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How to Evaluate Your Culture (part 3 of 3)

This article is the third part of our series on workplace culture. In the first installment, we explained that every organization has a culture, and every culture has three components—the organization’s rules, traditions, and people. In the second article, we showed you how to identify the culture that you have so you’re able to assess whether it’s the culture that you want. Both articles are linked below. We turn now to the question of evaluating your culture. The specifics of a good culture vary from company to company, but there are a few general qualities of a good culture that you should aim for whatever your industry and mission. A good culture should be: Well-defined a

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Changes to Itemized Deductions for 2018 Tax Filing

If you itemize deductions, avoid tax surprises with a “Paycheck Checkup” People who’ve itemized deductions on past tax returns should do a “paycheck checkup” using the updated IRS Withholding Calculator. This is especially important due to tax law changes from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, such as: • A cap on deductions for state and local taxes. • Limits to the deduction for home mortgage interest in certain cases. • Eliminated deductions for employee business expenses, tax preparation fees and investment expenses. See IRS.gov/taxreform for more information.

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Did You Know?

In order to be exempt from overtime, your managers need to do more than have “Manager” in their job title. In fact, the act of managing alone is not even enough. When classifying a manager as an exempt employee, you’re usually using what’s called the White Collar Executive Exemption under the Fair Labor Standards Act. To use this classification correctly, you must ensure that your employee passes all three parts of the following duties test: Their primary duty is the management of the enterprise or a customarily recognized department or subdivision; and They customarily and regularly direct the work of two or more full-time employees or equivalent (e.g., two 40-hour per week

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Why Paid Sick Leave Is Becoming More Popular

We’ve all seen it—one of our employees has a bad cold, maybe even the flu, but they come to work anyway. In some cases, the employee has the option of taking time off, and you’d prefer they do so, but still they show up, putting everyone in the workplace at risk. The reasons vary. Sometimes the employee can’t afford the reduced hours. Sometimes they can take the financial hit, but they’re worried about falling behind on their projects, missing an important meeting, or looking bad next to their co-workers who never seem to take a day off. Some employers encourage sick employees to stay home and rest. To that end, they offer paid sick or personal time so that employees who already

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Why Courts, States, and Employers Are Focusing on Pay Equity

The federal Equal Pay Act went into effect in 1963, but it hasn’t brought an end to pay disparities between men and women. Neither have state laws with the same objective. Long story short: the laws weren’t strong enough, and they didn’t account for all the causes of unequal pay. In many cases, it has been possible for an employer to comply with these laws while still giving unequal pay for equal work. Often, it’s not that employers have deliberately chosen to pay women less than men for the same jobs. In many cases, the basis for pay differentials has seemed sensible, such as salary history. But it turns out that basing pay on salary history perpetuates discrimination over an emp

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The Fundamentals of Performance Management

There’s a lot of debate in the HR world about what performance management process employers should use. The annual performance review, once the standard, has fallen out of favor with some employers. They’ve opted instead for more frequent feedback about performance, sometimes involving the employee’s peers in addition to their supervisor. Others, to be sure, still prefer the traditional annual performance review. The right process to pick depends in large part on what you want to accomplish with performance management and what you’re willing to invest in it. Here are some principles to keep in mind when deciding on your policy and performing assessments: Performance reviews a

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OSHA Reporting Due July 1, Including From State Plan Employers

OSHA-covered employers with 250 or more employees, and those in certain high-risk industries with 20-249 employees, must electronically report their Calendar Year 2017 Form 300A data by July 1, 2018. Reporting must be done through the online Injury Tracking Application (ITA). Covered establishments with 250 or more employees are only required to provide their Form 300A data, not Form 300 or 301 information, as was suggested by previous rulemaking. Also contrary to previous guidance, OSHA announced in late April that all affected employers must submit injury and illness data in the ITA online portal, even if the employer is covered by a State Plan that has not completed adoption of their o

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How to Identify Your Culture (part 2 of 3)

This article is Part 2 of our series on workplace culture. In the first installment, we explained that every organization has a culture, and every culture has three components—the organization’s rules, traditions, and personalities. In this second article of the series, we’ll show you how to identify the culture that you have so you’re able to assess whether it’s the culture that you want. Identify Your Rules and Traditions To identify your culture, examine your rules and traditions, and note what kinds of behaviors, interactions, and relations they result in. For example, if you have a dress code, what effect does it have on the workplace? Do your onboarding procedures caus

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Did You Know?

There are very limited circumstances under which an employer is allowed to take a deduction from an exempt employee’s salary, and employers who take a deduction when they shouldn’t risk the employee’s classification. This means an employee who had been classified as exempt could claim that the employer was treating them like an hourly employee by taking the prohibited deduction. The employee could then sue for back pay for all overtime they had worked without additional compensation. Deductions are not allowed for the following: Any partial day absence, for any reason, whether 15 minutes or 7.75 hours. If the employee does any work at all they must be paid for the entire workda

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FLSA Amended to Allow Tip Pooling if No Tip Credit is Taken

The rules around tip pooling have been mired in litigation since 2011, when regulations came into effect that forbid tip pooling between employees who customarily receive tips and those who do not. The recently passed federal budget bill has created clarity by amending the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and eliminating that rule for employers who do not take a tip credit. Since the rule has been eliminated entirely, court decisions interpreting it—such as Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association, et al v. the U.S. Department of Labor—are irrelevant. The amended portion of the FLSA, while allowing for tip pooling between front and back of house employees if no tip credit is taken, cl

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