If Dr. Seuss Wrote About Payroll

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Mar 2, 2020

Today is Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and to celebrate, I thought of a fun way to combine some of Dr. Seuss’s beloved works with the world of payroll.

Perhaps you are familiar with some of his famous publications, such as How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and my favorite, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Now, you may be asking, “Nadia, how do Dr. Seuss’s books relate to me and payroll?” Well, every one of Dr. Seuss’s stories imparts a message. In the world of payroll, there are plenty of key messages as well, which can be everything from calculating overtime accurately to classifying employees correctly. In the spirit of Dr. Seuss, here are some payroll rhymes that are catchy and helpful to remember.

But first, let’s warm up a bit and remember the beloved Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss:

Would you like them

here or there?

I would not like them

here or there.

I would not like them


I do not like

green eggs and ham.

I do not like them,


I do so like

green eggs and ham!

Thank you!

Thank you,


Green Eggs and Ham teaches us to be optimistic and not get discouraged, to try different approaches, and to have an open mind.

Now, let’s learn about the world of payroll with some Dr. Seuss-inspired poetry.

Miscalculating overtime

You must calculate overtime correctly,

 of course.

If not, it will cause heartache and remorse.

You could owe penalties, interest, and back wages too,

which can cost lots of money

and drive you cuckoo!

Under FLSA, you must pay employees 1.5 times their regular rate of pay for any time worked beyond 40 hours in a workweek.

Worker misclassification

Exempt vs nonexempt,

employees and contractors,

the difference between them are compliance factors.

Misclassify those, what a bad recipe,

you’ll pay both the employee and employer’s taxes,

 penalties, and fees.

You might also end up owing back wages,

so reference the DOL website pages.

The U.S. Department of Labor recommends using the economic realities test and Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exemption guidelines.

Doing payroll late

How did it get late so soon?

You’ve lost time working in your cocoon (office),

and oh no,

payroll wasn’t submitted by noon!

Employees work to receive wages, you know.

Fail to pay them on time and watch them go

straight to the DOL,


Now I’m out of compliance, dear me.

State pay frequency requirements I see,

which means time and money,

oh golly oh gee.

A lesson in timely payroll this is.

Whatever the size of your force,

it’s your employees, your biz.

Watch the clock, set reminders,

be a payroll wiz.

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Now that we’ve covered the heaviest Dr. Seuss-inspired payroll lessons, I leave you with a personal favorite – a message from Dr. Seuss’s final book to uplift you as we celebrate his birthday:

And when things start to happen,

don’t worry. Don’t stew.

Just go right along.

You’ll start happening too.


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