Marathon HR News

Stay up-to-date on the latest Marathon HR news and developments via our newsletter and press releases. For details on the successful partnerships we build with clients, please read our case studies and testimonials.

Paying Out PTO: Avert Disputes through Policy

By Employment Law

This time of year, employees that have accrued but not used paid time off (PTO) start asking if they have to “use it or lose it.” Some expect to receive a check as compensation for any paid time they cannot use. In Georgia, as at the federal level, there is no requirement for employers to provide paid vacation, sick leave or personal time off, let alone carry it over or pay it out. As a…

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Employment Handbook Changes: How Do You Announce Them?

By Employment Law

Many employers make changes to their corporate employee policies over time but neglect to update their policy manuals or notify workers. Not only is this a bad business practice; it can also leave a company exposed to liability, depending on the nature of the policy change. Year-end is the perfect time to incorporate all policy changes (including any from previous years that were not incorporated) into the employee handbook. Depending on the extent of the…

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Generating W-2s—Make Sure They Are Accurate

By Employment Law

It’s amazing how many employees move or experience significant changes in their living circumstances without telling their employers. Now is the time to reach out to current and former employees and ensure you have correct addresses for sending W-2s. Marathon always mails its clients’ W-2s in time for personnel to receive them by the deadline, but we need correct addresses to achieve that goal. The US Postal Service only forwards mail for six months unless…

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IRS Rules for S-Corporation Medical Expenses: Use This Benefit Appropriately

By Employment Law

The IRS allows S-corporations to pay for (and deduct) the medical expenses of their shareholders, but only under certain stipulations. First, the employee or owner must be a more-than-two-percent shareholder of the corporation. Second, the insurance premiums paid on behalf of (or reimbursed to) a shareholder-employee must be reported by the S- Corporation as wages on the shareholder-employee’s Form W-2. These benefits are not subject to Social Security or Medicare (FICA) or Unemployment (FUTA) taxes….

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IRS Reaffirms Massive Penalties for Companies Paying for Health Care Plans with Pre-Tax Dollars

By Employment Law

As a related note, the IRS has reconfirmed earlier guidance that prohibits companies who do not establish individual health care plans from reimbursing employees for health insurance premiums or paying for them with employees’ pre-tax dollars (not including them in taxable income). Per Notice 2013-54, the penalty can be up to $100 per employee, per day, which amounts to $36,500 per employee, per year. The IRS guidance to this specific question is as follows: After-tax arrangements…

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Marathon HR Has Turned Ten! When Is Your Next Important “Office-versary”?

By Employment Law

On September 30, Marathon HR celebrated its tenth anniversary, and we are proud to say that we were surrounded by many of the clients who have been with us over the years. We would like to take a moment to thank all of our clients, friends and supporters! We hope to provide you with many, many more years of excellent service. Many thanks to our friends and customers in the Athens Referral Factory Front row…

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Don’t Run Afoul of the Fair Credit Reporting Act!

By Employment Law

We recently learned of a situation where a business hired a background screening firm that, in the terms of the paperwork it had applicants sign, stated a requirement that was illegal. Specifically, the vendor stated that by signing the background check authorization form, the applicant was agreeing to hold the vendor and its client harmless from any activity relating to the background check or the information obtained through the process. Illegal Language on Background Check…

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You’re Asked to Produce Employment-Related Documents—Now What?

By Employment Law

Small businesses are already required to submit a significant amount of paperwork each year, without suffering the inconvenience of a legal “discovery” request. One of our clients recently received such a notice, in which she was asked to provide all relevant documents and information pertaining to a terminated employee. Because she was a client of Marathon HR, we were able to provide all the available documents and verify that what we sent constituted all the…

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Handle “Whistleblowers” with Respect and Attention

By Employment Law

We recently learned of a case, filed by the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) against North Jackson Specialty Steel in Ohio, where an employee reporting safety concerns was terminated within days of his complaint. The USDOL alleges that the company fired the employee—a furnace operator—specifically for reporting unsafe conditions after he learned that a safety device had intentionally been disabled. When any company receives such a complaint, it should investigate the problem. It then can take positive…

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ERISA Turns 40: What Does that Mean for Your Business?

By Employment Law

On September 2, 2014, ERISA—the Employment Retirement Income Security Act—turned 40 years old. Implemented at a time when companies were able to go out of business and take their employee’s pensions with them, ERISA changed the face of retirement forever. Today, it continues to protect employees in many ways, including protecting some $7.5 trillion in assets for 141 million workers. The impetus for ERISA began when Studebaker Corporation went bankrupt, and its poorly funded pension plan…

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