TN Employer December 2014

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contents TN Employer Volume 1, Number 1 December 2014 Editor: Martha Deacon Contributing Writers and Photographers Jennifer Farrar Jeff Hentschel Ivy Johnson Kyle Jones Special thanks to Dawn Majors, State Photographer 220 French Landing Drive Nashville, Tennessee 37243 (615)741-2257 Tennessee Employer is an online publication of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer program; auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities. Article suggestions and comments are always welcome.

4 Ready Set Hire Banner year for new business in Tennessee 6

Education drives Tennessee’s success in job creation


Employer-reported workplace injuries and illnesses


Paychecks for Patriots 6 cities / 1,000+ jobs / 200+ employers


A not-so-governmental approach to serving employers


Live, local, on the go - Tennessee apps


Introduction to unemployment taxes


Tax reminders


Employers’ use of separation notices saves costs


Contact us

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INTERVIEW : Economist Dr. Bill Fox

Education drives Tennessee’s success in job creation “What we see, in looking carefully at the state’s workforce needs for coming decades, is that employers are clearly looking for people with more than a high school degree. In the absence of those kinds of workers, you simply cannot attract today’s employers – and you cannot retain them either,” Fox said.

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“Tennessee must be able to offer employers a set of workers who have skills that are acquired at the certificate level or at the level of two years beyond high school in order to continue the momentum we’ve established for attracting new business,” said Bill Fox, director for the Center for Business & Economic Research at the Haslam College of Business, University of Tennessee. Within the next five years, more than half of jobs in Tennessee will require postsecondary credentials beyond a high school degree. Jobs that are being created and will continue to be created require some kind of adult-oriented education, e.g., a certificate in welding or driving a tractor or a two-year associate kind of degree. Across that range is where the majority of new jobs will be created. Governor Haslam recognizes the importance of developing these kinds of workers, launching his Drive to 55 initiative in September 2013: to have 55 percent of Tennesseans with certificates or degrees beyond high school by 2025. Currently only 32 percent of Tennesseans have a certificate or degree beyond high school. Getting workers the right skills for today’s jobs is key to their future, as employers absolutely require highly skilled workers if they’re going to locate in a state. Fox said two broadly defined factors heavily influence a company’s decision to locate in a particular state. The first is a series of labor-force related characteristics, i.e., the quality of the labor force, which includes both technical skills and social skills (soft skills) for the job. Employers also care about the wage rates for those jobs. The second issue employers are concerned about is access to markets; Tennessee is blessed with a good geographic location. “The state’s emphasis on improving the K-through-12 education system has certainly been a factor in attracting new companies, but the broader focus on getting the workforce ready for the future has been even stronger,” said Fox. “Governor Haslam’s Tennessee Promise, for example, means beginning in 2015 every student who graduates from a Tennessee high school is eligible for two years of community college free and at no additional cost to taxpayers. Tennessee Promise is a program to prepare workers for tomorrow’s workforce, which is changing so rapidly in terms of what’s demanded of workers and what they’ll do when they’re on the job.” The public sector – the state departments of Labor & Workforce Development and the Higher Education Commission and the Board of Regents – are particularly large players in taking Tennessee to the next level from an education perspective; they play a strong role in the kind of labor force employers are looking for. Fox made the point that it’s not just employers coming into Tennessee from outside, but also firms that have started and are being successful and expanding in Tennessee that have as great a need for this trained labor force as businesses coming from outside. To learn more about Drive to 55 and view your county’s education attainment level go here: TN Employer  7


WASHINGTON - The Bureau of Labor Statistic recently released workplace injury and illness reports for the nation. Slightly more than 3.0 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2013, resulting in an incidence rate of 3.3 cases per 100 equivalent full-time workers, according to estimates from the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The rate reported for 2013 continues the pattern of statistically significant declines that, with the exception of 2012, occurred annually for the last 11 years. Key findings from the 2013 Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses • The total recordable cases incidence rate of injury and illness reported by private industry employers declined in 2013 from a year earlier, as did the rate for cases of a more serious nature involving days away from work, job transfer, or restriction marking the first decline in the DART rate since 2009. • The rate of reported injuries and illnesses declined significantly in 2013 among the manufacturing, retail trade, and utilities sectors but was statistically unchanged among all other private industry sectors compared to a year earlier. • Manufacturing continued a 16-year trend in 2013 as the only private industry sector in which the rate of job transfer or restriction only cases exceeded the rate of cases with days away from work. The rates for these two case types declined by 0.1 case in 2013 to 1.2 cases and 1.0 case per 100 full-time workers, respectively. • The incidence rate of injuries only among private industry workers declined to 3.1 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2013, down from 3.2 cases in 2012. In comparison, the incidence rate of illness cases was statistically unchanged in 2013. • The rate of injuries and illnesses among state and local government workers combined declined to 5.2 cases per 100 full-time workers in 2013 compared to 5.6 cases in 2012 and remains significantly higher than the private industry rate. The incidence rates among state government and local government workplaces individually also declined significantly in 2013, state government from 4.4 to 3.9 cases per 100 full-time workers and local government from 6.1 to 5.7 cases per 100 full-time workers. View the full report here. 8  TN Employer

