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This podcast is for HR Professionals, Business Owners, and CEOs who want to learn and discuss the tools, tactics, and strategies that help us create a happier, more productive employee workforce.
Sep 22, 2020
Can An Employee Who Claims to Have COVID-19 and Self-Quarantines But Refuses to Get Tested Still Be Paid?
If an employee becomes ill with COVID-19 symptoms, they may request for paid sick leave under the FFCRA only to seek a medical diagnosis, or self-quarantine only if advised to do so by a healthcare provider. If tested positive, the employee may continue to take paid sick leave. This does not apply for illnesses unrelated to COVID-19—though employers may allow them to telework at their discretion. You may not take paid sick leave under the FFCRA if you unilaterally decide to self-quarantine for an illness without medical advice, even if you have COVID-19 symptoms.
Sep 21, 2020
What Do I Do If An Employee Won’t Let Me Take Their Temperature?
Under the circumstances existing currently, the ADA has specifically allowed employers to bar an employee from physical presence in the workplace if he refuses to have his temperature taken, refuses to answer questions about whether he has COVID-19, has symptoms associated with COVID-19, or has been tested for COVID-19 and is positive. If the employee claims under the ADA that they have a medical reason for refusing a temperature check, the employer can still bar them from entering the workplace. However, their reason should be documented and accommodation should be provided to the employee (i.e. work from home). If accommodations of any sort are not possible, then the employee will be on unpaid leave. They can also be fired if the role cannot stay unfilled.
Sep 18, 2020
Can I Ask An Employee if They Have Family Who Has COVID-19?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6k_vgtvmTU&w=560&h=315] The simple answer is “no”. The Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act (GINA) prohibits employers from asking employees medical questions about family members, and it is still in force. GINA does not prohibit employers from asking employees whether they’ve had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or may have symptoms associated with the disease. The CDC also recently issued guidance that explained, from a public health perspective, that only asking an employee about their contact with family members would unnecessarily limit the information obtained about the employee’s potential exposure to COVID-19. So, employers should not only ask about family but about everyone. In fact, they should remove the word “family” from their attestation. Asking this question shows due diligence, best practice, and care for other employees.
Sep 17, 2020
Big Changes in California Family Leave, 12 weeks leave!
A new bill in California was finalized that would expand the California Family Rights Act to make it an unlawful employment practice for employers with five or more employees to refuse to grant an employee’s request to take up to 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during any 12-month period to bond with the employee’s new child or care for themselves or a child, parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner, as specified. Under existing law, family and medical leave requirements extend only to the employee’s self, child, parent, or spouse. The employer coverage threshold is currently set at 50 or more employees. This has been expanded to include a grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or domestic partner. The bill also reduces the employer coverage threshold to five or more employees. Under the bill, which applies also to employees of state and local political subdivisions and cities, an employer that employs both parents of a child would be required to grant leave to each employee. Currently, the employer is only required in those circumstances to grant both employees a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid protected leave during the 12-month period.
Sep 16, 2020
How Can Employers Avoid Putting Employees At Risk of Getting Sick with COVID-19
Referring to a case involving Cal/OSHA and frozen foods manufacturer Overhill Farms Inc. and its temporary employment agency Jobsource North America Inc., employers failed to protect hundreds of employees from COVID-19 at two plants in Vernon. This was due to the lack of physical distancing procedures among workers including where they clock in and out of their shift, at the cart where they put on gloves and coats, in the break room, on the conveyor line, and during packing operations. Each employer accrued over $200,000 in proposed penalties. The employers did not take any steps to install barriers or implement procedures to have employees work at least six feet away from each other and they did not investigate any of their employees’ COVID-19 infections, including more than 20 illnesses and, in the case of Overhill Farms, one death. Other violations that put workers at risk of exposure to COVID-19 include the failure by both employers to train employees on the hazards presented by the virus and failure to investigate any of the more than 20 COVID-19 illnesses and one death Cal/OSHA uncovered amongst their employees. The employers did not adequately communicate the COVID-19 hazards to their workforce, and Overhill did not report a COVID-19 fatality to Cal/OSHA. Illnesses must be investigated and additional protective measures implemented. Serious illnesses and deaths must be reported to Cal/OSHA. Employers should also notify workers of possible exposure and report outbreaks to county public health officials.
Sep 15, 2020
Which Employees Are Exempt from Minimum Wage and Overtime Requirements?
https://youtu.be/EFcPkW82VCc Under the FLSA, employees are entitled to be paid a minimum wage for each hour worked and to be paid one-and-a-half times their regular rate of pay for each hour in excess of 40 hours worked in a workweek (some states have slightly different regulations). Certain employees are exempt from these requirements, including employees who are employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity, as well as outside salespeople. A three-part test was created in order to define who are exempt professionals: The salary basis test determines that the employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis. The salary level test determines that the salary paid must meet a specific minimum amount. The duties test determines that the employee’s primary duty must be to perform work that requires either knowledge of an advanced type in a field of science of learning, customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction; or invention, imagination, or talent in a recognized field of artistic or creative endeavor. An alternative to this three-part test for this particular exemption is the “highly compensated employee test”, which eliminates the need for a detailed analysis of the employee’s job duties. Under this test, the employee qualifies as exempt if they customarily and regularly perform at least one of the exempt executive, administrative, professional, learned, or creative duties, and receives total compensation of at least $107,432 a year. The total compensation must include at least $684 per week, paid on a salary or fee basis as well. The FLSA exemptions are just as much part of the FLSA’s purpose as the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, and therefore must receive a fair (rather than narrow) interpretation. The Wage and Hour Division, therefore, interprets the act neither expansively nor narrowly, but instead according to conventional canons of statutory interpretation.
Sep 14, 2020
Should I Pay My Employees a Flat Rate by Budget or by Actual Hours Worked?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmjNGQGvsKg] A group of mechanics employed at a South Carolina chain of tire and automobile repair stores was paid under a compensation plan that contained two components. They received an amount determined by multiplying the particular mechanic’s “flat rate”;—an hourly pay rate assigned to each mechanic based on that mechanic’s particular skill, experience, and certifications—by the mechanic’s " turned hours," a pre-established amount of time designated by the employer for each mechanical task, for all tasks completed by the mechanic during the relevant pay period. The compensation for turned hours did not account for the actual time spent working on a particular task or during the pay period overall, however. Instead, it was based exclusively on the number of tasks completed and the pre-assigned turned hours for such tasks (the same measure of turned hours used to form a mechanic’s pay for a particular task also was used as the basis for the labor costs charged to the customer for that task, although the rates paid by the customers were greater than mechanics’ flat rates). While the above describes the key component of the compensation plan, the secondary component is that of differential pay. When the amount of a mechanic’s turned hours compensation earned over a given pay period was less than 1.5 times the statutory minimum wage multiplied by the mechanic’s actual hours worked during the same period, he or she also received a supplemental amount, referred to as “differential pay”; and designed to ensure that mechanics always earned at least 1.5 times the statutory minimum wage for all actual hours worked. The differential pay rate was set at whatever amount was needed to render the mechanic’s total compensation—i.e., turned hours pay plus differential pay—equal to $11.02 per hour for all actual hours worked during the period. As a result, if a mechanic’s turned hours fell below a certain percentage of their actual hours, he or she was compensated as though having earned a straightforward wage of $11.02 per hour. The mechanics filed a putative class-action suit against the company, after which both sides filed motions for summary judgment seeking a ruling in their favor regarding whether the employer’s method of compensation is a bona fide commission plan under the FLSA—and, if so, whether the plan was exempted from the statute’s overtime pay requirements. The employees argued that the employer’s commission rate was a "sham" that did not meet the requirements to qualify for the Section 7(i) overtime exemption, that the totality of the employer’s conduct demonstrated a clear pattern of reckless disregard for the FLSA, and that the court should find that a three-year statute of limitations applied in denying the company’s motion for summary judgment with respect to employees who had filed their written consents to be part of the class within that three-year period. The FLSA provides two potential limitations periods: a two-year statute of limitations applies for non-willful violations, but a three-year statute of limitations applies when the violation is willful (employees bear the burden of proof when alleging that a violation is willful). In the case at bar, the employees conceded that the company’s failure to consult with a lawyer with respect to its compensation plan could not alone demonstrate a willful violation of the statute. Rather, they contended that, combined with its other conduct, the company’s failure to have consulted with an employment lawyer or with the Department of Labor (DOL) when it implemented the at-issue compensation plan was sufficient to establish a willful violation. The court found that the employees provided no evidence that the employer was on notice that its compensation plan was in violation of the FLSA, however, noting that the company’s corporate counsel had worked with the DOL during an investigation of the plan and that a...
Sep 11, 2020
What Do I Do If A Customer Won’t Wear a Mask?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has laid out new workplace strategies for COVID-19-related violence prevention in order to avoid conflict if customers refuse to adhere to safety protocols being enforced by employees. The CDC has posted information on limiting workplace violence related to retail and service businesses’ COVID-19 prevention policies. This information is also intended for other customer-based businesses, including department stores, grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants that are opened and have implemented state, municipality, and company-directed Coronavirus prevention policies. The policies that may prompt violence toward workers include requiring masks to be worn by employees and customers, asking customers to follow social distancing rules, and setting limits to the number of customers allowed in a business at any given time. The CDC defines workplace violence as “violent acts, including physical assaults and threats of assault, directed toward persons at work or on duty.” Workplace violence includes: Threat: verbal, written, and physical expressions that could reasonably be interpreted as intending to cause harm. Verbal assault: yelling, swearing, insulting, or bullying another person with the intent of hurting or causing harm. Unlike physical assaults, the intent is not necessarily to cause physical harm, but negative emotions of the person being assaulted. Physical assault: hitting, slapping, kicking, pushing, choking, grabbing, or other physical contacts with the intent of causing injury or harm. Employers are encouraged to take the following actions to prevent workplace violence: Offer customers options to minimize their contact with others and promote social distancing. These options can include curbside pick-up; personal shoppers; home delivery for groceries, food, and other services; and alternative shopping hours. Advertise COVID-19-related policies on the business website. Put in place steps to assess and respond to workplace violence. The response will depend on the severity of the violence and on the size and structure of the business. Possible responses may include reporting to a manager or supervisor on-duty, calling security, or calling 911. Assign two workers to work as a team to encourage COVID-19 prevention policies to be followed if staffing permits. Identify a safe area for employees to go to if they feel they are in danger (e.g., a room that locks from the inside, has a second exit route, and has a phone or silent alarm). Post signs that let customers know about policies for wearing masks, social distancing, and the maximum number of people allowed in a business facility. Provide employee training on threat recognition, conflict resolution, nonviolent response, and any other relevant topics related to workplace violence response. Remain aware of and support employees and customers if a threatening or violent situation occurs. Install security systems (e.g., panic buttons, cameras, alarms) and train employees on how to use them. As part of the training, employees often learn verbal and non-verbal cues that may be warning signs of possible violence. Verbal cues can include speaking loudly or swearing. Non-verbal cues can include clenched fists, heavy breathing, fixed stare, and pacing, among other behaviors. The more cues have shown, the greater the risk of violence. During training, employees also learn how to appropriately respond to potentially violent or violent situations. Responses range from paying attention to a person and maintaining non-threatening eye contact to using supportive body language and avoiding threatening gestures, such as finger-pointing or crossed-arms. Basic “dos” for employees to prevent workplace violence include: Do attend all employer-provided training on how to recognize, avoid, and respond to potentially violent situations. Do report perceived threats or acts of violence to your manager or supervisor, following...
Sep 10, 2020
Do I Have to Reimburse My Employees for Personal Auto Use?
We will be looking at an explanation from the Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor about the Fair Labor Standards Act, specifically about employee reimbursements. Generally, the FLSA requires covered employers to pay non-exempt employees no less than the federal minimum hourly wage for all non-overtime hours worked in a given workweek. 29 U.S.C. § 206. Employees must receive these wages “free and clear.” 29 C.F.R. § 531.35. An employee’s wages include the “reasonable cost” of “board, lodging, or other facilities” that primarily benefit the employee, and therefore the reasonable cost of such items count towards satisfying an employer’s obligation to pay the minimum wage. 29 U.S.C. § 203(m). But the cost of “other facilities” that are primarily for the benefit or convenience of the employer cannot be counted as wages. 29 C.F.R. § 531.3(d). Those costs include tools of the trade, required uniforms—or required use of a personal vehicle. An employer violates the FLSA “in any workweek when the cost of such tools” (and the like) “cuts into the minimum or overtime wages required to be paid….” Id. § 531.35. Therefore, an employer violates the FLSA if the employee’s wages, minus expenses, end up below the federal minimum wage for a given non- overtime workweek. See id.; see also id. §§ 531.3(d), 531.36(b). A reimbursement to cover expenses incurred on the employer’s behalf or for the employer’s convenience is sufficient if it “reasonably approximates the expenses incurred.” Id. § 778.217(a).2 A reimbursement amount based on IRS guidelines, including the annual standard mileage rates, “is per se reasonable.” Id. § 778.217(c). While employers must keep records of “the dates, amounts, and nature” of items added to or deduct from each nonexempt employee’s wages, neither the FLSA nor WHD’s regulations require them to keep records of employees’ actual expenses. Id. § 516.2(a)(10). Employers are instead required to keep records that they used to determine the number of additions to or deductions from wages paid. Id. § 516.6(c)(2).
Sep 9, 2020
Can I Pay My Commercial Drivers Commission Only?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2Q8P2LF124] The Department of Labor has posted a clarification letter about the FLSA and addresses the question of whether commercial drivers can be paid solely on a commission basis. The FLSA exempts from its overtime pay requirements certain employees of “retail or service establishment[s]. The exemption applies to any employee: who works at a retail or service establishment, whose employee’s regular rate of pay exceeds one and one-half times the applicable minimum wage in the workweek in which he or she works overtime, and whose earnings in a representative period consist of more than 50% commissions The United States Supreme Court recently held that exemptions under the FLSA deserve a “fair (rather than narrow) interpretation” because the exemptions are “as much a part of the FLSA’s purpose as the overtime-pay requirement.” Encino Motorcars, LLC v. Navarro, 138 S. Ct. 1134, 1142 (2018) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Accordingly, WHD must apply a “fair reading” standard to all exemptions to the FLSA—including the Section 7(i) exemption addressed in this letter. The client who sent in the letter employs truck drivers from three different establishments and pays the drivers solely on a commission basis to transport fluid waste from customer oil field locations to disposal facilities. The client pays each driver 27% of the gross revenue received by the client for each truck driven regardless of how many hours are worked each week. Each driver works approximately 60 each week scheduled as 12-hour shifts, five days a week. The inquiry letter represents that the regular rate of pay for each driver exceeds one-and-one-half times the federal minimum wage. The truck drivers qualify for the Section 7(i) exemption if the client is a retail or service establishment. To qualify as a “retail or service establishment,” (1) your client must “engage in the making of sales of goods or services”; (2) “75 percent of its sales of goods or services, or both, must be recognized as retail in the particular industry”; and (3) “not over 25 percent of its sales of goods or services, or of both, maybe sales for resale.” The letter by the Department of Labor concludes that the client—provided that they provide waste removal service, has services that are recognized as retail within the waste removal industry, has trucks that are not that different from what is used for the general public and uses a quantity that is relatively similar to that of a retail service provider—would qualify as a retail or service establishment. Their employees would, therefore, be exempt. If not, they need to track the hours of their workers as they will be entitled to overtime and minimum wage payments.
Sep 8, 2020
How Should Employers Deal with Employees Suffering from Opioid Addiction?
The Equal Employment Opportunity Council released guidance early in August 2020 that addressed employees who may be suffering from opioid addiction, referring to it as an opioid disability protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act. While this guidance is directed specifically towards employees, employers can read through the document to help them think about how to deal with the issues addressed. When an employee comes to an employer with an addiction, especially opioid addiction, understand that it is classified as a disability under the ADA, meaning the employer is required to provide reasonable accommodation. If the company has a drug testing policy and an employee tests positive for a particular drug, if they have a prescription for it—in order to treat something that is a legitimate medical concern—know that this is a disability and not a reason to fire them. If the employee is unable to safely operate heavy machinery under the particular drug, reasonable accommodati…
Sep 4, 2020
How Can Employers Correctly Track Paid Hours for Hourly Employees?
