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1099 Misclassification Reported by Uber in the State of New Jersey

Posted on Sep 23, 2022

There are very clear differences in the official working relationship and financial responsibilities between employers, employees, and 1099 independent contractors.

W2 vs. 1099 refers to the difference in official IRS tax forms. Employees receive W-2 forms from their employer and independent contractors are required to fill out the 1099 form. According to taxing authorities, whether or not the working relationship is consistent with how each type of worker is classified dictates compliance. W-2 employees have payroll taxes deducted by their employer, who pays the government on the employee’s behalf. 1099 Independent Contractors are responsible for their own payroll taxes and expected to submit their own payments to the government.

Sometimes companies (employers) utilize or retain 1099 Independent Contractors, but don’t realize or officially comply with the IRS guidelines of the worker classification. In the recent case of Uber and the state of New Jersey, Uber, the enormous ride sharing company, agreed to pay the state of New Jersey $100 million in back taxes after the state said the company had misclassified its huge number of drivers as 1099 independent contractors.

An audit by New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development found that Uber owed four years of back taxes because they had classified drivers in the state as 1099s rather than W-2 legal employees. In summary, Uber was directly managing these workers (sometimes exclusively) and consequently required to pay these drivers as W-2 employees. That reclassification would provide mandatory employee and employer payroll taxes to the state of New Jersey.

UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions offers 1099 Independent Contractor worker compliance through its third party payroll solutions. Companies that are concerned with failing the 1099 Independent Contractor test can rely on UNIFORCE to legally classify those workers as W-2 employees in multiple states.

Additionally, for more information on the Uber case with the state of New Jersey, read the full story from the New York Times.

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Employee Recognition Award: Haley Raspanti

Posted on Aug 29, 2022

Employee Background:  The Human Resources division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Haley Raspanti  as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Haley came to UNIFORCE in January of 2022 and she has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Haley has relevant experience in the areas of recruitment, employee on boarding, organizational psychology, and employee relations.

Success Story:  Haley is currently working on an assignment in Northern New Jersey s a Recruiter for an international consumer electronics company that manufactures and supports business automation machines and visual displays.  In her role, she is responsible for sourcing new candidates, recruitment, and employee offer extension.  Our client clearly values Haley as an essential member as she consistently provides the pipelining of sales and operations candidates in a fast-paced customer centric industry.  Haley has the unique ability to handle and recruit for a wide variety of open positions on a national scale.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Haley, and we wish her many more years of success in her career!!

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Why would anyone want to work as a “temp” on a temp job?

Posted on Aug 15, 2022

Temp agencies with a local presence in New Jersey and other states provide temp jobs on all different levels to employees seeking an opportunity that matches their career objectives.  Temp jobs are always in demand.  Businesses and health care organizations are constantly looking for employees, especially in an environment where the unemployment rate is so low.

In July 2022, the unemployment rate ticked down to 3.5 percent, reaching its pre-pandemic level. Therefore, in order to hire more employees, companies are adding temp jobs or long term assignments in order to hire people more quickly than they can with a full time hire.  The truth of the matter is that an employer usually can bring on a temp or consultant much more quickly than a full time employee.  A job seeker should understand that they can wait less time to get hired and start towards a temp or temp-to-hire career.

A temp job in New Jersey allows workers to be hired for a period of time.  Companies request temporary positions when they are in need of assistance immediately, due to a vacancy.  Hiring managers also don’t have to get approval from the central Human Resources process at times. In most cases, the temp job has a specific start date and possible end date.  Some reasons for the term or period could be due a maternity leave, a leave of absence, an employee resignation, or an upcoming project. 

Working through a temp agency allows all kinds of people to gain experience in the workforce. For example, a retiree looking to reenter the workforce may take a temp job to ease their way back into the workplace.  Furthermore, a college student on summer break may perform a temp job in order to build up their resume over those few months.  Temp jobs in New Jersey and elsewhere offer convenience to the needs of people in their current stage of life. Expanding knowledge and learning a new trade or skill on-the-job is only beneficial to a person looking to develop a career.. 

