Employers Must Use New Form I-9 Starting May 7, 2013

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) released a new Form I-9 for verifying employment eligibility. All employers are required to complete a Form I-9 to verify the employee’s identity and eligibility to work in the United States.

After an initial grace period during which employers could use either the new or old Form I-9, use of the new form will be mandatory as of May 7, 2013. It is important that employers use the new Form I-9 because it contains a number of important changes from the previous form.

Continued use of the old form could subject employers to fines of $110 to $935 per instance depending on the non-compliance rate.

New Rules for Employees Paid by Commission – Effective January 1, 2013

AB 1396 provides that, by no later than January 1, 2013, all in-state and out-of-state employers shall have written agreements in place for employees who are paid commissions for providing services within the State of California.

The written agreement shall provide the method by which the commissions will be computed and paid. The employer shall also provide a signed copy of the written agreement to the employee and obtain a signed “receipt” for the written agreement from the employee.

Published in: on January 27, 2013 at 10:52 am  Leave a Comment  


Mercer conducts this survey annually to help multinational companies and other organizations compensate employees fairly when placing them on international assignments. Mercer’s Quality of Living reports provide valuable information and hardship premium recommendations for many cities throughout the world. Mercer’s Quality of Living index list covers 221 cities, ranked against New York as the base city.

Vienna retains the top spot as the city with the world’s best quality of living, according to the Mercer 2012 Quality of Living Survey. Zurich and Auckland follow in second and third place, respectively, and Munich is in fourth place, followed by Vancouver, which ranked fifth. Düsseldorf dropped one spot to rank sixth followed by Frankfurt in seventh, Geneva in eighth, Copenhagen in ninth, and Bern and Sydney tied for tenth place.

In the United States, Honolulu (28) and San Francisco (29) are the highest-ranking cities, followed by Boston (35). Chicago is ranked 42nd, while Washington, DC, is ranked 43rd. Detroit (71) is the lowest-ranking of the US cities that Mercer surveys.

Globally, the cities with the lowest quality of living are Khartoum, Sudan (217); N’Djamena, Chad (218); Port-au-Prince, Haiti (219); and Bangui, Central African Republic (220). Baghdad, Iraq (221) ranks last.

This year’s ranking separately identifies the cities with the best infrastructure based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, traffic congestion and the range of international flights from local airports. Singapore is at the top of this index, followed by Frankfurt and Munich in second place. Copenhagen (4) and Dusseldorf (5) fill the next two slots, while Hong Kong and London share sixth place. Port-au-Prince (221) ranks at the bottom of the list.

The highest-ranking US cities on the city infrastructure list are Atlanta (13), Dallas (15), Washington, DC (22) and Chicago (28).

“In order for multinational companies to ensure their expatriates are compensated appropriately and an adequate hardship allowance is included in compensation packages, they must be aware of current events and local circumstances,” said Slagin Parakatil, Senior Researcher at Mercer. “Factors such as internal stability, law enforcement effectiveness, crime levels and medical facilities are important to consider when deciding on an international assignment, and the impact on daily life that could be encountered by the expatriate in overseas placements.”

The 2012 Infrastructure ranking is based on electricity supply, water availability, telephone and mail services, public transportation, airports and traffic congestion.

Quality of living ranking:
Vienna, Austria (1st)
Zurich, Switzerland (2nd)
Auckland, New Zealand (3rd)
Munich, Germany (4th)
Vancouver, Canada (5th)

Infrastructure ranking:
Singapore, Singapore (1st)
Frankfurt, Germany (tied 2nd)
Munich, Germany (tied 2nd)
Copenhagen, Denmark (4th)
Düsseldorf, Germany (5th)
Top 5 cities by region

For more information:

Published in: on December 5, 2012 at 10:09 am  Leave a Comment  

IRS standard mileage reimbursement rate increases to 56.5 cents on January 1, 2013

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the standard mileage reimbursement rate for business travel for 2013. Effective January 1, 2013, the standard mileage rate will be 56.5 cents per mile (up from 55.5 cents per mile in 2012).

Although employers are not required to reimburse employee travel at the IRS mileage rate, it is advisable to do so because other methods for providing adequate reimbursement are more difficult to prove.

Thanksgiving proclamation by George Washington

This historic proclamation was issued by George Washington during his first year as President. It sets aside Thursday, November 26 as “A Day of Publick Thanksgiving and Prayer.” I think you will find it worth reading.

General Thanksgiving
By the PRESIDENT of the United States Of America

WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;– for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;– for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;– and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;– to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.

(signed) G. Washington

Signed by Washington on October 3, 1789 and entitled “General Thanksgiving,” the decree appointed the day “to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”

While there were Thanksgiving observances in America both before and after Washington’s proclamation, this represents the first to be so designated by the new national government.