Employees that work from home on an hourly basis need an ability to clock in and out for their scheduled hours and an ability to report the time that they worked in an unscheduled time. For example, if the employer was not expecting the employee to work at 10 pm, and yet they did, the employer has to put together a reasonable process for reporting the unscheduled work time so that the employee can be paid accordingly. It can be a discipline issue if they work unscheduled hours, and the employer may have to bar access to their clocking in if need be. No matter the circumstances, however, the employee must always be compensated for the extra hours. This Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) provides guidance regarding employers’ obligation under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA or Act) to track the number of hours of compensable work performed by employees who are teleworking or otherwise working remotely away from any worksite or premises controlled by their employers. In a telework or re…
Sep 3, 2020
When and Why Would You Use a Performance Improvement Plan?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUn4WQ017ds] It can be difficult for management to understand why an employee may be excelling in one area of a job while underperforming in another. Performance is evaluated on an ongoing basis but, often, it is an annual review. A Performance Improvement Program (PIP) basically shortens the length of performance reviews. It provides more feedback more often to an employee, normally around a specific issue. A PIP should be implemented when an employee consistently performs poorly or behaves inappropriately. For example, if an employee is consistently late for work, missing due dates, or conducts themselves in an improper manner, a PIP may be a necessary initiative. Although it may be easy to identify where an employee falls short of expectations, it can be difficult to identify the root cause of the problem. For instance, issues in an individual’s personal life, conflicts at work, or even management style may all be the reasons for perform…
Sep 2, 2020
Can My Employer Keep Me Past City Curfew?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_35zj3H11g] The short answer to this question is “yes”. Of course, telecommuting is preferable. If the work can be done from home, the employer and employee should discuss options to prevent complications that arise due to situations such as the current lockdowns or city-wide protests. Do keep in mind that factors such as business expenses vary by state whether they are reimbursable by the employer. The processes for tracking attendance and upholding performance standards for exempt employees should be planned out. If it is necessary to come in for work, note that, so far, in each state that has instituted a curfew due to “social unrest”, commuting to or from work is still allowed. To avoid confusion, and keep your employees safe, create a letter for each employee on the company letterhead to keep in their car when traveling to and from work. It is as simple as modifying the standard letter used for essential businesses during the COVID…
Sep 1, 2020
Can I Force an Employee to Sign a Non-compete?
https://youtu.be/RfwwapAGcco In answering this question, it is important to note the differences between “noncompete”, “non-solicitation”, and “company” or “trade secrets” when navigating future opportunities. “Noncompete” simply means that the employee cannot seek work in the same industry by becoming an employee or partner of a competitor. Note that the “duty of loyalty” exists without any sort of agreement— although it is always better to spell things out to all your workers via your non-disclosures. An organization’s current employees are under a “duty of loyalty” to the organization. Each state defines that duty a bit differently. In general, employees are not permitted to induce current customers, suppliers, or other employees to leave the organization, nor are they allowed to operate a competing business while still employed by the organization. When that duty is breached, the employer may be entitled to collect lost profits, punitive damages, and…
Aug 31, 2020
Post Accident Drug Testing, and Why Handbooks are HARD!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHr2N0tkHcc] In this episode, we dive into Post Accident Drug Testing. After Oct 2018, OSHA has stated that most instances of workplace drug testing are permissible, including: Random drug testing; Drug testing unrelated to the reporting of a work-related injury or illness; Drug testing under a state’s workers’ compensation law; Drug testing under another federal law, such as a U.S. Department of Transportation rule; and Drug testing to evaluate the root cause of a workplace incident that harmed or could have harmed an employee. However, the Department warned that, if the employer chooses to use drug testing to investigate an incident, the employer should test all employees whose conduct could have contributed to the incident, not just the employee who reported an injury. And in TENNESSEE, we dove a little deeper into the minimum property damage levels stated in TN Laws. Reasonable suspicion testing Reasonable suspicion” is based on…
Aug 28, 2020
What Are the Law Updates for Employers in August 2020? Part 3
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opgvh1N2grU] This episode goes through law updates in August 2020: Nebraska Employee Misclassification: The Employee Classification Act is amended to change enforcement provisions. The change provides that the commissioner may issue a citation to a contractor when an investigation reveals that a contractor has violated the act. Nebraska Smoking in the Workplace: The Nebraska Clean Indoor Air Act is amended to exempt electronic smoking device retail outlets from smoking prohibitions under the law. The limited exemptions under the law permit smoking in public places where the public would reasonably expect to find persons smoking, including guest room suites designated as smoking rooms, institutions engaged in research related to smoking, and tobacco retail outlets, electronic smoking device retail outlets, and cigar shops, with narrow application and restrictions under the law. Nebraska Wage Payment: The Nebraska Wage Payment and Collection Act i…
Aug 27, 2020
What Are the Law Updates for Employers in August 2020? Part 2
This episode goes through law updates in August 2020: Georgia Disaster and Emergency Services Volunteer Leaves: Under the Disaster Volunteer Leave Act, employees of state agencies who are certified disaster service volunteers may be granted paid leaves of absence for no more than 15 workdays in a 12-month period to participate in specialized disaster relief services for the American Red Cross. Georgia Meal and Rest Periods: A new law requires employers to provide a paid break time of reasonable duration to an employee who desires to express breast milk at the worksite during working hours. Georgia Paid Sick Leave: Without action by the Georgia General Assembly, the state’s sick leave laws were set for automatic repeal effective July 1, 2020. However, the Assembly did act to extend the state’s sick leave laws, until July 1, 2023. Georgia Unemployment Insurance Law: The method for determining maximum weekly benefit amounts is amended with regard to high average unemployment rates. Fo…
Aug 26, 2020
What Are the Law Updates for Employers in August 2020? Part 1
This episode goes through law updates in August 2020: California Unemployment Insurance: Tax-rated employers will receive relief from unemployment insurance benefit charges related to COVID-19. Alongside other states, California will not count COVID-19-related claims against employers. Colorado Labor Relations: The Colorado Partnership for Quality Jobs and Services Act was enacted to provide state employees with the right to self-organization. This law gives more freedom to employees to not participate in unions. Colorado Paid Sick Leave: The Healthy Families and Workplaces Act creates paid sick leave in Colorado. Under the new law, upon hire, employers begin accruing paid sick leave at the rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, up to 48 hours. Colorado Unemployment Insurance: The maximum weekly benefit amount in Colorado effective July 1, 2020, is $590. The alternative maximum weekly benefit amount is $649. The minimum weekly benefit amount remains $25. Colorado Whistleblower Pro…
Aug 25, 2020
What Do Employers Need to Know About COVID-19 Liability?
This episode covers COVID-19 liability. As an employer recovering from shutdowns in your area, you may be in danger of getting a consumer or employment complaint from their potentially getting sick in your office or store. The liability shield for these situations is a major part of the discussion for the proposed stimulus bill because there is a major concern that, without it, many businesses will become vulnerable to legal troubles once they reopen. Since the federal government has not yet acted, many states have come in and put their own liability shields in place. Hunton Andrews Kurth's COVID-19 Complaint Tracker tracks by state and type. Of the 4,280 complaints filed as of August 13, most (around 1,000) are related to insurance claims, malpractice suits, civil rights cases, and government taking. The key cases to be covered by the liability shield proposed by Congress are called “consumer cases”. These include personal injury, price gouging, product liability, recurring member…
Aug 24, 2020
How Many Businesses Were Prosecuted by the DOL Last Month for Primary Violations?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nWS79DfmIZA] Despite the many drastic developments that the U.S. has undergone in 2020, the Department of Labor remains vigilant in prosecuting and charging those convicted of primary violations. This episode covers the five cases filed last month. Three unrelated employers in Florida and Minnesota have paid a combined $6,528 in back wages to three employees for violating the paid sick leave requirements of the newly-enacted Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), according to the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). The agency also announced collecting $92,290 for 27 employees from an Idaho company that violated the Davis-Bacon Act, and a civil money penalty of $17,586 for a North Carolina McDonald’s franchise for violating the FLSA’s child labor requirements. These are the cases: Medley, Florida-based Martinez Truss Co. has paid an employee $4,352 in back wages for wrongly denying paid sick leave under the FFCRA. The employee had…
Aug 21, 2020
How Does President Trump’s New Executive Order Affect H-1B Visas?
On August 3, 2020, a Tennessee Valley Authority action prompted President Trump to issue an Executive Order that cracks down on H-1B visas by requiring federal agencies that use government contractors to scrutinize contracts awarded in fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to determine whether: Contractors and subcontractors used temporary foreign labor for contracts performed in the United States, and, if so, to determine the nature of the work performed by temporary foreign labor on these contracts; whether opportunities for U.S. workers were affected by this hiring; and any potential effects on the national security caused by this hiring. Contractors and subcontractors performed in foreign countries services that were previously performed in the U.S. and, if so, whether opportunities for U.S. workers were affected by such offshoring; whether affected U.S. workers were eligible for assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance program authorized by the Trade Act of 1974; and any potential ef…
Aug 20, 2020
How Many People Will Work From Home in 2021? When Will We End the Layoffs?
A recent COVID-19 employer survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson says that a majority of North American employers expect that most of their furloughed workers will return to work by the first quarter of 2021. However, relatively few employers expect this to be the case for laid-off employees. Even though more employees are working remotely than ever before, few companies have policies in place that could encourage this arrangement once the dust settles around the pandemic. According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents expect most (at least three out of four) of their furloughed employees to be back at work by the first quarter of next year; however, just one in six (16 percent) expect to rehire most of their laid-off workers by then. Public health and economic recovery are two of the biggest factors in deciding which employees to bring back to work. However, employers need to adapt to having a larger percentage of remote workers—a new normal which will fundamentally change th…
Aug 19, 2020
California SUES Uber and Lyft for Wage Theft!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4ou875lubg] The California Labor Commissioner’s Office has filed separate lawsuits against transportation companies Uber and Lyft for committing wage theft by misclassifying employees as independent contractors. Uber and Lyft have misclassified their drivers, which has deprived these workers of a host of legal protections in violation of California labor law, the complaints allege. The goal of the lawsuits is to enforce California labor laws and to ensure that drivers are not misclassified as independent contractors, according to an August 5 press statement (https://www.dir.ca.gov/DIRNews/2020/2020-65.html) announcing the lawsuit. In 2018, the California Supreme Court’s Assembly Bill 5 (https://hr.cch.com/eld/20190AB5-92.pdf), which went into effect on January 1, 2020, extended the ABC test further. Under the ABC test, workers are considered employees unless they are free from control from the hiring entity, perform work outside of the…
Aug 18, 2020
Does the Trump Executive Order Mean I Can Stop Withholding Employee Tax Payments?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Owy-xuAGWFU] Today’s episode explains President Trump’s recent executive order to extend pandemic unemployment benefits, student loan payment deferrals, eviction protections, and payroll tax cuts in the wake of COVID-19. One of the new benefits allows for $400 per week into December, compared to the previous unemployment insurance of $600. President Trump explained that states will be covering 25% or $100 per week per individual. Another of the memorandums issued addresses student loan payment deferrals. Payments on federal loans were suspended through September, and Trump’s memorandum seeks to extend payments through the end of 2020. Lastly, Trump issued a memorandum deferring payroll tax obligations through 2020, advising the Treasury Department to allow employers to defer payments for the employee portions of specific payroll taxes. Generally, federal funding is controlled by Congress, leading to potential challenges for these executiv…
Aug 17, 2020
Q&A: Harassment in the Workplace
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ojro6EBuw8&w=560&h=315] In this episode, we answer four common questions regarding harassment in the workplace. We received a complaint about harassment. How should we respond? When a company suspects that an employee has violated its harassment or discrimination policy, we recommend conducting a complete (and well-documented) investigation into the allegations. This includes speaking with the employee who made the complaint, the accused employee, and any witnesses they name. A memo summarizing the findings should be placed in the accused employee’s file. Take the appropriate action, whether it is to terminate the accused employee or to conduct corrective measures such as a written warning and additional training on the company harassment policy. It is often prudent to consult with legal counsel upon receipt of any allegations of harassment or discrimination. We had an employee claim she was harassed by a coworker, but instead of coming to ma…
Aug 14, 2020
How Do You Determine Whether an Employee Qualifies for Exemption?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTCyKVzjues] Today’s episode summarizes all we have discussed regarding the FLSA exemption and provides an assessment that we recommend you perform with every single one of your employees. Even if the information you write down is not entirely accurate, simply having this information on paper for each of your employees makes a huge difference whenever a situation calls for you to recall these critical factors. On each evaluation sheet, provide the following information: Name Job category/ID Name and title of the evaluator Company name and tax ID Direct supervisor’s name (if applicable) Date of evaluation There are eight categories under which employees can qualify as exempt: Administrative exemption Learned professional exemption Creative professional exemption Computer employee exemption Outside sales exemption Highly-compensated employee exemption Business owner exemption Executive exemption On your evaluation sheet, respond “yes” or…
Aug 13, 2020
How Do You Qualify for the Computer Employee, Outside Sales Employee, or Highly-Compensated Worker Exemption?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2c6Zy4kgM8] In Part 3 of our series on understanding FLSA exemptions, we went over the qualifications for the professional employee exemption. In Part 4, we will cover the computer employee, outside sales employee, and highly-compensated worker exemption. To qualify for the computer employee exemption, the following tests must be met: The employee must be compensated either on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $684 per week (as of 2020) or, if compensated on an hourly basis, at a rate not less than $27.63 an hour. The employee must be employed as a computer systems analyst, computer programmer, software engineer, or other similarly skilled workers in the computer field performing the duties described below. The employee’s primary duty must consist of: The application of systems analysis techniques and procedures, including consulting with users, to determine hardware, software, or system functional specifications. The design, deve…
Aug 12, 2020
How Do You Qualify for the Professional Employee Exemption?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wvWuy0oBhU] In Part 2 of our series on understanding FLSA exemptions, we went over the qualifications for the administrative employee exemption. In Part 3, we will cover the professional exemption. There are two general types of exempt professional employees: learned professionals and creative professionals. To qualify for the learned professional employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met: The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate not less than $684 per week (as of 2020). The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, defined as work which is predominantly intellectual in character and which includes work requiring the consistent exercise of discretion and judgment. The advanced knowledge must be in a field of science or learning. The advanced knowledge must be customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction. To qualify for…
Aug 11, 2020
How Do You Qualify for the Administrative Employee Exemption?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMr29G6SAUw] In Part 1 of our series on understanding FLSA exemptions, we went over what an exempt employee is, what you can and cannot do to their pay, and why you may want to have an exempt employee. In Part 2, we are deep-diving into the administrative exemption. To qualify for the administrative employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met: The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis (as defined in the regulations) at a rate not less than $634 per week (as of 2020). The employee’s primary duty must be the performance of office or nonmanual work directly related to the management or general business operations of the employer or the employer’s customers, and The employee’s primary duty includes the exercise of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. For those who operate educational establishments, the administrative exemption is also available to employees compensa…
Aug 10, 2020
How Should I Decide Whether to Pay a Salary or an Hourly Wage?
In this episode, we break down salaried versus hourly pay. This is going to be Part 1 of 5 for our weeklong coverage of the exempt and non-exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that most covered employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 hours in a workweek. There are a few exemptions, all of which fall under the general class of “white-collar employee” (which does not appear anywhere in the FLSA but is recognized as the short-hand term). The FLSA and associated Department of Labor regulations exempt employees employed as bona fide executive, administrative, professional, and outside sales employees, certain computer employees. To qualify for an exemption, employees generally must meet certain tests regarding their job duties and compensation. For the FLSA exemptions to apply, an employe…
Aug 7, 2020
How Can You Tell Whether a Worker is an Employee or an Independent Contractor?
In Part 2 of this six-part series, we go into further discussion on employee classification with regards to independent contractors vs employees. We will start by covering the other two other tests which the NLRA uses to determine the employer-worker relationship: The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Economic Realities Test and the Discrimination Statutes Test. The FLSA Economic Realities Test may apply only to workers designated as employees, not independent contractors. Thus, the proper classification of workers is critical to determine the application of these laws. The employer-employee relationship under the FLSA is tested by economic reality rather than technical concepts. The test examines factors focused on the total activity or situation of the relationship. An employee is one who is dependent upon the business to which the individual renders service The amount of workers’ investment in facility and equipment The nature of degree and control by the principal The amount of ini…
Aug 6, 2020
What is in the New Q&A Released by the Department of Labor on COVID-19?
In this episode, we discuss the new Q&A released by the Department of Labor around Coronavirus, particularly with regards to labor-related scenarios. QUESTION #1: How many hours is an employer obligated to pay an hourly employee who works a partial week because the employer’s business is closed? Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), an employer has obligations to provide leave in a variety of cases. But what if you have to close your business? The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) generally applies to the hours actually worked. It does not require employers who are unable to provide work to nonexempt employees to pay them for hours the employees would have otherwise worked. QUESTION #2: If an employer directs salaried exempt employers to take a vacation or leave without pay during office closures due to a public health emergency, does this impact the employee’s exempt status? No. Exempt employees who are salaried generally must receive their full salary in any we…
Aug 5, 2020
What Are the Changes to the Affordable Care Act in 2020?
