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Federal Law Alert

Reminder—New Minimum Salary for Exempt EmployeesStarting January 1, 2020, most employees who are classified as exempt under the executive, administrative, professional, and computer employee exemptions will need to be paid at least $684 per week or $35,568 per year. See our full report in the News Desk of the HR Support Center for more information.  Minimum Wage Increase for Federal ContractorsOn January 1, 2020, the minimum wage for employees doing work on or in connection with federal contracts will increase to $10.80 per hour. The minimum wage for covered tipped employees will increase to $7.55 per hour.  New W-4In the new year, employers will need to provide the redesi

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Can we send employees home early because there isn’t any work to do?

HR Topics Question

Yes, you can send employees home early due to a lack of work. Just keep in mind that exempt employees would need to be paid their entire salary for the day. Non-exempt employees would only need to be paid for actual hours worked, unless you operate in a state with reporting time pay requirements. If you do operate in a state with reporting time pay requirements, employees may be entitled to reporting time pay for a certain number of hours even if they just show up and do no (or very little) actual work. This pay requirement is intended to lessen wage loss that is not the fault of the employee, as well as encourage employers to not over-schedule, since overscheduling and then canceling sh

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DOL Releases Final Overtime Rule, Effective Jan 1, 2020

The Department of Labor has announced the final rule that will increase the minimum salary for certain exempt white collar employees. The final rule is very close to the proposed rule we reported on in March. The new minimums will take effect January 1, 2020. Exempt Executive, Administrative, Professional, and Computer Employees (EAP)Salaried exempt EAP employees must be paid at least $684 per week on a salary basis (an increase from the current minimum of $455 per week). This is the equivalent of $35,568 per year. Up to 10% of this minimum may come from non-discretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions (collectively, “incent

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DOL Releases Final Overtime Rule, Effective Jan 1, 2020

The Department of Labor has announced the new minimum salary for certain exempt white collar employees. The final rule is very close to the proposed rule we reported on in March. The new minimums will take effect January 1, 2020. Exempt Executive, Administrative, Professional and Computer Employees (EAP)Salaried exempt EAP employees must be paid at least $684 per week on a salary basis (an increase from the current minimum of $455 per week). This is the equivalent of $35,568 per year. Up to 10% of this minimum may come from non-discretionary bonuses, incentive payments, and commissions (collectively, “incentive pay”), so long as these payments are received on at least an annual ba

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When does the I-9 need to be completed?

HR Topics Question

All new employees must complete Section 1 of Form I-9 on or before their first day of employment. Then, within three business days of their start date, they should submit acceptable proof of their identity and eligibility to work in the United States.  As the employer, you should complete Section 2 within those same three business days. If the duration of the job will be fewer than three days, you should complete Section 2 no later than the first day of employment. Section 2 is generally done at the time the employee brings in their identifying documents, as it asks for specific information about these forms of identification. Content provided by TPC HR Support Center.

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How Employers Can Address Mental Health in the Workplace

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than half the people in the United States will be diagnosed with a mental illness at some point in their lives, and one in five Americans will experience a mental illness in a given year. It’s therefore not surprising that mental health has a significant impact in the workplace. In fact, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health conditions like depression and anxiety cost the global economy a trillion dollars per year in lost productivity.  Those who have never suffered from a mental illness often have a hard time understanding the depth of the problem or the inability of a person to “snap out

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What is an employee’s regular rate of pay? Is it just what they make per hour of work?

HR Topics Question

Not exactly. An employee’s “regular rate of pay” is the amount used to calculate their overtime rate for a given time period. You might think of it as an average, of sorts. An employee’s regular rate is determined by adding up the amount paid for their work, as well as earnings from non-discretionary bonuses (such as those tied to performance or retention), then dividing that amount by the total hours worked.    For example, let’s say Anna earns $10/hour for inside sales work and $15/hour for bookkeeping work. This week, she worked 24 hours in inside sales and 20 hours as a bookkeeper. She also received $50 in commissions that are attributable to this workweek. Her

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Why You Should Care About Your Employer Brand

Lots of HR leaders today are talking about the importance of using marketing techniques to build an effective employer brand. The topic was a focus in several sessions at the latest annual Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) conference.  What is an employer brand? To answer that question, it may be helpful to go over what a brand is in general. A brand is a name, image, or some other feature that distinguishes your products and services from those offered by others.  Branding may sound simple, but as any marketing team can tell you, a lot of thought and work goes into it, and the difference between success and failure couldn’t be starker. If you call to mind successfu

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We don’t typically do background checks, but we’re hiring a driver who will be operating a company vehicle. We want to do a background check for this position, but since we’ve never done one for anyone else, we’re worried it would look discriminatory.

HR Topics Question

You may conduct a background check for this job even though you haven’t done one for others. You can elect to run a background check on only certain positions based on the nature of a position, but you'll want to be consistent for all individuals in a specific position. if you only ran a check on this candidate, that could certainly appear discriminatory. Additionally, as a best practice, we recommend that background checks be done after a conditional offer of employment has been made. In this case, it would be logical to look for and consider DUIs, traffic tickets, and any convictions related to the work the candidate would do for you. We would recommend, however, against making a hir

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What is an employee’s regular rate of pay? Is it just what they make per hour of work?

Not exactly. An employee’s “regular rate of pay” is the amount used to calculate their overtime rate for a given time period. You might think of it as an average, of sorts. An employee’s regular rate is determined by adding up the amount paid for their work, as well as earnings from non-discretionary bonuses (such as those tied to performance or retention), then dividing that amount by the total hours worked.    For example, let’s say Anna earns $10/hour for inside sales work and $15/hour for bookkeeping work. This week, she worked 24 hours in inside sales and 20 hours as a bookkeeper. She also received $50 in commissions that are attributable to this workweek. H

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