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Unpaid Internships

The Department of Labor has six specific and hard-to-meet criteria for when an employee can be classified as an unpaid intern. If the position doesn’t satisfy all six, the worker must be classified as a paid intern (or simply an employee). Before advertising for or hiring an unpaid intern, ensure the following: The internship is similar to training which would be given in an educational environment; The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern; The intern does not displace regular employees, but works under close supervision of existing staff; The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern (on occasion it

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HR Tip of the Month

Most employers are familiar with the core list of federally protected classes: race, color, religion, sex, and national origin. These come from Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and have become part of our collective employment consciousness. Other federally protected classes include military or veteran status, pregnancy, and citizenship and immigration status. What employers may not realize is that most states have added their own groups to this list. For instance, many states protect marital status, and a growing number protect credit information and arrest records. Lawful off-duty conduct, political activity, and wage garnishments are also protected in a number of states. Mana

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Working Interviews and Alternatives

Few things are more frustrating for employers than finding out that a new hire oversold their knowledge, skills, and abilities. The employee looked great on paper and appeared confident and competent in the interview, but when it came to doing the basic duties of the job, they just didn’t have what it took. To lessen the likelihood of this unfortunate situation, some employers want to see the candidate in action before formally hiring them. They’ll invite the candidate to spend a day or so at the workplace, shadowing a seasoned employee or doing some of the tasks of the job. This is known as a working interview. It’s legal to conduct working interviews, but there are serious drawbac

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Know When To Leverage HR Outsourcing

When To Leverage The Power Of HR Outsourcing Many human resource professionals overlook the benefits offered by an HR outsourcing partnership. They instantly assume that since they themselves offer a wide range of human resource services, HR outsourcing would add an extra, unnecessary layer to their existing operational model. However, as an HR manager, director, or Vice President, your time is often best spent focusing on higher-level initiatives and objectives. A professional partnership can grant you more time to do just that. Breaking Down HR Levels For Outsourcing Opportunities As a leader in your human resources department, you probably already have a solid understanding on some

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Sexual Orientation Protected in Employment, According to Seventh Circuit Court of Appeal

On April 4th, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals became the first federal Appellate Court to rule that under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, sex includes sexual orientation. The Court’s ruling creates law only in Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin. Every other Circuit Court of Appeals, except for the Ninth Circuit, has ruled that the term sex in Title VII does not include sexual orientation; these rulings were issued between 1979 and 2012. Federal Courts of Appeal often try to align their rulings with the decisions of the other Circuits. However, the Seventh Circuit decided that it was time to take a fresh look at this question in light of the Supreme Court’s 2015 decision

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Five Tips for Effective Meetings

If you want to get a snapshot of your organization’s efficiency and the health of its culture, look at your meetings. Are they efficient and productive? Do their results justify the time and expense? Are meetings an occasion for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and team-building? Or are they a waste of time and a cause of needless frustration? The answers to these questions matter. Meetings aren’t cheap, so you want to make each minute count. The less efficient and productive meetings are, the more they cost. One employee’s lost hour is bad enough. When meetings are a waste, the costs are multiplied. Too many bad meetings and you risk creating a culture marked by disorganization an

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Partner With An HR Outsourcing Team

The Risk (And Cost) Of Failing To Conduct Background Checks Running your organization effectively sometimes means prioritizing some functions over others in order to simply keep things moving. This can prove particularly true when hiring new employees. A hiring gap in your organization can often mean your already overstretched staff having to absorb even more responsibilities. In an effort to fill the void fast, you may feel tempted to hire a seemingly qualified candidate as quickly as possible, without performing any background checks to expedite the time between offer letter and start date. Some entrepreneurs don't feel pressured to hasten their hires, but simply don't want to incur th

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Federal Law Alert – Legislative Update, May 5, 2017: Comp Time and Health Care

House Passes Comp Time Bill On Tuesday, the House passed the Working Families Flexibility Act. The Act would amend the Fair Labor Standards Act to allow employees who work more than 40 hours in a workweek to choose between overtime pay in the applicable pay period, as the law requires now, or time off in the future. That time off in the future (comp time) would be banked at the rate of 1.5 hours for each overtime hour worked. For example, an employee who works 44 hours in a workweek could choose between 4 hours of pay at 1.5x their regular rate, or 6 hours of paid time off in their comp time bank. If it becomes law, it will only apply to states that do not currently have their own over

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The Real Costs of Employee Turnover—And How to Measure Them

Employee turnover is expensive—more so than you might think. According to a recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, the average cost-per-hire is $4,129. However, turnover costs can vary depending on the length of time it takes to fill the role, the importance of the position to the employer, and the employer’s industry. Some costs are easily calculable, such as those of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding. Other costs can be difficult to measure, such as the impact of a termination on employee engagement. Easily measurable or not, all these costs hurt your bottom line. Fortunately, many of the costs of turnover can be measured and predicted, so you can budget for em

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HR Tip of the Month

Make sure you’re calculating overtime on workweek basis, not a pay period basis. Non-exempt employees must be paid time and a half for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek, regardless of total hours worked in the pay period. The workweek is the 7-day, 168-hour period during which you track employee time to see if anyone has worked more than 40 hours and is therefore entitled to overtime. For instance, many companies set their workweek to begin at 12:00 am Sunday morning and end the following Saturday at midnight. Your workweek shouldn’t fluctuate, and your employees should be aware of when it starts and ends (hopefully, that’s in your handbook!). The most common error we see he

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