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The New Overtime Rule – Legal Update

Planned for a December 1, 2016 effective date, the new overtime rule which raised the salary level test to $913 per week under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) has been suspended by a federal court which issued a temporary injunction.

This means that you do not have to make changes to who gets overtime or to raise pay based on this rule now. At this time we do not know what will happen next. The US Department of Labor could appeal the ruling, the court could move to hearings over a final decision, or the entire matter could get ignored until the next administration takes action.

If you have taken any actions to meet the $913 salary level test, be careful what you do. Rolling back raises is legal, but is fraught with employee morale and retention risks. Walmart has already announced that it will not do so, as it had granted wage increases in preparation to meet this rule.
If you have communicated any plans or information on this change to your employees, do communicate that the change has been temporarily blocked by a federal court and that you will comply with current law fully while awaiting further information.
Even if you have not communicated anything to employees, do expect that many may know of this rule change and have been expecting a pay raise or overtime pay. Pay attention to your employees and address any specific concerns individually.

This salary level test is only one of three tests under the FLSA which must be met to decide whether an employee must be paid overtime or not. It is the duties test which is the most problematic for small businesses – and the most […]

By |November 29th, 2016|Compensation|Comments Off on The New Overtime Rule – Legal Update

How Will You Adapt: Changes in Paid Overtime

Over the past year, the US Department of Labor has been revising the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which governs which positions must be paid overtime. Your payroll firm and employment attorney have probably been pushing you to review your practices. The proposed rules got a lot of comments, over a quarter million, and now the new rules believed to be coming out this month with a short implementation period. Rumor has it that the salary level test will be $47,000 instead of the originally proposed $50,440.

Many small organizations had ignored the duties tests of the FLSA and called all employees exempt from the FLSA based on the old test of $23,660. In reality, exemption from FLSA is based on the duties of the position and the salary test.

What Should You Do Now?

1. Look at your existing position descriptions and requirements.

Are they accurate and current? If not, update them. Look at the duties test first and determine if the positions are in fact exempt from the law. A simple checklist: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17a_overview.pdf

2. Review the pay of individuals in each position you consider exempt from FLSA using the duties test.

Assess what you will do with each if their current salary is less than the final salary test. In some cases, it may make sense to raise pay. In others, it may make more sense to reclassify the position as non-exempt and control overtime.

3. Consider your culture.

If you have been paying all employees on a salary basis, you may wish to continue to do so. This can be done whether employees are exempt or non-exempt. If your organization pays at the end of a specific pay period through the same date, and you wish to include non-exempt […]

By |May 9th, 2016|Business planning, Compensation|Comments Off on How Will You Adapt: Changes in Paid Overtime

Oh, no! Spring Cleaning! Oh, yes! Productivity Jumps!

Okay, maybe you don’t react to the first signs of Spring with a “Wow, let’s get rid of the clutter and mess!” moment. Not my first thought certainly! Mine runs to the beauty: trees turning every shade of green, flowers poking up, and the rainbow which flowering trees and shrubs add.

But clearing out the clutter is well worth a bit of your time and effort.  At work, spring cleaning can be a great way to re-focus on what is important. Whether you do a marathon clean one day or 30 minutes each morning for two weeks, you can enhance your effectiveness and productivity.

I just got rid of three boxes of old paper files –the client sold his company in 2005. And a fast review of those piles around my desk resulted in more things going into the recycle bin than the action box. My vice is paper – books, articles, research papers, clippings. Yours may be all the stuff you get at trade shows, business cards from meeting, or the business development ideas you have stuffed everywhere. Clean it all out! Either take action or make it go away.

Most offices have duplicate copies of files, business records, and client information. Keep a master, as needed.  Get rid of all the copies. Then treat yourself to a small reward. If you have staff, you can make it a game. Offer a prize for the most paper put into recycle boxes. Sure, you need to have some guidelines so that you do not lose some valuable information but simple ones will suffice. And everyone will have an easier time finding what they need, storing the stuff that they currently are piling up, and getting on to important achievements. One 20 person client did that […]