Proposed rule aims to expand overtime eligibility for millions of workers, prompting concerns and planning
The US Department of Labor [DOL] has introduced a proposed rule that could reshape overtime protections for a considerable number of employees, potentially extending eligibility to approximately 3.6 million more workers. Under the proposed changes, the annual salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions to overtime requirements and for highly compensated employees would be increased. In addition, the DOL suggests implementing automatic threshold increases every three years. This proposal has sparked discussions and raised concerns among employers and experts alike, as it could lead to various implications for businesses and employees.
The heart of the proposed rule involves significant changes to the current overtime eligibility criteria. If the rule is finalized and implemented, it would result in an expansion of overtime protections, encompassing millions of additional workers who were previously exempt from such benefits. The adjustments include raising the annual salary-level threshold for white-collar exemptions to overtime requirements and a corresponding increase for highly compensated employees. Moreover, the proposal introduces the concept of automatic threshold hikes at regular intervals, which would potentially impact a broader range of employees over time. This rule aims to provide enhanced financial and time-related benefits to workers, but its potential ramifications are multifaceted and require careful consideration.
While the proposed changes intend to bolster worker protections, they also present a series of potential challenges and considerations for employers.
- One key aspect is the decision employers will face regarding their approach to employees falling between the current and proposed new salary thresholds. The adjustment could result in significant financial implications for businesses as they navigate the choice between raising salaries to meet new thresholds or converting employees to nonexempt status, thus incurring overtime costs.
- This choice also carries nonmonetary considerations, such as the potential resistance from employees accustomed to being salaried and not punching a clock. As a result, businesses would need to recalibrate their timekeeping practices and potentially address employee concerns in response to the proposed changes.
Despite the potential benefits of the proposed rule, experts emphasize the importance of preparing for potential challenges and uncertainties. The rule’s predecessors have faced legal challenges in the past, indicating that a similar fate could await the proposed rule once it is finalized. Therefore, employers are advised to proceed with caution and start planning for compliance well in advance. This preparation entails not only a consideration of financial impacts but also a thorough assessment of employees’ job duties to ensure alignment with exemption criteria. Additionally, the proposed rule’s implications extend beyond federal regulations, with varying state-level overtime laws introducing further complexity. States with higher salary thresholds, such as California and New York, would require employers to navigate both federal and state compliance simultaneously.
Mistakes to Avoid:
- Lack of preparedness: Employers should not wait for the rule’s finalization to start planning for compliance. Being proactive will help manage potential financial and operational challenges that might arise from the changes.
- Narrow focus on salary: While salary thresholds are a key aspect of overtime eligibility, employers must remember that compliance requires alignment between employees’ job duties and exemption criteria.
- Underestimating employee response: The transition from salaried to hourly roles could encounter resistance from employees who value the prestige of salaried positions. Employers should be prepared to address these concerns.
- Ignoring state regulations: Employers need to account for variations in state overtime laws, as some states have higher salary thresholds that employers must meet.
The DOL’s proposed rule seeks to broaden overtime eligibility, potentially affecting millions of workers across different industries. While the proposed changes aim to enhance worker benefits, they also present a complex array of considerations for employers, including financial, operational, and employee-relations aspects. As the rule progresses through potential legal challenges and revisions, businesses are urged to take a proactive approach to compliance, keeping in mind both federal and state-level requirements. The proposed rule’s impact extends beyond financial calculations, prompting employers to address cultural and operational shifts in their workforce as they adapt to the changing landscape of overtime regulations.
Understanding overtime and exemptions is an issue that many employers struggle with getting right. The rules are well-established but many simply don’t know or understand them fully. If you need help with classifying employees properly and understanding the risks of not doing so, contact us.
The 2023 Ohio Library Council Convention and Expo is going to be held at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati Ohio September 27 to 29 2023. OA will attend again as an exhibitor and sponsor and we are excited to be part of this event!
The Ohio Library Council is the statewide professional association which represents the interests of Ohio’s public libraries, their trustees, Friends and staff. The membership of the OLC is composed of public library systems, library trustees, Friends of the Library groups, library staff members, other library institutions, and library-related commercial vendors.
OA became an Associate Member of OLC in 2019. After our work helping OLC select its Executive Director, we wanted to deepen our relationship with them because of the valuable resources they provide which helps us become more effective helping our public library clients.
If you will be at the conference, stop by our booth! We can share how we have helped many of Ohio’s public libraries with Human Resources consulting, recruitment, other public library HR consulting projects.
Are you ready for the next step in your career?
We are excited to be partnering with Clermont County Public Library to help them find their next Fiscal Officer.
