How to Effectively Manage Seasonal Workers’ Payroll

How to Effectively Manage Seasonal Workers’ Payroll

Managing seasonal workers’ payroll comes with unique challenges compared to handling payroll for full-time or part-time employees. Compliance with state labor laws is crucial, but opportunities exist to optimize labor costs and business efficiency. Streamlining your seasonal workers’ payroll with Affiliated HR and Payroll can ease the administrative burdens and enhance your business’s overall performance.

Understanding Seasonal Workforce Dynamics

Seasonal employees are different from full-time employees because their work is expected to end at a set time. This makes correctly classifying them very important. Will you hire them as employees for the duration of their contract, or will they be independent contractors? How they are classified affects payroll and tax withholding. Proper classification is essential to avoid issues with employment regulations.

Even though seasonal employment is short-term, employers still need to collect federal Forms W-4 and I-9 for tax purposes. Seasonal employees must have withholdings for federal income taxes, Medicare, Social Security, and unemployment. Depending on their status, there may also be benefits to consider, such as healthcare.

If you hire seasonal employees around holidays, like for the Christmas retail rush, they might expect quick payment so they can spend their earnings during the holidays. An on-demand payment system might be something to consider during these peak times to keep your workers happy.

All these factors contribute to the complexities of payroll for seasonal employees. While payroll for regular employees might be routine, you may need to make adjustments for seasonal workers.

Key Strategies for Effective Payroll Management

Several strategies can help streamline operations and manage seasonal workers’ payroll more efficiently:

  1. Use Specialized Payroll Software: This can help you classify seasonal workers correctly and reduce the time spent on payroll. An automated system makes tracking additional workers easier during a busy season.
  2. Stay Up-to-Date on Labor Laws: Knowing the latest state-specific labor laws will minimize errors in reporting and withholding, helping you avoid fines. For instance, different states might have varying regulations for overtime pay, and staying informed can prevent costly mistakes.
  3. Keep Accurate Records: Seasonal workers are often college students looking to make extra money during their breaks. Keeping accurate records and ensuring timely payment can keep them happy and willing to return for future seasonal work. This is especially true for businesses that rely on the same workers year after year, like summer camps or holiday retail stores.
  4. Consider Outsourcing Payroll: Affiliated HR and Payroll offers certified payroll services that keep you compliant with local, state, and federal laws, even as seasonal workers come and go. This can be a huge relief for businesses that experience fluctuating staffing needs throughout the year.

Benefits of Efficient Seasonal Payroll Management

Letting a payroll provider handle your seasonal employees’ payroll is a cost-efficient way to do business. The time you usually spend on payroll can be allocated to other important parts of your business. You also gain peace of mind, knowing you’ll always be in legal compliance, as they stay updated on labor law changes for you.

Efficient seasonal payroll management is crucial for keeping seasonal workers happy and motivated. Timely and accurate paychecks are one of the easiest ways to maintain high morale among your seasonal workforce, which is essential for your business’s success.

Moreover, happy seasonal workers are more likely to return the next time you need them. This can save you significant time and money on recruiting and training new staff. Consistency in your seasonal workforce can also improve the overall customer experience, as returning workers are already familiar with your business operations.

Seasonal Employment Payroll Solutions

Adding seasonal employees to your payroll adds complexity to your business. Managing payroll for these workers involves compliance with labor laws, proper worker classification, and ensuring timely and accurate paychecks.

Streamline your seasonal payroll process today! Contact Affiliated HR and Payroll for expert solutions tailored to your business needs.

New Independent Contractor Rules: Do They Affect Your Employees?

New Independent Contractor Rules: Do They Affect Your Employees?

The Department of Labor’s final rule for employee or independent contractor classification under the Fair Labor Standards Act rescinds the 2021 Independent Contractor Rule, replacing it with guidance on analysis that’s more consistent with the FLSA as interpreted by longstanding judicial precedent, and was scheduled to take effect March 11, 2024.

The final rule reduces the risk of misclassification while providing greater consistency for businesses and gig workers, specifically:

  • The designation of control and opportunity for profit or loss are given greater weight.
  • Considering workers’ investments and initiative only as part of the opportunity for profit or loss.
  • Prohibiting consideration of whether work performed is central or important to your business.

