In this issue

Chapter Information

The West Michigan Chapter of the American Payroll Association was founded in 1997, as a non-profit group, in order to advance the payroll profession in our area. Membership is open to all who wish to focus on growing within their field, as well as becoming active in our networking opportunities. Many contacts and friendships have been developed within our group.  Our area of coverage is extensive as it includes members from Grand Rapids, Holland, Kalamazoo and Lansing!

Our Purpose

  • To promote scholarship and professionalism in the field of payroll administration
  • To advance recognition for payroll
  • To promote higher standards of performance in the field of payroll administration
  • To promote fellowship and communication among payroll practioners

Monthly Meetings

The Chapter meets every 2nd Wednesday of each month, exclusive of January. The cost is $20.00 for members and $28.00 for non-members for each meeting and includes a dinner choice. A meeting notice is distributed, via e-mail, prior to each meeting.  

Be sure to check out what is coming up next!

American Payroll Association

Professional society for payroll professionals. Founded in 1982, they are the nation's leader in payroll education, training and publications.

With over 22,000 members, APA is committed to:

  • Offering education opportunities to enhance the quality of the payroll professional
  • Fostering the exchange of payroll expertise at the local level
  • Raising public awareness of payroll professionalism
  • Offering certification programs to support the payroll profession
  • Representing the payroll professional in Washington, D.C.


May 2015  

Words from the President

Welcome to the Spring 2015 edition of the West MI Chapter Newsletter!   As always it is an exciting time to be in payroll, don't you think?  For sure it is never dull and it definitely keeps us on our toes.

Mark you calendars to attend the Michigan Statewide Conference on October 22 and 23!  You can find more information in another article sure to read it!

The chapter is excited to offer the 2015 CPP and FPC Study group!  Please remember to register for the course by the deadline, May 8, 2015.  It is a great opportunity to learn, grow and gain some additional knowledge for a low price.  Each session is worth 3 RCH credits in 2015.

The April Chapter meeting was a big success.  Be sure to read the article "Highlights of Recent Meetings" to read more about it!

We need you!

If any member is interested in being on a committee or assisting with the statewide conference please do not hesitate to reach out to the board or committee member.  We would really love to see more involvement from the members in the chapter!

~Kim Kossen, CPP,
WMC President

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News Room From National APA

Be a Part of the Excitement
With Virtual Congress

The 6th Annual Virtual Congress & Expo, an online companion to the Annual Congress, is set for May 13-14. The event will continue to deliver education, entertainment, and great virtual networking opportunities.

The 2015 Virtual Congress & Expo offers:

  • Six virtual workshops and two general sessions
  • The opportunity to earn up to 9 RCHs
  • A full-service Expo to visit with exclusive payroll vendors where you can learn about the latest product and service solutions available
  • A networking lounge with multiple chat boards to network with peers
  • A resource center to gather important event materials and news
  • Profile pages for all participants to see who's attending
  • Video highlights from Congress in Las Vegas
  • Electronic copies of Congress Today, the onsite daily newspaper

Visit to learn more about the 6th Annual Virtual Congress & Expo and to register.

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You Need to Know!

Employers Obtain Relief From Oppressive and Risky Michigan Wage Garnishments

Authors: Martin C. Brook (Detroit (Metro))

Published Date: April 14, 2015

A wage garnishment is a court order that assists plaintiffs with the collection of judgments. Such an order requires an entity to withhold money (i.e., wages) owed to a judgment debtor and divert it to a judgment creditor in order to satisfy the judgment debt. An order for a wage garnishment is startlingly complex to administer and very risky for employers. For instance, if an employer does not timely answer a Michigan garnishment within 14 days, or fails to do any other act required by the court, it is subject to a judgment against it for the full amount of the employee’s debt.

Today, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law two House bills that will dramatically reduce employers’ administrative burdens and financial risk while also increasing the funds paid to employers that must comply with garnishments. The amendments take effect on September 30, 2015.   