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Third annual Paychecks for Patriots connects veterans with major Tennessee employers. More than 200 employers, including Dollar General, Fed Ex, Jack Daniel’s, Gibson Guitar, Eastman, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), Vanderbilt University, Amazon, Bridgestone, and Lowe’s, gathered in 10 locations across Tennessee this year to interview veterans for employment. For the third straight year, Dollar General led the hiring event for veterans, which was supported by Governor Haslam and backed by the Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development. The hiring event is getting bigger every year. New employers joined those returning from the past two years for a total of more than 200 employers statewide interviewing veterans. Nashville’s site grew to LP Field (Tennessee Titans Stadium) to accommodate the 60 employers who registered. Speaking from a federal perspective on Tennessee’s Paychecks for Patriots, USDOL Assistant Secretary for Veterans Employment and Training Services Keith Kelly, who came to Nashville to help kick off the event, said the Tennessee model is a good one. “As I go around the country I see it is critical to put together employers and match them with veterans coming to the events looking for work. A business or organization takes up the leadership and works with the state workforce staff, which is always a great network resource. Tennessee’s model is really working, I can tell.” The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) recognized paychecks for Patriots as a winning community relations project. The association presented its Parthenon Award, the highest honor the PRSA gives to local public relations professionals, for both the 2012 and 2013 Paychecks for Patriots events. Based on the success of the event, Georgia and Florida are now holding Paychecks for Patriots fairs in their states, modeled on Tennessee’s. Paychecks for Patriots is just one of many Jobs4TN hiring events the department holds throughout the year in cities and communities across Tennessee. This past year, the department facilitated more than 50 such events connecting job seekers and employers with immediate hiring needs. Whether you are an employer who wants to have a hiring event specifically for your company or who would like to join other employers at a hiring event, the department can help. Contact Labor & Workforce Development Public Relations Director Ron Hammontree regarding assistance for a hiring event: or (615) 741-8892.

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Mark Howell

Director of UI Tax 16  TN Employer

Insights from the Experts

Introduction to unemployment taxes Welcome, new employer! Depending on how your business is organized and the amount of wages you pay, you may be responsible for state unemployment insurance taxes or premiums. The liability requirements and tax rates vary depending on what it is you do. Regular (for profit) businesses, domestic employers, and agricultural employers all have different conditions to determine liability for state unemployment tax. The easiest way to find out if you are subject to state unemployment taxes is to submit an Application for Employer Number (LB-0441). If the answers you provide indicate you are liable, you will be assigned an Employer Number and provided with reporting instructions. If you do not meet the requirements, we will notify you in writing. State unemployment insurance premiums are paid solely by the employer and are due on a quarterly basis. Currently, employers pay premiums on the first $9,000 in wages paid to each employee in a calendar year. The tax rate varies depending on what you do. New employers pay at a rate that is calculated for their industry as a whole. Currently, new employer tax rates range from 2.7% to 7.0%. After being in business for three years, employers are assigned a rate based solely on their own unemployment claims experience. This is called an Experience Rate and can range from 0.01% to 10.0%. Be aware that the law excludes some wages from unemployment premium coverage. Some examples include the wages paid to a sole proprietor, a partner in a partnership, and wages paid to a minor child in the employ of his mother or father. If you organize your business as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC), the corporation or LLC is the employer. Officers of a corporation are employees and their wages are subject to state unemployment premiums. Members of an LLC may be subject to state unemployment premiums depending on how the LLC is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service. The Handbook for Employers is a valuable resource for new employers and is available on our Website. The handbook is designed to help employers understand the unemployment insurance system, to help make compliance with the unemployment insurance laws as simple as possible, and to help the employer benefit from the unemployment insurance system. Contact information for our offices is within the handbook. If you have any questions, please call us. TN Employer  17

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Em tice plo o yee f Ter m # 456 inat ion 78

Employers’ Use of Separation Notices Saves Costs When a worker leaves his job with an employer for any reason, the employer should issue the worker a separation notice within 24 hours. Giving separation notices is required by state rule, but fewer than 50 percent of employers comply. otices Is

on N ... Separati tate Rule S y B d e Requir

Separation notices simplify a person’s application for unemployment insurance and other services. The notice clears up confusion as to why the claimant was separated and can give the Department of Labor & Workforce Development a starting point for the direction the claim should go. “A separation notice completed by the employer gives us information about severance payments or any wages given after separation that the claimant may neglect to tell us about and that affect his eligibility for unemployment benefits, thus preventing an overpayment,” said Linda Davis, Administrator for Employment Security.