A step toward greater clarification

The 2021 IC Rule narrowed the economic reality test: Is a worker economically dependent on the employer for work? This had a confusing and disruptive effect, departing from decades of case law and describing and applying the multifactor economic reality test as a totality-of-circumstances test.

Analysis of the final rule may be applied to workers in any industry and will be accessible in the Code of Federal Regulations. It doesn’t adopt an ABC test, permitting an independent contractor relationship only if all three factors in a three-factor test are satisfied. Instead, the multifactor economic reality test that courts use to determine whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor is used, relying on the totality of the circumstances where no one factor is determinative.

The final rule revises only the DOL’s interpretation under the FLSA and has no effect on federal, state or local laws with different standards of classification. The IRS and National Labor Relations Act have different statutory language and judicial precedent governing the distinction between employees and independent contractors. The laws are interpreted and enforced by different federal agencies. The rule has no effect on state wage and hour laws that use the ABC test — California’s and New Jersey’s, for instance. The FLSA doesn’t preempt federal, state and local laws that apply.

In brief, according to new federal guidance, businesses should meet whichever standard provides workers with the greatest protection.

The key aspects

The final rule affirms that a worker is not an independent contractor if economically dependent on an employer for work, applying six factors:

  • Opportunity for profit or loss depending on managerial skill.
  • Investments by the worker and the potential employer.
  • Degree of permanence of the work relationship.
  • Nature and degree of control.
  • Extent of the work performed as integral to the potential employer’s business.
  • Skill and initiative.

Workers cannot voluntarily waive employee status, choosing to be classified as independent contractors. They cannot waive FLSA-protected rights like minimum wage or overtime pay. The Supreme Court has explained that waiving their FLSA rights would harm other employees, undermining the goal of eliminating unfair methods of competition in commerce.

Among the similarities to the 2021 rule: advice on definitions and on identifying economic dependence as the ultimate inquiry of the analysis, providing a nonexhaustive list of factors to assess economic dependence with no single factor being determinative. Both clarify that economic dependence doesn’t focus on the amount of income the worker earns or whether the worker has other sources of income.

Differences between the new rule and the 2021 rule:

  • Returns to a totality-of-the-circumstances economic reality test, where no single factor or group of factors is assigned any predetermined weight.
  • Provides additional analysis of the control factor, including how scheduling, supervising, price-setting and working for others are considered when analyzing the nature and degree of control over a worker.
  • Returns to the DOL’s consideration of whether the work is integral to the employer’s business rather than exclusively part of an integrated unit of production.
  • Omits a provision from the 2021 rule that minimized the relevance of an employer’s reserved but unexercised rights to control a worker.

Note that this is just a summary of a complex series of provisions. One thing certainly hasn’t changed between the new rules and the old: the need for companies to obtain qualified professional advice to make sure they are in compliance.

Updating an I-9 When Documentation Has Expired

Updating an I-9 When Documentation Has Expired

Are we required to update our I-9s when the documentation used for them expires?

You would only update a Form I-9 if the expired document pertains to a limited period of employment authorization. You should never reverify U.S. citizens and, in most cases, lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders). However, if a lawful permanent resident presents their employer with temporary evidence of lawful permanent resident status for Section 2 (instead of an unexpired permanent resident card), then reverification may be necessary.

We recommend that you set up a tracking system for the I-9s that will require reverification. Consider setting a calendar reminder for 90 days before the expiration of the document or the expiration date listed by the employee in Section 1 of the I-9, whichever is sooner. Then provide the employee written notice of the need to reverify, the deadline to do so, and the I-9 list of acceptable documents they may use for reference.

Once the employee has presented acceptable documents, you should review and complete the reverification section of the Form I-9 (Supplement B of the Form I-9 version dated 8/1/23).