About the Opportunity
In this mission-driven, hands-on leadership position, the Fiscal Officer plans, implements, administers, and supervises all aspects of the financial operations for the library system. Reporting to a seven-person Board of Trustees, the Fiscal Officer also ensures that all financial operations comply with applicable laws and statutes of the State of Ohio, state auditing requirements, standard finance and accounting practices, and established policies and decisions of the Board of Trustees. As the top financial administrative officer of the library system, the Fiscal Officer is responsible for regular financial reporting [ad hoc, monthly, and annual] and recordkeeping. The Fiscal officer also provides oversight of expenditures, assets/revenue/cashflow, investments, payroll and other general accounting activities, and departmental staff.
You can learn more about the opportunity here.
About Clermont County Public Library
Clermont County Public Library began library service in 1955, with a bookmobile and a small office as its first facilities. Since then, the library system has expanded to ten locations, achieving a goal to have a library within fifteen minutes driving time for all Clermont County residents. The library system has a $11 million annual operating budget and over 100 dedicated team members. The mission of the Clermont County Public Library is to foster lifelong learning by providing resources that inform, programs that engage, and ideas that inspire. To learn more, visit clermontlibrary.org
Ideal candidates will have:
- Five  years or more of public sector finance and accounting management experience.
- A Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or related discipline.
- Experience, knowledge, and skills in all aspects of financial management including:
- Budget planning and administration
- Forecasting/Financial planning and analysis
- Generally accepted accounting principles [GAAP]
- Government Auditing Standards [GAS]
- Proficiency in the following competencies:
- Organizational awareness
- Problem solving
- Resource management
- Experience as part of a collaborative leadership team and other workgroups focused on attaining organization-level and departmental goals.
- Ability to work occasional nights and weekends, as required.
- CPA, CGFA, or other related professional certification is a plus.
Please submit your resume and a cover letter [including salary requirements] via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
No third-party candidates please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
In a previous article, we discussed the importance of knowing when to hire a dedicated Human Resources professional for your organization. Considering the ever-changing landscape of employment and workplace dynamics, it’s essential to revisit this topic with additional insights and factors to consider. Over the past year, we have witnessed various developments in the employment sphere that have highlighted the significance of having an HR leader as an integral part of your team.
Beyond the traditional HR responsibilities, an HR professional can play a strategic role in addressing emerging challenges and opportunities in the workplace. Let’s explore two more critical reasons to consider hiring an HR leader, followed by the original considerations for when it might be time to add an HR professional to your team.
- Do you have a talent retention and succession planning process? With a highly competitive job market and an increasing focus on employee career development, talent retention has become a paramount concern for organizations. An HR leader can lead efforts to create effective retention strategies, conduct stay interviews to understand employee needs and concerns, and implement career development programs that align with individual aspirations and organizational goals. Additionally, an HR leader can spearhead succession planning initiatives, identifying potential future leaders within the organization, and ensuring a smooth transition when key positions become vacant.
- What is your plan for leveraging [new] HR technology? The past year has witnessed a surge in HR technology adoption, with various tools and platforms streamlining HR processes, such as recruitment, performance management, and employee engagement. An HR leader with expertise in HR technology can help assess your organization’s needs, implement suitable HR software, and optimize its utilization to enhance efficiency and data-driven decision-making. Embracing digital HR solutions can lead to cost savings, improved data accuracy, and better insights into the workforce’s performance and well-being.
What are some of the considerations for when it might be time to add an HR professional to your team? It depends on whether you an answer these questions confidently:
- How much recruiting, orientation, and onboarding activity do you have, or plan to have in the near term?
- How strong/capable are your mid-level managers?
- Are you having to deal with too many employee matters?
- Are you putting out too many fires?
Having an HR professional on your team offers numerous advantages beyond mere paperwork processing and administrative duties. This expert can play a pivotal role in fostering the growth and effectiveness of mid-level managers, thereby alleviating senior management’s burden of handling routine personnel matters. Moreover, the HR professional can offer valuable guidance and resources to address staff issues effectively. In the best-case scenario, they can devise strategic approaches to ensure that your organization consistently maintains a competent and dedicated workforce, ready to serve customers and fortify the overall strength of the company.
If you think it’s time to explore whether you need an HR professional on your team, contact us and we can help you assess your need and recommend the best approach to addressing this need whether it be hiring an HR professional, leveraging current service providers more effectively, or locating new partners.
We’ve been keeping an eye on what the hot labor market means for employers’ pay increase budgets. Throughout 2023 we’ve been sharing what we’ve been learning, such as
A recent SHRM article gives us insight into the amounts that are starting to use for planning purposes in 2024. In the face of a tight labor market and inflationary pressures, US employers plan to continue competitive pay raises for employees in 2024, with an average increase of 4.00%. Although the rate of raises may be cooling slightly, it remains higher than pre-pandemic years. The decision to offer higher salaries is driven by concerns over a tight labor market impacted by worker shortages, pushing companies to stay competitive in the ever-changing work climate. While layoffs are limited in some industries, overall job creation and relatively low unemployment are putting pressure on organizations to raise starting salaries to attract new talent. Employers are also making other compensation changes, like reviewing employee groups’ compensation and enhancing retention bonuses. The article suggests that while pay raises were significant in previous years, they may stabilize as economic concerns gain precedence over inflation and job market trends.
