Payroll Services – Payday Loans VMR Tue, 23 Nov 2021 19:28:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Payroll Services – Payday Loans VMR 32 32 Class Action Lawsuit Against Washington State’s Long-Term Care Law | Seyfarth Shaw LLP Tue, 23 Nov 2021 19:28:29 +0000

Seyfarth Synopsis: A class action lawsuit has been filed against the Washington State Long Term Services and Support Act (the “Law”) which requires every worker in Washington to pay $ 0.58 per $ 100 (0 , 58%) of wages to a trust set aside to provide long-term care benefits to its residents. The lawsuit challenges the law and seeks a declaratory judgment that the law is unenforceable because it violates ERISA and federal and state laws governing employee benefit plans. See Pacific Bells LLC et al v. Inslee et al, No. 2: 21-cv-01515, (W. Dist. WA). November 9, 2021.

The law was enacted in 2019 to plan for the expected long-term care needs of residents of Washington state. By law, employers must remit a payroll tax of 0.58% (adjusted for the Washington CPI) of Washington employee wages (no cap) on a quarterly basis to a trust established by the state. The maximum benefit payable is $ 100 / day up to a maximum lifetime benefit of $ 36,500. For more information on the Act, see our blog post here, and our webinar on the Law here.

The law is the first of its kind in the United States and has been controversial since its enactment. This is due to several provisions of the law, such as the scope of employees who must pay tax. By law, generally all employees who work in Washington state will pay tax starting in 2022, regardless of their state of residence, although only residents of Washington state can use the advantage.

Another sticking point has been the timing of the acquisition of benefits. Under the Act, the benefit is only available to residents who contribute to the trust for: (i) a total of ten years with a maximum break of five years; or (ii) three of the six years preceding the date on which the resident submits his claim for benefits. In addition, the resident must have worked at least 500 hours per year during the ten or three year measurement period, as the case may be. Older workers approaching retirement will need to contribute to the trust, although they may not be working long enough to qualify for the benefit. Other residents may lose their vesting entitlement if they do not contribute to the trust for at least ten years.

The plaintiffs’ main argument for banning the Act is that it is preempted by federal law. Long-term care benefits are subject to the Employees Retirement Income Security Act 1974 (ERISA) and, as a federal law, ERISA takes precedence over all state laws relating to a benefit plan. to employees. The complainants allege that the employer’s involvement in the administration of the Act (which includes determining what salaries are subject to the Act, which employees are subject to the Act, whether any employees are exempt from the Act, and the coordination of the payment of benefits under the Act with any employer-maintained long-term care plan) is so important that it makes the Act an employer-sponsored benefit plan. If so, the law would be pre-empted by ERISA, which does not require an employer to provide long-term care benefits.

The complaint also alleges that the Act violates:

  • The equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution because it charges a premium to out-of-state residents working in Washington, but denies them the benefit of the premium because they must be residents of the State to receive benefits;
  • The fundamental right to travel under the privileges and immunities clause of the Constitution, as people who retire and leave the state will no longer be eligible to receive benefits;
  • The Age Discrimination in Employment Act 1967 and the Older Workers Benefit Protection Act, as older workers must contribute to the trust but can never benefit from it; and
  • Washington State Insurance Laws and Multiple Employer Social Protection Plans (MEWA) as the law does not meet state underwriting requirements for long term care plans and no certificate MEWA authority has only been issued as required for plans that provide benefits to employees of more than one employer.

Because of these issues, the class action lawsuit asks the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to prospectively ban the state from collecting payroll tax and enforcing the law. In addition, the lawsuit demands that the state return to employees all bonuses paid to the trust.

Currently, the law is still “in force”, which means that employers must be prepared to collect the tax from January, despite the filing of this lawsuit and a pending citizens’ initiative (I-1436) that would make participation optional. to Washington Long Term Care Insurance.

We will continue to monitor and alert you to developments regarding the Act. In the meantime, please contact the authors of this alert or the employee benefits lawyer you work with for additional information.

El Salvador announces its intention to build a so-called “Bitcoin City” Mon, 22 Nov 2021 00:18:42 +0000

The President of El Salvador has announced an ambitious plan to build a so-called “Bitcoin City” in which cryptocurrency will be the only legal tender.

President Nayib Bukele made the announcement on Saturday evening, saying the new city would be fully fledged. The city will include residential and commercial areas, restaurants, an airport, port and rail service, Coindesk reported on Saturday.

The city will be located near the Conchagua volcano (photo), a stratovolcano located in the La Unión department in El Salvador. The choice of the volcano is the key to the plan. While there are no confirmed historical eruptions from Colchagua, there is geothermal activity beneath the volcano and this will be exploited to fuel bitcoin mining in the new town.

To help the bitcoin city take off, Bukele also pledged that the proposed city would not be subject to capital gains, income taxes or wages, but only value added tax. A 13% VAT in El Salvador, known locally as Impuesto al Valor Agregado, is charged on goods and services.

