers are not permitted to withhold an employee’s final paycheck beyond the date by which the law requires it to be paid, even if the employee has not returned property belonging to the employer. As for deducting the cost of the laptop (or other company property that is not returned), this may not be permitted or, such as in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, it may only be permitted if the employee has signed a voluntary written authorization authorizing the deduction (note that Virginia prohibits most employees from being required to sign an agreement that provides for the forfeiture of wages as a condition of employment). Note that even if your state permits such a deduction, state or federal law may limit the amount that can be deducted.
The above question and answer was provided by Michael J. Froehlich, a partner in the Employment and Labor Law Practice at Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, P.A. in Potomac, Maryland, which regularly addresses employment law issues for The Payroll AnswerMan.