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8fkIAe7X-VQ] In this episode, we discuss the Affordable Care Act in 2020. This year’s changes include the suspension of the penalty for the individual mandate. While the penalty is now $0, note that it is still illegal to not have health insurance. The affordability percentages have likewise changed as of July 2020. We will go into the affordability requirement under the ACA. There are three contexts to the affordability of an employer’s plan which have recently changed: The employer shared responsibility penalty for applicable large employers (also known as the payor play rules or employer mandate) An exemption from the individual mandate tax penalty for individuals who fail to obtain health coverage The premium tax credit for low-income individuals to purchase health coverage through an Exchange Today, we will focus on the first and the last of these changes. The Affordable Care Act applies to individuals, as well as employers with more th…
Aug 4, 2020
1099 NEC – What is it, and why is the 1099Misc Dead?
What is the Difference Between Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC? In Part 2 of this six-part series, we discuss the important differences between Form 1099-MISC and Form 1099-NEC which made its return in the 2020 tax year after a 38-year absence. Form 1099-MISC, meaning Miscellaneous Income, is an information return that businesses use to report payment types, such as payments made to independent contractors. You can also use Form 1099-MISC to report other payments, like royalties and rents. It is similar to a Form W-2, but specifically for independent contractors. Form 1099-NEC, meaning Nonemployee Compensation, is not a replacement for Form 1099-MISC. It is only used in place of Form 1099-MISC for reporting independent contractor payments starting in 2020. Form 1099-NEC was brought back after 38 years to separate nonemployee expenses and clear up confusion for both the taxpayer and the IRS. Nonemployee compensation uses the following payment types to independent contractors: ● Fe…
Aug 3, 2020
Independent Contractor vs EE, How Can I Tell?
In this six-part series, we take a look at employee classification. When looking to hire for your business, it’s important to look at whether you’ll be taking on an independent contractor or a traditional employee. You’ll also need to decide whether the job is going to be FLSA Exempt or nonexempt and, finally, whether you’re hiring for a full-time or part-time position. In Part 1, we discuss why people misclassify employees and outline the ways we distinguish between employees and independent contractors. Why is employee classification important? Consider this: Depending on the state, 10% to 20% of employers misclassify at least one employee, which has huge financial repercussions and is the most likely Department of Labor complaint a small business will face. Independent contractors (not to be confused with employees under contract) are employees who have contractual agreements to complete jobs and have complete control over their job performance. They reduce human resources,…
Jul 21, 2020
People Processes Interviews: How to Set and Measure Short and Long-Term Company Goals in Times of Uncertainty with Kathy Bowman Atkins
Every business has put together multi-year strategies, and from there worked backward to establish short-term goals. With the unexpected impact of COVID-19, many of these big picture plans lost steam. This is particularly true for small businesses. While a number of larger companies may have the resources to continue to scale in spite of the current situation, a good amount of those operations with no more than a few dozen employees are fighting just to survive. How can companies of any size adapt their vision and execution to the unique challenges affecting 2020 and beyond? Today’s guest answers that question. We have interviewed Kathy Bowman Atkins, Founder, and CEO of The Lattitude Group. She helps other CEOs and business leaders set the course for their business. She has perfected the process for change and does something that most consultants don’t: follow-up and follow-through. 1) What led you to where you are now professionally? Like many other consultants, I started my care…
Jul 15, 2020
People Processes Interviews: How to Prevent Bad Moments from Turning Into a Bad Day with Michael O’Brien
Everything that happens in life is neutral until you put a label on them. Listen in as today’s guest shares how he was able to turn a near-death experience into a catalyst that shaped his life’s purpose: to help corporate leaders and their people build resiliency. We have interviewed Michael O’Brien, executive business coach, TEDx speaker, author, and Chief Shift Officer at Peloton Executive Coaching. His mission? To help leaders prevent bad moments from turning into a bad day. 1) Can you recall your worst day as a leader and entrepreneur? A couple of stories come to mind. My “last bad day” was when I got hit head-on by an SUV when I was out on a bike training ride. Another one was early on in my entrepreneurial life. I spent 22 years in corporate America. The last job I held was General Manager for sales and marketing operations for a global pharmaceuticals company. I was doing pretty well, but I decided to follow my purpose and passion by starting my executive coaching care…
Jul 10, 2020
People Processes Interviews: How to Find the Right Team Members for Your Organization Amid Trying Times with Ira Wolfe
Turbulent times paralyze the majority. The remaining few see strife as an opportunity to claim what many are not able to see just yet. We see this playing out today in the business world, a few months into the world-shaking effects of COVID-19. While countless companies have folded, others have embraced the realities of VUCA and steered their strategy toward rebuilding their teams through strengthening their employment culture and maximizing relevant technology. What exactly are these companies doing to thrive in the New Normal? Today’s guest answers that question. We have interviewed Ira Wolfe, workplace futurist, recruitment marketing strategist, employee selection expert, author, TEDx speaker, and President of Success Performance Solutions since the company’s inception in 1996. 1) What is VUCA and how does this idea give us a peek at the future of work? VUCA originated in the early 90s following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The U.S. military realized that the world was changing…
Jul 7, 2020
People Processes Interviews: How to Become a Better Leader by Being Inwardly Sound and Others-Focused with Tim Spiker
Focus the organization and fuel the people. It’s easy for leaders in business to get caught up in managing others and accomplishing tasks over connection and introspection. As we learn in today’s episode, 77% of leadership comes from who a leader is, and not what they do. Our guest presents a case—backed up by industry data and statistics—for becoming inwardly sound and others-focused as the two key traits of the most efficient and effective leaders. We have interviewed Tim Spiker, a leadership advisor, author of The Only Leaders Worth Following (2019), and the founder and President of The Aperio. 1) What role do systems and processes play in your who, not what principle? There is a process by which people can grow and develop into better human beings. When we look at leadership development, our process is aimed at making people more well-developed human beings because it creates a better bottom-line result. 2) What’s the broad idea behind how “77% of leadership comes from…
Jul 3, 2020
People Processes Interviews: How One-On-Ones Managed via a CRM Exponentially Increases Productivity
Spend your energy wisely. Automation, and any other duplicatable process, allows you to minimize the time it takes to execute your processes and frees up time for you and your team to think about how you can improve those same processes. The more value you can extract from a single hour of your day, the greater the outcome that you are ultimately trying to achieve as a company. Conducting one-on-ones with every single member of your team not only creates a culture of transparency; it potentially transforms the quality of your output almost overnight. But how can you incorporate one-on-ones in a repeatable, time-efficient way? Today’s guest answers that question. We have interviewed Stephanie Scheller, the founder of Grow Disrupt, to discover best practices for setting up a system that allows you to spend your energy entirely on what you love to do while keeping your business growing. 1) What led you to become a business and leadership coach? I’ve always had this obsession with proc…
Jun 30, 2020
PPP Forgiveness New App Walkthrough
[vimeo 430717492 w=640 h=360] Vimeo (https://vimeo.com). I'm going to show you a little bit about the New PPP Forgiveness Applications. There are now two of them. One an EZ version, one a full version, we're going to talk about which one you should use, and then we'll walk through them. So to get started, we have the four documents that you need to download. I'll include them in the email that you probably got when you're looking at this. There is a forgiveness calculation form. You can consider this the full application. It's only five pages, but it's got some complexity to it. The 3508EZ, which is the quick and EZ form, just three pages, and then there are instructions for each one. So let's start with instructions for how to choose which form to use. If you fall under at least one of the three boxes below, at least one, you can do the EZ form, you do not submit the instructions with the form. It's just, here's how it works. So, Number 1, excuse me. If you are a self-employed indi…
Jun 26, 2020
Transgender Rights, ACA Section 1557
We're gonna be talking about two things that have happened in the last week. On June 15th, the Supreme Court issued some landmark federal civil rights laws, rulings that have affected Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It prohibited discrimination based on sex. But they have now determined that that includes gay and transgender employees. So we're gonna talk about how that affects things. However, on June 12th, the US Department of Health and Human Services issued a final rule implementing Section 1557. That's a civil rights provision of the Affordable Care Act that's related to nondiscrimination in all federally funded health care. So what are these things do? Alright. Section 1557 on the ACA limited the ways you discriminate internally with benefits. So benefits can't unduly benefit men over women, different races, those sorts of things. In the original language, it also included gender identity and termination of pregnancy as being included in sex discrimination. And it ha…
Jun 23, 2020
OSHA Strikes Back
[vimeo 422432919 w=640 h=360] Vimeo (https://vimeo.com). And today, we're going to be taking a look at some new OSHA updates that have come down the way. So let's dive right in. So the first thing to know is that during the COVID-19 crisis, OSHA has been heavily criticized for its lack of response, they've been considered missing in action by many people who watch the industry. What has happened is that they are now going to start enforcing COVID-19 reporting for all employers across the United States. So as non-essential workplaces have begun to reopen or prepare to reopen across the country, OSHA has updated its guidance to provide for more on-site inspections and enforce record-keeping and reporting requirements against all employers. This again comes because they've been criticized. And so what happened on May 18th is the AFL-CIO largest union in the world, I believe at least the United States sued the agency on May 18th. They asked the DC court of appeals to step in and getting fo…
Jun 19, 2020
New PPP “EZ” Forgiveness Application
Due to the PPP Flexibility Act, the SBA has released updated forgiveness applications. Yes, I said applications, because they have now released an "EZ" version, along with the more complex original. Below is a video I put together to help you determine which application you should use, along with links to the apps and instructions! [vimeo 430717492 w=640 h=360] Vimeo (https://vimeo.com). FA$TRAK BORROWER INFORMATION FORM (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UXUH9VNOyFstVcw8iLDuhbeU6YMzjjtI/view?usp=sharing) PPP Forgiveness Application 3508EZ ( Revised 06.16.2020) (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Urjva2k9TpUya64X-v95ev8uwvVmMOWV/view?usp=sharing) PPP-Loan-Forgiveness-Application-Form-EZ-Instructions (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UacQ0Hqd23OwXGsop1oo5hw984ucNKwh/view?usp=sharing) PPP-Loan-Forgiveness-Application-Instructions_1_0 (https://drive.google.com/file/d/1UWt4cjNXftx_S-He1A8Sn4gQMgaFrs-J/view?usp=sharing)
Jun 17, 2020
People Processes Interviews: The Benefits and How-Tos of Hiring Filipino VAs with OnlineJobs.ph founder John Jonas
The idea of outsourcing work used to be a questionable practice, whether for ethical reasons (i.e. exploiting lower wages) or patriotic ones (i.e. stealing jobs from Americans). Today’s guest explains why these concerns are nothing more than misconceptions, and why hiring VAs, particularly from the Philippines, is becoming more popular with U.S. companies today than ever before. While many small businesses now see the potential value in outsourcing, the process itself may seem daunting. What are the differences between the online and in-person hiring process? How can you make sure that your VA is using their time wisely? What should American employers keep in mind when communicating with Filipino employees? Today’s guest answers those questions and more. We have interviewed John Jonas, the founder of OnlineJobs.ph, to discuss the step-by-step process for scouting for, interviewing, hiring, and managing Filipino VAs. 1) How has outsourcing changed in the last 11 years that you’ve…
1 hr 2 min
Jun 10, 2020
Many states have made laws that PRESUME COVID-19 happened at work
Today, we're gonna be talking about the fact that many states have made laws that presume COVID-19 was contracted at work and makes you liable via workers' comp for any contraction of COVID-19. We're gonna talk about that and we're gonna talk about how to fight back against that argument and what would happen if you were to have a claim. First though, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe to peopleprocesses.com, which will give you exclusive subscriber-only content. Now, let's dive into this. California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed an executive order creating what they're calling a rebuttable presumption to receive workers' compensation benefits, that employees who test positive for COVID-19 contracted the virus at work. Now, what that means is they have created an executive order that says, if you got COVID-19 and tested positive, there is a presumption that…
Jun 4, 2020
PPP Loan Forgiveness Application
Today we're going to be taking a look at the PPP Loan Forgiveness Application, which was released on Sunday, May 18. We're going to go through it. I am recording a video of this as well, which will allow us to, if you'd like on our website, I'll have a link to the video. We'll have our standard transcript. We'll have a link to the forgiveness application itself. But if you'd like to watch a video where we go through it together, that would be awesome. As I said, I'm going to record that, and this way we can work on it together and kind of go through it piece by piece. So open that up now. Now, in the meantime, if you haven't already, please subscribe to our podcast and notifications at peopleprocesses.com we're also available on iTunes, all the podcatchers of your choice, Google podcasts, Stitcher, whatever you'd like Spotify, check us out on there so that you know when we have great updates like this. Now, I'm going to switch over and I'm now sharing my screen. So let's take a loo…
May 29, 2020
People Processes Interviews: David Veech
Today we're going to be interviewing David Veech. David teaches leaders how to love, learn, and let go so they can create a workplace that fully engages the creative and productive powers of their people. He learned through 20 years of service in the army and is still learning after 20 years of being in the consulting and training space. His messages will hopefully inspire you and your teams to obliterate obstacles, accelerate innovation, and evaluate performance, leaving everyone motivated and engaged for the future. We're very excited to have him here. Before we do though, I want to ask you, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber-only content, including a quick summary and checklist after this interview of some of the key highlights. David, thank you so much for coming on, Sir. Welcome to the show.…
May 19, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Cindy Ogden
At some point, businesses big or small will run into the issue of wasted time which, by extension, turns into wasted money. Usually, it’s a case of the business owner or a manager becoming too involved with tasks that ought to be delegated to others. To address such cases, time analyses should be conducted to identify the issues, which should then be documented. This can be as simple as taking out a piece of paper and writing down your observations. Many small business owners, however, lack the time or inclination to do this. Larger businesses, on the other hand, tend to have so much documentation piled up over the years that extracting the right solutions from this heap of information may become overwhelming. Even if they already have processes in place, other possible obstacles include adoption, usability, or effectiveness. In either case, it may help to enlist the services of a third-party organization. FUEL it was created to tackle these common challenges faced by businesses of a…
May 15, 2020
People Processes Interviews: James Sinclair
James Sinclair is the CEO and co-founder of the EnterpriseAlumni as the market-leading alumni in the retiree engagement platform. EnterpriseAlumni is a multinational software corporation that develops enterprise software that manages corporate alumni and retirees of large companies like Google, P&G, Pearson, etc. James has a background in large enterprise innovation and has worked for companies like IBM, SAP, and EDS. He also contributes to media on the future work of large enterprise innovation and entrepreneurship. What Do You Think About the World of People Working for The Same Company Being Over? The reality of this situation is that people are more mobile, they are more willing to move. They don’t feel the need to stay with a company for life as our fathers or grandfathers did. As there are more opportunities in the market, there is more desire and value in moving elsewhere and getting a diversity of experience. People are going to move jobs, often. There is a saying…
May 12, 2020
Checklist to Get Ready to Reopen
Today, we're going to actually dive into a checklist, which will be available on our website of great information to reopen. It's our return-to-work checklist and I'm so excited to be talking about this. We may not be all there, we're not all be reopening coming up soon, some of us may have never shut down. But this episode, we're going to talk about some of the steps you can take to get ready for that. Before we go too deep, though, I want to ask you, please subscribe to the podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber-only content. This is going to have on our website People Processes. There's a link to actually download the checklist that we're going to be going through here on the podcast today. Podcasts are great, but sometimes you just need to download it. You will have to drop your email in to get it. If you're already subsc…
May 8, 2020
Common Mistakes with COVID that have already caused lawsuits
Today, we're gonna be taking a deep dive into Five Wage and Hour lawsuits that we're seeing from actions employers took related to COVID-19. We just want to go through these, hit the highlights, see if there's a place you can fix this now before people start contacting lawyers. Before we go too deep, I want to ask you please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber-only content. I look forward to seeing you there. Now, let's dive in. Employers are forced to make tough decisions often at really fast speeds as they operate during the pandemic and resulting economic shutdown that we've had by making tough decisions without consulting legal counsel. Well, people can get involved in very expensive lawsuits specifically Wage and hour suits. Particularly, class actions are the most common and expensive for employers.…
May 4, 2020
Unemployment Vs Furlough
Many companies, now that the PPP funds have been distributed, are making the big decision this week on whether to layoff employees or not. I wanted to bring another option to the table to protect your team when they can not work. Obviously, the "best" option for the employee is paid leave, but that’s unaffordable for some small businesses (see our info on the FFCRA to see if that could help though!). Furloughs, on the other hand, allow employers to cut labor costs without severing that relationship fully. What is a furlough? A furlough is a suspension from work without pay for a finite period of time. It can be mandatory or voluntary. While public and private institutions can both furlough employees, you’re probably most familiar with them at the federal level. Workers are often furloughed as a cost-saving measure during a government shutdown. It also happens sometimes when labor organizations can't come to an agreement or budget with the employer. Organizations do this when they d…
Apr 28, 2020
Unemployment and the PPP
Today, we're going to be diving into the interactions between Unemployment and the Paycheck Protection Program or the CARES Act. We're going to talk a little bit more about that in just a second. But before we go too deep, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you access to subscriber-only content, lots of links on these pages, supporting documents, checklists and special discounts on things like our in-depth deep dive into the termination process, including 30 and 32 part lesson, state-specific information, all the forms you need. If you wind up going down the route of layoffs or terminations could be super helpful for you. For that, we have a 50% coupon code for subscribers to bring that price down a ton. Now let's dive in. The CARES Act has had far-reaching implications for our clients and listeners. I, personally, have t…
Apr 24, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Rocky Romanella
Today we're going to be interviewing Rocky Romanello. He has had an illustrious career spanning more than 40 years focused on supply chain logistics, retail sales, sales operations, all kinds of things at UPS, including the UPS Store franchise network. He became the Chief Executive Officer and Board of Directors for UniTek Global Services, a provider of engineering construction management and he is currently the founder and CEO of 360 Management Services, LLC. He's an experienced CEO, he's led one of the largest rebranding initiatives in franchising history. The UPS Store revolutionised the $9 billion retail shipping and business services market. And we're going to talk to him today about leadership and his journey and the advice he can give us for our growing companies. Before we go too deep though, I want to ask you, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google, podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any pod catcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at pe…
Apr 21, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Ralph Peterson
Today we are interviewing Ralph Peterson. He is the owner and operator of Ralph Peterson LLC, which is a Management Development Company. It specializes in helping mission driven organizations, built five star management teams, primarily in the long-term care industry. In addition to Peterson LLC, Ralph was also a number one bestselling author, internationally syndicated columnist, highly sought after Management Development coach and a public speaker. So we're excited to have him on. We thought with his intersection between the long-term care world's medicine and management in general, he'd be a great guest on today's podcast. Before we bring him on though, I want to ask you, please subscribe to the podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any pod catcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com where you will get exclusive subscriber only content. I look forward to seeing you there. Now let's get over to Ralph. Ralph, welcome to th…
Apr 17, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Kris Plachy
Today we're speaking with Kris Plachy. Kris has poured her life's work into learning about understanding, and then guiding leaders through the tricky path of learning how to lead a team in a space where there's a lot of noise and advice. Kris has designed the "How to have team leadership" through her lead your team roadmap, and we're super excited to have her. Before we dive in though, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, any podcaster of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com where you will get some exclusive subscriber-only content, like our current telework checklist for going home base for your employees. Kris, thank you so much for joining us today. Welcome to the show. Thank you. It's my pleasure to be here. I'm super excited to talk with you because a lot of business owners right now are going through some difficult times. And I want to hear about how your leadership strategy w…
Apr 14, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Amber Hurdle
And today, we are interviewing Amber Hurdle. Amber hurdle is the CEO of Amber Hurdle Consulting. It's a multi-award winning talent optimization firm. They pioneers using both science and marketing principles to strengthen customers' brands from the inside out. She really helps with costly business problems like ineffective recruiting turnover, under performance, declining morale, leadership gaps, and we are so excited to have her in the show today. Before we dive too deep, I want to ask you real quick, please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any pod catcher of your choice. And you can subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber only content. Last week for example, we sent out sample furlough letters and updated policies around the Family's First Coronavirus Relief Act. This is recorded 3-23. Our subscribers had sample policies 24 hours after the law passed. Now let's dive in. Amber, th…
Apr 7, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 6: Am I liable if my employee gets sick with Coronavirus?
