FacebookTwitterLinkedin

Compliance

New Year’s Resolution #3: Audit your HR processes

New Year’s Resolution #3: Audit your HR processes

By on Jan 17, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance, HR Operations Audit | 0 comments

This month we have been sending out reminders on HR best practices: reviewing and updating your employment posters and making sure your employee handbook is current.  Our last New Year’s HR resolution is to recommend you conduct an HR audit.  An HR audit is simply a review of processes and activities to ensure you are working efficiently, effectively, and in a compliant manner. There are probably many priorities you are dealing with right now.  You have probably just wrapped up your annual enrollment and are already working on performance reviews and merit increases. While you may not be able to dive into an audit until the second quarter, getting your plan together now can help you get started quickly once the end-of-the-year / beginning-of-the-year activities subside. It’s easy to fall into the trap of doing things the same way each year. But there are so many new tools to help get the HR paperwork handled more efficiently, it’s worth taking a step back and assessing what you are doing and ask yourself: Why is it done this way? Are there ways I solve similar problems in other aspects of my life that I can apply here? Where do I spend most of my time? Does it add value?  Do other perceive this work as meaningful? For any given process, if I review the number of steps involved, can I combine or reduce some? What else could I do if some of these other tasks took less time? How should you go about reviewing your HR processes? Break it down…start with employee relations, then work on training, recruitment, compensation, etc.  If you cannot conduct a complete audit at once, select a function and work on it over the month. The following month move on to the next one. Document the steps involved in each task and then see what can be reduced or combined. Pro tip: turn your documentation into a policy and procedure, so that if you need to train someone else to back you up, you have it all documented. Get some third-party input.  You can have an HR consultant spend some time performing the review for you. The value of this approach is that you can get...

Read More
New Year’s Resolution #2: Review [and update] your employee handbook

New Year’s Resolution #2: Review [and update] your employee handbook

By on Jan 15, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Communication, Compliance | 0 comments

When was the last time you updated your employee handbook?  Y2K? Obama’s first term? When Breaking Bad was on TV?  It wouldn’t surprise us…you finally get one distributed and before you know it, years have passed.  The beginning of the new year is a good time to take a look at it and make any needed updates. What’s the best way of going about this? Go back and review any memos or emails you have sent employees over the past few years that communicate policy or procedure changes. If they are still in effect, you may want to incorporate them in your new handbook. Check in with line supervisors and ask them what works well and what needs to change. You may find that needs in their departments require changes to help them run their function more effectively. Determine if there are any legal or compliance updates at the local and state level.  Some municipalities have different requirements that the state as a whole.  And of course we know many states have particular compliance requirements that need to be met. Check to see if there have been any changes at the federal level as well.  A good place to start is the US Department of Labor website. What else should you think about? Keep in mind that the handbook can be used to convey important cultural messages.  Make sure that it reinforces these messages and is consistent with your other messages. While it is important to communicate employee rights and responsibilities, try to make it clear and easy for the lay person to understand.  Avoid technical or legal jargon as much as possible. Don’t put anything in that you don’t intend to enforce. This can lead to inconsistent treatment of employees. Don’t make it an exhaustive policies and procedures manual. Convey what an employee ‘needs to know’ and leave the detailed internal administrative procedures for your P&P manual. Before you distribute the manual to all of your employees, distribute it to the managers and supervisors and schedule time to review key changes and the sections most relevant to them [time and attendance, discipline, etc.].  The handbook should be a tool to help them lead more effectively…make sure they know...

Read More
New Year’s Resolution #1: Get your required employment postings updated

New Year’s Resolution #1: Get your required employment postings updated

By on Jan 8, 2019 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

Have you checked to see if you need to update your workplace postings? Certain federal and state laws [and even some counties and municipalities] require employers to post laws and regulations regarding employee rights in the workplace. Requirements may vary from employer to employer depending on the state in which the employees work, the size of the organization, and the type of industry. These postings should be displayed in a conspicuous place in the workplace for all employees to see, such as a break room, copy room, or other common areas for employees. If your organization has multiple facilities, postings must be displayed in each facility. For employees that work remotely from an office location, these policies and regulations should be sent to the employees, provided in hard copy form, or provided electronically for these employees to access as well. Where can you find these postings? Your city and state department of labor or industrial commission websites should have a section for required postings that tells you who is required to comply.  You will also be able to download the postings to print out as many as you need. The US Department of Labor website has all the information you need.  Make sure you check with other agencies such as OSHA, Wage and Hour Division, EEOC, etc. for other required posters. Your payroll company may provide posters as part of their service at little or no cost. Check with them to see if they can provide these to you. There are paid services you can use that provide these posters. An internet search should be able to turn up a number of options…just be aware that while it may be more convenient to pay a service to provide these posters, especially if you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you can always find them for free at the local, state, and federal agencies. Do you need assistance with your workforce strategy or other Human Resources consulting needs? Contact us and check out our blog for more helpful...

Read More
Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

Required employment postings – State of Ohio Minimum Wage change for 2019

By on Oct 17, 2018 in Best Practices, Blog, Compliance | 0 comments

The State of Ohio has released its new Minimum Wage poster for 2019.  Ohio employers are required to post this in a conspicuous place where the employees can see the poster easily. Visit Ohio.gov to print your copy and post as many as needed in your workplace. Watch for new updates on workforce strategy or contact us for other helpful...

Read More
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...

Read More
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...

Read More