Nov 05 2018

Why you should perform background checks on job applicants

There are many good reasons to look into an applicant’s background. Before you decide to trust applicants with your business’ money, equipment and reputation, you should be sure that their history doesn’t indicate they’ll take advantage of that trust. Moreover, you make a substantial investment in a new worker’s training and compensation. As with any investment, you want to make sure you’re not wasting that investment.

Fact is, not everyone can be trusted. When polled by executive search firm Ward Howell International, 17 percent of 501 executives surveyed said their new hires had misrepresented job qualifications. What’s more, applicants with especially scary skeletons in their closets aren’t likely to tell you about them. Finally, state laws require you to perform background checks on applicants for certain positions, especially ones dealing with children or the elderly.

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Oct 01 2018

4 ways to make recruiting and hiring employees easier

According to, the interview process for just one position now takes an average 22.9 days.

That’s nearly a month of preparation, sifting through resumes, and scheduling and conducting interviews by you and your hiring managers.

Is it surprising that HR professionals would be looking for ways to shorten this process and make it easier for all involved?

Whether you hire just a few employees per year or a few hundred, a recruiting and applicant tracking system to streamline the process can keep your hiring goals on track and organized.

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Sep 07 2018

Tax reform update: new draft form W-4 and new IRS site

One of the biggest political developments last year was the passage of Tax Reform. In addition to changes to credits, deductions, and business tax rates, the tax reform law changes the way employers calculate wage withholding for their employees.

For this reason, the IRS has released an “early release draft” of the 2019 IRS Form W-4, which incorporates a number of changes resulting from tax reform as well as the new withholding requirements. The agency has also updated their website with information on how tax reform effects taxpayers and businesses.

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Sep 04 2018

Are you an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) for 2018?

Are you an Applicable Large Employer (ALE) for 2018?

It's time to find out, because ACA filing is still a requirement for any employers meeting the law's Applicable Large Employer threshold.

The first step in the reporting process is to determine if you are an ALE. ALEs have 50 or more FTEs and are subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility mandate.

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Aug 20 2018

Massachusetts Grand Bargain: 3 major takeaways for employers

A recent compromise between the business community and advocacy groups in the Bay State has resulted in “Grand Bargain” compromise legislation that the Governor signed into law at the end of June.

There are three major items that significantly affect Massachusetts employers: an increase in the state minimum wage to $15.00 per hour, a sales tax compromise, and the creation of a new state paid family and medical leave program.

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Jun 18 2018

REMINDER: Pay Equity law coming July 1 for Massachusetts

The law provides a complete legal defense for employers that have conducted a good-faith and reasonable self-audit of its pay practices. The employer must complete the self-audit within the three year period prior to the initiation of a claim. To use this defense, the employer must demonstrate that, as a result of the self-audit, reasonable progress has been made toward eliminating any wage differentials based on gender for comparable work.

CheckWriters has built a pay equity evaluation tool into our platform which will help employers in Massachusetts conduct a self-audit in order to determine whether your organization is paying men and women the same.

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May 21 2018

New NY state sexual harassment laws

The New York state budget bill, signed into law in April, has an assortment of provisions aimed at preventing sexual harassment as well as measures preventing the silencing of victims.

Among other items, there are policy and training requirements, a ban on confidential settlements, and protections for non-employees.

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Apr 23 2018

Massachusetts strengthens its equal pay act

The Massachusetts Equal Pay Act (MEPA), passed in 1945, was the first state law of its kind. But it hasn’t provided enough detail to be useful to employees or stiff enough penalties to be compelling for employers. The amendments to MEPA, which take effect July 1, 2018, make the law significantly more relevant. There are important action items for employers in the state:

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Mar 16 2018

COMPLIANCE ALERT: Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act notice requirement

The Massachusetts Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) was signed into law in July 2017; it provides various protections for applicants and employees who are pregnant or lactating. The law requires that employers provide notice to their workers by April 1, 2018, and goes into effect on that date.

“Substantively, there isn’t too much that changes from current ADA/FMLA standards, as pregnant employees have protections under existing federal and state anti-discrimination laws,” says Carly Fallon, Director of Human Resources at CheckWriters.

“However, this act does clarify and expand upon the rights of pregnant employees with respect to the workplace accommodations they must be afforded.”

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Mar 06 2018

IRS releases updated tax withholding calculator and new Form W-4

One of the most consequential developments of 2018 – for both businesses and individuals – was the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

This bill – signed by the president at the end of last year – increases the standard deduction, removes personal exemptions, increases the child  tax credit, limits or discontinues certain deductions, and of course, changes the tax rates and brackets themselves.

Now, the IRS has released a new tax withholding calculator to give employees the information needed to complete a new Form W-4, which they can submit to their employer if they choose to adjust their withholding.

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