This is going to be Part VI of our COVID-19 Q&A. These are just questions that are coming in hot from our various employers and subscribers. We want to help before we dive in too deep. Today, what we're going to be talking about employer liability concerning this worker's comp, basically, and so we're gonna go into kind of the ins and outs of that before we do though, please take a moment to subscribe makes a huge difference. You can subscribe on the pod catcher of your choice. That's iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, whatever. But also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com. Information is changing quickly. We're providing tons of subscriber only content, like our sample communication letters furlough notices charts and explanations for quick reference, all sorts of sample policy versions of the FFCRA pieces. We want to get those out to you quickly. Podcasts are hard to get a lot of info out like that. So subscribe to People Processes for us so you can get a copy as well. All rig…
Apr 3, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 5: Does our group health insurance cover Coronavirus?
This is Part V of our COVID-19 Q&A series. We're gonna be talking about health insurance applications over the coronavirus, including layoffs and furloughs. We're going to talk about specific coverages that are being offered new enrollment periods, all kinds of fun stuff. As we dive in or before we do, do me a favor, please subscribe. It makes such a difference to our ability to continue to produce long-form free content like this. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any pod catcher of your choice. Also if you subscribe at peopleprocesses.com we have subscriber only content, including sample communications that you can use to send out to your employees, edit them, run by your attorney if you'd like. And everything from communicating furloughs to how these benefits change or work. We want to help you communicate those, peopleprocesses.com to subscribe. Now let's dive right in. The first question and I apologize if I sound a little funny, I've got a really ba…
Mar 31, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 4: If I layoff an employee, do I have to pay this new sick leave?
This is going to be Part IV of our Q&A on COVID-19. And we're going to talk specifically a little bit about the FFCRA (Families First Coronavirus Response Act). Since the last podcast episode, this is past. It's a law that provides many provisions, but some of them are things like, paid sick leave and paid emergency family leave for those employees. The question we're going to be addressing is, "If I lay off an employee, do I have to pay this new sick leave and when does that kick in?". We're also going to talk about the differences between a "layoff" and a "furlough" as that seems to be coming up quite a bit in our chats. Before we go too deep, please subscribe to our podcast. If you can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, any pod catcher of your choice makes a huge difference. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com. If you're on there right now, where you go there, a little pop up will show up. It's also in the top right. We have tons of exclusive subscribe…
Mar 27, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Bill Coletti Kith
Today, we are interviewing Bill Coletti. We are so excited to have him on. He is a reputation management, crisis communications and professional development expert. He's been the Wall Street Journal risk and compliance panelist. He's a best selling author of "Critical Moments: The New Mindset of Reputation Management," and he has been on the senior counsel in crisis management, corporate communications and reputation defense to a ton of clients such as ATt&T, Target, American Airlines, Home Depot, Xerox, Nuclear Energy Institute, Cargill and major universities. And I can't wait to get his insight and plans into how we can react to this. Just crazy time. Before we go too deep though, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, any pod catcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber only content. Now, Bill, thank you for coming on the show. I'm so excited…
Mar 24, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 3: Can an employee refuse to come to work because of fear of Coronavirus?
Today, however, we are doing Part III of our COVID-19 Q&A, so we're gonna be talking about Coronavirus. Today's Part III is all about, basically, employee's right of refusal to come to work, what sort of things you have to deal with in terms of unreasonable expectations of security equipment. How does that work? We're going to be going in there now. Part I. We talked about telecommuting guidance. Part II. We went into what actually needs to happen if someone is sick or suspected of having the virus. Tomorrow or on our next episode, we will be talking about the, "How group health insurance coverage section Coronavirus? What sort of ways can you take advantage of that?" Part V. We're going to talk about the employees who are calling in sick. So we're about Wage and Hour related issues related to Coronavirus. Do we have issues with how are we going to pay these people when they're working from home? Those sorts of issues. Finally. Part VI. We're gonna talk about employer liability. Prob…
Mar 20, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 2: I think an employee may be sick… what do I do?
This is Part II of our coronavirus COVID-19 QA. We're going to be talking about what to do here when you think an employee may be sick or you've received words that they're sick or that they come in contact with someone sick. We're going to go around the actions to take this as Part II of our QA, hopefully you've listened to Part I already. Where we talked about implementing a remote work policy and putting in telecommuting in your organization. Part III. After this we're gonna talk about when an employee can refuse to come into work because of a fear of coronavirus. "Can they refuse to work if they don't have a mask?Can they all be allowed to wear a mask at your retail store?" Like, "How do we deal with that? Part IV. We're going to talk about group health insurance, and its interactions with coronavirus. We're gonna talk about ways to take advantage of what's covered, what's not. Part V. We're going to talk about Wage and Hour. We're going to talk about what we have to pay he…
Mar 18, 2020
COVID 19 Q&A PT 1: Should we send everyone to work from home with this Coronavirus?
We've received many, many questions coming in about the coronavirus. And we've broken this into six short key episodes, where we're just going to talk about some of the key pieces that are relevant to your organization as we try to deal with this pandemic. There are a lot of moving pieces going on. So I guess I should say that this was recorded on March 14 2020. They will be coming out over the next two weeks at the latest, hopefully faster as they go through production and we will be getting them out each day or every other day or so until they are through. We're going to first talk about a question we're getting the most of which is remote work and how to send everyone home. Part I. Should we send everyone home because of the coronavirus? Part II. We're going to talk about what happens if we think an employee may be sick. “What should you do?” Part III. “Can employees refuse to come to work because of their fear of coronavirus?” And the sub-questions about that: “What if…
Mar 13, 2020
New Overtime Guidance explains Lump Sum Bonuses!
Today, we're talking about a new guidance that came from the FLSA that explains how to handle a lump-sum bonus, a little bit more in depth than we've had in the past. I really am excited about this because it answers some questions that have been pending for 60 years. Before we go too deep though, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. It makes a huge difference to us. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any pod catcher of your choice. You can also subscribe @peopleprocesses.com, which will give you access to some exclusive subscriber only content. Department of Labor regulations provide that the bonus amount is added to the employees other earnings for the week. Total earnings are divided by the total hours worked to arrive at the regular rate. So they make 1000 bucks. They worked, well, let me do it easier. They made for a hundred bucks. They work 40 hours a week, they make 10 bucks an hour, you give them $100 bonus, and now they…
Mar 10, 2020
SECURE Act changes a LOT about 401k plans!
Today we're going to talk about the SECURE Act. It changes a lot about 401k plans, so we're going to go through it in depth, make sure you're prepared, but before we go too deep, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any pod catcher of your choice. You can also subscribe @peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber only content. All right, let's dive into the SECURE Act. The centerpiece of the new tax legislation is the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. The SECURE Act, it's chock full of new rules for employers that sponsor qualified retirement plans and for the employees who participate. For example, the new law expands the opportunities for groups of employers to form multiple-employer plans (MEPs). On the employee side, the new law increases the age for required mandatory retirement plan distributions from 70 ½ to 72. Now there are a lot of thi…
Mar 6, 2020
March 8 (Spring Forward) CAN totally screw up your pay!
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. This is Rhamy Alejeal, for the People Processes podcast. We dive deep into the tools, laws and yes processes that you need to know in order to scale and grow your organization. This is going to be a super quick episode, consider it a quick update. I just want to throw this out there. Time to change. Don't forget to change your payroll clocks. I know everyone knows about Daylight Savings Time, but a lot of people miss out on some key facts. If you are running a 24 hour operation, this can really really affect your business. So let's think about this. Daylight Savings Time begins Sunday, March 8 2020, when our clocks are going to move forward one hour at 2:00 a.m. local time. On Sunday, November 1, the clocks are going to shift again, when the clock moves back one hour. These days, technology has changed, and has lessened the chore of changing clocks. I mean, when I first got into this business, people were walking around changing their punch clock…
Mar 3, 2020
2020 is weird, you may way overpay your employees!
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast, where we dive deep into the tools, laws, and yes processes that you need to know in order to scale and grow your organization. We help companies all across the United States streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today we're going to talk about the strange case of the 27th paycheck here in 2020. Before we go too deep though, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe @peopleprocesses.com which will give you some exclusive subscriber only content. All right, let's dive in. It happens every 11 or 12 years —and 2020 possibly 2021 is one of those years. Depending on your payday, if you pay employees on a biweekly basis, you might be cutting a…
Feb 14, 2020
Understanding Mileage Reimbursement in 2020
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast, where we dive deep into the tools, laws and yes processes that you need to know in order to scale and grow your organization. My name is Rhamy Alejeal, I'm the CEO of People Processes. We help organizations all across the USA streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies across the U S ,thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, we're going to be diving into the Tax-Free Mileage Reimbursement Stuff for 2020. It's a little dry stick with me. It's kind of interesting. We're going to be covering the changes that came up here in 2020, make sure you're all set to go forward. In the meantime though, before we dive to date, please subscribe to the podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any podcatcher you like. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com, which will put you on our emai…
Feb 11, 2020
The Battle Update: What is going on with the ACA?
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast, where we dive deep into the tools, laws and yes processes that you need to know in order to scale and grow your organization. My name is Rhamy Alejeal, I'm the CEO of People Processes and I'm excited to have you here. We help organizations all across the United States streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today we're doing a little update on what the heck is going on with the Affordable Care Act. Things are changing. Before we go, I want to take a quick second to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. It makes a huge difference. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, any podcast or you like. You can also subscribe on peopleprocesses.com which gives you some subscriber-only content exclusive updates. We really appreciate that. So let's d…
Feb 7, 2020
People Processes Interviews: Jacqueline Throop-Robinson
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast, where we dive deep into the tools, laws and processes that you need to know in order to scale and grow your organization. We help organizations all across the USA, streamline, awfulize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies, thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today we're going to be interviewing Jacqueline Throop Robinson. Did I get that name right? Jacqueline? The Thoop Robinson? That is correct. Awesome. And she is the founder and CEO of Spark Engagement. A Spark Engagement is a Global Analytics Company in human resources. They focus on employee engagement and passion. So we're going to be talking all about that today and we can't wait. Before we do, I want to give you a quick reminder to subscribe to us on your favorite podcatcher of your choice, whether that's iTunes or Google play. Check us out on our social media. We…
Feb 3, 2020
People Process Interviews: Sue Salvemini
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the People Processes podcast. I'm Rhamy Alejeal and today I am so excited to bring you Sue Salvemini. She is an author, speaker, and executive leadership coach. She helps leaders and teams align their work with their core values for maximum impact and fulfillment. She is also the founder and president of Focal Point Consulting Group. She founded it in 2016 and she is passionate about helping individuals connect with their authentic leadership style and love the work they do. She wrote a book, it came out in May, 2018. It's called “Leadership by Choice,” seven keys for maximizing your impact and influence in the workplace right where you are and it draws on her over 25 years of experience in the corporate world and in the military to give those great lessons. Sue, thank you so much for coming on. Thanks Rhamy. It's great to be here today. Well, Sue, I always start with this. Not many people dress up as eight year olds, as business consultants or advi…
Jan 31, 2020
People Process Interviews: Thomas Veeman
Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the People Processes podcast. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal, and I am really excited today to bring you Thomas Veeman. The co-founder of Conversari Global. They upgrade people for the future of work. Thomas has worked in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, India, and Thailand. He's lived in Mexico City since 2012. He draws on his international background to teach executive courses on emotional and cultural intelligence. Thomas is especially passionate about using experiential and narrative methods to help teams bridge cultural and communication divides. I'm excited to have you on here, Thomas. The pleasure is mine as well, Rhamy. Well, Thomas, the first question I ask all of our guests, you know, not everybody dresses up as a kid for as an HR person or a business owner. It's not the most common life choices that get us here. How did you wind up where you are now? How did you get into this crazy world? Well, that's a great question and it's a long st…
Jan 27, 2020
People Process Interviews: Linda Brown
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast. My name is Rhamy Alejeal, and today we are interviewing Linda Brown. Linda is awesome. She is a Master Certified Profit First Professional. She's a Certified Preventive Growth coach and she's the founder of Spire Business Inc. Linda supports entrepreneurs in demystifying their business finances and providing guidance to increase business profits so that they can bring more money home. She's often referred to as the Voice of Reasons by her clients, Linda Equis, business owners with the tools, strategies and skills they need in order to create sustainable growth in their business and profit. We're excited to have you on, Linda. Thank you so much for having me. It's a wonderful opportunity. Well, we're glad you're here. So my first question is, and I have to ask this for our people in our field, most kids don't dress up as CPAs and accountants and bookkeepers when they're kids. How did you wind up in the field an…
Jan 23, 2020
People Process Interviews: Lee Caraher
Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen. This is Rhamy Alejeal, your host of People Processes. We're so excited to have you tune in today. Today we are interviewing Lee Caraher. She is the founder and CEO of double forte PR, did a double forte PR and digital marketing. She is the author of “Millennials and Management: The Essential Guide To Making it Work at Work.” She based the book on her experience with epically failing and then succeeding at retaining millennials in her business. Her second book, “The Boomerang Principle, Inspire Lifetime Loyalty From Employees” was published in 2017. It's a pragmatic and actionable guide to creating high performing work cultures ready for the future. And we are so excited to have her on. Lee, are you there? I'm here, Rhamy. Thank you so much for having me. Well, I'm ecstatic to have you. I want to start with figuring out how you got into your current business, doing PR and really writing a lot about HR work. So I started my PR career after colle…
Jan 20, 2020
People Process Interviews: Jacob Baddsgaard
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the people processes podcast. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I am excited today to welcome Jake Baddsgaard. He is an amazing entrepreneur. After growing one of his first pay-per-click clients from 25 to 250 employees, Jake realized that he had a gift for using Pay-per-Click marketing to drive dramatic business results. To help more companies succeed online. Jake found a disrupted IV advertising, PPC and CRO management agency that has helped hundreds of companies realize unprecedented growth and profitability from online advertising. Of course, as an HR channel, though we're more interested in that. In the last six years since its founding, disruptive advertising has grown from two employees working in Jake's basement to a flourishing agency with more than 160 employees and a run rate of over 20 million, puts it at number 145 on the 2017 inc 500 list and is listed as one of USA today's best places to work in Salt Lake City in 2019. So we're ecstatic to…
Jan 17, 2020
Q&A: Does Workers Comp Count against FMLA?