Bukele did not specify a timetable for the city’s development.

In addition to announcing the new city, Bukele also unveiled a billion dollar “bitcoin bond”, a token financial instrument developed by Blockstream Corp. Inc. and hosted on the liquid network. The $ 500 million raised through the bond will be used to build energy and bitcoin mining infrastructure, while the remaining $ 500 million will be used to buy more bitcoin.

El Salvador aims to create a new government security law and license Bitfinex Securities to process bond issuance, according to a blog post published today by Blockstream. It could also pave the way for other Liquid security tokens such as the Blockstream Mining Note or the Exordium token to be listed on a regulated stock exchange in El Salvador.

The announcement of a bitcoin city is new, but El Salvador’s adoption of bitcoin is not. The country became the first in the world to accept bitcoin as legal tender in September. Bukele said at the time that legalizing bitcoin would boost investment in the country and help the 70% of Salvadorans who do not have access to traditional financial services.

In June, Bukele also pledged that El Salvador would offer “very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable and zero emission energy from our volcanoes” for bitcoin mining.

Photo: Smithsonian / Wikimedia Commons

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These people were able to transfer their wages from big cities to more affordable cities Sat, 20 Nov 2021 09:00:00 +0000

Alejandra McLatchie loves that her new home sits on two acres of land, with a pool and chicken coop, just a 10 minute walk to a lake.

In June, she and her family moved to Upper Tantallon, Nova Scotia, about 25 minutes from Halifax, abandoning their long daily commutes to downtown Toronto from their home with a small backyard in the suburb of Mississauga.

McLatchie and her husband Tyler, both of whom work in the insurance industry, are among what appear to be a growing number of people who have been able to relocate to smaller towns and cities across Canada as remote working for the pandemic has made their jobs – and their salaries in the big cities – transferable.

Statistics Canada data on internal migration during the pandemic period is not yet available, but a real estate boom in small towns across Canada has been linked, in part, to the new freedoms of remote working.

“I never thought I would have the opportunity to work from home five days a week, consistently, all the time,” McLatchie said.

LISTEN | Learn more about how Alejandra McLatchie advocated to move her work to the East Coast:

Cost of life9:33If I move, do I have to take my old salary with me?

When the pandemic struck, as difficult as that time was, she said she decided to use it as an opportunity to “show my abilities so that I can produce the same amount, if not more, by being at home from a distance. “.

Movements like the McLatchies have raised questions about whether employees should keep paychecks for the same amount when they move to cheaper areas. Tech giants, including Google and Facebook, for example, have said staff members who choose to continue working remotely after the pandemic from areas outside the normal commuting distance of the office may suffer a pay cut.

Good news for Canada, says economist

Yet other companies, including Shopify and many others in the tech industry, have said they are embracing remote working, in part as a way to retain workers with the skills in demand, while also expanding the pool of workers. candidates.

This is good news for our country, said Tony Bonen, director of research, data and analysis for the Ottawa Labor Market Information Council.

Economist Tony Bonen, from the Labor Market Information Council, says there’s no reason people can’t keep their wages in big cities if remote work allows them to do their job. work elsewhere. (Studio Dwayne Brown)

“I think the move to increased levels of flexibility for workers is good for companies; I think it’s good for the workers, ”he said.

“In the case of Canada, in particular, I think it’s particularly good for us, because it maybe allows people to expand a bit more. We have a lot of land here. And there’s a big difference between the number of people crowding in the big cities versus… the more remote areas that have a lot to offer, but there just weren’t any jobs there. “

If your job can be done just as well from part of the country without sky-high housing costs and long commutes, Bonen said the pay shouldn’t change with your zip code.

“I think if you have the flexibility, the advantage of working remotely anywhere in Canada, there is no reason your pay should be different, depending on where you choose to live,” said he declared. “If you live in an expensive city or a cheaper region, or a cheaper part of the city, for example, it’s a personal financial choice.”

Rather than clawing back existing wages when a worker moves further away, which would cause all kinds of human resource issues and hurt employee morale, Bonen said, a fairer way of looking at wages might be to offer a bonus for workers who have to live in our most expensive cities.

Necessary to compete for workers

Tying location to job – and therefore salary – disqualifies “99% of the people there,” said Greg Gunn, co-founder and CEO of Commit, a professional network that combines software engineers who work remotely. with tech startups.

That’s a problem, Gunn said, given that Canadian companies compete for these workers not only with the big American tech companies that have set up offices here, but with small and medium-sized companies outside of the country. countries that wish to hire Canadians to work remotely. .

“There are a lot of arbitrary rules that we created when we hired people and paid them in the past that have a certain necessity. But they are simply no longer relevant in a world where geography and opportunity become completely decoupled. “

There are a lot of arbitrary rules that we have created when we have hired people and paid them in the past that have some necessity. But they are simply no longer relevant in a world where geography and opportunity become completely decoupled.– Greg Gunn, CEO of Commit

Gunn, who lives in Vancouver, predicts that software engineering will be “the first completely distant career in the whole world, just because of the qualities of the profession.” This includes a long history of thousands of developers collaborating on open source software.

