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Compensation Consulting

Client success story – Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition

Client success story – Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition

By on Nov 20, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story features our work with the Mental Health & Addiction Advocacy Coalition.  MHAC fosters education and awareness of mental health and addiction issues while advocating for public policies and strategies that support effective, well-funded services, systems, and supports for those in need, resulting in stronger Ohio communities. The MHAC is a place where diverse interests come together, speak with a common voice, and work towards guaranteeing access to quality services and supports for individuals with mental health and addiction disorders. OA was approached based on our experience working with not-for-profit organizations and benchmarking compensation, and recommending approaches to enhance compensation program administration. Joan Englund is the Executive Director of the MHAC.  She said: OA was recommended to us from a partner organization to assist us with understanding how competitive our compensation was. We are a unique organization so we needed to make sure we used appropriate benchmarks when analyzing our pay.   They have a collaborative process and spent time with us reviewing data, asking questions, and making sure they were providing the analysis we needed to make decisions about our pay programs.  They located both general compensation data as well as information specific to not-for-profits to give us an informed view of compensation in our world. Since we are spread out geographically they provided us data for the locations in which our people work.   OA’s help was invaluable in providing us data about our own programs, and insights into what is competitive among our peers. We now have a process to revisit this periodically to ensure we stay on track.  Most not-for-profits are constrained by resources, especially money.  Our dialog with OA helped us refine our value proposition to employees and potential candidates, and leverage our meaningful mission and work along with other aspects of our total rewards program in our conversation with them. Not-for-profit organizations are one of our specialties.  Whether you are large or small, we can help with your compensation planning needs.  Contact us and check out our blog for more resources....

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Overtime FAQs

Overtime FAQs

By on Aug 27, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, Job Analysis | 0 comments

Last week’s blog asked the question How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime? As we showed, it depends on what and how an employee is paid, and the kind of work they do.  When we explain this to our clients, they usually have some follow up questions.  Below are some of the most common. Does the amount a person gets paid matter? To be deemed exempt from overtime the salary test must be passed.  This test states that the employee be paid a salary more than $455 per week.  This equates to about $11.40 per hour, or $23,660 per year.  Anyone paid less than this must be classified as non-exempt with the exception of certain sales jobs.  If an employee is paid more than $100,000 per year, which can include commissions, bonuses and other types of nondiscretionary compensation, they may be exempt from overtime but other components of the test must be satisfied to meet the exemption test. If I pay a salary, do I still have to pay overtime? In some cases, yes.  Even if you pay a salary, if the job does not meet the exemption tests, you still need to pay overtime.  The employee will still need to complete a timesheet or use your timekeeping system to record if they work more than 40 hours per week so that any hours over that are paid as overtime. What if the employee wants to be paid a salary and not receive overtime? While some employees perceive being paid a salary and not receiving overtime as higher status, the employee is not allowed to choose or elect to give up their rights to overtime. Even if you have them sign a waiver, the waiver will not be deemed valid. What if I change the job title? The determination whether the job is exempt from overtime is not based on the title, so changing the title to something that appears higher than the role won’t work. The determination of whether a job is exempt is based solely on job content [in addition to how and what it is paid] which means the duties of the job, its qualifications, and the amount of independent decision-making around matters...

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How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime?

How do you decide if an employee should be paid overtime?

By on Aug 23, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Compliance, Job Analysis | 0 comments

The question comes up often when we work with clients…do we pay this job an hourly rate or a salary?  This one is tough to answer…and many times we have to take the client on a journey to understand an important compensation consideration. Often the question isn’t about paying hourly versus a salary per se…it’s more about whether the employee should be paid overtime or not. In reality you can pay employees an hourly rate or annual salary, but even if you pay an annual salary, in some cases you must still pay overtime.  Why is this? It comes down to the fact that in order for an employer to be relieved of paying overtime…in other words, for the role to be EXEMPT from overtime, it must meet the conditions of tests that have been developed by the US Department of Labor.  Failure to meet the conditions of these tests means the job is not exempt from overtime, and the employees in that job must be paid overtime. Basically, there are three tests that must be met completely: Salary Level: The minimum salary level required for exemption is currently $455 paid weekly [$23,660 annually and $11.38 per hour]. Anyone paid below this level must be paid overtime. Salary Basis: To meet the requirements of the salary basis test, the employee must be paid a predetermined amount for each pay period and compensation may not be reduced due to the number of hours worked in a work week or the quality of work completed. It also states that the employee must be paid their full salary if they perform ANY work for that week, but they do not need to be paid if NO work is performed during that work week. Job Duties: The third test is the job duties test. This test focuses on the primary duties performed by certain types of employees including executive, administrative, professional, computer, and outside sales employees. These different types of employees each have specific duties tests that must be met for them to meet the requirement. Note that this means that the CONTENT of the job, and not its TITLE, will determine whether it is exempt or not. What does this mean in...

