Vision Payroll

July 10, 2011

Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages

Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages
Farmers Insurance Agrees to Pay $1.5 Million in Back Wages
Los Angeles-based Farmers Insurance Inc. (Farmers) has agreed to pay $1,520,705 in overtime back wages to 3,459 employees following an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division that disclosed significant and systemic violations of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) overtime and record-keeping provisions. Violations occurred at 11 customer service call centers located in Florida, Kansas, Michigan, Oklahoma, Oregon and Texas.

Pre-Shift and Post-Shift Work Must Be Compensated

“Failing to properly compensate employees for pre- or post-shift work is a violation of federal law,” said Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. “The Labor Department is committed to ensuring that employers abide by the law so that workers are protected against exploitation, and law-abiding employers are not placed at a competitive disadvantage.”

Farmers Did Not Pay for Pre-Shift Work

Through interviews with employees and a review of the company’s timekeeping and payroll systems, investigators found that the company did not account for time employees spent performing pre-shift work activities. Employees routinely performed an average of thirty minutes of unrecorded and uncompensated work — such as turning on work stations, logging into the company phone system and initiating certain software applications necessary to begin their call center duties — per week.

Farmers Agrees to Maintain Future Compliance with FLSA

Because employees’ pre-shift work times were excluded from official time and payroll records, they were not paid for all hours and are owed compensation at time and one-half their regular rates for hours that exceeded forty per week. Farmers Insurance has agreed to pay back wages, as well as to maintain future compliance with the FLSA by properly recording and compensating all hours worked by its employees.

Call Center Employees Across the Country Are Affected

The agreement affects call center employees who worked between Jan. 1, 2009, and May 10, 2010, at Farmers’ HelpPoint facilities in Olathe, Kansas; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Lake Mary, Florida; and Grand Rapids, Michigan. It also affects workers employed at a former location in Overland Park, Kansas, between Jan. 1, 2009, and Jan. 10, 2010. Additionally, it affects employees who worked between Jan. 1, 2009, and Feb. 1, 2010, at Farmers’ ServicePoint and commercial facilities in Austin, Texas; a ServicePoint facility in Grand Rapids, Michigan; a ServicePoint facility in Olathe, Kansas; and ServicePoint and commercial facilities in Hillsboro, Oregon.

FLSA Also Requires Overtime for Hours Worked in Excess of 40

The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid for pre-shift and post-shift job duties, and for attending required meetings. Employees must be paid time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond forty per week. Employers must pay at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, and maintain accurate time and payroll records.

April 26, 2011

OK Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 5:24 pm
OK Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes
OK Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes
Due to the damage caused by the severe storms, tornadoes, and straight-line winds in Oklahoma on April 14, 2011, President Barack Obama declared the following county a federal disaster area: Atoka.

Declaration Leads to Extension of Payroll Tax and Other Deadlines

Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced recently that it will waive failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise taxes due after April 13, 2011 and before April 30, 2011 as long as the deposits were made by April 29, 2011. In addition, affected taxpayers have until June 30, 2011 to file most tax returns.

Vision Payroll is Here to Help Affected Taxpayers with Payroll Tax Issues

Contact Vision Payroll if you were affected by the severe storms, flooding, and straight-line winds and need further information on the relief provided by the IRS.

October 5, 2010

Oklahoma Unemployment Wage Base to Increase to $18,600

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 5:24 pm

Jon Brock, Executive Director, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
Jon Brock, Executive Director, Oklahoma Employment Security Commission
The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has announced an increase in the taxable wage base for 2010. The wage base will increase from $14,900 for 2010 to $18,600 for 2011.

Find Out the Wage Base for All States by Visiting the Vision Payroll Unemployment Taxable Wage Base Page

Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Oklahoma unemployment taxable wage base or visit our Unemployment Taxable Wage Base page.

May 30, 2010

OK Taxpayers Receive Extension of Time to File Returns and Pay Taxes

Filed under: News — Tags: , , — Vision @ 10:47 am

Due to the severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds in Oklahoma beginning May 10, 2010, President Barack Obama declared the following counties a federal disaster area: Carter, Cleveland, Creek, Garvin, McIntosh, Okfuskee, Oklahoma, Pottawatomie and Seminole. Therefore, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced recently that it will waive failure to deposit penalties for employment and excise taxes due after May 9, 2010 and before May 26, 2010 as long as the deposits were made by May 25, 2010. In addition, affected taxpayers will have until July 9, 2010 to file most tax returns. Contact Vision Payroll if you were affected by the severe storms, tornadoes and straight-line winds and need further information on the relief provided by the IRS.

December 7, 2009

Oklahoma Unemployment Wage Base to Increase to $14,900

Filed under: News — Tags: , , , — Vision @ 11:04 pm

The Oklahoma Employment Security Commission has announced an increase in the taxable wage base for 2010. The wage base will increase from $14,200 for 2009 to $14,900 for 2010. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the Oklahoma unemployment taxable wage base or visit our Unemployment Taxable Wage Base page.

July 22, 2009

Tip of the Week: Minimum Wage Hikes Take Effect this Week

The federal minimum wage will increase to $7.25 on Friday, July 24, 2009. Therefore, all work performed after July 23, 2009 should be compensated at the higher rate. In addition, the minimum wage will also increase to $7.25 in the following areas: Delaware, Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Also, the minimum wage in the District of Columbia will increase to $8.25. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on the minimum wage increases.

July 20, 2008

State Minimum Wages to Increase

Several states have minimum wage increases effective for work performed after July 23, 2008. Idaho, Indiana, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Puerto Rico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, and Virginia all have increases to $6.55 to match the federal minimum wage. The District of Columbia minimum wage increases to $7.55. Different minimum wages may be paid to certain classes of employees in some situations. Contact Vision Payroll if you have any questions on minimum wage law changes.

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