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New 2017 Compliance Requirements For Federal Contractors

Last February, I shared what was on the horizon for federal contractors in 2017. At the time, 2017 seemed like a long ways away. But here we are: in the first days of the new year. These new requirements for federal contract employers are the law, at least for now. The paid sick leave requirement is now in effect. Employees on federal contracts will earn up to 56 hours of paid sick leave per year. The leave is accrued at the rate of 1 hour of paid leave for every 30 hours worked on federal contracts. The leave can also be …

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Judge Puts New Overtime Ready Rule on Hold, Now What?

As the country was winding down to celebrate Thanksgiving, a federal court in Texas issued an order to suspend the implementation of new salary level for white collar exemption scheduled for December 1st. For months employers have been anticipating the December 1 date when the salary requirement would increase to $47,476 from $23,660. But on November 22, months of preparation came in question. As a result of the court decision, employers do not have to comply with the new FLSA salary threshold on December 1, 2016.   Background to the federal stay of execution Twenty-one states and several business groups …

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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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Exceptions to the New White Collar Exemption

To the surprise of many, the change to FLSA white collar exemption doesn’t provide for a small business exception. Regardless of the number of employees, come December 1, 2016, the rules governing overtime pay will be affecting low-paid salaried employees. However, a few professions will not be affected by the increase in salary to meet the exemption from overtime. Certain “White Collar” Employees Are Exempt from Exemptions First, the FLSA rule kicks in for businesses making at least $500K a year in gross revenue. None of the FLSA rules apply to micro businesses. In addition, the December rule will not …

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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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Tracking Work Hours In A Fluid Workplace

When I worked as a shift supervisor in a Procter & Gamble plant, reviewing the weekly time cards of my guys was an important job. If I didn’t report their hours accurately to payroll every Monday morning, I knew I would have a difficult time on Friday when distributing paychecks. Occasionally, the suspicion of falsified time records would launch me on an investigation to smoke out the dishonest employee. So I know firsthand how important tracking work hours is in the workplace. With the change in salary level for white collar exemption,  more employees will need to track their hours. …