If the Form I-9 version that the employee originally completed is no longer valid, complete Supplement B of the Form I-9 version dated 8/1/23 to reverify the employee. To do this, an employer should:

  • Enter the employee’s name at the top of each Supplement B page you use (and use the New Name field to record any name change the employee reports at the time of reverification or rehire);
  • Use a new section of Supplement B for each instance of a reverification or rehire;
  • Use the Additional Information fields if the employee’s documentation presented for reverification requires future updates; and
  • Sign and date that section when completed and attach it to the employee’s completed Form I-9.

This Q&A does not constitute legal advice and does not address state or local law.

Form I-9 Basics

Form I-9 Basics

Form I-9 has been modernized, allowing E-Verify employers to remotely examine I-9 documents. All U.S. employers must complete Form I-9 for everyone hired — citizens and noncitizens alike.

On the form, employees attest to their employment authorization, presenting acceptable documents as evidence of identity and said authorization. Employers examine the documents to see that they are genuine and relate to the employee and then record the document information on Form I-9.

When employers remotely examine documentation, they’ve been authorized by a Department of Homeland Security alternative procedure, which you can indicate by checking the box provided.

Make sure employees have access to hard-copy or web versions of the form’s instructions. Retain all completed forms to make them available for inspection by authorized government officers.

Answers can be typed directly onto the form, which may be generated, signed and retained electronically or printed and filled out manually.

Want to enroll in E-Verify? A few steps are needed to confirm the employment eligibility of new hires. Make sure you have everything you need before you begin by using the Quick Reference Guide. You can visit the E-Verify Contact Center webpage at

Normal response time is two federal government workdays. E-Verify technical support is available Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET.

There’s an employee self-service call center as well, which assists with E-Verify case status, using E-Verify, uploading documents, resetting passwords and getting technical support.

Minimum Wage Changes — What’s Happening and What’s Coming

Minimum Wage Changes — What’s Happening and What’s Coming

On Jan. 1, the minimum wage increased in 23 states. From a 23-cent increase in Michigan to an increase of $1.50 in Nebraska, people who earn minimum wage are celebrating in many places across the nation.

Now, a major influence regarding the adjustments has been the increased rate of inflation that has swept the nation within the past year. This cause-and-effect situation was documented by Deirdre Kennedy, senior payroll analyst of data research firm Wolters Kluwer.

Washington state

Washington state has one of the nation’s highest base hourly rates, going from $14.49 in 2022 to $15.74 at the start of 2023.

Connecticut, Florida, Nevada and Oregon

These four states are anticipating a bump in their employees’ minimum base pay by September, with Florida reaching $15 an hour by 2026.

New Jersey

New Jersey is set to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2024.

Delaware, Illinois, Maryland and Rhode Island

These four states will have higher minimum wages for their employees by 2025.


The minimum wage of Virginia will be $15 an hour by 2026.

The District of Columbia

The current minimum wage in the District of Columbia is $16.10 an hour, making it the highest dollar value for all minimum wages in the U.S. However, an exception is made for tipped employees, students and part-time workers.

These three categories of working people may receive pay rates that are lower than the minimum wage according to special certificates from the secretary of labor. These situations are commonly referred to as receiving sub-minimum wage.

More about minimum wage in the US

In most cases, individual cities and municipalities have higher minimum wage base pays than the minimum wage that is set at the state level. That said, 20 states have a minimum wage that is either equal to or lower than the federal minimum wage. Alternatively, other states have no minimum wage whatsoever. In those cases, the federal minimum wage is the default pay rate.

The minimum wage law, known as the Fair Labor Standards Act, applies to the employees of enterprises that have a total annual gross volume of sales or business of no less than $500,000. This law also applies to the employees of smaller firms as long as the employees are engaged in interstate commerce or the production of goods for commerce. For the record, this includes employees who work in the transportation and communications industries and regularly operate via interstate communications.

The minimum wage law also pertains to employees who work for federal, state or local government agencies, as well as hospitals or schools. Employers that employ full-time students who work in retail or for service-related stores are also subject, as are those in the agriculture industry. Both colleges and universities might be able to obtain a certificate from the secretary of labor to declare that students can be paid as little as 85% of the applicable minimum wage.

