The latest update available for The Farmer’s Office and The Labor Contractor’s Office includes new features for the AB 1513 Safe Harbor Report. You can use the Check for Updates option on the Tools menu to download it now.
Caution: Depending on what version you are on, this update may require some lengthy database table updates to some of the payroll files. If you are on a network with multiple users, you may want to install this update at the end of the day to allow time to complete these updates.
Safe Harbor Report: The Story so Far
The original Safe Harbor Report is designed to process your payroll records and apply business rules to determine the following information:
- What pay periods were employees paid piecework wages in? (i.e. what wages should be classified as piecework for Safe Harbor purposes?)
- How much break time were employees due to be paid for each pay period based on the hours worked each day?
- How much non-productive time was paid to employees (if using the 4% method)?
- Overall, how much is due to employees under each safe harbor method? (To assist you in determining what method you want to use.)
In July we added an additional set of totals by grower account so that farm labor contractors could identify the total break wages that are due for each grower.
The newest update includes an option to generate a Detail File. This detail file includes all of the information for each check issued to each employee that is due a safe harbor payment. This includes check numbers, pay period dates, total wages, break hours due, break wages due, break hours paid, break wages pad, and non-productive hours and wages paid. The detail information is broken down for each date worked in the pay period, and for each date the program records which grower(s) the employee worked for along with the total wages for that grower.
If an employee happened to work for more than one grower on the same day, then the break wages due are split between the growers, pro-rated based on the wages paid for each grower.
Once the detail file is generated, you can do several things:
- Print detail reports by employee and grower. If you need to print a report that lists all of the labor performed for a grower by each employee for each day along with the breaks due, this report is now available. The detail information may also be exported to Excel.
- Review the safe harbor payment data and edit it if necessary. The Review Safe Harbor Payment Detail report lists all of the checks for one employee at a time. For each check, the dates worked are listed in a separate grid. And for each date worked, the grower(s) worked for are listed. You can also easily view the original payroll check detail for the checks for any check listed on the review window.
- Print mailing labels for employees. An export to Excel option for employee information is also available.
- Flag employee accounts with known bad addresses so that you don’t send out checks to those bad addresses. For instance, if you have 2015 W-2 forms that have been returned as undeliverable by the post office, you may want to mark the addresses as bad for those employee accounts, skip mailing the payroll checks, attempt to locate the employee using a third party service, and finally forward those funds to the state if the employee cannot be located.
- Print a preview of the Safe Harbor Detail Statement that will be sent to the employee along with their check.
Some customers will need to edit the detail information because the checks were not originally entered with the hours worked for each day. Without this information, the report is unable to know how many breaks the employee should have been paid or was actually paid for. In these cases, manual review of the check detail will be necessary.
The detail file will be used to generate the Safe Harbor checks to employees. A payroll check will be generated with a set of summarized line items with the total breaks due allocated among the grower(s) that the employee worked for. Since this is regular payroll check, the wages can be processed just like regular wages. They will be sent to the Grower Labor Report file, where they can generate a labor report (probably not useful) and a grower invoice.
The reason the Grower Labor Report will probably not be useful is that the payroll check line item information will be summarized. The summarized information will simply be passed along to the Grower Labor Report. The detail information will be available using the new detail report, so you can provide this report to your growers if needed to back up the break wages paid.
Once the checks are printed, the Safe Harbor statement will be printed and this should be included with the checks.
We plan on creating the checks in at least three separate groups:
- Current employees
- Former employees
- Employees with bad/unknown addresses.
Checks issued to current employees can be delivered to them along with their regular check. Checks for former employees can be mailed, and checks for employees with bad or unknown addresses can be held for pickup/forwarded to the state.
A system will also be added to help keep track of checks that are not sent (because you don’t have a good address for the employee) or are returned by the post office. You can then attempt to track down the employee (or use a service to find employees). Employee information can be exported to an Excel file for any bad addresses.
Any checks that are unclaimed/undeliverable will eventually be remitted to the state. A report will be generated along with an Excel export with the details required for these funds. Under AB 1513, you are required to keep available the Safe Harbor statement information. (If a former employee claims funds from the state at some point in the future, they may want to get a copy of the statement that goes along with the payment.)
Further details on these options will be posted as we release new updates.