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Client success story – The City of Cleveland Heights

Client success story – The City of Cleveland Heights

By on Jul 3, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Government and Public Sector, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story features our work with The City of Cleveland Heights.  After living and working there for 20 years and then moving away…they become a client! Cleveland Heights, Ohio is a diverse, progressive, vital suburb of Cleveland that is well known for its rich variety of homes, from front-porch Colonials and Arts and Crafts bungalows to stately Tudors, historic mansions, and innovative new condos.  You’ll find tree-lined streets, great parks and recreational facilities, authentic “main-street” shopping, award-winning restaurants, entertainment, theaters, and more! After a major revision to their job descriptions, the City wanted to determine how competitive their base compensation was compared to the talent market.  Additionally, they wanted recommendations on compensation best practices and how to ensure their program stayed competitive to the market. Anna Smith, Director of Human Resources said: We were aware of OA’s work in the not-for-profit and public-sector environments, so when it was time to conduct an analysis of our base compensation, we contacted them for assistance.   Public sector compensation can be challenging. On one hand it can be easier to locate data on positions because of the disclosure requirements for public entities. On the other hand, being able to pay competitively for top talent in a competitive labor market, coupled with the budget constraints in the public sector, can make it challenging.  Also, pay structures in the public sector do not always keep pace with the private sector, which can be problematic when trying to update compensation programs.   OA’s approach was to locate meaningful benchmarking date from both public and other sources and develop tools to show our positions relative to the market.  Additionally, they provided insight into current compensation trends and strategies for implementing better approaches to attract, retain, and motivate our staff.  The OA team was helpful in assisting with consensus-building with our leadership team so that we could implement the program we needed to reach our goals. Public sector employers are one of our specialties.  Whether you are a municipality, agency, or public library system, we can help with your HR programs, including compensation benchmarking and pay structures. If you need assistance with your compensation programs or other HR consulting needs, contact us and check out our...

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We partner with Public Library systems to solve their HR challenges

We partner with Public Library systems to solve their HR challenges

By on Apr 10, 2018 in Best practices, Blog, Compensation Consulting, Government and Public Sector, HR Consulting, HR Project Management, Performance Management Consulting, Talent Acquisition, Training and Development Consulting, Veteran Owned Small Business | 0 comments

Public libraries have unique challenges. Public sector employment rules and collective bargaining makes the job as library Executive Director or HR leader all the more challenging. Our public library and public sector expertise incorporates data from the American Library Association, regional public library and public employer organizations, and more than TEN YEARS of HR consulting experience with public, private, and not-for-profit organizations. Whether you are a small public library or one of the largest in Ohio, Organizational Architecture is your partner for helping you meet your Human Resources challenges. Our public library clients include: Cuyahoga County Public Library Stark County District Library Westerville Public Library Our public sector commitment is reflected in the certifications we have earned to do public sector work: United States Department of Veterans Affairs Veteran Owned Small Business State of Ohio Veteran Business Enterprise Cuyahoga County Small Business Enterprise City of Cleveland Small Business Enterprise Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District Small Business Enterprise If you need assistance with other HR projects and want to learn more about our human resources consulting, contact us and check out our blog for more...

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Client success story – Athens Foods

Client success story – Athens Foods

By on Mar 29, 2018 in Blog, Compensation Consulting, Success Stories | 0 comments

This month’s success story features our work with Athens Foods.  We were asked to assist with updating their compensation system and provide information on best practices to help them remain competitive. Athens Foods is the world’s largest producer of fillo dough and fillo products, including convenient, pre-baked Mini Fillo Shells. Since 1958 they’ve been perfecting fillo. Athens® is committed to continually creating new recipes, gourmet appetizers, handmade desserts, and a full array of fillo delicacies. Bob Tansing, Chief Financial Officer at Athens Foods, said: Organizational Architecture brought a fresh set of eyes to our compensation practices.  They took the time to thoroughly evaluate our needs and understand our organization.  They also made valuable recommendations to improve our compensation practices.   We pay close attention to labor rates and have developed useful tools to understand the competitive landscape.  But we wanted to know if there were ways to enhance our current system as well as learn best practices and what other organizations are doing. Organizational Architecture gave us a good perspective on what approaches are being used, how to enhance our compensation philosophy, and what merit increase trends they are seeing. Organizations of all types and sizes can use help to assess if their compensation program is driving the results they want. Implementing basic compensation tools, systems, and policies can make a world of difference in your reward strategies. If you need assistance improving your compensation practices or other human resources consulting, contact us and check out our blog for more...

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