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Guide for Employers – Best Practices

As a small employer, you are the HR Department and managing the people and culture of your business is important to the success of your business.  Processing paychecks and paying payroll taxes is a big part of your role, but you should also understand all of your requirements as an employer.

Some examples of typical questions we receive from employers;

  • Do I have to provide health insurance,
  • What options should I provide for saving for retirement,
  • How should I report bonuses paid in cash,
  • Who must be covered by worker’s compensation insurance,
  • What do I do when a former employee files an unemployment claim,
  • How many paid sick days am I required to offer,
  • What is the current minimum wage for my area,
  • Am I required to pay overtime, or can I pay my employee a salary?

Starting in January 2016, employers in the state of Oregon are required to implement sick time policies.  Employers are required to provide written notice of the law.  You can find the info you need at Requirements of Oregon Sick Time Law.

Employers want to attract and keep good employees. Providing clear and valuable benefits to your employees will help you create a good work environment.  A written handbook for employees can help document the benefits you provide such as sick time, retirement plans, paid time off, etc.

Every January we work with clients to prepare and issue 1099 forms for contractors who were paid more than $600 in the year.  Paying temporary or part time help as independent contractors is relatively easy.  You don’t withhold any taxes and you issue a 1099 to report the amount paid to each person or company at the end of the year.  Under ORS 670.600 workers may be properly classified as independent contractors provided you do not have direction and control over their work, they are licensed and customarily engage in an independently established business.

Be sure you have a clear agreement with your independent contractors that they will be responsible for their own taxes.    A written independent contractor agreement is very valuable.  Also, be sure to collect a Form W-9 from all contractors before you pay them.  One disgruntled person can cause a big headache for you as an employer when you part ways.  Often, they file for unemployment benefits with the Oregon Employment Department and then your entire company will come under scrutiny.

Sherwood Tax and Accounting provides payroll services, but we can also be a resource to you to help you be the best employer you can for the success of your business.