Company Culture, Employee Engagement, HR Policies, Human Resources

Proposed FLSA Regulations: What They Mean for Employers


HRO Thumbnail 2014By Tusa McNary, HR Consultant

HRO Partners

Background

On June 30, 2015, the United States Department of Labor, Wage & Hour Division released to the public proposed regulations for the revision of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  These proposed regulation changes were published on July 6, 2015 in the Federal Register.  They were available for public comment until September 4, 2015.  A date for implementation of the proposed changes is most likely to occur in 2016 between February and August.

What is proposed to change?

The proposed regulations will change the minimum salary level that has to be paid to a currently exempt employee in order for them to meet the first step of being considered “exempt” from being paid overtime.

The current salary level for an employee to be considered exempt is $455 per week, or $23,660 per year.  Obviously this is very low; in fact it is below the poverty level for a family of four.  Being paid on a salary basis at that level is the first test of being an exempt employee.  Another qualification for being considered an exempt employee is meeting the “duties” test where an employee must be performing certain duties as defined by their category of exemption.  These categories include the executive exemption, which generally includes managers and supervisors; the administrative exemption, which includes white-collar positions where the exercise of discretion and independent judgment is necessary; the professional exemption, which includes the learned professional, i.e., doctor, engineer, architect, teacher, and the creative professional, that person who exhibits creativity, imagination, originality or talent; the computer professional; and the highly compensated employee, this includes the individual earning more than $100,000 and performs some aspect of exempt duty; and lastly, the outside sales representative that has to meet no salary requirement.


The Proposed Changes

Rather than fixing a single salary level, the proposed regulations establish the new salary requirements at 40% of the weekly earnings of all salaried employees in the United States.  By the time this proposal goes into effect that level is anticipated to be $970 per week or $50,440 per year.

This means any currently exempt employee that is earning less than $50,440 will automatically have their exempt status removed and they will be overtime eligible as of the effective date of the changes.

If you are one of the companies that have highly compensated employees, under the proposed definition, this $100,000 compensation level will change to $122,148.

What needs to be done?

First, this would be a good time to review whether or not employees you have classified as exempt are truly exempt.  Too many employers make the mistake of improperly classifying employees as exempt solely on the basis of the fact that they pay them a salary.  Salary is a method of wage payment and not a classification of overtime eligibility.  There are numerous companies that have employees classified as non-exempt yet they pay them a salary.  Non-exempt employees do not have to be exclusively hourly employees.  So even if you have an employee who is going to make the $50,440 salary level they may not be properly classified on the nature of the duties required to be classified as exempt. If you have questions about a particular employee, HRO-Partners can assist you in making this determination.

Remember, titles don’t count. Determination is based on the job description and the actual duties performed.  If you have not updated your job descriptions lately, now is the time to begin the process.  HRO-Partners assist you in this process.

Preparation steps that need to occur NOW

    1. Identify all current employees that are classified as exempt (not currently eligible for overtime) that are making less than $50,440 per year.
    2. Determine how close these employees are to the threshold level.
    3. Determine how many potential overtime hours that employee worked in the past year.
    4. Calculate the cost of that overtime based on time and a half calculations.
    5. Determine if it is more cost effective to increase the employee to the $50,440 level or to pay the  anticipated overtime.
    6. For those employees where it does not make economic sense to raise them to $50,440, it will become necessary to determine how you will actually record their time worked.  Once these employees are declared non-exempt employees (eligible for overtime) you must accurately track actual time worked.
    7. Communicate the outcome of your research to your Management Team who can then determine budgetary needs.
    8. Institute a system of checks and balances to ensure that the behavioral change of tracking time has actually occurred.
    9. Monitor the annual Consumer Price Index to ensure that exempt employees remain exempt and whether further adjustments need to be made.
  • Develop a communication strategy as soon as possible. Involve your leadership team, managers, and supervisors. The message needs to be clear and concise.  HRO-Partners can also assist you in this process.

Additional considerations

Accurately tracking time of newly re-classified employees will also be important.  You can accomplish this using paper time sheets or you can use technology including mobile devices.  The important consideration is to find something your employees will adapt to most easily. HRO-Partners can refer you to any number of providers.