In fact, a number of Gunn’s industry colleagues have moved northwest from Vancouver to BC’s Sunshine Coast, including Commit engineer Alexandre Georges.

He and his girlfriend were able to move out of their one-bedroom apartment and buy a house in Gibsons, British Columbia, which would have cost three times as much in Vancouver, Georges said. Their new home is a five-minute walk from the forest and allows Georges to brew his own beer. With a bigger kitchen, he said, “we cook a lot more, which is quite nice.”

There was never any question of whether he would keep the same level of pay.

Software engineer Alexander Georges, left, is pictured with his girlfriend, Fiona Witham, next to a waterfall in Cliff Gilker Park, a hiking destination near their new home in Gibsons, B.C., on the Sunshine Coast. (Submitted by Alexandre Georges)

“I mean, in software engineer roles… there’s a lot of demand from companies, a lot of startups, launching new projects,” he said. “It definitely increases wages; it doesn’t matter where we are, especially with big companies like Amazon, Microsoft, who can afford to pay their engineers a lot. “

Bonen said that while many jobs remain tied to location, it’s not just high-tech workers who benefit from remote working. “For many professions in the service sector, there is this shift towards flexible working arrangements,” he said.

Alejandra McLatchie, right, visits Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia, with her family. From left to right: her parents, Eva Peredo and Jeorge (Coco) Peredo, her son Ronan, her husband Tyler McLatchie and her daughter Azalea. (Submitted by Alejandra McLatchie)

Companies are catching up

That said, compensation has traditionally varied between regions of Canada. For example, in the big category that Statistics Canada calls finance, insurance and business administration, people earn about $ 51,000 a year in Saskatchewan and just over $ 61,000 in British Columbia.

Afifa Siddiqui, founder and CEO of Canadian Payroll Services, said some companies may not be prepared for the pay issues raised by remote working during the pandemic. (Photo from

Afifa Siddiqui, CEO of Toronto-based Canadian Payroll Services, said many companies are catching up on the issue of location and compensation due to the lack of policies in place to deal with wage disparities between locations when employees asked them to relocate during the pandemic.

“I think the first step is for companies to create these policies very clearly and communicate them to their staff, so that when somebody decides or decides, ‘Am I going to take a pay cut’, they actually understand what the salary ranges are across their business. ”

In the case of Alejandra McLatchie, while her salary remained the same after leaving the Greater Toronto Area, she said her employer had let her know that he would generally pay $ 20,000 to $ 30,000 less for have someone do the same job in the Halifax area – “I guess I feel very lucky about my position.”

]]> Tax Fraud Blotter: waffles with a sham side Thu, 18 Nov 2021 23:31:00 +0000

Too much for man; just sign here; frank scam; and other highlights of recent tax cases.

Atlanta: Shanga A. Hankerson, 45, former owner of Gladys Knight’s Chicken and Waffles restaurant in Atlanta and son of the music legend, was sentenced to two years in prison for willful non-payment of payroll taxes.

In 1997, Hankerson opened his first restaurant; over the following years, it expanded to at least three other locations in northern Georgia and Washington, DC

Hankerson was the sole owner of the businesses that operated the restaurants and, from at least 2012 to 2016, he did not pay more than $ 1 million in payroll taxes in full.

Hankerson, who was convicted after pleading guilty, was also sentenced to one year on probation and ordered to pay $ 1,039,310.65 in restitution.

Williamsburg, Virginia: Financial agent Michael J. Tiernan was convicted of making false statements and failing to file a return.

From at least 2014 to 2017, Tiernan was the financial manager of business entities related to Ford’s Colony, including Ford’s Colony Realty, a large resort community. For the 2015 and 2016 tax years, he filed federal income tax returns that falsely underestimated the income he received from these entities. Although he declared income in the two years, he made up for his claimed income with high deductions which resulted in zero taxable income for 2015 and 2016, and declared himself insolvent to exclude the release of the debt. in 2015.

Tiernan received underreported income from business entities of at least $ 289,401 in 2015 and at least $ 204,523 in 2016. In addition, he did not file a return for 2017 despite receiving 111,352 $ from a business. From 2015 to 2017, he deposited over $ 1.6 million into his personal bank account and spent almost all of that funds on a combination of checks and debit card transactions. Tiernan further prepared and filed corporate statements for the entities that obscured the actual compensation he had received.

He faces a maximum of seven years in prison when sentenced on March 2.

Carrolton, Texas: Tax preparers Carlos Hinojosa, 37, Mario Jose Sanchez, 48, and Magda Lopez-Sanchez, 51, who previously had all pleaded guilty to assisting in the preparation of false and fraudulent returns, have been convicted .

