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hold payment pending new W4?

edited September 2010 in General Payroll Topics
We are a college so we have faculty and student employees whose employment is not necessarily year round. For example, we have some faculty who only teach during the fall semester - paid September - December. We use ADP and the records are purged every May, so most of our fall only faculty records are purged. If/When they return in September, I no longer have their old info available (yes, I could pull the paper files, but I am processing about a 1000 new hires in a one-week period so it's just not feasible) and I don't believe that I should be using the old info anyway as their status can easily change during that time.

When they return the following fall do they need to complete a new W4? I believe they do and we are making them - there is a lot of grumbling. More importantly, do I hold their payroll set up until I have a new form (meaning their payments would start late - we are in California) or do I go ahead and set them up for payment with a default of single, zero until they submit a new form claiming otherwise.


  • Single-zero. You can't hold payment.

    My question is, though, can't you have ADP NOT purge these employees? I seem to remember there are options to retain the master data. Failing that, can you put them on some type of inactive status, say "pending return" or something, so they don't show as terminated and therefore, don't get purged to start with?
  • Thanks Patty - that's what I have always done, but I've been getting complaints and push back about it.

    Yes, we can change the status of individuals to keep them from purging. The problem is that HR and Payroll don't have a way of knowing who is returning and who is not. We used to try that, but then we end up with an ever expanding database. It's not unusual for someone to be gone for more than a year so we've run into more problems keeping their old info (their status changes, their direct deposit info changes, their address changes, etc) so we've found it's much cleaner to let them purge. The volume is just too large to effectively keep track of very well. And the timing is a nightmare because all faculty and student workers start ON THE SAME DAY!! Aack. College payroll is a whole different ball game!

    David - nope, it's still the same options so HR doesn't like to use the leave status because it makes it difficult for them to report on who is truly on a leave of absence.
  • David - yep. The wage garnishment process is also a lot of fun to keep track of. No one ever really terminates in a college, they just kind of eventually fade away only to pop up again a year later. We have to constantly check through our garnishments - both active and not to make sure we haven't re-hired someone with a possibly still current order. Another reason I don't like to keep the old file active because that info could possibly still be lingering in their file when it shouldn't be.
  • Agree with a unique code. Maybe run a quick query after the beginning of the next school year, and if they haven't come back for employment in the new school year, THEN terminate them.
  • If you put them to status L = LOA, then they will not purge. Since you will always have people coming back and a mass re-hire, I would have ADP set the mainframe to never purge. You can do a purge every two - three years to keep the size of the database down.

    ADP can also purge on a quarter like Q1, Q2, Q3, or Q4. So timing wise it is typically no activity or pay within the past year, maybe a quarter purge is the way to go?

    Another option is to provide ADP a list of employees by Company Code and File Number. These employees can be either purged, unpurged, or logically deleted, but the manual way will likely cost something. ADP can even give you a file format, and all you need to do is fill in the company code and file number. The process to run the job is very simple and takes very little time.
  • Beyond creating extra codes (of which I agree), you are correct about one thing: statuses do change. If they are gone more than 6 months, I'd go Single and 0 until you get a current W4. Tell HR, this is what it has to be until you get a new W4.
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