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New I-9 Form and Immigration Enforcement

The I-9 Form for Employment Eligibility Verification is in the news. First, the Immigration Services announced that the revised Form I-9 will be published on Nov. 22, 2016. This is sooner than the January 2017 date previously announced. Although employers may continue to use the current Form I-9 (dated 03/08/2013) through Jan. 21, 2017, the new I-9 form must be used by all employers by January 22, 2017. Mark your calendar for November 22 to check the USCIS website for the revised I-9 Form. Note – Employers should continue to retain and store previously completed forms for existing and former …

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Don’t Ignore Poor Performance

Don’t Ignore Poor Performance — It rarely improves with time. In fact, it usually gets worse. I have seen it many times in my HR practice. Business owners call me because they are at the end of the road with a problem employee. Performance problems or behavior issues are left unaddressed. One incident pushes everyone over the edge. Managing an employee is time-consuming, emotionally draining, and potentially expensive, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We tend to avoid difficult conversations. However, when problems are identified early and addressed through feedback, things usually turn out better. Not all problem employees become …

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Change in FLSA Classification – Time to Communicate

  With our Overtime Ready series of newsletters since May 2016, we have shared guidance on what business owners and managers need to know to get ready by the implementation date of December 1st. It is ONLY a MONTH AWAY! If you have followed the series, you have: Identified your “at risk exempt’ employees  Established a plan for the next 3 months  Collected hours worked to understand who works overtime and how much Calculated hourly rate for employees will be reclassified as non-exempt  Now is time to pull it together and communicate with employees. Find the right approach Don’t assume …

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Encourage Voting on Election Day

Having the privilege to vote was a big reason why I chose to become a US citizen. And since my naturalization in 2005, I have voted in every single election. Election day is a big deal for me. I always take my children to the polls so they acquire the “voting habit.” With the presidential debates under way, employers are wondering about their obligation regarding time off for employees on Election Day. There is no federal law mandating employers to provide time off for employees to cast their ballots.  Currently, 31 states have voter leave laws. Virginia is not one …

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OSHA Rules- Safety Updates For ALL Employers

I don’t usually write about OSHA rules. Some would argue that OSHA knowledge is outside of HR’s expertise. I don’t disagree but this new update is major and all employers and their HR folks should be at least aware of its implications. So here it is….. All Employers Pay Attention to This In May, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule regarding reporting injuries and illnesses in the workplace and protecting employees who make those reports. With increased penalties and new regulations less than a month away, you need to review your workplace safety policies IMMEDIATELY. …

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New Overtime Rule – Determine Hourly Rate for Non-Exempt Employees

Reclassifying exempt employee to non-exempt has implications on many HR systems. None is more important than pay.  Because non-exempt employees are paid for hours worked, it is paramount to calculate an hourly rate of pay that is competitive and makes sense for the business and the employee. This is particularly critical for those who work more than 40 hours a week. Come December 1st, lower paid exempts might be reclassified as non-exempt and will be eligible for overtime.   Not assessing the impact higher labor costs could put your business at risk. Conversely, it might make good financial sense to …

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Three Steps to be Overtime Ready in 3 Months

On December 1st the new overtime regulations will be effective. December 1st is only 3 months away. Is your organization ready? In a recent blog, I explained how to identify your “At Risk Exempts.” Now that you know who is at risk of losing their exemption status, let’s see what you need to do to be Overtime Ready by December 1st. September 2016 – Gather numbers of hours worked by “At Risk” exempts. With the list of “At Risk” exempt employees (those earning a salary under $47,476) in hand, you now need to find out the hours worked by each one. …

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It’s Time For New FLSA Poster

Since August 1, 2016, employers must display an updated version of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) posters. On July 27, 2016 (four days before the required implementation!), the Department of Labor (DOL) published new posters to for immediate use. What are those posters anyway? Those posters are required for businesses with describe employee’s rights when it comes to the limited use of polygraphs in employment (EPPA poster). The FLSA poster describes employees’ rights relative to minimum wage, overtime and other wage and hour regulations. Both posters must be posted in a “prominent and …

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How to Grow Your Workforce

Many small businesses start as a “one-person band.” However, growth requires expanding from being a “solo-preneur” (or owner operator) to having help from other workers. Making the jump from one to many is sometimes scary. Most businesses don’t get it right the first time. It’s tough to recruit the right skills and personality on a limited budget. However, growing your workforce correctly is key to the continued success of most small businesses. Finding the right form of employment relationship with your growing workforce is not always easy. Most businesses want to expand but are scared by the administrative burden of …

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Get Overtime Ready for New White Collar Exemption

> Do you know about the changes in overtime rules coming in 2016? > Are you ready to pay overtime for employees earning less than $47,500? > Are your professional employees aware that they might lose their exempt status before 2016 is over?   If you answer “No” to these questions, it’s time to pay attention! Time to get Overtime Ready, the step-by-step workbook to the new FLSA regulations affecting overtime pay and exemption. What’s changing Starting December 1st 2016, the salary level for exemption from overtime increases from $23,660 to $47,476. This is the major change. To read about …