Hinojosa was sentenced to 22 months in prison; Sanchez and Lopez-Sanchez were each sentenced to three years probation. Each was also ordered to pay more than $ 6 million in restitution, jointly and severally, to the IRS.

From 2012 to 2016, the three worked as preparers in the tax department of Miguelitos. They prepared statements that included, among other misrepresentations, false tuition expenses to make clients appear eligible for education credits that they knew clients were not eligible to receive. Hinojosa admitted that he usually includes these bogus expenses in his clients’ statements without their knowledge.

To cover up the false statements, the three men attempted to get clients to sign forms justifying the expenses. Hinojosa admitted that he didn’t explain the forms to clients and most had no idea what they were signing. He further admitted that he charged clients money to prepare their returns – sometimes up to $ 2,000 – without informing them that Miguelitos would also deduct a preparation fee from their refunds.

The federal tax loss was $ 7,306,191.

Milton, Delaware: Freelance photographer Bruce Kevin Fleming has been sentenced to one year in prison for tax evasion.

Fleming pleaded guilty in August 2020. At that time, he had not filed or paid federal income tax since 1981.

His sentence includes $ 192,529 in restitution to the IRS for income taxes owed and owed from 2002 to 2016. Fleming was also ordered to return to the IRS for $ 22,584 in payroll taxes that he withheld on salaries of its employees in 2016 and 2017, but never turned. to the IRS.

Authorities said Fleming had the money to pay his income taxes for those years, his net income amounting to $ 393,000, but he was living beyond his means. Authorities added that a criminal investigation was only opened after Fleming ignored numerous letters and assessments from the IRS.

Florence, South Carolina: Twelve people in seven construction-related companies have pleaded guilty to charges of employment tax evasion and hiring unauthorized foreigners.

The pleas are the result of a multi-year undercover investigation across the South Carolina coast conducted by the IRS and Homeland Security Investigations.

The operation targeted those in the construction industry who used unlicensed check tellers to facilitate cash payments to employees, many of whom were unauthorized foreigners. Check tellers would also provide certificates of insurance incorrectly stating that employees were covered by workers’ compensation.

Each of the 12 defendants pleaded guilty to an information accusing them of one count of conspiracy to defraud the United States and one count of illegal employment of foreigners.

At least $ 15 million in checks were cashed by these defendants, resulting in millions of dollars in total losses for the government. Based on the investigation, authorities said at least tens of millions of dollars in tax losses have occurred across the coast of South Carolina due to similar schemes.

In this diagram, a member of the construction company would encounter an unlicensed check teller in places such as parking lots for retail stores or cafes. The construction company would give the check teller a business check for a certain amount payable to a business created by the check teller, and the check teller would give the construction company representative a bag of money. money that would be used to pay employees. In return for their services, the check teller withheld a commission of about 3%.

To give the impression that the employees had valid insurance on construction sites, the check teller would also provide a certificate of workers’ compensation insurance which was not in fact valid for any of the construction employees. The parties agreed that the cashier of the check would pretend on paper to be a subcontractor who supplied the employees and provided the insurance.

Around 2019, various undercover IRS-CI agents established themselves in the Myrtle Beach area and recorded multiple interactions with the various companies of the defendants.

Each accused faces a maximum of five years in prison for conspiring to defraud the United States and six months in prison for illegal employment of aliens. Each also faces a fine of up to $ 250,000 and $ 3,000 for each unauthorized stranger, and three years of surveillance to follow the jail term. Each agreed to reimburse the IRS, for a total restitution amount of just under $ 3 million.

Detroit: A federal court has permanently banned the region’s tax preparer Abdou Ndiaye from preparing federal tax returns for others and from owning or operating a tax filing business in the future.

Ndiaye and Ndiaye’s LLC, dba Pro Tax Services, have consented to the registration of the injunction. The order requires Ndiaye and Pro Tax Services to notify prior clients of the injunction and authorize the United States to monitor compliance.

The civil complaint alleged that Ndiaye reported business losses or fabricated income on client returns, leading those individuals to claim unearned earned income tax credits and claim false reporting statuses.

Bonifay, Florida: Ahmad T. Ismail pleaded guilty to underwriting and transmitting multiple fraudulent federal income tax returns.

Ismail admitted to filing false federal income tax returns for 2017 and 2018. He also agreed that he underestimated his gross income by thousands of dollars a year, failing to report all cash payments from patients in his practice. medical during the two years. While searching his residence last year, law enforcement found $ 39,000 in cash as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash receipts from his office.

The IRS estimates that the tax loss exceeds $ 100,000.

The sentence is pronounced on January 20. Ismail faces up to six years in prison as well as paying restitution to the IRS.

Compliance and HR software firm acquired by IRIS | Yorkshire Offers News Wed, 17 Nov 2021 08:32:47 +0000

A Leeds-based provider of compliance and human resources management services for the education sector has been acquired by IRIS Software Group.

