by Monica Blackwood, Columnist, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
The last half of 2017 saw companies scrambling to understand and prepare for Washington’s paid sick leave law, and employers continued to educate themselves on the new regulations into the summer of 2018. While that flurry of activity was happening, there was another bill which Gov. Jay Inslee signed: Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.
We are now the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law, after California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. And, the law’s “go live” date is fast approaching – employers need to comply by January 1, 2019.
A quick summary about this law: For the year 2019, funding will be built up into the plan. Starting January 1, 2020 eligible employees are allowed 12 weeks of family or medical leave. This includes mothers and fathers welcoming a child into their home either by birth or adoption; or to take care of themselves or a family member (defined as a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent or grandchild) who has a serious health condition, or for a family member injured due to military service. In some situations, that paid leave can be extended to up to 18 weeks.
Read the rest of the story here…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monica Blackwood is president and CEO of Westsound Workforce, with offices in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Businesses in Washington should be aware of a possibly fraudulent letter claiming to be an official bill for annual business registration fees.
One letter received by an Edmonds-based business directed the business to send $121.86 to a post office box in Olympia. The letter stated, “your state annual report will not be filed until payment is received.”
The misleading letter did not include the Office of Secretary of State logo, as an official letter from the Office of Secretary of State would – see the example pictured above. Continue reading
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) created a new 20% deduction for pass-through entities. Though the IRS has not fully interpreted the new rules—which won’t go into effect until the 2019 tax season—many of the implications are clear. This article’s companion piece examined what qualifies as a Pass-Through Entity (PTE).
This blog hopefully sheds some light on how PTEs will be impacted by the new law.
Why a Deduction for Pass-Through Entities?
Since their inception, pass-through entities have been a popular choice for entrepreneurs, especially after the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA). Better known as President Reagan’s second tax cut, the TRA was passed by Congress to simplify the tax code and adjust the federal tax brackets. Continue reading
The process to change a business structure (for example, change from a sole proprietorship to a corporation) is the same as starting a new business.
Use the Business Licensing Wizard to get information and links that will help you do the following:
- Create your business structure with the Washington Secretary of State. (Skip this step if you are changing to a sole proprietor or general partnership.)
- Submit a new Business License Application to apply for a new Business License. You will be given a new Unified Business Identifier (UBI) number to be used on tax returns and other documents.
- Reapply for any applicable specialty, and/or city endorsements (for example, Nursery endorsements).
Note: You will probably need to re-apply for all of the licenses you currently have. For example, if you are a building contractor, you will need to reapply for your contractor’s license with the Department of Labor and Industries.
This information has been borrowed from the Washington State Business Licensing Service website. (link)
What’s the difference?
It is important to note that paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave have two different sets of requirements. Both requirements include strictly-enforced measures that prevent employers from retaliating against employees in any way for the exercise of either or both rights.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
In 2019, employers in Washington will begin paying premiums for paid family and medical leave. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employees will be able to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. Benefits will be available for most employees who work at least 820 hours in the qualifying period.
Paid Family and Medical Leave will be a state-run insurance program that is funded by both employers and employees. Eligible employees are assured up to 12 weeks of leave as needed, with partial wage replacement. In certain exceptional cases 16-18 weeks may be taken.
The amount of this benefit varies depending on the employee’s weekly wage, median statewide incomes, and other factors. Continue reading
Changes to the state minimum wage
The minimum wage will be $11 per hour in 2017
- The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
- Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020(app.leg.wa.gov).
- Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
- Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
- The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.
The initiative sets future minimum wage rates Continue reading