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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 …

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The Six Common Problems With Job Descriptions

I know you’re thinking! Job descriptions, that’s not a sexy topic. Actually, most people yawn when you mention job descriptions. So why would I spend time writing about them? Job descriptions are what I call “the bread & butter of HR”. In other words, they are the basis for important HR systems. Think job ad in recruitment, job matching in compensation or ADA accommodation for legal compliance. Unfortunately, too many organizations do not have job descriptions at all. If they  do, they aren’t worth a D*$M! If your organization doesn’t recruit new employees, is not concerned about competitive pay and …

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New Exemption Rules for Your Employees

New FLSA Exemption Rules & Its Impact on Employee Overtime Last year, President Obama declared the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) was “outdated,” and ordered the Department of Labor (DOL) to rewrite the exemption rules. Those rules are expected to be published by the end of this month. Are you ready for its impact on employee classification and pay? The FLSA mandates overtime pay when employees work over 40 hours a week. However, there are exemptions from overtime for certain categories of employees, often referred as the “white-collar exemption”. There are 2 thresholds to satisfy the exemption test: Employees earn …

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Inclement Weather and Pay Issues

Inclement Weather and Pay Issues Hampton Roads temperatures are below freezing and heavy snow fall have turned our roads into a dangerous icy mix. The schools are closed but many businesses need to continue operations. Balancing the need for business continuity and employee safety, some businesses implement partial shutdowns, delayed start of the work day or close their operations for a day or two. When employees are unable to work, should their pay be impacted? The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) governs employee compensation. It dictates wage payment for time missed at work because of winter weather. When it comes …

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Office Romance

Valentine’s Day is Around the Corner – Time to Remind Employees of the Dating Policy. “Valentine’s Season” is the perfect time to review your dating policy and remind employees of its provisions. Put the topic on the agenda of the next management meeting. Bring Hershey kisses and you might even get a few smiles. As a young HR manager, I was always careful not to get romantically involved with anyone at work. I knew it would be difficult to manage a job in HR and a relationship in the same space. Luckily, Cupid never struck in the workplace! Although office romance might …

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How happy are you with your employee handbook?

Honestly, on a scale of 1 to 5, how would rate your employee handbook?5 – Super Star: It was updated in 2017 to reflect recent changes in the laws and your changing business practices. 4 –  Wannabe a Star. The handbook was updated in the past 2 years. We know we need to review it again because new local or state legislation have come on the books.3 – Could be better. It was updated in 2010. That’s 7 years ago! Amazing how fast time flies, isn’t it?2 – Atrocious. The handbook was downloaded from the internet and we used “Find/Replace” …

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LGBT rule for Federal Contractors

LGBT rule for Federal contractors On December 5, the agency enforcing affirmative action and equal employment opportunity with employers who do business with the Federal government, the OFCCP, published a final rule prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity for federal contractors. This new rule applies to federal contractors covered under Executive Order 11246 and requires them to expand equal opportunity to sexual orientation and gender identity. This will apply to new and modified contracts from April 9, 2015. This change is in line with a recent case where the EEOC concluded that discrimination because a …

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FLSA Status of Part-time Employees

Can part-time employees be hourly when their full-time colleagues are salaried? Can part-time employees be paid by the hour although their full-time colleagues (same job title, same duties) are paid on a salary basis? The Department of Labor (DOL) says that it is possible. It depends on the amount of pay received by each employee and their job duties. What is FLSA? The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a law dating back from the Roosevelt area which still creates headaches for employers today. It requires that most employees be paid at least the federal minimum wage ($7.25) for all hours worked, …

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Generations or Stages in Life

Generational Differences or Stages in Life? Bill Boyer, business coach at Tidewater CEO, recently sent me an article from Fast Company about Millennials in the workplace. The article made the point that Millenials – who will become the majority of employees by 2015 – clash with the work culture espoused by Boomer and Gen Xers. I do not think generations drastically different from each other. When working on a European recruitment strategy for Procter &Gamble, our market research found that top students across the continent valued working with like-minded people. Young graduates wanted work on projects that make a difference. …