Separation no tices simplify a pers on’s application for UI

Davis said failure to issue a separation notice can also result in unnecessary appeals. For example, a claimant could file a claim stating he was laid off from his job – when in fact, he quit or was discharged. If the separation notice is not available and the employer does not reply to a request for information, the department must rely on the information provided by the claimant, which could mean approving a claim when it should not be. The employer must then file an appeal or run the risk of higher tax rates. It is the employers’ responsibility to provide separation notices to their parting workers. Employers can download separation notices here.




YAS Compliance Assistance


Poster Compliance



$17.99 - $74.98 Compliance Assistance


Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development

Don’t buy it. Tennessee law requires that certain labor laws be posted by employers in their workplace. The law does not require you to pay. The law is available for free, and all required posters can be found for free at If you hear that a company is pressuring employers to buy posters, please obtain as much identifying information as possible and contact or 615-253-6674. Commissioner Burns Phillips warns against buying posters that distributed for free from the official source.

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TOSHA Begins Implementing New Federal OSHA Reporting Requirements 2/24/15 Statistics (BLS) from 1996, 1997, and 1998. The new list of industries that are exempt from routinely keeping OSHA injury and illness records is based on the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics from 2007, 2008, and 2009. Note: The new rule retains the exemption for any employer with ten or fewer employees, regardless of their industry classification, from the requirement to routinely keep records. Second, the rule expands the list of severe work-related injuries that all covered employers must report to OSHA. The revised rule retains the current requirement to report all work-related fatalities within 8 hours and adds the requirement to report all work-related in-patient hospitalizations, amputations and loss of an eye within 24 hours to OSHA. Establishments in Tennessee must begin to comply with the new requirements by February 24, 2015. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s revised record keeping rule includes two key changes: First, the rule updates the list of industries that are exempt from the requirement to routinely keep OSHA injury and illness records, due to relatively low occupational injury and illness rates. The previous list of industries was based on the old Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) system and injury and illness data from the Bureau of Labor

The final rule will allow TOSHA to focus its efforts more effectively to prevent fatalities and serious work-related injuries and illnesses. The final rule will also improve access by employers, employees, researchers and the public to information about workplace safety and health and increase their ability to identify and abate serious hazards. For more information please visit:

“This critical data will provide TOSHA with valuable information that will help identify workplaces where workers are at risk.” Steve Hawkins TOSHA Administrator

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Contact Us

Use your favorite telephony device to find answers to your questions! To list a job/for help navigating TREAT (Tennessee Registered Employer Assistance Team) (855) 747-1719 (toll-free) or (615) 253-7664 Workers’ Compensation - General info, such as coverage requirements, employer responsibility for reporting workplace injuries, Drug Free Workplace program 1-800-332-2667 (toll-free) or (615) 741-2395 Employer Accounting - Corrections to postings of premium reports and payments; refunds and adjustments to employers’ accounts; questions on premium reports, delinquent notices, and account balance; help on completing quarterly reports, IRS certifications, FUTA certifications; and employer refund processing (615) 741-1619 Employer Services - Set up an account, determine if liable for unemployment premiums, change address or phone number, change business ownership, find out unemployment insurance premium rate, and request quarterly report (615) 741-2486 Premium and Wage Reporting - Report quarterly premium and wage information; corrections to a worker’s Social Security Number; wage discrepancies on benefit claims TNPAWS Internet reporting (615) 741-2346 Paper reporting (615) 741-3280

Tennessee Employer is a online publication of the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. The Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development is an equal opportunity employer program; auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

SIDES and SIDES E-Response - Employer electronic response to requests for separation information Labor Market Information - Unemployment rates; employment-related data for state, metropolitan areas, and individual counties; employment and wages; trends in occupations and industries; available labor; census demographic profiles; green jobs; publications (615) 741-2284 New hire reporting - Report a new hire to the Tennessee New Hire Reporting Program, administered by the Tennessee Department of Human Services (888) 715-2280

If you would like to be added or removed from our mailing list please write jeff. or call (615) 253-4251. Article suggestions and comments are always welcome.

Career Coach - Mobile Career Center services. Book a bus or view schedule. (615) 253-6749

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