Issues not yet decided

The DOL also sought input on whether or not to consider nondiscretionary bonuses in the calculation of the total rate of pay.  Many companies utilize a pay system that might present a portion of the employee’s pay to be “at risk”.  In other words, their pay depends on the achievement of goals for which they can potentially receive sometimes large bonuses.  The proposed changes do not allow bonuses to be used to arrive at the $50,440 mark.

An additional issue involves sales positions.  Currently, inside sales have a high hurdle to meet to be considered exempt.  A number of companies have said that the realities of the world have changed the nature of sales such that outside sales representatives spend a great deal of time selling via the Internet and may not qualify for the old definition of sales exemption.

Contact information:

855 Willow Tree Circle, Suite 100
Cordova, TN 38018
Call us at 1-866-822-0123

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business psychology, Company Culture, Danny Gattas, Employee Engagement, Employment, Event, Labor, Labor Laws, Memphis

Learn How Proposed Overtime Rule Changes could Change your Business Forever


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The Department of Labor has dramatically increased the number of employees who must be paid on an hourly basis. This change forces employers to consider the implications in employee compensation such as

  • Will cause millions of employees who have been classified as exempt to become non-exempt, and be paid on an hourly basis
  • Will there also be a change to the duties text for exempt employees
  • Will the DOL adopt the new threshold, or will the department implement a different standard

Due to recent and proposed changes to Federal labor laws, HRO Partners is hosting an educational event to explore the implications of these proposed changes. So, please join us on September 30th between 8am-10am, at the Great Hall and Conference Center (Link in Google Maps).

Employers of all sizes must be aware and prepared for these sweeping changes.

Our esteemed panel of experts will include:

  • Cynthia Thompson – Publisher & Editor, HR Professionals Magazine
  • Jonathan Hancock – Labor & Employment attorney, Baker Donelson
  • Whitney Harmon – Labor & Employment attorney, Baker Doneslon
  • Mario Musarra – Compensation Manager, TruGreen

Special keynote by Jonathan Hancock, Labor & Employment attorney with Baker Donelson.

To register for the event or to learn more please visit this page.

For more information, please email support@hro-partners.com or contact Katelyn Tusky at 901-737-0123

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Uncategorized

Employee Engagement: Top Priority for Executives in 2015


By Judy Bell, Judy Bell Consulting/HRO Partners   

February 25, 2105

Employee engagement… it’s that discretionary effort that employees put into their work…  especially when no one is looking!

Virgin Pulse and Workforce combined their efforts and teamed up to identify the top challenges organizations expect to face in 2015.  Surprisingly (or not surprisingly) there were 3 consistent themes around the focus areas for 2015.  

Executives polled listed these priorities for 2015, in order:

  1. Increase engagement                 90%
  2. Boost retention                           88%
  3. Improve employee well-being   83%

Managers polled listed their priorities as, in order:

  1. Talent recruiting and retention           85%
  2. Increase engagement                          84%
  3. Improve employee well-being             79%

Companies must find ways to measure employee engagement while at the same time increase engagement.   Health and well-being are integral parts of a balanced life.   Meaningful work is an integral part of a balanced life.   Full employee engagement leads to less turnover and increased retention in the right jobs and with the right employees.

Both executives and managers agree that the top 3 focus areas for the near future and beyond revolve around common areas and are all linked.   Let us help you measure and increase the engagement in your company!   

Call us to see how we can help.   901-737-0123

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Uncategorized

Make Bottom Line Business Sense- Judy Tuesdays


Judy Tuesdays are back. Click here Businesswoman receiving an award.to visit Judy Bell Consulting’s page.

Make Bottom Line Business Sense

In previous blogs, we have looked at EQ in many ways, especially as it relates to healthy and happy relationships- both at work and at home.
Researchers have confirmed what Human Resource professionals have known for quite some time. One’s level of emotional intelligence is a great predictor of success at work as well as a measurement of healthy and productive relationships and leadership abilities.

EQ is not touchy-feely or happy-go-lucky “stuff”. EQ is about healthy and productive relationships. And healthy and productive relationships mean better customer service, improved employee relations, and better company profits.

