Here are some important updates that business owners will need to pay attention to in 2014.
- 2014 Standard Mileage Rates – The IRS has issued the 2014 optional standard mileage rates for operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving purposes. Beginning January 1, 2014, the standard mileage rate for the use of a car (also van, pickup, or panel truck) is 56¢ per mile for business miles driven. Taxpayers have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates, and there are some limitations on when the standard mileage rate can be used. For further information, check with the IRS or your tax specialist. Google “IRS standard mileage rate 2014” for the IRS announcement.
- The price of a ﬁrst-class stamp will increase 3¢ on January 26, going to 49¢. Additional ounces for letters will see a 1¢ increase to 21¢. Postcards go up 1¢ to 34¢. Bulk mail, periodicals, and package service rates will also rise, some by as much as 6 percent.
- Social Security’s Old-Age, Survivors, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) has increased the limit of the amount of earnings subject to taxation for the upcoming year. This annual limit, known as the contribution and beneﬁt base, is $117,000 for 2014. The tax rate itself remains at 6.2 percent for employees and employers, or 12.4 percent for self-employment income.
- Oregon’s minimum wage increases to $9.10 on January 1st. Free updated wage posters can be downloaded from the Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) website http://www.oregon.gov/BOLI/WHD/Pages/index.aspx. Please note: All legally required postings are available for free from the issuing agency. In addition to the free minimum wage poster, BOLI also sells a composite poster of the 8 most commonly required postings together on one 24″ x 39″ page for just $10.
- Social Media Accounts Passwords Protected HB 2754 prohibits employers from requiring or requesting an applicant or employee to provide a password to his or her social media account or from compelling the applicant or employee to allow the employer to view his or her personal account. Furthermore, it prohibits an employer from threatening or taking adverse employment action for the applicant’s or employee’s refusal to provide the password. The provisions, however, do not extend to passwords for an account provided by or on behalf of the employer nor does it aﬀect an employer’s ability to access information already available to the public about the applicant or employee. Social media includes such user-generated content as Facebook, Twitter, e-mails, videos, photos, blogs, instant messages, and podcasts.
- Posting and Leave Requirements Amended – For employers with six or more employees working in Oregon, HB 2903 expands the employee eligibility requirements for leave for a victim of domestic violence, harassment, sexual assault, or stalking. It also added new posting requirements.
- Bereavement Leave Required – HB 2950 provides that a qualifying employee is eligible for Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) leave upon the death of an employee’s covered family member. Eligible employees may receive two weeks of leave within a one-year period for each death up to the 12-week allotment under OFLA. The OFLA is applicable to employers with at least 25 employees.