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the people processes podcast where we dive deep into the tools, laws, and yes processes that you need to scale and grow your people processes. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal, and I'm the CEO of People Processes. My company helps organizations all across the United States streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, we're going to be answering some questions that have been submitted either by our clients or through our social media. Please check us out over at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. You can find the links at peopleprocesses.com where you can ask any questions like these that are going to come up in our Q&A today. Specifically, we're gonna be talking about FMLA and workers' compensation. We're going to be talking about required religious holidays and a few more topics. Before we di…
Jan 13, 2020
Do you have a Performance Based Bonus Plan?
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the People Processes podcast where we dive deep into the tools, laws and yes policies and processes that you need to scale and grow your people processes. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I'm the CEO of People Processes. My company helps organizations all across the USA streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, we're going to take a look at a new study that's come out. A survey that says, the pervasive use of short term incentives among private employers is now at 99%. We are talking about what that is, why it's important and why if you are one of the smaller private companies, you need to be taking a look at it too. Before we go deep, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcast, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcast or of your choice.…
Jan 9, 2020
People Process Interviews: Angela Lauria
Rhamy Alejeal: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the people processes podcast. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I am excited today to bring you Dr. Angela Lauria. Dr. Angela is the founder of the author incubator and creator of different processes for writing a book that matters. In 2018, The Author Incubator was ranked #275 on the Inc. 500 fastest growing companies and #87 on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Entrepreneur 360. Angela is an expert when it comes to building teams and scaling businesses and we are ecstatic to have her on the show. Welcome Angela. Dr. Lauria: Thanks. I'm so excited to be here. Rhamy Alejeal: Great. Well you got to start telling me how you got into what you do now. It's a very cool niche and I know you've got a great story on how you got there. Dr. Lauria: It is super cool. And I actually was recruited when I was in college to start working for an espionage author. He was a New York times bestselling author and wrote spy stories. I'm in Wa…
Jan 3, 2020
New Trump Order means Insurance has to tell you how much things cost?
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the people processes podcast where we dive deep into the tools, laws and processes that you need to scale and grow your people processes. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I'm the CEO of people processes. My company helps organizations all across the United States streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies, thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, I'm excited to dive in a little bit into a new Trump department of labor health and human services regulation that talks about insurance regulation, how fun, how sexy, how crazy, but this insurance regulations a little different. It says that insurance companies are going to have to disclose how much you will pay for a service before you get it. Whoa. Before we dive too deep, I just want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher…
Dec 27, 2019
When to start using the 2020 W4
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the people processes podcast where we dive deep into the tools, your laws and processes that you need to scale and grow your people processes. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I'm the CEO of people processes. My company helps organizations all across the USA streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, we are going to look into the new form W4 for 2020. We're going to talk about when it's used, how it's used, a little bit of the history of it, and we're going to actually open it up and walk through it together, but before we go that deep, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcatcher of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which will give you exclusive subscriber only content…
Dec 20, 2019
New FLSA Standards are not enough for Washington!
Good morning, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to the people processes podcast where we dive deep into the tools, laws and policies that you need to scale and grow your people processes. I'm your host, Rhamy Alejeal and I'm the CEO of people processes. My company helps organizations all across the USA streamline, optimize, implement, and revolutionize their HR operations. We've helped hundreds of companies and thousands of HR leaders across the world get their people processes right. Today, we're going to take a look at the FLSA requirements coming in 2020. Specifically, we're going to talk about how some of the States are reacting, especially Washington and California. Before we go too deep though, I want to ask you to please subscribe to our podcast. You can find us on iTunes, Google podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, pretty much any podcaster of your choice. You can also subscribe at peopleprocesses.com which gives you subscriber exclusive content, like our on-boarding checklists, our people…
Jul 2, 2019
People Process Interviews: Tomas Keenan
Rhamy Alejeal Interviews Thomas Keenan, Author of UnF*ck Your Business. Tomas is the CEO at Top Class Installations where he is responsible for setting the vision, managing finances, and building the team. Everyday he is focused on improving efficiency and providing an exceptional customer experience for his clients. Tomas is also the author of Unf*ck Your Business: Stop Business Self-sabotage by Getting Clear on Your Core Values NOW. In 2017 The Top Class team installed 5,000+ tracking devices onto buses for the New York City Board of Education, a project that had a tremendous level of impact for the safety of the children now riding those buses daily; filling Tomas and his team with a deep sense of purpose. Find Tomas Here: https://www.facebook.com/tom.keenan.988 (https://www.facebook.com/tom.keenan.988) https://www.instagram.com/tomas_keenan/ (https://www.instagram.com/tomas_keenan/) https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-keenan/ (https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomas-keenan/)…
Jun 28, 2019
Trump’s Executive Order promotes price transparency, but lacks detail
Eliminating surprise medical bills, improving transparency in prices, as well as revealing how prices are negotiated were the focus, but details about how information must be provided was left to the regulations, in an Executive Order signed by President Trump on June 24, 2019. Policy statement. The Executive Order states that the federal government aims to: eliminate unnecessary barriers to price and quality transparency; increase the availability of meaningful price and quality information for patients; enhance patients’ control over their own health care resources, including through tax-preferred medical accounts; and protect patients from surprise medical bills. Hospital regulation coming. Under the Executive Order, the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) must propose a regulation to require hospitals to publicly post standard charge information. The information must include charges based on negotiated rates and information on common or shoppable items and service…
Jun 18, 2019
All the minimum wage increases in the next year
Is your business prepared for a minimum wage increase? A quick update from poplarfinancial.com (http://poplarfinancial.com)! Many states across the country have recently raised the minimum wage, and more changes are on the horizon. Even an increase of $.75 an hour for 20 employees can mean an annual payroll increase of more than $20,000. Seemingly small increases can leave you wondering how to manage this new expense. There are several steps you can take to adjust to recent state legislative changes or to prepare for upcoming payroll increases that are rolling out in the months ahead. (See the table below to determine if your business operates in one of the affected states.) What can you do to stay ahead? 1. Evaluate expenses and revisit your budget Once you determine if and how new minimum wage legislation will affect your business, it’s time to look at the big picture. New payroll costs may have implications for how you manage other expenses like utilities, invento…
Jun 11, 2019
People Processes Interviews: Alison Colley
Who are we interviewing: Alison Colley – Solicitor and Founder of Real Employment Law Advice and host of the podcast ‘The Employment Law and HR Podcast’ How did she get here? I qualified as a Solicitor (known as lawyer in the US) in the UK in 2006 and worked for traditional lawyers’ firms, where I specialised in employment law and providing legal advice to employers and employees. After becoming disillusioned with the traditional career path, stuffy slow pace of change and presenteeism required in the profession I found the ‘4 hour work week’ by Tim Ferris whilst wondering around bored on my lunchbreak and from this I was led into the world of entrepreneurship, passive income and taking control of my destiny. For several months after reading the 4 hour work week I came up with a vast number of hairbrained schemes completely unrelated to the legal profession, not having the confidence to consider that I could start my own legal firm. Eventually, realising I was not quite…
May 28, 2019
People Process Interviews: Nathan Hirsch
Nathan Hirsch is a 29 year old long time entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and eCommerce. He started his first eCommerce business out of his college dorm room and has sold over $30 million online. He is now the co-founder and CEO of FreeeUp.com, a marketplace that connects businesses with pre-vetted virtual assistants, freelancers and agencies in eCommerce, digital marketing, and much more. He regularly appears on leading podcasts, such as Entrepreneur on Fire, and speaks at live events about online hiring tactics.
May 14, 2019
People Processes Interviews: Alicia Dunams
International leadership trainer, certified mediator and communications expert, Alicia Dunams, has coached tens of thousands of leaders, executives, and industry experts to share their message with the world through her signature process and acclaimed Bestseller in a Weekend® and other professional development trainings. In her new book, I Get To: How Using The Right Words Can Radically Transform Your Life, Relationships & Business, Dunams empowers readers and leaders in all ages and stages of their career and life to harness the power of intentional communication for transformational results. As a corporate trainer and executive coach, Alicia bridges conflicts in the workplace and beyond through the power of mastering healthy conversations and storytelling. Alicia has been featured on Good Morning America, KTLA, and The Steve Harvey Show.
May 1, 2019
DEEP DIVE! New 4 Factor Test for Joint Employment
Proposed joint employer rule includes 4-factor test: hiring and firing, supervision and control, payment, and recordkeeping Noting it has not meaningfully revised its joint employer regulation since 1958, the Labor Department has announced via press release a proposed rule (https://www.dol.gov/whd/flsa/jointemployment2019/joint-employment_NPRM.pdf) to revise and clarify the responsibilities of employers and joint employers. The FLSA allows joint employer situations where an employer and a joint employer are jointly responsible for the employee’s wages. DOL proposes a four-factor test to consider whether the potential joint employer actually exercises the power to: Hire or fire the employee; Supervise and control the employee’s work schedules or conditions of employment; Determine the employee’s rate and method of payment; and Maintain the employee’s employment records. The proposal would ensure employers and joint employers clearly understand their responsibilities to p…
Apr 18, 2019
Survey reveals employees’ major financial stressors, millennials’ interest in gig work
Survey reveals employees’ major financial stressors, millennials’ interest in gig work MetLife’s 17th Annual US Employee Benefit Trends Study 2019 reveals that we are now seeing additional trends redefining why we work and what work means to people. According to the study, “[a]s employees leverage work to gain more fulfillment, pursue their goals, and align their values and experiences more authentically, they’re looking to employers to help them manage this new work-life world.” The study revealed that employees’ number one source of stress is personal finances. “Regardless of age or life-stage, a focus on finances tops the list as the biggest concern employees have day to day.” Some of employees’ stress about finances stems from short-term concerns, like staying on top of bills or paying for urgent health needs. Others stem from long-term goals — in fact, 3 of employees’ top 5 financial concerns directly relate to retirement, even among those who are relativ…
Apr 11, 2019
CMS Extends Small Group Transitional Relief Policies through 2020
CMS Extends Small Group Transitional Relief Policies through 2020 On Mar 25, 2019, CMS issued a new one year extension (https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Regulations-and-Guidance/Downloads/Limited-Non-Enforcement-Policy-Extension-Through-CY2020.pdf) of its transitional policy for non-grandfathered small group plans that are not compliant with the ACA. Policyholders will be allowed to renew their transitional plan coverage (commonly referred to as ‘grandmothered plans’) through Oct 1, 2020 as long as the coverage does not extend beyond Dec 31, 2020. If CMS does not issue another extension next year, all non-compliant policies must become compliant by Jan 1, 2021. Any policy renewed during the 2020 calendar year after Jan 1 must have a short plan year in order to terminate by Dec 31. CMS believes that requiring transitional policies terminate immediately before Jan 1, 2021 will “facilitate changing from non-compliant coverage to Affordable Care Act-compliant coverage, which r…
Mar 12, 2019
Q&A: Do adoption assistance programs need to be in writing?
Issue: You would like to implement an adoption assistance program for your company. In order for the financial assistance to be nontaxable, does the program need to be in writing? Answer: Yes. Adoption assistance programs are governed under Internal Revenue Code Sec. 137, which specifies that an adoption assistance program must be a separate written plan of the employer that meets certain requirements. Under an employer-provided program, Sec. 137 excludes from an employee’s gross income amounts furnished by the employer for adoption assistance purposes. Sec. 137 allows an employer to provide up to $14,080 in 2019 per child on an aggregate, not annual, basis for “qualified adoption expenses.” Adoptive parents’ adjusted gross income (AGI) determines the amount of the adoption expense limit that applies to them. In 2019, the credit begins to phase out at an AGI of $211,160 and is completely phased out at $251,160. While Sec. 137 requires a written plan, it does not specify…
Mar 7, 2019
Q&A: Considering ADA when denying a promotion
Issue: Katy, a long-time sales clerk, applied for the position of assistant store manager. Even though Katy was the best qualified applicant, the store owner decided to promote another employee after learning that Katy doesn’t have a driver’s license because of her epilepsy. The store owner told Katy that she was not promoted because she was unable to drive the store receipts to the bank. Is this a valid reason for not promoting her? Answer: Under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), employers are required to provide reasonable accommodations (adjustments or modifications) to enable applicants and employees with disabilities to enjoy equal employment opportunities unless doing so would be an undue hardship (a significant difficulty or expense). An employer must provide a reasonable accommodation that is needed because of the epilepsy itself, the effects of medication, or both. In this instance, depositing the store receipts in a safe and timely manner, not driving the s…
Mar 5, 2019
Q&A: Are baseball tickets, hot dogs, drinks purchased for a client deductible under new tax law?
Issue: Rick, a salesman, invited Bob, a business contact, to a baseball game. Rick purchased tickets for them to attend the game. While at the game, Rick bought hot dogs and drinks for both himself and Bob. Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA), which amended the rules regarding deductions for entertainment expenses, can Rick deduct the game tickets, hot dogs, or drinks? Answer: Based on examples provided in IRS Notice 2018-76, the baseball game is entertainment as defined in IRS Reg. Sec. 1.274-2(b)(1)(i) and, thus, the cost of the game tickets is an entertainment expense and is not deductible by Rick. The cost of the hot dogs and drinks, which are purchased separately from the game tickets, is not an entertainment expense and is not subject to the Internal Revenue Code Sec. 274(a)(1) disallowance. Therefore, Rick may deduct 50 percent of the expenses associated with the hot dogs and drinks purchased at the game. Guidance after new law. The TCJA amended Internal Revenue…
Feb 28, 2019
HR Update: NJ Paid Family Leave, Employer CHIP Notice, Min Wages, and Workplace Violence
(https://i0.wp.com/peopleprocesses.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/My-Post-12.jpg?ssl=1) Paid family leave. A new law in New Jersey will expand the state’s paid family leave program in a number of ways, including doubling the number of weeks for family leave insurance and temporary disability insurance; raising the weekly benefit; increasing the amount of intermittent leave; allowing leave to care for additional family members; barring discrimination and retaliation against employees who take family leave; and permitting leave related to domestic and sexual violence. Employer CHIP notice. Employers sponsoring group health plans in states that provide premium assistance under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) must furnish employees with an annual, written notice informing them of potential opportunities for premium assistance available in the states in which they reside. The sample notice requirement is available at https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files…
Feb 26, 2019
Q&A: Flu and the FMLA
Question: Is the common flu considered a serious health condition under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)? Answer: Most cases of the common flu do not meet the definition of “serious health condition” and would not be eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave. Some cases of the flu, however, are severe or result in complications, and these have the potential to meet the FMLA definition of “serious health condition.” This is defined as an illness, injury, impairment, or physical or mental condition that involves inpatient care or continuing treatment by a healthcare provider. Continuing treatment means: The employee has been incapacitated for a period of more than three full days; and Consults with a doctor two or more times within 30 days, or Has one consult with a doctor and a regimen of continuing treatment. If an employee is out sick with the flu for more than three days, consider whether the need for FMLA leave may exist. This doesn’t mean that…
Feb 21, 2019
Interview: Ronit Enos – Salon Cadence
Learn about decision-making and some ideas about how to do it with one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the hair industry, who is also an ex-Israeli special forces trainer, Ronit Enos. In particular, learn why decision making can be difficult and how to overcome these problems. Hear for yourselves how this brave woman became BIG.
Feb 14, 2019
Interview: Erin Longmoon – Zephyr Recruiting
Today we interview Erin Longmoon, CEO of Zephyr Recruiting. We talk cover her journey in creating her company, and get some great insights on the processes around attracting the best talent!
Jan 8, 2019
All the Minimum Wage increases, by state for Jan 1 2019!