In full transparency, taking on a temp job shows an individual’s dedication because an employee is committing to a position for a specific period of time.  Sometimes starting smaller may lead to bigger positions in the future.  As one works diligently as a temp, employers will notice one’s strong work ethic. Working in a temp job provides immediate visibility and also gets one’s name out to other departments within an organization.  Additionally, more companies will notice one’s resume due to the additional experience and software skills acquired.  These experiences in a temp job will lead to connections with future employers.  Doors can only open for a full time position or internal promotion.

It’s important to understand that not all temp jobs stay temporary.  Some temp jobs in New Jersey and other states transition to a permanent (or direct hire) status. A temp-to-hire can occur when the company finally realizes that the temp is thriving in the role. A good lesson to learn why a job seeker would want to work as a temp is that “you have to be in it to win it.”  Employers really like to “try before they buy.”  

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Compliance is the key to a Staffing Temp Agency

Posted on Aug 03, 2022

Staffing Agencies have become an integral partner in the overall hiring process for most organizations. Talent Acquisition departments at these companies utilize staffing or temp agencies to supplement or augment their full time workforce for a variety of strategic objectives. When partnering with a temp agency, it is highly advantageous to select a staffing temp agency vendor that implements strong workforce compliance in the areas of employee on-boarding, payroll processing procedures, insurance requirements, and pre-employment background checks.

When a staffing agency hires an employee for a temp or contract assignment, that temp agency must adhere to the same policies and procedures as any direct employer. A temp agency should manage worker compliance by following all state and federal employment laws and policies such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) or paid sick leave laws such as those in New Jersey and California. Temp agencies must also comply with state employment discrimination laws. For example, an employment application cannot ask questions pertaining to a previous rate of pay or an admission of previous criminal convictions.

Additionally, staffing agencies must comply with all federal I-9 form procedures implemented by the Department of Homeland Security. The purpose of the I-9 form is to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the United States.  An employer or temp agency is required to inspect acceptable documents that validate employment authorization furnished by the employee. A temp agency that values full compliance should consider utilizing the E-Verify database, a division of the Department of Homeland Security, to verify work authorization. When using E-Verify, an employer is required to submit an employee record DHS verification within three days of the employee start date.

In order to complete the I-9 form accurately, an employer must, physically in person, verify those acceptable documents presented by the employee. Since the pandemic, the DHS has been somewhat flexible in the employer examination and certification of those documents. At times, they accept I-9 Notary forms where a licensed notary validates those acceptable documents. Some temp agencies, such as UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions, utilize a web-based electronic on boarding system that handle the processing of I-9 acceptable document verification remotely. Candidates can take photos of their acceptable documents (IDs) and upload them directly through the tool with a mobile phone. At the same time, a friend or family member can verify the I-9 documents in person. IP Addresses of both parties get recorded with the I-9 to comply with I-9 verification guidelines.

A temp agency that is licensed and operating as an employer in multiple states needs to manage payroll compliance with regards to state and federal employment laws. Some states like New Jersey, New York, and California require Paid Sick Leave Pay. These same 3 states also require mandatory state disability insurance paid by the employee or employer. Since the pandemic, California also requires COVID Sick Leave Pay. Many states require different minimum hourly wage pay rates. Additionally, some states like Utah require payment of the last paycheck immediately after the temp assignment ends. Also, some states like Arizona require the use of the E-Verify system.

Employer Insurance coverage is also a key element to a staffing agency’s compliance strategy. A temp agency should obtain the necessary commercial insurance policies to manage its own internal risk while protecting its clients by clearly and legally separating the lines of co-employment as well as the employer-employee relationship. Staffing agencies should consider obtaining:

  • General Liability Insurance
  • Professional Liability Insurance
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance
  • Workers Compensation Insurance
  • Crime Insurance
  • Cyber Liability Insurance
  • EPLI Insurance
  • Commercial Automobile Liability Insurance

A temp agency should also be able to provide its clients with an official Certificate of Insurance (COI) as evidence of insurance coverage.

