View Post

Winter Weather Creates Hazardous Pay Conditions

How employees get paid when business is disrupted depends on their classification. Pay decisions must comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which establishes two categories of employees: exempt and non-exempt. Exemption status also drives eligibility for overtime. You may remember in 2016 the excitement (or dread) over a new salary level for white-collar exemption. At the 11th hour, this Obama regulation was held up in Court but it didn’t disappear. The Department of Labor (DOL) is likely to propose a new overtime rule by October 2018. The DOL is expected to raise the salary threshold for white-collar exemptions …

View Post

Create the Blue-Collar Workforce Of The Future

The push to orient most high school students towards a 4-year college degree has created a problem for employers. The country lacks qualified blue-collar workers. The idea of qualification and blue-collar work used to be antinomic but it’s no longer the case. There are a lot of outdated ideas about blue-collar jobs and career. Successful blue-collar workers no longer mean unskilled workers. Construction, manufacturing, home health have become high-tech. Few understand the types of job opportunities they offer and the demand for those skills. Most employers face critical shortages of skilled labor and are willing to bridge the skill gap. …

View Post

All Recruitment is Local – Five Ways to Master Recruitment

Since September, I am working with a client in a plant in Virginia. This opportunity takes me back to in-person HR. As luck would have it, this site is looking to recruit a number of new associates by year end.One position in particularly (production technician) has proven to be difficult to fill. Like many employers across the country, this business has had a tough time filling its jobs with the right candidates.  Employers who continuously recruit the same skill sets can create a recruitment strategy to reach prospective employees. Do you know where your “prospects” go to find a job? How do …

View Post

Telecommuting, Does it Work?

I wish I could answer this question with a resounding “yes” but the reality of what I see with my clients makes me say “maybe.” Large employers have recently reigned in their telecommuting options for employees. Yahoo!, IBM, Bank of America, Aetna, Reddit and Best Buy are pulling employees back into the physical office. When it comes to remote work arrangements, the results are patchy. Here’s what a client shared recently: “I wanted to accommodate  an employee who had been with us from the start of this business. Unfortunately, after a year of remote work, we have concluded that it …

View Post

HR Support Sized To Your Business

As your workforce grows, so does the work associated with HR. Savvy business owners know they can’t do it alone. So they get HR support without the cost of a full-time employee with “HR a la cart.” Over the summer, a number of new and existing clients signed up for this service. Here’s what you need to know if you are looking for part-time HR support. What is HR “a la carte”?First, the definition. HR “a la carte” is synonymous with HR on retainer or part-time HR. Initially, the support will be remote via phone and video conference. If the …

View Post

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

Small business might not need full-time HR. They nonetheless need HR support. That’s when HR on Retainer makes sense. “Unfortunately, many businesses don’t measure the value of HR until things go wrong,” remarks Cherry Moore, SPHR. Cherry knows a thing or two about HR. She has been in the profession for 25 years leading HR in mid-size companies.   Too often, HR is managed from the accounting side of the house or seen as a second thought function.  Executives are reluctant to seek legal advice, concerned by the potential for high legal fees, says Moore. They are reluctant to spend money until …

View Post

Working with a Virtual Assistant

Today’s blog is different. We have a guest blogger and she is my virtual assistant, Amy Edge. Although Amy is  “behind-the-scene”, her role at Gere Consulting is crucial. She makes sure this newsletter is sent every week without fail. She finds attractive visuals and plans the social media calendar. Her support in my business has changed my work for the better. I get to focus on more serving my clients and their HR needs, and less on ancillary tasks. So what is a Virtual Assistant? A Virtual Assistant (VA) is an entrepreneur who provides professional administrative, technical or creative assistance …

View Post

The Skinny on Payroll – Interview with Chris Mabe

Payroll is the one thing employers need to get right every time. Employees don’t pay much attention to the handbook but they will make noise if their check is incorrect. Chris Mabe of Payday Payroll is my go-to person when I have a payroll question. She sat with me recently to share her wisdom. Anne-Lise: What are the most common payroll mistakes made by small businesses? Chris Mabe:  There are two basic mistakes many small businesses make.   The first mistake is entrusting the payroll to a single person.  This can lead to serious problems from embezzlement to covering up …

View Post

Get Workplace Investigations Right

All is well for months. And then out of the blue, I get a call. The conversation usually starts something like this: “We have an employee situation that’s been going on for weeks. Today something really bad happened. I think I need help.” That’s when my HR investigative mind turns on, looking to understand who did what to whom and who the players are. When the root of the problem relates to allegations of discrimination or harassment, employers are required to conduct an investigation. In those cases, timeliness is key. Allowing an employee to stew in his or her discontent is …

View Post

Summer work and Internships for Minors – Tips for Success

As spring signals the end of the school year, employers receive many inquiries from students seeking to join the summer workforce. My family belongs to a community pool which operates in the summer. The recreational association is run by volunteers and employs mostly teenagers. Several years ago, the association was audited by the state DOL which found several infractions to the labor code regarding the employment of minors. As employers and parents of teenagers eager to make a buck, we need to understand the additional restrictions that come with youth employment in internships and when minors are involved. If you …