Every, founded in 2010, is a provider of compliance and human resource management software for schools and multi-academy trusts (MAT) in the UK.

More than 3,500 schools use Everybody’s compliance modules to provide an end-to-end system to ensure legal compliance requirements are met for policies, facilities and equipment, enabling them to reduce risk across the board. school park.

In response to requests from educators, Every also developed an integrated HR system, which was released to the market earlier this year.

The agreement represents the next step in plans for IRIS, whose head office in Langley expands its IRIS Education HR software offering. It follows the recent acquisitions of Dataplan and PayPlus, two payroll service providers each with a strong focus on the education sector.

Over 12,000 UK schools and trusts use IRIS, and four million parents and guardians use IRIS apps to connect with their children’s school; 300 million messages transmitted between schools and parents each year, and over £ 15 million in transaction payments processed each month.

Simon Freeman, Managing Director of IRIS Education, said: “We are delighted to welcome Every to the IRIS family. This is another step towards creating the most comprehensive end-to-end software offering for schools and trusts – a solution that simplifies important day-to-day activities and ensures they can focus on what matters most, teaching.

“We are very excited to continue to support the growth of Everybody and market leading people and products for the benefit of existing and new customers. “

Ian Bond, Founder of Every, added: “It is now more important than ever to ensure that education professionals have the tools to make their work more manageable, enable them to make better decisions and identify more efficient working methods. Joining the IRIS family allows us to build on what we have accomplished to date and add greater value to our clients.

“We are excited about the future with IRIS and strengthening our commitment to service excellence for our clients. “

A team from the Grant Thornton business consultancy in Yorkshire, led by Duncan Morpeth and Andrew Morgan, and including John Whitney and Ben Brydges, provided corporate finance advice to the founders of Every.

Clarion Solicitors (Jonathan Simms, Hitesh Tailor and Hannah Nelson) provided legal advice.

Everest Group Names ADP a Leader in Multi-Country Payroll Solutions PEAK 2021 Matrix Assessment Mon, 15 Nov 2021 13:54:00 +0000

ADP is recognized for its global technology and service capabilities for a unified customer experience

ROSELAND, New Jersey, November 15, 2021 / PRNewswire / – Industry analyst firm Everest Group has once again named ADP a leader in its 2021 PEAK Matrix® Multi-Country Payroll Solutions (MCP) assessment. ADP has consistently been recognized as a leader since inception of the report in 2013, through its ability to meet diverse global customer needs and its continued innovation in the global payroll space.

ADP has always been recognized as a leader since the inception of the report in 2013.

“We are committed to providing our clients with the tools and expertise they need to thrive.” –Virginie Magliulo, ADP

The PEAK Matrix is ​​a framework that provides an objective, data-driven, benchmarking assessment of service providers based on their market success and ability to deliver. Everest Group assesses the impact on the market, the vision and the capacity of each supplier, classifying them into three categories: leaders, Main competitors, and aspirants. Market impact measures market adoption, portfolio composition and value delivered, while Vision and Capability examines vision and strategy, scope of services offered, innovation and investments, and imprint of delivery.

“ADP’s continued efforts in R&D, integration capabilities and broad geographic coverage have enabled it to further strengthen its service and technology offerings to make them even more valuable and transparent to customers,” said Priyanka Mitra, Practice Director, Everest Group. “Emphasis on employee analytics, automation and efforts to simplify the customer onboarding experience have helped it maintain its leadership position in the PEAK Matrix assessment of Everest MCP solutions. Group. “

“We are honored to see ADP earn long-standing recognition for its ability to support global businesses as the world changes,” said Virginie Magliulo, president of Employer Services International at ADP. “Recent events have transformed how and where people work, introducing new compliance considerations and straining the global talent pools that employers must navigate. From our free online resource center for keeping customers informed during COVID-19, to new integrations that enable a more unified global payroll experience to discover deeper insights through people analytics, we’re committed to providing our clients have the tools and expertise they need to thrive. “

Everest Group highlighted ADP’s strengths, including its strong global presence and its ability to meet diverse customer needs through its ADP® Global Payroll offerings. The assessment highlighted ADP’s continued investments in technology, including improved integrations and an overall dashboard for comparing operational and business metrics. ADP’s track record of delivering superior service also stood out, with the report citing ADP’s new global consulting services designed to help clients on their individual payroll transformation journeys.

To view an ADP-focused excerpt from the PEAK Matrix 2021 assessment of Everest Group’s Multi-Country Payroll Solutions covering ADP’s global payroll solutions, please visit here.

Designing better ways of working through cutting-edge products, premium services and exceptional experiences that empower people to reach their full potential. HR, Talent, Time Management, Benefits and Payroll. Informed by data and designed for people. Learn more about

ADP, the ADP logo, and Always Designing for People are trademarks of ADP, Inc. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

Copyright © 2021 ADP, Inc. All rights reserved.