The minimum wage will increase in 20 states on or before January 1 Twenty states will see increases in the minimum wage in the new year—one, New York, actually beginning on December 31. The minimum wage increases are scheduled as follows: Alaska. The minimum wage in Alaska will increase from $9.84 per hour to $9.89 per hour on January 1, 2019. Alaska’s minimum wage is adjusted annually based on inflation. The change for 2019 reflects a 0.5% increase in the cost of living. Arizona. The minimum wage in Arizona is scheduled to increase to $11 per hour on January 1, 2019. Arkansas. The minimum wage in Arkansas increases to $9.25 per hour on January 1 per voter approval of Ballot Issue No. 5 in the November 6, 2018, General Election. California. The minimum wage in California is scheduled to increase on January 1 as follows: $12 per hour for large employers with 26 or more employees; $11 per hour for smaller employers with 25 or fewer employees. Colorado. The Colorado minimu…
Dec 3, 2018
How to Have a Productive Exit Interview
How to Have a Productive Exit Interview It’s never an ideal situation when an employee leaves your organization.Whether it’s a voluntarily or involuntarily move, there’s paperwork to be completed, a new hire to be made, and an exit interview to conduct. If you skip the exit interview, you’re missing a golden opportunity to improve your organization. Even if the employee was fired, there’s insight to be gained. An exit interview is a unique and powerful time to gather perspective. When else will you get the unvarnished truth from your employees about what your organization is doing wrong without any fear of retaliation or making someone unhappy? If an employee is leaving voluntarily, your HR team should take that opportunity to look closely at what the departure means for your organization. Employees leave voluntarily for many reasons: pursuing dreams, better pay, other career interests, or because of problems with the organization itself. Whatever the case, take the…
Nov 20, 2018
Do You Have Mixed Emotions about Open Enrollment?
Do You Have Mixed Emotions about Open Enrollment? It’s typical to have mixed feelings about the annual benefits open enrollment period. Dread for the additional administrative workload and potential benefits cost increases… Anticipation of newer, more attractive, and easier to administer plans… It makes for a fall season that causes many HR professionals and benefits brokers to drown their misery in pumpkin spice lattes. Better Benefits Attract and Retain Talent A high-quality employee benefits package is one of the best tools in your arsenal to attract the right talent, enhance employee engagement, and retain your most valuable employees. According to a May 2018 Harris Poll/Glassdoor survey (https://www.glassdoor.com/press/job-seeker-preferences/), nearly half (48 percent) of U.S. workers cited attractive company benefits and perks as key factors in their likelihood to apply for a job, and other surveys have found that excellent benefits play a role in retaining employees.…
Oct 11, 2018
The Four Measurements of an HR System that Works
Automation can make HR processes run smoother, saving organizations time and money, and helping them avoid costly mistakes. However, it’s important to note that an automated HR system doesn’t replace the human element of HR. Rather, the goal is to unify all the employee life cycle events and components so your HR staff can focus on nurturing the people in your organization. You know, the human part of human resources. Automated systems have obvious tech aptitudes, like automatically flagging missing social security numbers on insurance forms, but they can also benefit attitudes. Employee motivation levels change every day. Furthermore, motivation is not achieved by giving out a bonus or throwing a party at the end of the year. It has to be nurtured every day through consistent, positive interactions with all team members. Automation helps keep processes consistent, allowing your HR team to focus on improving the employee experience around life cycle events and HR systems. In…
Oct 9, 2018
Q&A: Porn on an employees computer?
Question: We have found pornography on an employee’s computer. How should we handle this? And, is an employee’s addiction to pornography protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)? Answer: An addiction to pornography is not protected because under the ADA, it is not defined as a disability. According to ADA, the term disability does not include: Transvestism, transsexualism, pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, gender identity disorders not resulting from physical impairments, or other sexual behavior disorders; Compulsive gambling, kleptomania, or pyromania; or Psychoactive substance use disorders resulting from current illegal use of drugs. However, even if pornography qualified as a disability under ADA, an employer is not prevented from disciplining an employee with a disability for a violation of a company-established conduct rule. According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), if the conduct rule is job-related and consistent with busi…
Oct 4, 2018
Five Common Onboarding Issues and How to Avoid Them
Starting a new job might be cause for nerves, but it shouldn’t induce headaches. Organizations that understand this fact will ensure their onboarding process is smooth for the new employee and seamless for the HR staff. Yet many organizations still struggle with onboarding. Their process is too slow, not efficient, or lacks the personal touch that puts new hires at ease. In this article, we’ll look at five common onboarding issues that arise in broken systems. Then we’ll wrap things up with a solution that can help you avoid all these pitfalls. #1: A Lack of Orientation Onboarding serves two basic purposes: Gather and audit new employee information. Introduce your company’s mission, culture, and values to your new hire. The first problem with an ineffective process is that too much of the information a new hire needs is communicated in a disjointed, tribal manner. For example, a supervisor in the marketing department might answer the same question differently than a mana…
Oct 2, 2018
Q&A: OSHA 300 for Temporary Workers
Question: We conduct hearing tests on employees and record any discovered hearing loss on our OSHA 300 log. Are we required to conduct tests on temporary workers we hire through an agency, and if so, should we report those hearing losses differently? Answer: Temporary workers hired and paid by a staffing agency and supplied to a host employer to perform work on a temporary basis are entitled to the same protections under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSH Act) as all other covered workers. This means that – to answer the first part of your question – you are required to conduct the same testing on temporary workers as you do with your regular employees. OSHA will generally consider the staffing agency and host employer to be “joint employers” of the worker in this situation. Joint employment is a legal concept recognizing that, in some situations, the key attributes of the traditional employer-employee relationship are shared by two or more employers in such a mann…
Sep 27, 2018
Why Too Many HR Departments are Unproductive
For the important role they play within every type of organization or business, HR departments too often lack that… human touch. This isn’t their fault, however, as countless talented HR professionals are buried under cumbersome tasks and receive zero help from their outdated HR systems. If this describes your organization, it’s likely you view HR as an unproductive time suck or a necessary evil to be avoided at all costs. This problem is compounded every time you invest in human capital by hiring employees within your organization without truly investing in a system to properly onboard, manage, and engage staff. The result is unmotivated employees, unchanged processes, and expensive turnover. In many cases, HR departments are a mess due to misaligned priorities. Consider, for example, the amount of time and resources your company invests in client acquisition and product/service delivery. Now, compare that to the amount of time and resources you invest in onboarding, traini…
Sep 25, 2018
Q&A: Required by law to have a compliance officer?
Question: Are we were required by law to have a dedicated compliance officer, who cannot be the same individual who handles HR? Answer: No. In general, companies are not required by law to have a dedicated compliance officer. However, some sectors have specific guidelines in place for compliance officers. For example, in the financial sector, compliance officers are subject to regulations and enforcement by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Each agency looks at the compliance officer’s supervision in both legal and compliance matters, and the DOJ also looks at individual accountability in compliance matters. In the healthcare sector, the U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) has issued compliance guidelines specific to hospitals. While not mandated by law, the OIG strongly recommends that hospitals develop a compliance program and have a compliance officer available to ensu…
Sep 20, 2018
Why You Should Consider Timekeeping for Your Salaried Employees
The forty-hour work week came about in 1938 as a result of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which also established that hourly workers had to be paid a minimum wage and overtime. Hourly workers are required to use timekeeping systems to track their hours, whereas in many organizations, full-time salaried employees don’t track their time. Is that the right choice? Should full-time salaried employees use timekeeping systems? There’s an argument to be made that timekeeping is critical for every employee, even those exempt from the FLSA law. To illustrate this point, let’s look at an example. Imagine a small, nonprofit organization that does community outreach support for women. Because nearly everyone in the organization is salaried, they’re technically FLSA exempt. As a result, staff initially didn’t clock in and out at all. Most of the staff in this nonprofit were paid the same, but Lisa felt as though she constantly picked up the slack for her coworkers. She felt she continu…
Sep 18, 2018
Q&A: Overtime pay for hourly bonuses
Question: How do we handle overtime pay calculations for hourly employees when they receive nondiscretionary bonuses? Answer: A nondiscretionary bonus is a bonus based on an employee meeting criteria such as production, sales, quality, efficiency, or other performance standards. The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires that overtime pay be calculated based on an hourly employee’s regular rate of pay, which includes commissions and nondiscretionary bonuses. Under the FLSA, nondiscretionary bonuses must be apportioned back to the workweeks covered by the bonus period. If the hourly employee who earned the bonus also worked overtime during any workweek of a period covered by the bonus, you must recalculate the regular rate to determine the appropriate overtime rate. For example, suppose your hourly employee’s regular hourly rate is $10. Assume the nondiscretionary bonus is $100 per month, but the pay period is weekly. Now assume the employee worked 50 hours each wee…
Aug 21, 2018
How to Have a Productive Exit Interview
It’s never an ideal situation when an employee leaves your organization. Whether it’s a voluntarily or involuntarily move, there’s paperwork to be completed, a new hire to be made, and an exit interview to conduct. If you skip the exit interview, you’re missing a golden opportunity to improve your organization. Even if the employee was fired, there’s insight to be gained. An exit interview is a unique and powerful time to gather perspective. When else will you get the unvarnished truth from your employees about what your organization is doing wrong without any fear of retaliation or making someone unhappy? If an employee is leaving voluntarily, your HR team should take that opportunity to look closely enough at what the departure means for your organization. Employees leave voluntarily for many reasons: pursuing dreams, better pay, other career interests, or because of problems with the organization itself. Whatever the case, take the time to do an in-depth exit intervi…
Aug 15, 2018
Q&A: Does a pregnant worker denied starting a job, when baby is due, have a plausible claim of discrimination?
Q&A: Does a pregnant worker denied starting a job, when baby is due, have a plausible claim of discrimination? Issue: Lucy, a part-time employee who works remotely, applied for a full-time position with her employer. During the second round of interviews, which included a discussion about the available position and its start date, Lucy told the interviewer that she was pregnant. The interviewer asked when her baby was due and how much time she planned to take for maternity leave. After hearing her response, the interviewer explained that while start dates could be flexible, Lucy’s due date and planned time off interfered with the planned start date so she would not be hired for the available position. The interviewer also told Lucy that the hiring committee would be informed that she would be unable to perform in the position. The available position was filled by a nonpregnant person. Two months later, after having filed an EEOC charge, Lucy applied for another full-time position an…
Aug 13, 2018
While Americans have mixed views of unions, public sector organizing suffers setback
While Americans have mixed views of unions, public sector organizing suffers setback The decline in the number of Americans represented by labor unions is seen more negatively than positively by U.S. adults, according to a new survey (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/06/05/more-americans-view-long-term-decline-in-union-membership-negatively-than-positively/) released by the Pew Research Center. Fifty-five percent of Americans have a favorable impression of unions, with a similar number—53 percent—viewing business corporations favorably. Decreasing unionization. In 2017, only 10.7 percent of wage and salaried workers in the United States were labor union members, down from 20.1 percent in 1983, the first year for which comparable data are available, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unionization in the U.S. peaked at more than 34% in 1954 (http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/27/union-membership/), according to the Congressional Research Service. Pa…
Aug 10, 2018
CareerBuilder’s midyear job forecast shows tough hiring environment for employers is paying off for job seekers
CareerBuilder’s midyear job forecast shows tough hiring environment for employers is paying off for job seekers As employers grapple with a highly competitive hiring environment that is causing prolonged job vacancies across the U.S., workers are reaping the benefits. According to CareerBuilder’s Midyear Job Forecast, 63 percent of U.S. employers plan to hire full-time, permanent workers in the second half of 2018, up from 60 percent last year. A substantial percentage of employers hiring in the second half of 2018 are expecting to offer higher salaries and various perks — such as signing bonuses, extra paid time off, free lunches and the ability to work remotely — to attract and keep the talent they need. “Low unemployment and increasing skills gaps continue to plague employers who are struggling to fill roles at all levels within their organizations,” said Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder. “Fifty percent of U.S. employers reported that it is taking them longer to fi…
Aug 8, 2018
Temecula nail salon cited $1.2 million for misclassification and wage theft of 36 workers
Temecula nail salon cited $1.2 million for misclassification and wage theft of 36 workers The California Labor Commissioner’s Office issued more than $1.2 million in wage theft citations to a Temecula nail salon for misclassifying and failing to properly pay 36 workers. An investigation found that the workers at Young’s Nail Spa were not paid an hourly rate and not paid overtime despite working up to 50 hours a week. “Using misclassification as a business model not only denies workers of their rightful pay, but also gives the employer an unfair advantage over law-abiding businesses,” said Labor Commissioner Julie A. Su. “California law is clear that if employers pay less than the minimum wage, when they are caught they will be responsible for paying not just the wages owed, but an equivalent amount in liquidated damages plus interest.” The Labor Commissioner’s Office launched its investigation when the Labor and Workforce Development Agency referred the case following n…
Jul 24, 2018
House lawmakers introduce bill to require E-Verify use
PROPOSED LEGISLATION,(Jul. 24, 2018) A group of Republican, plus two Democratic, lawmakers have teamed up to introduce and co-sponsor the “AG and Legal Workforce Act,” which would replace what sponsors called the “outdated and broken H-2A agricultural guestworker program” with a new H-2C program. The move is intended to ensure that America’s farmers and ranchers have access to a reliable workforce. Among other things, the bill would expand employer eligibility and the number of visas available, make housing and transportation provision optional, and make Affordable Care Act subsidies unavailable to guestworkers, but require them to have health insurance. H-2C program. The bill, according to the lawmakers (https://judiciary.house.gov/press-release/goodlatte-peterson-smith-cuellar-newhouse-conaway-calvert-introduce-the-bipartisan-ag-and-legal-workforce-act/). Eligibility and visa allocation expanded. A bill summary (https://judiciary.house.gov/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/0…
Jul 20, 2018
U.S. employers eye improvements to compensation programs
U.S. employers eye improvements to compensation programs Growing pressure to improve their pay-for-performance programs and ensure fair pay throughout the workplace is sparking changes to corporate America’s employee compensation and performance management programs, according to Willis Towers Watson’s 2018 Getting Compensation Right Survey (https://www.willistowerswatson.com/en/insights/2018/06/2018-getting-compensation-right-survey-global-findings-report). The survey revealed several factors are prompting employers to make or consider changes to their programs, including cost (71 percent), manager feedback (63 percent), changing marketplace (61 percent) and feedback from employees (59 percent). Changes respondents are planning to make this year, or considering over the next three years, include: Base pay and annual incentive plans: The changing nature of work and new skills requirements are fueling employers to reassess these programs. Forty-five percent are planning on or co…
Jul 18, 2018
EHB, “minimum value” nixed despite concerns for AHP’s
According to commenters, certain populations with specific needs, such as those with disabilities, could be disproportionately affected if their coverage does not include a robust level of benefits. Some of these commenters suggested that to mitigate these effects, the DOL should require AHPs to provide EHBs or some other minimum level of benefits, or require them to provide “minimum value” within the meaning of Code Sec. 36B(c)(2)(C)(ii) and Reg. §1.36B-6. Proponents of the rule, however, while acknowledging concerns that AHPs may provide inadequate benefits, did not believe that “legitimate” membership organizations would risk their goodwill and reputation by offering such health plans. Instead, they argued that economies of scale would enable AHPs to offer more comprehensive coverage to their members than they would be able to purchase on their own. One commenter noted that even though self-insured plans and large group market policies are not required to provide EHBs,…
Jul 16, 2018
EEOC—Fifty years after the ADEA, agency reports on the state of older workers and bias
EEOC—Fifty years after the ADEA, agency reports on the state of older workers and bias Even though the ADEA took effect 50 years ago in June 1968, age discrimination remains too common and too accepted as outdated assumptions about older workers and ability persist, according to a report released June 26 by Victoria A. Lipnic, Acting EEOC Chair, on the State of Older Workers and Age Discrimination 50 Years After the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/history/adea50th/report.cfm). “Open secret.” The ADEA was an important part of 1960s civil rights legislation that was intended to ensure equal opportunity for older workers. Today’s experienced workers are more diverse, better educated, and working longer than previous generations, yet the report finds “many similarities between age discrimination and harassment,” explained Lipnic. “Like harassment, everyone knows it happens every day to workers in all kinds of jobs, but few speak up. It’…
Jul 13, 2018
SHRM survey finds uptick in health and wellness offerings
BENEFITS—SHRM survey finds uptick in health and wellness offerings As a tight job market continues to help drive increases in employee benefits offered by organizations, health and wellness along with employee programs and services are the benefits most likely to be increased, according to the results of the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey (https://shrm.org/hr-today/trends-and-forecasting/research-and-surveys/Pages/2018-Employee-Benefits.aspx?_ga=2.109490181.167073314.1529332789-1390505139.1493823220) released June 19 by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The survey results indicated that more than one-third (34 percent) of organizations increased their overall benefits in the last 12 months. When employers added offerings, they were most likely to increase health-related benefits (51 percent) and wellness benefits (44 percent). Recruiting and retention tool. Retention (cited by 72 percent of respondents) and recruiting (58 percent) were the top reasons reported for…
Jul 11, 2018
6 Questions on Dependent Care Spending Accounts
School’s out! Summer is here, and it’s the time of year when working parents have questions about using their Dependent Care Spending Accounts (DCSAs). Are summer camp expenses eligible? What about day versus overnight camps? Employers and benefit advisors want to be ready with answers about this valuable benefit program. The following are the top summertime questions about DCSAs and reimbursable expenses: 1. What are the basic rules for reimbursable expenses? Dependent care expenses, such as babysitting and daycare center costs, must be work-related to qualify for reimbursement. Work-related means the expenses are for the care of the employee’s child under age 13 to allow the employee to work. If the employee is married and filing jointly, the employee’s spouse also must be gainfully employed or looking for work (unless disabled or a full-time student). In some cases, expenses to care for a disabled dependent, regardless of age, may be reimbursable. This article focuses on…
Jul 6, 2018
Too few managers believe key performance indicators align with organization’s strategic objectives