After their first harvest, the colonists of the Plymouth Plantation held a celebration of food and feasting in the fall of 1621. Indian chiefs Massassoit, Squanto and Samoset joined in the celebration with ninety of their men in the three-day event.

The first recorded Thanksgiving observance was held on June 29, 1671 at Charlestown, Massachusetts by proclamation of the town’s governing council.

During the 1700s, it was common practice for individual colonies to observe days of thanksgiving throughout each year. A Thanksgiving Day two hundred years ago was a day set aside for prayer and fasting, not a day marked by plentiful food and drink as is today’s custom. Later in the 18th century each of the states periodically would designate a day of thanksgiving in honor of a military victory, an adoption of a state constitution or an exceptionally bountiful crop.

Published in: on November 21, 2012 at 2:34 pm  Leave a Comment  
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2012-2013 NACD Public Company Governance Survey Highlights

The 2012-2013 NACD Public Company Governance Survey publishes benchmarking data on a wide range of board of directors practices.

A few highlights from the survey:

– More than 58 percent of public boards have combined the roles of chairman and CEO

-More than 82 percent of respondents reported that they received continuing director education in the past 12 months

-Slightly less than 40 percent classified their CEO succession plans as formal with steps set forth in corporate documents

-Formal risk management programs are used by 62.9 percent of the survey population


SEC Adopts Rules for Say-on-Pay and Golden Parachute Compensation as Required Under Dodd-Frank Act

The Securities and Exchange Commission adopted rules concerning shareholder approval of executive compensation and “golden parachute” compensation arrangements as required under the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

The SEC’s new rules specify that say-on-pay votes required under the Dodd-Frank Act must occur at least once every three years beginning with the first annual shareholders’ meeting taking place on or after Jan. 21, 2011. Companies also are required to hold a “frequency” vote at least once every six years in order to allow shareholders to decide how often they would like to be presented with the say-on-pay vote. Following the frequency vote, a company must disclose on an SEC Form 8-K how often it will hold the say-on-pay vote.

Under the SEC’s new rules, companies also are required to provide additional disclosure regarding golden parachute compensation arrangements with certain executive officers in connection with merger transactions.

The Commission also adopted a temporary exemption for smaller reporting companies (public float of less than $75 million).  These smaller companies are not required to conduct say-on-pay and frequency votes until annual meetings occurring on or after Jan. 21, 2013.

The SEC rules largely mirror the proposed ones.   The revisions in these rules:

  • Delay the general effective date of Jan. 21, 2011 to Jan. 21, 2013, for smaller reporting companies
  • Clarify that the votes have to occur only at shareholder meetings where directors are elected
  • Give companies more time to report shareholder votes and management’s voting-frequency decisions, using Form 8-K instead of Form 10-Q
  • Allow a company to exclude shareholder say-on-pay proposals only if it adopts the voting frequency backed by a majority (not a plurality) of shareholders.

For more information:

SEC Press Release: http://sec.gov/rules/final/2011/33-9178.pdf

Published in: on March 16, 2011 at 3:27 pm  Comments (63)  

Clarifying California Overtime Pay Rules

I continue to get a question on how to pay overtime.  There are five overtime zones that every employer should understand.
Nonexempt employee are entitled to time and one-half for:
  • Over 8 hours of work in a work day
  • Over 40 hours of work in a work week
  • The first 8 hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a work week

In addition, nonexempt employee are entitled to double-time for:
  • Over 12 hours of work in a work day
  • Over 8 hours of work on the seventh consecutive day of work in a work week
Published in: on October 28, 2010 at 10:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Projected Executive Compensation Merit Increases for 2011

Projected 2011 salary budget figures for Officers and Executives has increased over Actual 2010 figures:

                        Actual 2010                      Projected 2011

                        Mean: 2.5%                           Mean: 3.0%

                        Median: 2.7%                       Median: 3.0%

Source: WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey 2010-2011

Published in: on September 27, 2010 at 2:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Projected Salary Increase Budgets for 2011 (part 2)

WorldatWork recently published Top-level data for their 2010-2011 Salary Budget Survey.  Here are the survey results for the Projected 2011 Total Salary Budget Increases by Employee Category:

Employee Category Mean Median
Non-exempt Hourly (Non-union) 2.9% 3.0%
Non-exempt Salaried 2.9% 3.0%
Exempt Salaried 2.9% 3.0%
Officers/Executives 3.0% 3.0%

Source: WorldatWork 2010-2011 Salary Budget Survey: Top-Level Data published July 6, 2010

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 9:45 pm  Leave a Comment