(PRNewsfoto / ADP, LLC)

(PRNewsfoto / ADP, LLC)



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Biz2Credit Small Business Lending Index ™ for October Finds Tue, 09 Nov 2021 11:05:00 +0000

NEW YORK, November 09, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) – Small business loan approval percentages at big banks (assets over $ 10 billion) fell from 14% in September 2021 to 14.1% in October. During this time, small banks” approvals also fell from 19.5% in September to October’s figure of 19.7%, according to the last Biz2Credit Small Business Loan Index™ released today.

“The banks are showing a willingness to lend, but they have been cautious. While this is a good sign that approval percentages continue to rise, we are still well below the levels we were seeing before the pandemic, ”said Rohit Arora, CEO of Biz2Credit, one of the leading national experts. in FinTech and small business loans. “All categories of lenders except credit unions, which remained stable, saw their loan approval percentages increase this month. “

Non-farm payroll employment increased by 531,000 in October and the unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage points to 4.6%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics employment report released on Friday, November 5. . Notable employment growth was observed in recreation and hospitality, professional and business services, manufacturing, transportation and warehousing. Many of these new jobs are created by small businesses.

“We are seeing an increase in funding requests from transportation and warehousing companies. These industries have rebounded well after the pandemic, ”said Arora. “Entertainment-related businesses are starting to come back, although restaurants are still suffering. Many small businesses are gearing up for the holiday season and need capital to cover anticipated additional costs. “

Increase in approval percentages of non-bank lenders

  • Iinstitutional lenders approval percentage increased to 24.7% in October, against 24.5% in September.
  • Alternative lenders approved 25.6% of small business financing requests in October, up from 25.4% in September.
  • VSrepeat unions approved 20.6% in October, as in September, but down from 20.9% a year ago.

Biz2Credit analyzed loan applications from businesses that have been in business for more than two years with credit scores above 680. The results are based on primary data submitted by over 1,000 small business owners who have applied for financing on the Biz2Credit platform. To consult the October 2021 report, Click here.

About Biz2Credit

Founded in 2007, Biz2Credit has arranged over $ 7 billion in small business financing. The company extends its cutting-edge technology into customized digital platform solutions for banks and other financial institutions, investors and service providers. Visit or Twitter @ Biz2Credit, Facebook and LinkedIn.

Media contact: John Mooney, (908) 720-6057,

]]> 0 MindsDB wants to give corporate databases a brain Sun, 07 Nov 2021 18:20:51 +0000

Leave him OSS Company Newsletter guide your open The source journey! register here.

Databases are the lifeblood of most modern business applications, whether it’s managing payroll, tracking customer orders, or storing and retrieving just about any business critical information. With the right additional business intelligence (BI) tools, companies can pull all kinds of information from their vast expanses of data, such as establishing sales trends to inform future decisions. But when it comes to making accurate predictions from historical data, it’s a whole new ball game, requiring different skills and technologies.

This is something MindsDB is working to solve, with a platform that helps anyone leverage machine learning (ML) to envision the future with big data insights. In the company’s own words, it wants to “democratize machine learning by giving corporate databases a brain.”

Founded in 2017, Berkeley, Calif.-Based MindsDB enables businesses to make predictions directly from their database using standard SQL commands and view them in the app or platform. analysis of their choice.

To further develop and market its product, MindsDB announced this week that it had raised $ 3.75 million, bringing its total funding to $ 7.6 million. The company also unveiled partnerships with some of the most recognized database brands, including Snowflake, SingleStore, and DataStax, which will bring MindsDB’s ML platform directly to these data stores.

Using the past to predict the future

There are a myriad of use cases for MindsDB, such as predicting customer behavior, reducing churn rate, improving employee retention, detecting anomalies in industry processes, scoring customer credit risk and inventory demand forecasting – this is about using existing data to understand what that data might look like at a later date.

An analyst at a large retail chain, for example, may want to know how much inventory he will need to meet demand in the future based on a number of variables. By connecting their database (for example, MySQL, MariaDB, Snowflake, or PostgreSQL) to MindsDB, then connecting MindsDB to the BI tool of their choice (for example, Tableau or Looker), they can ask questions and view what awaits them.

“Your database can give you a good picture of your inventory history, because databases are designed for it,” MindsDB CEO Jorge Torres told VentureBeat. “Using machine learning, MindsDB enables your database to become smarter to also give you predictions of what that data will look like in the future. With MindsDB, you can solve your inventory forecasting problems with a few standard SQL commands.

Above: visualization of predictions generated by the MindsDB platform

Torres said that MindsDB allows so called In-Database ML (I-DBML) to create, train and use ML models in SQL, as if they were tables in a database. of data.