Too few managers believe key performance indicators align with organization’s strategic objectives — MIT SLOAN A new global study on the state of key performance indicators, released by MIT Sloan Management Review(SMR), suggests that a high number of executives underutilize KPIs as a leadership tool. Despite having access to magnitudes more information, nearly 30 percent of surveyed leaders don’t use KPIs to drive change in their organizations. The study, “Leading with Next-Generation Key Performance Indicators,” (https://mitsmr.com/2syjWyu) delves into why some business leaders are rethinking how they use KPIs to lead and manage the enterprise. “KPIs should be the most important data and analytics that an organization has,” said Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the MIT Sloan School’s Center for Digital Business and a coauthor of the report. “But our research indicates that KPIs are mismanaged and undervalued.” There is one notable exception to the reporte…
Jul 4, 2018
Whole benefits package crucial in competitive labor market
TOP TALENT—Whole benefits package crucial in competitive labor market With low unemployment hovering at 4 percent, many companies face the recurring question of how to attract and retain top talent in a candidate-driven landscape. In order to remain competitive, it is essential for companies to focus on what they can do to raise wages or reevaluate their benefits packages to adequately compensate employees. This is according to a new survey from Adecco USA (https://www.adeccousa.com/employers/), which surveyed over 1,000 employed adults to provide insight on what companies can do to be an ideal employer. “While unemployment rates have continued to steadily decline, we have yet to see that same kind of positive and progressive movement on wages, which could be why we are seeing an uptick in workers having more than one job to pay the bills,” said Federico Vione, CEO of Adecco, North America, UK and Ireland. “There is much evidence to suggest that companies need to start payi…
Jul 2, 2018
Compensation Changes – Inflation Up, Unemployement Down, Wages Stable
CPI for all items rises 0.2% in April The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.2 percent in April on a seasonally adjusted basis after falling 0.1 percent in March, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported (https://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm) May 10. Over the last 12 months, the all items index rose 2.5 percent before seasonal adjustment. The indexes for gasoline and shelter were the largest factors in the seasonally adjusted increase in the all items index, although the food index increased as well. The gasoline index increased 3.0 percent, more than offsetting declines in other energy component indexes and led to a 1.4-percent rise in the energy index. The food index rose 0.3 percent, with the food at home index rising 0.3 percent and the index for food away from home increasing 0.2 percent. The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.1 percent in April. The shelter index rose 0.3 percent, with other indexes mixed. The indexes for…
Jun 29, 2018
FORM I-9—Increased federal enforcement requires proactive measures
FORM I-9—Increased federal enforcement requires proactive measures The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is stepping up enforcement efforts of unauthorized workers by tripling its number of officers and quintupling the number of enforcement actions in 2018. As a result, employers need to be proactive and ensure that they are hiring authorized workers and that their Form I-9 practices are in compliance, says a new XpertHR report (https://na01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Flink.rm0004.net%2Fgo%2FSnzhdqY-HDXE8EQsxIIUxw2%2F&data=02%7C01%7Cheidi.henson%40wolterskluwer.com%7Cba81c70d73d648d4b2e208d5bcb6ef8d%7C8ac76c91e7f141ffa89c3553b2da2c17%7C1%7C0%7C636622416251610934&sdata=XqMGE0oppPi%2BOmGVEBH8rv5ljQEwFdW1MLCNbJd10iY%3D&reserved=0). Otherwise, employers may be ICE’s next target. Under the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), if an employer knowingly hires or continues to employ an unauthorized worker, it can be exposed to civil and criminal pen…
Jun 25, 2018
How to calculate if you are an Applicable Large Employer under the ACA
You are an applicable large employer if you averaged at least 50 full-time employees, including full-time equivalent employees, during the prior calendar year. ALEs are subject to information reporting and the employer shared responsibility provisions. Steps to determine your status as an ALE 1.Determine how many full-time employees you had each month of the prior calendar year. Under the ACA, a full-time employee for any calendar month is one who has, on average, at least 30 hours of service per week, or at least 130 hours per calendar month. There are exceptions for seasonal workers and employees with medical coverage under TRICARE or the Department of Veterans Affairs. 2.Determine how many full-time equivalent employees you had each month of the prior calendar year. Todo this, combine the number of hours of service of all non-full-time employees for the month –and divide that total by 120. Make sure you do not include more than 120 hours of service per employee. The same exceptio…
Jun 20, 2018
Majority of working parents claim they are able to ‘have it all’
Majority of working parents claim they are able to ‘have it all’ — SURVEY RESULTS According to the majority of workers with children at home (78 percent) who participated in a CareerBuilder survey, it is possible to be successful at work and at home. The national survey was conducted online by The Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from April 4 to May 1, 2018, and included a representative sample of 1,012 full-time workers in the private sector across industries and company sizes. “Work-life balance is certainly a struggle for all professionals, but we see workers moving past the idea that they have to give something up and that the sacrifice of either a career or parenting must be made,” said Jennifer Grasz, vice president of corporate communications for CareerBuilder. “Promoting a balance should be important to employers, too. When employees feel a greater sense of control and ownership over their own lives, they tend to have better relationships with coworkers, be m…
Jun 18, 2018
Benchmark: Employer Costs for Employee Compensation
Benchmark: Employer Costs for Employee Compensation (https://i1.wp.com/peopleprocesses.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/BLS-table.png?ssl=1) Employee compensation packages usually contain at least two components: base salary or hourly wage; and group benefits. Base salary depends on competitive considerations such as the available talent pool, the role of bonuses, and the company’s stated philosophy to pay at a specified percentile of the market salary. Group benefits may be in the form of protective benefits — health care or prepaid legal services — or in the form of profit-sharing or gainsharing. Regardless of the particular benefits that comprise a compensation package, a big concern for most employers is paying for it. Although some employees are required to contribute to the cost of various benefits, the bulk of the compensation package is often provided by the employer. BLS survey. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) publishes a quarterly Employer Costs for Em…
Jun 15, 2018
New Supreme Court Ruling Affects Arbitration Agreements
Legal analysis of alternative dispute resolution What are the issues that arise when considering whether or not to offer alternative dispute resolution (ADR) to employees in the hope that they will use ADR in lieu of litigation? An employer wants to be sure this process will be: fair and objective; cost effective; capable of protecting the employer’s interests; reliable; binding on all parties; and a mechanism to provide closure. Arbitration Many employers are requiring, as a condition of employment, that applicants and employees give up their rights to pursue employment discrimination claims in court and agree to resolve disputes through binding arbitration. The agreements to arbitrate may be contained in an employment contract, employee handbook, or employment application. The use of such agreements can be found in various sectors of the workforce, including the securities industry, retail, restaurant and hotel chains, health care, broadcasting, and security services. Enfo…
Jun 11, 2018
New NLRB memo talks permissible vs. impermissible handbook rules
New NLRB memo talks permissible vs. impermissible handbook rules in light of Boeing In the aftermath of its December 2017 The Boeing Company decision, the National Labor Relations Board has issued new guidance on handbook rules. The June 7 General Counsel memorandum provides general guidance for Regions about the placement of various types of rules into the three categories set out in Boeing, as well as the Section 7 interests, business justifications, and other considerations that Regions should take into account in arguing to the Board that specific Category 2 rules are unlawful. Rules categories. The memo provides instruction as to each of the three categories of rules set forth in Boeing: Category 1: Rules that are generally lawful to maintain Category 2: Rules warranting individualized scrutiny Category 3: Rules that are unlawful to maintain Category 1: The types of rules in this category are generally lawful, either because the rule, when reasonably interpreted, does…
Jun 6, 2018
No more tax deductions for un-reimbursed business travel!
Standard mileage rates updated to reflect elimination of miscellaneous itemized deductions In Notice 2018-42, the IRS has updated Notice 2018-3, to reflect changes to the tax law made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA; P.L. 115-97). Changes impacting Notice 2018-3 include: the suspension of the deduction for un-reimbursed employee expenses; the suspension of the deduction for move related expenses; and the increase of depreciation limits for passenger vehicles. Un-reimbursed employee expenses. Notice 2018-3 stated that taxpayers, including those deducting unreimbursed employee travel expenses, could use the standard mileage rate of 54.5 cents per mile. The TCJA suspends all miscellaneous itemized deductions that are subject to the 2 percent of adjusted gross income floor until January 1, 2026. This includes unreimbursed employee travel expenses. Therefore, Notice 2018-3 cannot be used to claim a deduction for such expenses. There are certain taxpayers who may continue to deduct it…
Jun 4, 2018
Special Notice: TN Employers – Unemployment Insurance
Law amended — TENNESSEE — Unemployment Insurance,(Jun. 1, 2018) Electronic filing requirement. Except as otherwise provided in the Law, beginning January 1, 2019, and each quarter afterwards, every employer, and every person or organization who reports wages for employees on behalf of one or more subject employers, must file their wage and premium reports electronically, in a format prescribed by the commissioner. If the electronic filing requirement, however, creates a hardship for the employer, person, or organization subject to it, the employer, person, or organization may submit an affidavit to the commissioner containing a statement made under the penalty of perjury that the employer, person, or organization would suffer an undue hardship by filing the wage and premium reports electronically, and the commissioner may allow the employer, person, or organization to file the wage and premium reports in a paper format. Any employer, person, or organization that does not have pri…
Jun 1, 2018
12 Employee Company hit with $550,000 in penalties for misclassifying interns!
Private equity firm to pay over $550,000 in back wages and penalties over misclassifying employees as interns — MASSACHUSETTS — Employee misclassification A Boston private equity firm will pay more than half a million dollars in penalties and wages to 174 current and former employees in a settlement with the AG’s Office over the employer’s improper classification of employees as interns and its failure to pay those employees minimum wage and to keep proper employment records, according to Attorney General Maura Healey in a recent announcement. Search Fund Accelerator (SFA), its President Timothy Bovard and Treasurer Jeremy Silverman were issued two citations totaling $550,187 in restitution and penalties for violating the state’s wage and hour laws. “This private equity firm should have paid its employees, but instead treated them like unpaid interns,” said AG Healey. “I commend the employees at SFA for speaking up for themselves and their co-workers. We encourage all…
May 30, 2018
People Processes: Best Practices for pay equity, and I-9’s
Law firm’s pay equity guidance points to trends — PRACTICE TIP Acknowledging Equal Pay Day on April 10, Seyfarth Shaw’s Pay Equity Group released a pair of reference guides on pay equity that are aimed at enhancing employers’ compliance efforts: the XPERT HR (full report): (https://bit.ly/2Lc38po) The law firm practice group also pointed (http://www.seyfarth.com/publications/MA041118-LE) to several emerging trends: Amped-up pay laws: While California, New York, and Massachusetts led the way in adopting stricter state pay equity laws, other states, including Maryland and Oregon, soon followed suit. The trend continues into 2018 with New Jersey and Washington passing similarly onerous laws in recent weeks. Laws banning employers from asking candidates for employment about prior salary is another trend. Laws have been enacted in nine jurisdictions, and several other states are considering similar salary history bans. Litigation uptick: Not surprisingly, concurrent with t…
May 25, 2018
People Processes: Investing in Benefits Technology, Professionals can’t unplug
Employers found to be accelerating adoption of benefits technology — SURVEY RESULTS Since 2012, investors have steered more than $14 billion into human capital management (HCM) software and platforms. A new study by The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian) confirms that human resources technology is top of mind for many employers seeking greater efficiencies and workforce engagement. The study reveals most employers have increased their spending on benefits-related technology in the past five years, with approximately 50 percent expecting further increases in the next three years. The latest set of findings come from The Fifth Annual Guardian Workplace Benefits StudySM, Game-Changer: The Digitalization of Employee Benefits Delivery (https://c212.net/c/link/?t=0&l=en&o=2139271-1&h=2539129855&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.guardiananytime.com%2F&a=Guardian+Workplace+Benefits+StudySM). Workplace demographic shifts, particularly millennials, whose share of the workforce continu…
May 23, 2018
People Processes Q&A: FMLA part time, Pet Bereavement, and Garnishments
How should intermittent FMLA leave be calculated when an employee moves from full- to part-time status? Issue: Six months ago, one of your full-time employees (working 40 hours per week) was granted intermittent leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). He has taken three weeks (or 120 hours) of leave. Last month, he transferred to a part-time position, working 20 hours per week, and he continues to need FMLA leave. How should you calculate the intermittent leave? Should it be based on his former full-time hours or his current part-time hours? Answer: Under the FMLA regulations, if an employer has made a permanent or long-term change in the employee’s schedule (for reasons other than the FMLA and prior to the notice of need of FMLA leave), the hours worked under the new schedule are to be used for making this calculation. In this situation, the employee has nine weeks of FMLA leave remaining in his FMLA year. Going forward, you should use his part-time schedule to ca…
May 21, 2018
People Processes: Open Workspaces, Short Term Incentives, and Background Checks
Workers value sense of community in the workplace About half (47 percent) of part- or full-time employees value a community atmosphere in the place where they work, according to a new survey (https://clutch.co/hr/resources/future-of-work-how-workspaces-meet-worker-needs) by Clutch, a B2B research, ratings and reviews company. The number increases to 55 percent for millennial workers aged 18-34. These findings suggest that workspaces, including traditional offices, coworking spaces, coffee shops, and other public work areas, benefit from finding ways to bring their young employees together. While Generation X and baby boomers also value community, they don’t prioritize it at the same level as their younger coworkers. This is likely because millennials are the first generation to grow up with the internet, says Laurel Cummings, a makerspace researcher and member of Building Momentum, a science and engineering consulting company. Cummings says that the internet is a connective tool…
May 18, 2018
People Processes: Deep Dive into Mental Health Parity and Autism Diagnosis
EBSA issues array of guidance on mental health parity EBSA has released an array of guidance on the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA), including proposed Frequently Asked Questions, an enforcement fact sheet, a self-compliance tool, and a revised draft disclosure template. In addition, the DOL has released a report to Congress that outlines its current implementation and enforcement actions in furtherance of the MHPAEA. Background. In general, MHPAEA requires that the financial requirements (such as coinsurance and copays) and treatment limitations (such as visit limits) imposed on mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits cannot be more restrictive than the predominant financial requirements and treatment limitations that apply to substantially all medical/surgical benefits in a classification. With regard to any nonquantitative treatment limitation (NQTL), the MHPAEA final regulations provide that a group health plan or health insurance issuer…
May 16, 2018
People Processes: Do we have to cover gender reassignment? A Deep Dive into Gender Identity Discrimination
NY Assembly again passes Gender Non-discrimination Act — NEW YORK The New York State Assembly has again passed the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie announced on May 7. The legislation would prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression in considerations of employment, education and in consumer credit and housing. The bill would also add offenses motivated by gender identity or expression to the hate crimes statute (A.3358, Gottfried). “The Assembly Majority believes that everyone has the right to live free of harassment and discrimination,” said Speaker Heastie. “This legislation extends clear legal protections to individuals who have been left vulnerable for far too long.” “Transgender people—whose gender identity, appearance, behavior or expression differs from their genetic sex at birth—face discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations and other areas of life, and they are partic…
May 14, 2018
Q&A: Six Tips to Head off Hiring Headaches, and Employee Fatality at Work
Six tips to head off hiring headaches Issue>>: You work for an advertising agency and are having trouble filling several creative positions at your organization. While many resumes look promising, candidates are not living up to expectations when interviewed. How can you attract and hire employees who will bring maximum value to your creative team? <<Answer: Figuring out how to hire an employee with just the right mix of skills and knowledge can feel like a daunting task. Robert Half shared the following tips to attract and hire employees who bring maximum value to your creative agency or in-house department. 1. Juice up the job description. Generating interest from highly qualified job candidates is often one of the most difficult aspects of the hiring process for a business. When a position opens up, take the time to write a job description that’s both detailed and compelling. While you don’t want your job posting to be excessively long or so specific that it deters qualifi…
May 11, 2018
People Processes: Q&A – Group Retirement, and Dramatic Changes in Appearance
How can organizations help prepare employees for a timely retirement? Issue: Your workers are anxious about saving enough money for retirement, according to results from your organization’s latest employee opinion survey. What strategies can you employ to support your employees’ retirement planning? Answer: Employers have a variety of strategies available to support their employees’ retirement planning, For today’s multi-generational workforce, Sibson recommends the following: 1. Targeted education. Opening the channels of communication and customizing the messages are pivotal factors in helping employees improve their retirement readiness. “One-size-fits-all” is a misnomer; with a few rare instances, it should be “one-size-fits-few,”. Communications should be easy to understand and delivered on a regular basis, beginning well before retirement age. Organizations can isolate and target numerous attributes for an employee’s personal communications, including…
May 9, 2018
People Processes: Compliance Update May 7
May 7 Compliance Update Health savings accounts. The limit on deductible health savings account (HSA) contributions for 2018 is now back to $6,900 for individuals with family coverage under a high deductible health plan (HDHP). In March, this amount was reduced by $50 (to $6,850) due to a change in the inflation adjustment calculations enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. However, after receiving complaints that the reduction would impose administrative and financial burdens on stakeholders, the IRS determined that it is in the best interest of sound and efficient tax administration to revert back to the original amount of $6,900. According to the latest guidance, an individual who receives a distribution from an HSA of an excess contribution (with earnings) based on the $6,850 deduction limit may repay the distribution to the HSA and treat the distribution as the result of a mistake of fact due to reasonable cause. Alternatively, an individual who does not repay the di…
May 7, 2018
People Processes: Deep Dive into Non-Compete Agreements
Noncompetition Agreements and Trade Secrets Introduction Whenever an employer hires a new employee, the employer provides that person with access to the organization’s most valuable assets: its people, its customers, and its way of doing business. Given that the average American will change jobs seven times over a work life, chances are high that some of that information will eventually find its way to a competitor. More frequently than ever, companies are trying to protect themselves and their assets from the damage that can result when employees depart to work for a competing business or set up a competing enterprise. An employer should require employees to sign employment agreements wherein they agree to maintain the secrecy for all of the organization’s trade secrets. In addition, an employer may consider a covenant not to compete that has geographic, scope, and duration limitations. Such terms should be included in an initial employment agreement entered into at the start of…
May 2, 2018
People Processes Q&A: If one of my employee punches another, is my company liable?
