As most of you know by now, there are several teams of DOL Wage and Hour inspectors going through cotton gins in the Lubbock area.  If you are inspected, please let us know, and please forward any citations you receive as soon as you receive them.

Most inspections are going relatively smoothly, but there are two items that seem to be catching a lot of gins.   The first is pretty simple.  If you have migrant housing, you should have a license from the State for that facility.  In addition, some of the inspectors are saying you need to post a form WH-521.  We had not been aware of this form previously.  The state certificate lists almost all the required items on the form WH-521, but there are a few extra required items on the form.  If you provide housing, you should pull the WH-521 from our forms page on the website, then fill it out an post it next to your state certificate.

The other item that many gins are being cited for is failing to put the federal Employer ID number, and the Workers Social Security number on the paycheck stub.  We were very surprised that this was a requirement, but Aaron looked up the rule this morning, and you are required to provide quite a bit of information to each migrant worker at the time of payment.  I think the assumption is that if you are providing this at time of payment, you would just put it on the paycheck stub.  There is also a WH-501 form that you can use, if you want. which does list all this information.

Here are the items that you must provide each pay period:  1-the basis on which wages are paid, 2-the number of piecework units earned, if paid on this basis, 3- the number of hours worked, 4-the total pay period earnings, 5-the specific sums withheld and the purpose of each sum withheld, 6-the net pay.  The last requirement is to provide the employers name, address, and employer ID number assigned by the IRS.

There is a requirement to maintain the workers name, permanent address, and social security number, but the rules are less clear  as to whether these items must be maintained in your payroll records as opposed to being actually printed on the paystub.  The workers name and permanent address would be automatic on the paycheck, so the only item that seems to be in some conflict is the Social Security number. Our reading of the rule would indicate that the SSN does need to be maintained on the paystub, but due to the way the rule is written, this issue is less clear than the others.  If your payroll system will do it, you should probably put their SSN into your system, then have your system print out the number with all but the last four digits x’d out on the paystub.