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Family Quarrel Imperils a Labor Hero’s Legacy

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DOL Produces Timesheet App for Smart Phones

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EDD Annual Employer Reports

Effective January 1, 2011, employers will report total subject wages, Unemployment Insurance (UI), Employment Training Tax (ETT), and Disability Insurance (DI) taxable wages and contributions, and Personal Income Tax (PIT) subject wages and withholdings quarterly by filing a New Quarterly Contribution Return and Report of Wages (DE 9) quarterly instead of annually.

Read more: EDD Annual Employer Reports

California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) Doing “Field Inspections”

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TAX RATES, LIMITS AND OTHER REMINDERS FOR 2012

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Minors Working in Agriculture

California and federal laws regulate the conditions under which minors may be employed and the hours they may work. The employment of minors in some situations is completely banned.

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Inspection Checklists

It's always a good idea to be prepared for agency audits.  Here are a few checklists to help you be prepared:

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State Supreme Court Ruling on Employment Definition Favorable to Farm Employers

On May 20, the Supreme Court of California issued its long-awaited decision in the case of Martinez v. Combs. In its unanimous opinion, the court held that the definition of "employ" under Industrial Welfare Commission (IWC) Order No. 14, which applies to agricultural occupations, applied to farm workers' claims for unpaid minimum wages.

Read more: Ruling on Employment Definition

 

COBRA Continuing Extension Act

 

The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration has updated the COBRA web page with the following to reflect the Continuing Extension Act of 2010 and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010:

Read more: COBRA Continuing Extension Act

Employees Must Receive  EITC Notice


    Employers in California must notify employees about the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) every year. Further, they must process, upon an employee's request and in accordance with federal law, Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-5 for advance payments of the EITC.

    The EITC Information Act, codified in Revenue and Taxation Code sections 19850 to 19854, covers every employer required to provide unemployment insurance (UI) to its employees. A covered employer must give the notice to all of its employees who are covered by UI; even employees whose earnings are far above the EITC eligibility limit must get the notice.

    An employer must notify an employee that the employee may be eligible for the EITC within one week before or after, or at the same time, that the employer gives the employee an annual wage summary, such as an IRS Form W-2 or Form 1099.

    The employer must either hand the notice to the employee or mail it to the employee's last-known address. Posting a notice on an employee bulletin board or sending it through office mail does not suffice.

    The employer may choose between two notices:

    Notice 1. This rather lengthy notice, which is specified in the statute:

        Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the earned income tax credit from the federal government. The earned income tax credit is a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families. The earned income tax credit has no effect on certain welfare benefits. In most cases, earned income tax credit payments will not be used to determine eligibility for Medicaid, supplemental security income, food stamps, low-income housing or most temporary assistance for needy families payments. Even if you do not owe federal taxes, you must file a tax return to receive the earned income tax credit. Be sure to fill out the earned income tax credit form in the federal income tax return booklet. For information regarding your eligibility to receive the earned income tax credit, including information on how to obtain the IRS Notice 797 or Form W-5, or any other necessary forms and instructions, contact the Internal Revenue Service at 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at www.irs.gov.

    Unfortunately, that notice will likely confuse and/or make many employees who do not qualify for the EITC question their employer's competency because it begins:

    Based on your annual earnings, you may be eligible to receive the earned income tax credit. . . .
    The italicized clause makes it sound as though the employer evaluated the employee's earnings and determined there is a reasonable prospect that the employee qualifies for the EITC, when in fact no evaluation was made and the employee may be nowhere close to being eligible for the EITC. In light of that undesirable outcome and because of its length, an employer might prefer not to give that notice but instead give Notice 2.

    Notice 2. A notice containing instructions on how to obtain forms and notices available from the IRS for the purpose of claiming the EITC, including IRS Notice 797 and Form W-5, or any successor notice or form. The last sentence of the statutory notice states those instructions.

    Accordingly, a shorter version of the statutory notice containing (1) similar instructions, (2) a statement of the employee's possible eligibility for the EITC, and (3) a brief description of the EITC will suffice. A sufficient notice reads:

        You may be eligible for the earned income tax credit, a refundable federal income tax credit for low-income working individuals and families.

        For information on your eligibility to receive the earned income tax credit, including information on how to obtain Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Notice 797, IRS Form W-5, or any other pertinent form or instructions, contact the IRS by calling 1-800-829-3676 or through its Web site at www.irs.gov.


    Notice 2 (Spanish): Here is that notice in Spanish:

       Usted puede ser elegible para el crédito de impuestos de ingresos ganados, un crédito de impuestos de ingresos federales reembolsables para trabajadores y familias de bajos ingresos.

      Para información sobre su elegibilidad para recibir el crédito de impuestos de ganancias ganadas, incluyendo información sobre cómo obtener el Aviso 797, Forma W-5, del Servicio de Impuestos Interno (IRS por sus siglas en inglés), o cualquier otra forma pertinente o instrucciones, comuníquese con el IRS, llamando al 1-800-829-3676 o a través de su sitio de la Web al www.irs.gov.


    For more information on the EITC, visit the IRS Web site at
www.irs.gov/individuals/article/0,,id=96515,00.html or www.fels.net/find#0812 for a link to the IRS Web site.
    Frequently Asked Questions about the California’s EITC notification requirement are posted on the Employment Development Department’s Web site at www.edd.ca.gov/Payroll_taxes/FAQ_-_Earned_Income_Tax_Credit_Notification.htm

(Source: Carl Borden, Associate Counsel, California Farm Bureau Federation)