For high school students who are at least 16 years old and also happen to be enrolled in vocational education-based classes, there are laws in place stating that they are not to be paid less than 75% of the minimum wage for the state in which they work. However, one caveat is that this only applies for as long as the student is enrolled in the vocation-focused educational program. Additionally, the employer must obtain the proper certification from the Secretary of Labor authorizing these conditions.

Turning our attention to people who often receive tips as part of their job, waitstaff are perhaps in a position to experience the most significant exemptions. Waitstaff usually accept a lower minimum wage rate because the tips are viewed as making up for the wage difference. However, if the employee’s pay is not equal to minimum wage, then the employer is required to reconcile the difference.

Note that exemptions tend to be narrowly drawn, so check with a professional before assuming that an exemption applies to your situation. Minimum wage changes can be triggered for a location when predetermined conditions are altered, so careful monitoring to ensure compliance with the latest wage levels for your business and region is a must.

Fair Chance Hiring: What Employers Need To Know

Fair Chance Hiring: What Employers Need To Know

People with arrest or conviction records attached to their names often face steep if not insurmountable barriers when seeking employment. As such, re-entering the workforce post incarceration can be brutal and seemingly impossible.

In fact, according to Devah Pager in her work “The Mark of a Criminal Record,” a criminal record reduces an individual’s likelihood of receiving a callback from potential employers by approximately 50%.

Additionally, an analysis by the Prison Policy Initiative found that “formerly incarcerated people are unemployed at a rate of over 27% — higher than the total U.S. unemployment rate during any historical period, including the Great Depression.” In many cases, people with criminal records are stigmatized from the very beginning.

In turn, they do not receive the opportunity to sit for an interview, let alone explain their situation or express how they can positively benefit the workplace. To better help people become part of society again, the government is working diligently to implement fair chance hiring laws at federal, state and local levels.

What is fair chance hiring?

An article published by Fast Company defines fair chance hiring as a process that “promotes the idea that all quality job candidates deserve consideration for a job, regardless of criminal histories. This idea recognizes the potential and skills of all job seekers and removes barriers to employment.”

Under fair chance hiring, employers do not have to ignore criminal records entirely. However, they are not permitted to consider criminal records until after the candidate has completed the entire interview process. Once the candidate is being considered for the position and has proven to be qualified for the job, then the employer may look into potential criminal records.

In other words, employers are not allowed to ask about arrests or convictions when putting out job applications. Similarly, employers are not legally permitted to question candidates about their criminal history prior to extending a job offer to said candidates.

After a job offer is extended to a candidate, employers are then able to perform criminal background checks. If an arrest or conviction appears on the results of the background check, then the employer may assess the situation based on the specifics of the criminal history.

Employers should weigh the nature of the crime and the severity of the behavior when analyzing criminal records. Also, the duration of time that has since past following the arrest, conviction and sentence completion should be acknowledged. From there, employers should think about how these details pair with the responsibilities that the candidates will need to uphold if they are hired for the jobs.

If the employer decides not to hire a candidate upon learning about the context of the criminal records, then the employer is required to adhere to the Fair Credit Reporting Act’s notification guidelines. This must happen prior to notifying the candidates that they are being denied employment.

Fair chance hiring laws worth familiarizing yourself with

Thanks to the Fair Chance to Compete for Jobs Act of 2019, a federal law prohibits federal employers and private employers with government contracts alike from questioning candidates about their arrest or conviction histories until after a job offer is made, even if the job offer is conditional.

Under federal Equal Employment Opportunity laws, employers are allowed to consider criminal records when finalizing their hiring decisions. That said, they cannot discriminate or show biases against candidates based on protected classes, including race and nationality.

The majority of states as well as many local jurisdictions have laws that prohibit employers from inquiring about arrests or felony convictions as part of the initial job application process.

According to the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, in certain states across the country, “employers can only disqualify a person based on their record if it meets a specific standard, such as being related to the work in question or posing an unreasonable risk to public safety.”

Fair chance reform policies are rapidly changing all over the United States. As a result, employers should ensure that their HR professionals and the department as a whole fully understand fair chance hiring while staying on top of updates as they are made.