“We believe that I-DBML is the best way to apply ML, and we believe all databases should have this capability, which is why we have partnered with the best database manufacturers in the world.” Torres explained. “It brings ML as close to data as possible, integrates ML models as virtual database tables, and can be queried with simple SQL statements. “

MindsDB comes in three major variations: a free, open source incarnation that can be deployed anywhere; an enterprise version that includes additional support and services; and a recently launched cloud hosted product in beta, billed per use.

The open source community has been a major focus for MindsDB so far, claiming tens of thousands of installs from developers around the world, including developers working at companies such as PayPal, Verizon, Samsung, and American Express. While this organic approach continues to be a large part of MindsDB’s growth strategy, Torres said his company is in the early stages of commercializing the product with companies across many industries, although he has not. had the freedom to reveal names.

“We are in the validation phase with several Fortune 100 clients, including financial services, retail, manufacturing and gaming companies who have highly sensitive business-critical data – and [this] prevents disclosure, ”Torres said.

The problem MindsDB seeks to solve is one that affects just about every vertical business, spanning businesses of all sizes – even the largest companies won’t want to reinvent the wheel by expanding all facets of their AI arsenal to start from nothing.

“If you have a robust and functional enterprise database, you already have everything you need to apply machine learning from MindsDB,” Torres explained. “Companies have invested vast resources in their databases, and some of them have even spent decades of efforts to perfect their data stores. Then, over the last few years, as ML capabilities began to emerge, companies naturally wanted to harness them for better forecasting and decision making.

While companies could want to To make better predictions from their data, the challenges inherent in extracting, transforming, and loading (ETL) all of that data into other systems are complex and don’t always produce great results. With MindsDB, data is left where it is in the original database.

“That way, you drastically reduce the project schedule from years or months down to hours, and in the same way, you drastically reduce points of failure and costs,” Torres said.

The Switzerland of machine learning

The competitive landscape is quite large, depending on how you view the scale of the problem. Several big players have emerged to arm developers and analysts with AI tools, such as DataRobot and H2O heavily backed by VC, but Torres sees these types of companies as potential partners rather than direct competitors. “We think we’ve found the best way to bring information directly to the database, and it’s potentially something they could tap into,” Torres said.

And then there are the cloud platform providers themselves such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft that offer their customers machine learning as add-ons. In these cases, however, these services are really just a means to sell more of their core product – compute and storage. – Torres also sees potential for partnering with these cloud giants in the future. “We are a neutral player – we are the Switzerland of machine learning,” Torres added.

MindDB’s seed funding includes investments from a number of notable funders, including OpenOcean, which claims MariaDB co-founder Patrik Backman as a partner, YCombinator (MindsDB was awarded the Winter 2020 prize from YC) , Walden Catalyst Ventures, SpeedInvest and Berkeley’s SkyDeck fund.


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]]> 0 CMS mandate on vaccines for health workers Fri, 05 Nov 2021 20:52:05 +0000

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued an Interim Final Rule (IFR) establishing COVID-19 vaccination requirements for staff employed at Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and providers.

The IFR requires that covered personnel be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by January 4, 2022, or have received an approved religious or medical exemption or deferral by that date.


In the preamble to the IFR, CMS states that covered providers and providers must comply with federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, and, therefore, may be required to grant an exemption from the vaccination requirement as an accommodation under these laws.

The IFR provides, in part, that:

  • Covered providers and providers must implement mandatory vaccination policies that include a process by which staff can request an exemption from the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons in accordance with applicable federal law;

  • There is no “test” option;

  • Only religious or medical exemptions are allowed, and such requests must be submitted by December 5, 2021;

  • Covered personnel (except for those who have pending applications for, or who have been granted medical or religious exemptions from the IFR vaccination requirements, or those for whom COVID-19 vaccination should be temporarily delayed, as recommended by the CDC, in due to precautions and clinical considerations) must receive their first dose of a series of multi-dose COVID-19 vaccines by December 5, 2021, and all covered personnel must be fully immunized by January 4, 2022, or have received a religious exemption or medical approved. Employees who have received their last dose of vaccine but are not yet 14 days after vaccination by January 4, 2022 will be considered compliant;

  • Covered providers and providers should securely track and document the immunization status of every staff member, including those for whom there has been a temporary delay in immunization; and

  • Covered providers and providers must implement a process to ensure additional precautions to prevent the transmission and spread of COVID-19 for all staff who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Covered health entities

The IFR applies to the following Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and providers:

  • Outpatient surgical centers;

  • Hospices;

  • Residential psychiatric treatment establishments;

  • All-inclusive care programs for the elderly;

  • Hospitals (acute care hospitals, mental hospitals, hospital swivel beds, long term care hospitals, children’s hospitals, transplant centers, cancer hospitals and rehabilitation hospitals / inpatient rehabilitation facilities);

  • Long-term care facilities, including skilled nursing facilities and nursing homes, generally referred to as nursing homes;

  • Intermediate care establishments for people with intellectual disabilities;

  • Home Health Agencies;

  • Comprehensive outpatient rehabilitation facilities;

  • Critical access hospitals;

  • Clinics, rehabilitation agencies and public health agencies as providers of outpatient physiotherapy and speech therapy services;

  • Community mental health centers;

  • Home infusion therapy providers;

  • Rural health clinics / federally approved health centers;

  • End-stage renal disease establishments;

The requirements do not apply directly:

  • Offices of physicians not regulated by CMS;

  • Organ procurement organizations; and

  • Portable X-ray suppliers.