Question: Can we require that employees exhaust their vacation and sick time at the beginning of an approved medical leave of absence? Answer: Generally, an employer may require employees to exhaust their paid time off when a medical leave, such as that under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), is unpaid. When not required, employees may choose to use their paid time off, vacation, or sick pay benefits to maintain income for part of their leave. Whether using paid leave or not, leave taken for an FMLA-qualified reason is job-protected. If an employee is receiving any wage replacement benefits (such as benefits paid under a disability plan or workers’ compensation) during an FMLA leave, the employee generally may not use, and the employer may not require the employee to use, any accrued or accumulated paid benefit time. There are exceptions in some states, where employees may be allowed to combine workers’ compensation or disability plan benefits with paid time off…
Apr 30, 2018
People Processes: No more lunch catering for your employees?
Human Resources: Issues and Answers,Can employers still reimburse employees for meals?, Issue: Your company reimburses employees for meals when they work late or on weekends. You heard that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 changed the tax treatment of such meals. What are the revised rules? Answer: The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) revised the limits on meals provided to employees, as well as the limits on other company meals and entertainment expenses. Prior to January 1, 2018, subject to other requirements and limitations under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) that applied to the deduction of business expenses, employers were generally permitted to: Deduct up to 50 percent of the cost of the face value of tickets to non-charitable events and up to 100 percent of the cost of tickets for charitable events as client entertainment expenses; Deduct up to 50 percent of the cost of meals and other food and beverages provided while entertaining clients or while traveling on c…
Apr 27, 2018
People Processes: Compliance Update – Applications, Min Wage, Tips, and Turnover.
Employment inquiries. A new law in Michigan prohibits local governments in the state from adopting ordinances that regulate the information a current or potential employer may request, require, or exclude on job applications or during the interview process. This includes local prohibitions on salary history inquiries, as well as local “ban-the-box” requirements. Notably, the law does not bar criminal background check requirements in connection with the receipt of a license or permit from a local governmental body. Minimum wages. Nevada’s minimum wage is adjusted each year based on increases in the federal minimum wage or, if greater, the cumulative increase in the cost of living. According to the Office of the Labor Commission, the rates, effective July 1, 2018, will remain unchanged — $7.25 per hour with an offer of qualifying health benefits or $8.25 per hour without such an offer. The rate for daily overtime also stays the same because the minimum wage rate is not changin…
Apr 25, 2018
People Processes: Equal Pay – Rizo v. Yovino
Another Step Toward Equal Pay On April 9, 2018, in Equal Pay Act (https://www.eeoc.gov/laws/statutes/epa.cfm) an employer cannot justify a wage differential between male and female employees by relying on prior salary. The EPA prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women, in the same establishment, who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility under similar working conditions. According to the court’s opinion, “[w]e now hold that prior salary alone or in combination with other factors cannot justify a wage differential. To hold otherwise – to allow employers to capitalize on the persistence of the wage gap and perpetuate that gap [endlessly] – would be contrary to the text and history of the EPA and would vitiate the very purpose for which the act stands.” In plain language, An employee’s prior salary does not constitute a “factor other than sex” upon which a wage differential may be based under the “catchal…
Apr 23, 2018
People Processes: Tax Credit for Paid Family Medical Leave
IRS guidance on tax credit for paid family and medical leave On April 9, 2018, the IRS issued a set of 10 (https://answersnow.cch.com/?refUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fmy.coloniallife.com%2Fproducers%2FSearch%2520Results%3Fq%3Dcch%26page%3D1&P=collife&cpid=WKUS-REX-HRLP#2f6612ec7cfd10009ce1d8d385ad169401-footdocd341255e1fn13)). It is not available for wages paid in taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019. Claiming the credit. The credit is a general business credit employers may claim, based on wages paid to qualifying employees while they are on family and medical leave, subject to certain conditions. An employer must reduce its deduction for wages or salaries paid or incurred by the amount determined as a credit. Also, any wages taken into account in determining any other general business credit may not be used in determining this credit. To claim the credit, employers must have a written policy in place that meets certain requirements, including: provision of at least two weeks of…
Apr 13, 2018
Employee Handbook Q&A
Question: We recently made some changes to our handbook policies regarding benefits offered to employees and have a disclaimer stating, “The Company reserves the exclusive right to change or terminate any benefits or related policy at any time in accordance with applicable law.” Are we required to have employees sign a new acknowledgement of the handbook because of these recent changes? Answer: Yes, employees should be required to sign an acknowledgement noting that they are aware of any new policies or changes to existing policies. Any new or changed policy should be provided to employees through the distribution of a new handbook accompanied by a brief memo directing the employees to the locations of the changes and requesting an updated acknowledgement signature. Without distributing and getting proof of receipt, the changed policies may be difficult to point to when correcting, disciplining, or terminating an employee. Most employers update their handbooks every one to two…
Apr 11, 2018
People Processes: Employee Handbook Self Audit Pt 2
Introduction part 2 Most employment relations experts agree that employee handbooks are an essential part, if not the foundation, of effective human resources (HR) management and positive employee relations. Handbooks can also play a critical role in demonstrating employment law compliance. Properly used, employee handbooks: Communicate policies and procedures. Play a key role in the orientation process for new employees. Serve as a valuable employee relations vehicle for educating current and prospective employees. Contribute to uniform and consistent application, interpretation, and enforcement of company policies. Protect against claims of improper employer conduct. While carefully drafted employee handbooks can be an important part of employee relations media, handbooks that are unskillfully or improperly drafted can create organizational and legal headaches. Courts increasingly view employee handbooks as binding contracts subject to judicial enforcement. Accordingly, employe…
Apr 10, 2018
People Processes: Employee Handbook Self Audit Pt 1
Employee Handbook Self-Audit Introduction Most employment relations experts agree that employee handbooks are an essential part, if not the foundation, of effective human resources (HR) management and positive employee relations. Handbooks can also play a critical role in demonstrating employment law compliance. Properly used, employee handbooks: Communicate policies and procedures. Play a key role in the orientation process for new employees. Serve as a valuable employee relations vehicle for educating current and prospective employees. Contribute to uniform and consistent application, interpretation, and enforcement of company policies. Protect against claims of improper employer conduct. While carefully drafted employee handbooks can be an important part of employee relations media, handbooks that are unskillfully or improperly drafted can create organizational and legal headaches. Courts increasingly view employee handbooks as binding contracts subject to judicial enforcement…
Apr 6, 2018
Q&A: PTO Negative Balances, Religious Holidays, Complicated Overtime
Question: Our vacation policy allows employees to “borrow” up to 40 vacation hours before earning them. Employees who leave our employment but have not repaid their hours are deducted those hours on their final paycheck. Is this permissible? Answer: According to an Opinion Letter (http://www.dol.gov/whd/opinion/FLSANA/2004/2004_10_06_17FLSA_NA_unearned_vacation.htm) from the U.S. Wage and Hour Division, Office of Enforcement Policy, employees must be informed in advance of the unearned vacation time policy and that the employer will deduct from their pay the cost of such vacation time if they leave the company prior to earning sufficient vacation time to eliminate the vacation deficit. So long as such notice is in place, the amount of wages advanced as paid vacation time falls into the same category as a bona fide loan or cash advance to which the employee has voluntarily agreed. As such, the employer may deduct the amount advanced for the vacation hours from the employee’s…
Apr 4, 2018
Q&A: FLSA Deep Dive Pt 2
Question: What does “discretion and independent judgment” mean when applying the duties tests? Answer: The Department of Labor defines the use of discretion and independent judgment as more than the use of skill in applying well-established techniques, procedures, or specific standards described in manuals or other sources. The use of discretion and independent judgment implies that one has authority to make an independent choice, free from immediate direction or supervision. However, discretion and independent judgment can be used even if the decision or recommendation is reviewed by higher authority in the organization. Discretion and independent judgment does not require that the decisions being made have to be final or free from review. The fact that one’s decisions may be subject to review and that upon occasion the decisions are revised or reversed after review does not mean that one is not using discretion and independent judgment. The phrase “discretion and independ…
Apr 2, 2018
Q&A: Deep Dive into FLSA Part 1
Question: I have an exempt employee who would like to earn extra money working in another department in a nonexempt role. She works 40 hours per week in the exempt role, and would work 15 to 20 hours per week in a nonexempt role. Would she automatically receive the overtime rate for each hour of nonexempt work if she works 40 hours in her exempt role? Answer: The primary issue is not how to calculate overtime, but rather whether you may have an employee classified as both exempt and nonexempt. Your employee may perform more than one job for you, but under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) regulations an employee must be classified as either exempt or nonexempt, but not both. Your employee’s exemption status requires an analysis of both positions to determine her primary duty (see 29 C.F.R. 541.700 (http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=adf470eb9c70b71cb066c1f3a1e2df35&mc=true&node=se29.3.541_1700&rgn=div8)). The term “primary duty” means the principal, main, m…
Mar 30, 2018
People Process: What to do when you have to fire someone.
Sometimes, you have to let someone go. It sucks, its sad, and its also a legal minefield. This episode addresses the checklist needed when you let someone go. We are not going to really get into why you should fire someone, but rather we are going to dive into the steps you need to go through once the decision is made. Involuntary Termination Checklist First, as a reminder, discuss termination with management and your qualified legal counsel to ensure the termination is warranted and legally compliant (http://www.eeoc.gov/policy/docs/retal.html#IIpartD). (on our show notes, we have a link to the EEOC policy’s to review prior to letting someone go.) Prepare the final pay check according to state requirements (http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm) and confirm that the final wages will be ready for the employee, as applicable by state law. Prepare the appropriate separation forms: State Unemployment forms/ pamphlets Termination letter Severance Agreement/Releas…
Mar 28, 2018
Q&As: Mom and Pop Medical Insurance, In Network ER, and Bonus’s for Salaried Employees
2 Person Group Insurance Question: Is a small owner-only business eligible for group medical insurance? At this time, our company is comprised of the owner and his wife. There are no other employees yet, but we plan to hire employees in the future. Can we buy a group policy now or do we have to wait until we have other employees? Answer: The question of whether a “mom and pop” business can purchase medical coverage as a group often comes up. Each state’s insurance laws control the type of policies that can be sold in that state and also defines who is a “group.” Insurance laws vary from state to state, but generally a husband/wife business does not qualify as a group if there are no other employees. There must be at least one W-2 employee who is not an owner or business partner (or spouse of an owner or partner). In the meantime, the owner may apply for an individual policy to cover himself and spouse (and eligible children, if any). Lastly, there is a small handful of st…
Mar 26, 2018
People Processes: Electronic HR Files
Goodbye Papercut Monster. Hello Electronic Personnel Files. Previously, we discussed records retention and how long employers need to hang on to all things having to do with hiring and retaining employees. As promised, we’ll now delve into best practices for storing that same information electronically. Take that, papercut monster! Know the Basics It likely goes without saying that your electronic records should be stored in a safe and accessible place and in such a way that they can be easily examined (by auditors or employees, if permissible in your state). The electronic files need to be convertible into readable paper copies to satisfy reporting and disclosure requirements. Make Security as Tight as Fort Knox Arguably the most important consideration when storing personnel records is security. You wouldn’t leave sensitive documents in an unlocked file cabinet and should follow the same thought process when storing documents electronically. Secure computers, documents, server…
Mar 21, 2018
Weekly Compliance Update: HSA’s, FLSA, and Discrimination
Health savings accounts. The limit on health savings account (HSA) contributions for 2018 is now $6,850 for family coverage, as updated by the IRS to reflect changes under the recent tax reform law. Medical savings accounts. The 2018 deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses required for health plans to qualify as “high deductible” plans under the medical savings account (MSA) rules have been modified due to changes enacted under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. FLSA compliance. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) will be launching a pilot — the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program — to facilitate the resolution of potential Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime and minimum wage violations. The program will allow employers to self-report potential wage violations that they uncover during a compensation practices self-audit. Employers must pay all back wages due but will not have to pay liquidated damages or civil monetary pe…
Mar 16, 2018
Q&A: Tax Credit for paid FMLA? Yes!
Question: Our company is considering adopting a paid family leave program for employees. I think I read something indicating paid family leave was addressed in the tax bill that passed late last year. Is that true? Answer: First of all, kudos to you. Paid family and medical leave policies are a great benefit for employers to adopt to stay competitive in the current market and have become a necessity in the several states that have adopted paid family leave laws or regulations. To answer your question, you are correct. The federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in late 2017 creates § 45S of the IRS Code to provide certain employers a tax credit for offering paid family and medical leave to employees. To be eligible for the credit, the employer’s paid family and medical leave policy must: Be voluntarily implemented by the employer (i.e., the employer cannot be in a state or locality that requires employers to provide paid family and medical leave). Additionally, leave paid by a…
Mar 16, 2018
Compliance Update: Marijuana in the Workforce
Marijuana regulations are rapidly changing, keeping both employers and lawmakers on their toes. With expanding legislation legalizing medical and recreational marijuana spreading across the country, what used to be a clear workplace policy enforced by HR and safety managers — zero tolerance — is becoming hazier. A recent Arcview Market Research (https://arcviewgroup.com/research/). This report also predicts that the legal cannabis market will grow 28 percent annually by 2021 as more states legalize marijuana for recreational use and today’s markets mature, as long as the federal government doesn’t crack down on state-legal cannabis. The Legal Climate Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Twenty-nine other states have legalized medical marijuana. Federal laws still maintain that marijuana is an illegal Schedule 1 drug, and the Occupati…
Mar 14, 2018
Listener Questions: EEOC, FSA’s, and 2018 NLRB Updates
Question: We are in the process of revising our employee handbook. Are there any anticipated new laws that will require policy changes in early 2018? If so, we will probably wait for those new policies before finalizing the handbook. Answer: It is not easy to predict changes to laws or regulations, particularly when there has been a lot of activity in the courts and in Washington recently. With that said, in mid- to late December 2017, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) was active in overruling several decisions that significantly impact employers. One decision, Boeing Company and Society of Professional Employees in Aerospace, IFPTE Local 2001 [download] (http://links.govdelivery.com/track?type=click&enid=ZWFzPTEmbXNpZD0mYXVpZD0mbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTcxMjE0LjgyNDk0NjIxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE3MTIxNC44MjQ5NDYyMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE2OTcyNDU4JmVtYWlsaWQ9bnF1aW5uZ2F0b0B0aGlua2hyLmNvbSZ1c2VyaWQ9bnF1aW5uZ2F0b0B0aGlua2hyLmNvbSZ0YXJnZXRpZD0mZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpd…
Mar 12, 2018
People Processes – An Introduction
(https://i2.wp.com/peopleprocesses.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/people-processes-rect.png?ssl=1) Welcome to People Processes Podcast. This episode has an introduction to the structure of the podcast, what information you can expect to gain, and a quick story of on of our business leaders who helped turn her organization around