Many temp agency healthcare clients, as part of their own compliance efforts, require pre-employment and occupational medicine testing for licensed medical professionals. In this case, the temp agency is required to run the following background checks in order to hire an employee to work on assignment at a hospital or medical office practice. Such background checks include:

  • 7 year criminal background check
  • 10 panel drug test
  • OIG Sanction Search
  • Education Verification
  • Proof of an annual TB test
  • Proof of Titers / Immunization
  • Proof of MMR Vaccination
  • Proof of COVID Vaccination
  • Proof of an Annual Physical Examination from a Physician
  • Education verification
  • Employee references

Some staffing agencies value compliance so much that they have their own internal compliance department to manage all these back office procedures. It’s also a good idea for a temp agency to obtain an electronic web-based on boarding software to digitally store employment applications and background check test results. A temp agency never knows when an audit can be requested by the DHS, a client, or insurance provider.

In summary, any reputable temp agency should operate its own internal risk management policy and maintain a clear and communicative direct relationship with its employees. The idea behind a strong compliance strategy is to protect the staffing relationship between the temp agency and the client while complying with all state and federal employee and payroll laws.

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Employee Recognition Award: Randy Benoit

Posted on Jul 15, 2022

Employee Background:  The Information Technology division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Randy Benoit  as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Randy came to UNIFORCE in October of 2021 and he has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Randy has extensive experience in the areas of desktop support, technical support and systems administration.

Success Story:  Randy is currently working on an assignment in Houston, Texas, as a Technical Product Support Specialist for an international consumer electronics company that manufactures and supports business automation machines and visual displays.  In his role, he is responsible for product support, new product launches and software/system updates.  Our client clearly values Randy as an essential member as he consistently provides custom technical support to large customers in a fast-paced customer centric industry.  Randy has the unique ability to support a wide variety of technical products while responding to customers with various complex trouble tickets.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Randy, and we wish him many more years of success in his career!!

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Social Media Tips for Job Seekers

Posted on Jun 17, 2022

Social Media is now a mainstay in the daily behavior of many job seekers.  Most online visitors spend hours every day scrolling through photos of other people’s lives on social media. Why not put this time into enhancing one’s own social media profile as a job seeker in New Jersey?  Networking online with a New Jersey based employment agency is a good idea to develop your online resume or social media brand.  With more than 75% of the global population active on social media, many employers are also using these social media sites to find new hires for temp jobs. To get started, below are three tips for a job seeker to maintain a social media profile:

  1. Build your personal brand

As a job seeker in New Jersey, post informative content about yourself that relates to your hobbies, interests, and strengths. For example, a job seeker could use a social media site like “TikTok” to share constructive videos that displays performances or work products in order to appeal to employment agencies.   Additionally, a job seeker should only offer constructive comments that will impress employers when they research your name. Social media should be a platform meant to uplift one’s reputation by displaying the great things they have done or stated within their feed. To further explain, on Twitter, job seekers can post public comments that contribute to work related conversations. This action may suggest to employers that one has a passion for their career and prefers to engage in meaningful discussion via social media. 

  1. Utilize all key social media tools

Social media sites have several hidden tools that can promote a job seeker’s social media profile.  Employers prefer that job seekers care about the image they portray online.  It’s a good idea to create an educational bio about yourself.  Instagram permits its users to include a significant quote or fact about themselves so employment agencies can read noteworthy information when finding someone’s profile. Another feature offered through this platform is the ability to “tag” an account. It’s beneficial to tag keywords such as New Jersey employment agencies in posts in order to stand out as a potential candidate.  One can include photos relating to job interests and articles relating to one’s past experiences. Furthermore, a job seeker should also tag other people that they want to be noticed by so employers can find their social media resume in a timely fashion.

  1. Make social connections

One commonality between all social media sites is the ability to form connections. It’s a good idea to follow those employment agencies that are of interest.  One can follow an employment agency on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter.  Following a New Jersey employment agency will allow one to keep up with company news as well as display an interest in the business of the employment agency.  Networking on platforms like LinkedIn gives job seekers the ability to connect with employers, colleagues, and friends that may help them in their career path. Moreover, establishing these connections allows employers to view one’s social media resume.  It’s a useful tool for sharing skills and work experience with other employment agencies in order to find additional job opportunities. It’s also recommended that one network with multiple employment agencies via their social media sites. Not only does one lift its social media profile among a large group of employers, but a job seeker will also obtain access to job postings, thought leadership, and increased visibility among hiring managers.