House Bill 4119, which passed the Michigan House of Representatives by a vote of 109-to-1 and passed the Michigan Senate 37-to-0, will make the following changes to Michigan garnishments:

  • Wage garnishments will now continue until paid off rather than expire after six months. This relieves the churn that has previously occurred as garnishments expired and were reissued. Since wage garnishments only need to be set-up once, the new law also avoids the risks that come from having to receive and properly administer each garnishment over the time it takes to pay off the debt.
  • The fee that creditors have to pay employers will increase from $6 to $35. This reflects the fact that $6 was not enough to compensate employers for  their administrative costs, and the fact that garnishments will remain  in place until paid off.
  • Wage garnishments will have to be properly served in accordance with the Michigan Court Rules—otherwise they will be void. This eliminates a common practice whereby garnishments are mailed to branches or local offices of employers—where their likelihood of being mishandled dramatically increases.
  • Before an employer can be liable for failing to comply with a garnishment order, the creditor will have to undertake a multi-step process that gives the employer multiple warnings and opportunities to achieve compliance. And, even if a default judgment is taken against the employer, within 21 days of the entry of default, the employer may petition the court to reduce the default judgment to not more than the amount that would have been withheld if the garnishment had been in effect for 56 days. Previously, very little prevented creditors from quickly and without actual notice obtaining default judgments against employers that were difficult to set aside or reduce.


House Bill 4120, which also passed the Michigan House of Representatives 109-to-1 and the Michigan Senate 37-to-0, will make the following changes:

  • The Michigan Payment of Wages and Fringe Benefits Act will allow for any money paid by the employer for a default judgment resulting from a failure to comply with a garnishment to be withheld from the employee’s wages without written consent. As with the recovery of an overpayment of wages, the employer must (1) give the employee written notice of a deduction at least one pay period in advance; (2) not deduct more than 15 percent of the employee’s gross wages per pay period; and (3) not reduce the employee’s gross wages to a rate below the greater of the state or federal minimum wage. 


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Highlights from Recent Meetings

Payroll 101 - April 2015

The April Chapter meeting was a big success!  We were very lucky to have Howard Goldman, CPP, friend from the Detroit Chapter, present his popular Payroll 101 session.  When this is presented at Statewide it is always a very crowded workshop and this meeting was no exception.  It was a very interactive setting and the members seemed to really appreciate the presentation.  Even us "seasoned" payroll veterans learned a thing or two!  A big thank you to both Luanne Brown for setting up the meeting and to Howard for being an excellent speaker.    

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Paycard News

For many of us that work in Payroll companies, there is a change coming in the process of issuing paycard for the employers to their employees.   For many years we have been able to do instant issue of paycards for our Clients employees that did not have regular bank accounts or that choose to put money on a paycard for convenience. 

Due to the USA Patriot Act the paycard industry is required to have a relationship with their customers.  This is part of a comprehensive anti-money laundering program which helps law enforcement identify, disrupt and prevent terrorist acts, money laundering, larceny, and other fraudulent acts.    The pay card companies will no longer be able to distribute the cards to the payroll organizations to provide to their clients, but will rather require that the employer take that responsibility.    

This is going to be a change for many employers that rely on their payroll company to take care of this for the employees.  For those in the payroll organizations this means less manual work on our part, and will increase the responsibility of the employers going forward.   

~Pat Osterhouse, FPC
WMC Secretary

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Michigan Statewide Conference News

The annual Michigan Statewide Payroll Conference is scheduled for October 22 & 23, 2015 at Firekeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek!  With the theme of Fire Up Your Payroll Knowledge you know this is going to be a hot event!  You can reserve your hotel room now and it is highly recommended to do so!  More information can be found here.

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National Payroll Week

It is only May but it is time to start thinking ahead to National Payroll week happening in September.  Are you someone that might be interested in teaching the Money Matters to high school students in you community.  I suggest that you contact the schools now to make the arrangements for September.  There is a full outline and resources available for your use on the National Payroll Week Website.  

Don't forget to go back later and check out the items you can purchase from the online shop and don’t forget to complete the survey!  This is a great opportunity to bring the focus on what we do everyday for our coworkers! 

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