View Post

Review Policies After Supreme Court Rule On Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, the Supreme Court ruled on the Obergefell case that the Constitution’s 14th Amendment guarantees same-sex couples a fundamental right to marry and have their marriages legally recognized in all states. Although the state of Virginia has recognized same-sex marriage since October 2014, this may be a good opportunity for employers to review company policies and its impact on benefits now that same-sex marriage is the law of the land in all 50 states. This ruling affects all policies that involve employees’ spouses, including retirement benefits, health insurance, dependent care, FMLA and other family-related leave. Now, all benefits …

View Post

Oh Boy! The Number Is Out and You won’t Like It.

If you were hoping to spend a quiet summer in the office, no such luck this year. Last week, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) announced its proposal for updating the overtime exemptions for white-collar employees including executives, administrative and professional employees. And employers are shocked by the new numbers. The most significant aspect of the DOL proposal increases the current salary threshold for exemption from $455 per week ($23,660 annually) to $970 per week ($50,440 annually).  In other words, under the new proposal employee paid less than $50,440 would be classified as non-exempt and become eligible for overtime pay.  The DOL …

View Post

Summer Dress – Employees Don’t Know What To Wear

Summer Dress Code with Suzanne Douglas Today we are doing something a little different. I have a guest: Suzanne Douglas. I met Suzanne a few years ago at a Chamber of Commerce event. We quickly realized that we had both worked with Procter & Gamble in England in the 1990s. Suzanne was an advertising executive with Saatchi & Saatchi working on P&G brands and I was in HR in the same locations as those brand groups. It’s summer. It’s hot outside. And guess what? Your employees have no idea what to wear to the office. In a world of seemingly endless …

View Post

What You Need To Know About the Update of the Exemption Status

In a post published in February, I wrote about the update of the White Collar exemption and what this might mean for employers. The Department Of Labor (DOL) recently sent its proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The next step will be the period for public comments. Final implementation is likely to happen by the end of 2015. What are the likely changes to the White Collar exemption? One change is certain:  the DOL will increase the salary threshold required for exemption from overtime pay.  The question all employers ask me is “how much of an increase?”  …

View Post

New NLRB Election Rules – What Employers Can Do to Remain Union-Free

In my previous post, I highlighted the changes in Union Election rules brought by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) effective since mid-April. The essence of these new rules is to 1) minimize delays to get to an election quickly and 2) facilitate the union’s ability to communicate with employees. Those two factors increase the chance of a successful unionization campaign. However, employers should be proactive with their employees. That’s the best way to prevent unionization efforts to ever reach your workforce. Tips for Employers Know your employees’ concerns and respond to them. By creating a positive work atmosphere where …

View Post

New NLRB Election Rules Part 1

No Union? Pay Attention To New NLRB Election Rules New sectors of the economy are experiencing unionization pressures. Walmart employees, the home care industry and, more surprisingly, adjunct university professors are courted by unions.  The introduction by the NRLB of faster union election procedures has put the unionization back on the forefront of employers’ concerns. With the support of new elections rules, unions are back on the offensive. The essence of these new rules applicable since mid-April is to minimize delays to get to an election and facilitate the union’s ability to communicate with employees. There have been many studies concluding that the longer …

View Post

Pregnancy in the Workplace – What “Young vs. UPS” Means for Employers

During our Lunch & Learn session at Schelsinger’s last week, we talked about the recent decision by the Supreme Court related of Young vs. UPS related to Pregnancy Discrimination. Smart employers know that it is in their best interest to accommodate valued employees, pregnant or not. And the US Senate seems to agree! Read on. The case – Peggy Young was a UPS driver. When she became pregnant after a series of miscarriages, her doctor imposed a restriction on how much she could lift. UPS decided that it could not continue to allow her to work unless she could lift …

View Post

The High Cost of Unpaid Interns in Business

It is time to change others lives and get ready for a new class of interns arriving in May. Summer internships offer a great opportunity for students to get experience, strengthen their resumes and obtain a first job. Internships are undeniably an important aspect in workforce education and can be a good source of talented new recruits. Organizations who offer internships often do not pay their interns. However, this is a risky proposition. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the legal standard to qualify as an unpaid internship is high. If the intern does not meet the test established …