New I-9 Form for 2020

On Jan. 31, 2020, USCIS published the Form I-9 Federal Register notice announcing a new version of Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, that the Office of Management and Budget approved on Oct. 21, 2019. This new version contains minor changes to the form and its instructions. Employers should begin using this updated form as of Jan. 31, 2020.

The notice provides employers additional time to make necessary updates and adjust their business processes. Employers may continue using the prior version of the form (Rev. 07/17/2017 N) until April 30, 2020. After that date, they can only use the new form with the 10/21/2019 version date. The version date is located in the lower left corner of the form.

USCIS made the following changes to the form and its instructions:


Revised the Country of Issuance field in Section 1 and the Issuing Authority field (when selecting a foreign passport) in Section 2 to add Eswatini and Macedonia, North per...

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6 Ways to Avoid a Bad Hire

Isn’t it frustrating when you make a purchase and the product ends up being nothing that you thought it would be? This is what it feels like when a business makes a bad hire. The problem is that you can’t pack it back up and ship it off for a refund - it takes a great deal of time and resources to rightfully terminate an employee.

Here are a few tips and tricks to help avoid a bad hire:

  1. Look for relevant job responsibilities, not job titles - Job titles can vary greatly from company to company and a good candidate may be overlooked if purely observing previous job titles. The key here is to review the duties and responsibilities of their work experience and how it relates to the position that is being filled.
  2. Ask why they left previous employers - This will reveal a candidate’s personality at work. Was it voluntary or involuntary? Did they leave for another position? Did they feel unappreciated? Did they have conflicts with coworkers and/or supervisors?...
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A 7 Step Guide to Determine a New Salary

"How much should we pay this position?"

Clients are often asking us this question, so I'd thought I'd do my best to lay it out step by step for employers who need guidance to determine how much to pay for a position.

Tip: the pay should be determined MOSTLY on the position itself and not the person. Value is determined by the complexity of the role: the experience required, the skills required, and the level of responsibility needed.

  1. Write out a detailed job description with actual current duties and responsibilities including software and technology systems being used. Like, a REAL job description, not one googled or borrowed.
  2. Find out what your competitors are paying for the same role (be cautious of inflated titles) and make sure the company size/revenue is similar. That should at least give you a range to work with. Utilizing websites such as Glass Door for entered salaries are helpful, as well as job boards such as Indeed provides insight to what companies are paying for...
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4 Tips to Increase Job Applicants

Often Used Excuses:

"Ugh, these millennials are so high maintenance."

"Unemployment is just so low."

"We can't afford what we truly need."

Down and Dirty Truths:

  1. Get used to it because that is where a lot of talent resides and probably your customer base as well.
  2. If your target audience are those who are jobless, you have the wrong target audience.
  3. Then you don't truly need it.

As an HR and Recruiting expert, I've recognized that one of the biggest challenges for growing companies is finding and retaining good talent. A theory of mine is because millennials (like me) were hired by companies because we were seen as talented and valuable - but virtually had no autonomy. We weren't being heard, we were being micro-managed, and ultimately cleaning up messes that we strongly warned against. So here began the movement and exponential increase of entrepreneurship. It has reached a point, however, that there are too many entrepreneurs and not enough talent. Additionally, we are...

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How to Change Company Culture in 10 Steps

I've gone to conference after conference to listen to speakers talk about how important company culture is to the growth and sustainability of an organization - but I haven't heard anyone really breakdown HOW to do it. Through years of experience working with long-term clients, I've figured out the "HOW":

  1. Benchmark Data: Administer Climate Surveys. Utilizing a 3rd Party might be best to ensure honest and anonymous responses.
  2. HR Audit: Find the flaws. An HR Audit will determine weak areas in compliance and employee management.
  3. HR Corrective Action Plan: Fix it. Once the audit is complete, a detailed corrective action plan is drafted with deadlines of when items should be resolved.
  4. Vendor Analysis: Cut Costs. Re-negotiate or obtain quotes from other companies for high-cost vendors such as payroll and timekeeping, workers compensation insurance, and other software utilities.
  5. Compensation Analysis: Pay Appropriately. Use market data against a position's duties and responsibilities to...
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New IRS Form W-4 for 2020

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a new version of the Federal Form W-4 for 2020. One of the most significant changes is the removal of withholding allowances. These changes are largely in response to the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Tax Withholding Estimator for your W-4
The IRS encourages everyone to use their IRS Tax Withholding Estimator tool in 2020. This estimator will help you perform a quick “paycheck checkup,” to determine whether you have the right amount of tax being withheld from each paycheck or may need to make updates to your Form W-4 withholding elections.

Payroll impact
You may keep your current Federal Form W-4 elections in effect as the IRS is not requiring you to modify your withholdings. However, it is important to note that if you do intend to make any changes, you will be required to complete the new 2020 Form W-4 and adhere to the new Form W-4 requirements.

All employees currently claiming "Exempt" from federal...

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2020 CA Employment Law Updates

Each new year brings about new changes in employment law. Governor Gavin Newsom signed into legislation a number of new laws that impact California employers. Here’s what to look for in 2020:

AB 5 – New Employee Classification Test: The law codifies and modifies the California Supreme Court’s “ABC test” from its decision in the Dynamex case. The law severely limits the ability of California companies to classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees. Stated in an abbreviated manner, to satisfy the ABC test and classify a worker as an independent contractor, the company must prove that the worker is (A) free from the company’s control, and (B) performs work outside the company’s primary business, and (C) is regularly engaged in the trade the worker is hired for, independent of work for the company. There are specific exemptions for certain industries.

AB 9 – Statute of Limitations for FEHA Claims Expanded: The...

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Cutting Costs - 4 Company Perks Employees Don't Care About

Employers are increasingly seeking creative ways to retain employees through various forms of company perks and benefits such as free shuttle service to on-site child care. It's no secret that there are more jobs available than there are workers today pushing companies to out-perk one another in order to attract talent.

Although perks and benefits are strongly weighed when considering job offers, a study conducted by Harvard Business Review revealed these company perks are the least considered when offered lower pay for more benefits:

Team Bonding Events - 80% of respondents could care less about having deeper connections with colleagues.

On-Site Gym - 78% of respondents are not interested in having a gym available on company premises.

Weekly Free Employee Outings - 76% of respondents would not take lower pay to spend more time with their co-workers.

Company-wide Retreats - there is definitely a...

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Increase Revenue - Obtaining Leads at Conferences

For the longest time, I was not a fan of going to conferences for the purposes of lead generation.

I would attend one after another and walk out with very few contacts - mostly contacts who were not the decision makers for their companies. It was difficult to network and chat casually because the itinerary was completely packed with break-out sessions, panel discussions, and presentations - aka zero time to actually talk to other people.

And then one year a client of mine asked if my business partner and I wanted to attend a local conference that he would also be attending - he would be able to get us complimentary tickets. Why not?

We walked out of that conference with handfuls of business cards and new partnerships that would eventually lead to us landing our biggest client.

I figured it out - it wasn't that conferences aren't beneficial to growing your business, it's that we were attending the wrong conferences.

Here are some tips and tricks to maximize your conference...

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