However, the IFR preamble clarifies that staff working for these organizations may be indirectly subject to the requirements if they are under contract with other health entities that are subject to CMS vaccine requirements. For example, if a staff member of an organ harvesting organization goes on-site to a covered hospital to perform services, they are likely indirectly covered.

Covered staff

In most settings, the vaccination requirement applies to all staff, regardless of clinical responsibility or patient contact. All current and new staff who provide care, treatment or other services to the facility or its patients are covered. The IFR also applies to non-employees, such as students, interns, volunteers, and people who provide care, treatment or other services to the facility or its patients as part of a contract or other arrangement.

There is a limited exception to the vaccination requirement for staff who provide fully remote services, such as telehealth or fully remote payroll services. However, vaccination is compulsory for staff who principally provide services through telecommuting, but may occasionally meet colleagues who will enter a health facility or site of care for their professional responsibilities.

Penalties for non-compliance

CMS will issue interpretative guidelines, including investigative procedures, to govern enforcement. Depending on the level of non-compliance, covered providers and providers may face civil monetary penalties, denial of payment for new admissions, or termination of the Medicare / Medicaid provider contract.

Next steps

The IFR was published in the Federal Register on November 5, 2021, and comments will be accepted for 60 days, until January 4, 2022, but the IFR will go into effect immediately, with key compliance deadlines of December 5, 2021 and January 4, 2022, as noted below- above. There is no sunset provision.

In the meantime, covered providers and suppliers should:

  • Review existing vaccine policies, if applicable, to determine additional compliance requirements, particularly with respect to specific guidelines and rules regarding religious or medical exemptions;

  • Develop policies and exemption forms and procedures to meet tight deadlines; and

  • Train managers and human resources staff on these requirements, including issues relating to religious and medical exemptions that may arise.

Many questions remain unanswered, including the application of the IFR in jurisdictions where mandatory vaccines are prohibited. The preamble to the IFR states that the IFR takes precedence over these national or local laws. Likewise, the IFR provides that any exemption for religious or medical reasons must be based on federal law, regardless of the applicability, if any, of state religious or medical accommodation standards. Employers should seek legal advice on these and other difficult issues.

Jackson Lewis PC © 2021National Law Review, Volume XI, Number 309

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Employer Solutions Group to Pay $ 95,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) Wed, 03 Nov 2021 23:32:15 +0000

Eden Prairie Company employee fired due to disability, federal agency charged

MINNEAPOLIS – Employer Solutions Group, LLC (ESG), a payroll services company operating in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has agreed to pay $ 95,000 to resolve a disability discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Commission for Equal Employment Opportunity (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC lawsuit accused ESG of firing an employee because she told the company she had to use crutches following surgery related to a knee injury. When the employee attempted to return to work after approved medical leave, ESG claimed she needed to be 100% cured before returning to work and cited her need for “ambulatory assistance” upon her termination, according to the lawsuit.

Such conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which makes it illegal to terminate or otherwise discriminate against an employee because of a disability or perceived disability. The ADA also makes it illegal to retaliate against an employee who requests accommodation or opposes discrimination.

The EEOC brought an action in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Employer Solutions Group, LLC., Civil Action No. 19-cv-02315 (NEB / TNL)) after it first tried to get a prior agreement. settlement of disputes through its conciliation process.

The settlement follows a court ruling on Aug. 13 dismissing ESG’s summary judgment motion and finding evidence against ESG warrants a trial. ESG agreed to settle the case after the ruling.

In addition to monetary relief, the three-year consent decree signed by United States District Court Judge Nancy E. Brasel requires ESG to eliminate any policy or practice requiring individuals to be released without restrictions. or 100% cured to be able to work. The consent decree also requires training on the ADA for management and other employees and requires ESG to report to the EEOC any other complaints of discrimination based on disability during the term of the decree.

“Employers cannot make employment decisions based on speculation about an employee’s disability,” said Gregory Gochanour, regional attorney for the Chicago District of the EEOC. “All employees, including people with physical disabilities, have the right to be assessed on their ability to do the job. “

Julianne Bowman, Chicago District Director of the EEOC, added: “As in this case, policies that require an employee to be 100% cured before returning to work are inconsistent with the requirement to reasonable accommodation of the ADA, and the EEOC will prosecute such violations when they occur.

The Chicago District Office is responsible for handling charges of discrimination, administrative enforcement, and litigation in Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, with offices area in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.

The EEOC advances opportunities in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at

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