Higher EQ levels equate to…

  • Enhanced listening
  • Increase in positive and productive communication
  • Increased teamwork
  • Increased customer satisfaction
  • Better problem solving
  • Productivity gains
  • Higher employee achievement orientation

Also important… enhanced EQ levels mean…download (1)

  • Less costly mistakes in orders and production
  • Turnover decreases
  • Employee attendance improves
  • Workers’ Compensation claims are lower

“Because of the furious pace of change in business today, difficult to manage relationships sabotage more business than anything else…it is not a question of strategy that gets us in trouble; it is a question of emotions.” – John Kotter, Harvard Business School

Written by the lovely Judy Bell.

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Danny Gattas, Employee Engagement, Servant Leadership

3 Ways to Become a Service Oriented Leader


3 Ways to Become a service Oriented Leader

By Danny Gattas

Leadership is heralded as being one of the most vital and crucial elements in driving innovation and change within organizations. It can mean the difference between success and failure; so it should come as no surprise that thousands of books, articles, and seminars are disseminated for the public’s benefit. As saturated as leadership advice is there are numerous approaches that distract the masses from the most effective leadership strategy, the service oriented leader.

A service oriented leader is someone who thinks first of others rather for themselves, cares about the individual needs of all of their followers, and is fixated on fighting for what is best.

Albeit a simple definition, enacting this type of strategy  is an extremely difficult task but is accompanied with high rewards. That being the case there are three simple ways to become a service oriented leader.

1. Pay AttentioFeatured Image -- 609n

Any leader must be astute to the needs of their organization and followers because if you don’t adjust to meet these needs then failure is imminent. This requires leaders to constantly adjust, acclimate, and assert the best strategies to instill the required mechanisms are in place. Leaders ability to successfully accomplish this is paramount to their survival and development.

2. Value and Recognize Accomplishments 

A common misguided notion is that people will stay at an organization based on monetary compensation rather than recognition because at the end of the day people report being more satisfied and engaged when they receive regular recognition. It is also true that leaders who recognize their employees more frequently report higher levels of production and engagement. So recognizing your followers accomplishments is both vital to being a service oriented leader and also to increasing production.

3.Be Adaptive

Someone once said, “if you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans” and being a leader is very similar to that idea because quality leadership requires someone to constantly adapt to situations and employee trainingalways be prepared to put out arising fires. That requires individuals to consistently rely on their intuition and gut feelings to surmount the occasion.  This doesn’t mean that you should not attempt to formulate a plan but always be willing to arise to the occasion and adapt to any situation.

HRO Partners is always here to best meet your business consulting needs so please feel free to reach out to us at 901-737-0123 or by email at info@hro-partners.com.

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Employee Engagement, Employment, Judy Bell Tuesdays

Likeability… You Go First


Judy Tuesday is back with this post from Judy’s website.download (1)

“I have read several blogs lately on a variety of topics such as:

  • Trust
  • Credibility
  • Likeability
  • Collaboration

All had the same familiar theme… in order to “up” the ante for you, you must up the ante for others. One of the blogs was a book review of “Enchantment,” by Guy Kawasaki. Kawasaki says there are two types of people in the world:

  1. Bakers
  2. Eaters

drawingsmileyfaceHe says, “Eaters think zero-sum. They want the biggest slice of any pie. The bakers don’t see the world as zero-sum game. They want to make more and bigger pies. And bakers are more enchanting than eaters.”

Can’t wait to read the book!

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie”

 

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Company Culture, Judy Bell Tuesdays

Organizational Values Drive Culture


Below is a copy of a blog from Judy Bell at Judy Bell Consulting 

“Does your company have a set of clearly defined and clearly stated values? If not, now is the time to determine, define and declare your values. As you begin the process, keep in mind that companies don’t have values. The employedownload (1)es inside the company…at all levels… have the values. Values that are determined by the employees and communicated regularly are the ones that begin to take root and ultimately become your culture.

Executive and employee alignment with the values is an integral part of a positive and healthy culture. Everyone must “walk the talk” of the values each day for all to see. How employees view the culture inside an organization ultimately determines the company’s brand, positively or negatively. It can be said that, “Culture is the internal brand that ultimately affects the external brand of the company, its services and its products.” Judy W. Bell

Let us help you define your values. We have leadership and management expertise to help develop the values that will positively impact your internal culture.”

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