Monthly Archives

December 2019

Tacky Holiday Sweater Party

Having some fun in fellowship

Tacky Attire

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season can wear anyone down.  We combated those holiday blues with bright, gaudy, and tacky attire.  Add in a friendly gingerbread house competition and the banter and laughter were plentiful.

Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019

On December 20, 2019 Congress overwhelmingly passed an end-of-year spending bill and a companion tax extenders measure, which President Donald Trump quickly signed into law.

The “Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019”, has extended many certain expiring provisions such as the Indian Employment Credit, Empowerment Zone Tax Incentives, and most importantly the Work Opportunity Tax Credit Program through December 31, 2020. (Text of the Law)

Some may question if these extensions are necessary, but once we take a closer look at those that are not receiving employment opportunities, we see that there are still many individuals on public assistance or others that are still lacking in the skills that employers need.  The WOTC Program is a federal tax credit available to employers that hire and retain individuals from certain groups that have consistently faced significant employment barriers.   Since there are still high numbers of individuals that fall into this category, there is still a significant need for government programs such as the WOTC Program.

As one of the most beneficial government programs, we know that employers and job seekers will both continue to profit.  We hope that WOTC will become a permanent program and a topic of discussion in upcoming legislation.  According to the Department of Labor, about $1 billion in tax credits are claimed each year under the WOTC Program.

Here at Thomas and Company, we will continue to keep an eye on trends and support these beneficial government programs. If you have any questions about the WOTC Program or how we can assist you with program administration, please feel free to contact Page Wiseman at pwiseman@thomas-and-company.com or 615-242-8246.

As always, if there are any questions please do not hesitate to contact us or visit our website at www.thomas-and-company.com.

Holiday Luncheon

Showing Gratitude

It has been a Thomas & Company tradition to pause around this time of year and recognize our most valuable resource, our people.  Their hard work and dedication continues to enable success for our clients.  It’s a short break to sit together in solidarity and enjoy fellowship as an opportunity to build upon our camaraderie and culture.

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and Joyful Holiday Season!

Rock Star Colleagues

10+ Years of

Enabling Success

Last year we provided custom platinum records to 7 employees who have been with us for 20 or more years.  They are the ones who put down the tracks and forged this culture and quite frankly deserve a platinum record on their wall.  This year we handed out 23 custom lead guitars to colleagues who have been with Thomas & Company for 10 or more years.  These are the Rock Stars of T&C who have enabled our success and created thousands of fans along the way.

MAINE: NEW YEAR NEW RATES & RULES

Changes to state and federal wages as well as overtime compensation will be effective on the first day of the new year in the state of Maine.

Most workers will see a dollar increase of the minimum wage from $11 to $12 per hour.

Another change to note relates to federal overtime pay.  Employees are exempt from overtime pay if they are paid a certain amount, tied to the year’s minimum wage rates.  For the year 2020, the minimum salary requirement becomes $36,000 per year ($692.31 per week).  If earning at least this much, the worker is exempt from overtime pay.

On a federal level, this number will be equal to a minimum salary of $684 per week.

Employers in Maine will be paying the higher rate (state level) as well as meeting the “duties test” to meet the threshold for overtime exemption.

It is estimated that roughly 1,600 workers in the state of Maine will become eligible for overtime pay protection.  In addition to the employee salary needing to exceed $36,000, it is important to note that that employee must be receiving compensation via a true salary basis (regularly receiving a predetermined amount each pay period).  Also, the employee’s job duties must clearly fall within the executive, administrative, or professional job categories as defined in federal statute.

It is important to understand and comply with these new laws to avoid violations, so the Bureau of Labor Standards is holding free trainings.  Learn more about attending a session by calling 207-623-7900.

Please go here for more information on this matter or email mdol@maine.gov for assistance.

UNEMPLOYMENT WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT W/E DECEMBER 7, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending December 7,  2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 252,000
  • 4 week moving average: 224,000
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,667,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,676,000
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 317,509
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,750,218

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

 

UNEMPLOYMENT WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT W/E NOVEMBER 30, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending November 30,  2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 203,000
  • 4 week moving average: 217,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.2%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,693,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,681,000
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 216,737
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.0%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,503,309

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

UNEMPLOYMENT WEEKLY CLAIMS REPORT W/E NOVEMBER 23, 2019

The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims report for the week ending November 23,  2019 has been released by the Department of Labor.

  • Seasonally adjusted initial claims: 213,000
  • 4 week moving average: 219,750
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Seasonally adjusted insured unemployment number: 1,640,000
  • 4-week moving average: 1,680,500
  • Number of unadjusted claims: 252,397
  • Unadjusted insured unemployment rate: 1.1%
  • Unadjusted number claiming UI benefits: 1,472,762

The full news release report can be downloaded here.

 

 

MISSOURI: 2020 MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE

Effective on the first day of 2020, private companies in the state of Missouri will be
required to pay employees a minimum hourly wage of $9.45. There is an exception to this
rule as it applies to retail and service businesses with less than $500,000 in gross sales.
Per proposition B, the state’s hourly wage will continue to increase 85 cents per hour yearly
until 2023. In the state of Missouri, public employers are exempt from state laws and the
federal minimum wage rate does not affect the state minimum wage.
Employees that receive tips as part of their compensation must be paid at least 50 percent
of the minimum wage in addition to the amount needed to bring the amount up to at least
$9.45 per hour.

Click here for more details.