Overall, job seekers in New Jersey should utilize social media to their advantage when building an online reputation.  It’s important to maintain an online profiles with these three strategies in order to find a job with a New Jersey based employment agency effectively. 

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Bring on Summer Interns and let the specialist handle the payroll.

Posted on May 31, 2022

Utilizing summer interns can be a creative tool for an organization to maintain office productivity and let you take that much needed vacation. One consideration that many companies don’t realize is that summer interns need to be paid a fair hourly wage according to federal and state payroll tax guidelines. In other words, interns must be added to a company’s full time staff payroll. You can’t get something for nothing.

Even when companies acknowledge that they have to pay to play, they still hesitate to use summer interns because they must now officially add the workers to the company’s full time staff payroll. This reality can frustrate the CFO and Human Resources department due to the fact that summer interns who are directly employed will add to the overall company’s headcount. The employment of interns can also complicate monthly full time employee (FTE) census reports. The impact could cost throw off discrimination testing for retirement plans, add additional payroll processing costs, and simply just increase employee risks and exposure with regards to workers compensation insurance premiums.

A popular tool to alleviate such employer risks is to offload or outsource the summer interns to an employment agency that specializes in third party payroll solutions. With this remedy, the summer interns can still be retained, but the summer intern now becomes the employee of the employment agency. The employee or intern is simply transferred to the employment agency and the agency takes on the official employer of record. The employment agency will also engage as the W-2 employer and deduct state and federal taxes as well as insure the employee (workers compensation and professional liability).

A responsible third party payroll solutions firm will understand compliance issues, co-employment loopholes, workers compensation insurance risks, and payroll laws. When selecting a third party payroll solutions partner, select a provider that is financial solvent. After all, the employment agency is extending payroll on your company’s behalf. Also, inquire about the employment agency’s employee benefits offerings. Health benefits and 401(k) retirement plans will increase summer intern retention if applicable.

Overall, summer interns are a great way to maintain succession planning and office productivity. An easy way to get the payroll process going smoothly and quickly is to partner with an employment agency that specializes in third party payroll solutions. Why not let your trusted payroll specialist and advisor handle the compliance?

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Employee Recognition Award: Thomas Richardson

Posted on May 12, 2022

Employee Background:  The Medical Office Support division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Thomas Richardson  as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Thomas came to UNIFORCE in August of 2021 and he has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Thomas has extensive experience in the areas of writing, communications, medical records and data entry.  Most interestingly, Tom is an accomplished book author of a modern romantic thriller.

Success Story:  Thomas is currently working on an assignment as a Laboratory Specimen Accessioner for a leading full-service pathology lab that provides professional and technical services to clinical and physician labs.  In his role, he is responsible for the preparation of biological specimens to the laboratory to ensure accurate processing.  Our client clearly values Thomas as an essential member as he consistently provides the needed support in this growing, vital industry.  Thomas has the unique ability to manage quality control and respond to customer service issues.  His flexibility is recognized as he puts in hours on the weekends.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Thomas, and we wish him many more years of success in his career!!

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Employee Recognition Award: Brian Martinez

Posted on Apr 04, 2022

Employee Background:  The Medical Office Support division of UNIFORCE Staffing Solutions is pleased to announce Brian Martinez  as our latest Employee Recognition Program Honorable Mention.  Brian came to UNIFORCE in August of 2021 and he has worked with glowing reviews since that time.  Brian has extensive experience in the areas of lab support, medical records and data entry.

Success Story:  Brian is currently working on an assignment as a Laboratory Specimen Accessioner for a leading full-service pathology lab that provides professional and technical services to clinical and physician labs.  In his role, he is responsible for the preparation of biological specimens to the laboratory to ensure accurate processing.  Our client clearly values Brian as an essential member as he consistently provides the needed support in this growing, vital industry.  Brian has the unique ability to manage quality control and respond to customer service issues.  His flexibility is recognized as he puts in hours on the weekends.  The UNIFORCE team appreciates a positive and long standing professional relationship with Brian, and we wish him many more years of success in his career!!