Consulting firm Mercer reported earlier in the year that U.S. employers’ 2023 annual merit increases averaged 3.80%.
It is likely that private sector firms in the US will continue to offer competitive pay raises to their employees in the coming years.
It is reasonable to assume that nonprofit firms in the US will also follow a similar trend as private sector firms in terms of compensation strategies. But nonprofits face various constraints that can impact their ability to implement competitive compensation strategies. Limited financial resources, public scrutiny, and mission alignment are among the key challenges they encounter. Nonprofits often compete with for-profit companies for talent but may struggle to match their salary offers. Despite these constraints, nonprofits can adopt creative approaches to attract and retain qualified employees, such as offering non-financial benefits, flexible work arrangements, skill development opportunities, and personal growth initiatives, thereby fostering a positive work environment and mission-driven culture.
Public sector organizations, constrained by limited budgets, government policies, public perception, and union contracts, are likely to prioritize non-monetary benefits and work-life balance initiatives to attract and retain employees. They may offer opportunities for professional development, job security, generous leave policies, and a sense of public service and mission-driven work. Striving to balance competitive compensation with financial responsibility, public sector organizations aim to effectively serve the public interest and fulfill their organizational objectives.
We have deep experience with base compensation benchmarking, incentive program development, and total rewards. Check out our updates on workforce strategy and compensation or contact us for other helpful resources.
Arts and cultural organizations are very important to the community, and us. Over the years we’ve had the chance to work with many, and a recent project with Holden Forests & Gardens is a good example of how we have helped many of them in the past with both Human Resources consulting and recruiting and talent acquisition projects.
Holden Forests & Gardens is made up of two of Northeast Ohio’s most important environmental and cultural institutions…the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden. As the twelfth largest public garden in the country, Holden Forests & Gardens has close to 17,000 member households and an annual attendance of over 350,000, for whom we strive to provide inspirational and educational visitor experiences.
Holden Forests & Gardens connects people with the wonder, beauty, and value of trees and plants, to inspire action for healthy communities. All communities transformed into vibrant places where trees, plants, and people thrive
Our partner on this project was Judy Tobin, Vice President of Human Resources. Judy has been an HR colleague and friend of ours for many years. It was great to work with her! She said:
We are extremely grateful to have partnered with OA for our compensation analysis project. As public garden and arboretum, determining fair and competitive compensation packages was a challenge for us. OA provided us with invaluable expertise and a thorough analysis, tailored to our specific needs. Their dedication to understanding our industry benchmarks and requirements was impressive. The reports and recommendations they provided were detailed and informative, helping us make well-informed decisions. Their attention to detail was exceptional.
We are using their analysis to improve our compensation structure and offer competitive pay to our employees. The analysis will assist us in attracting and retaining top talent by aligning our compensation with industry standards. Throughout the process, the team at OA demonstrated professionalism and expertise, making the experience seamless. We highly recommend their services to any arts and cultural organization [or really, anyone] in need of a comprehensive compensation analysis.
Compensation analysis is an area in which we have deep expertise. Our team of compensation professionals has diverse experience helping both large, private-sector companies to nonprofits and public-sector organizations. Want to know more? Check out our other success stories then contact us to see how we can help you with your compensation analysis project.
Are you ready for the next step in your career?
We are excited to be partnering with Elyria Public Library System to help them find their next Fiscal Officer.
About the Opportunity
This is a dynamic finance and accounting leadership position that ensures that all financial operations comply with applicable laws and statutes of the State of Ohio, state auditing requirements, sound finance and accounting practices, and established policies and decisions of the Board of Trustees. The Fiscal Officer also serves as the trusted fiscal advisor to the Library’s Board of Trustees, administrative and department-level leadership teams, and the finance/audit committee. In addition to planning and providing oversight for a $5.8 million annual operating budget, the Fiscal Officer is a key driver of the newly established strategic goals that will help enable the Library to meet the evolving needs of its patrons and staff.
You can find out more about the role here.
About the Elyria Public Library System
Founded in 1870, Elyria Public Library System is recognized locally and regionally for exceptional public service and provides a wide array of materials, programs, and services to Lorain County’s citizens. The library system is comprised of four branch locations [three of which were recently renovated] and two mobile outreach vehicles. The library enjoys strong financial support from the community. It passed a perpetual levy by a 60% margin in 2014.
Elyria Public Library System’s mission is to connect, engage, and inspire all with intellectual and creative opportunities.
About the Community
Elyria, Ohio is a city located in Lorain County, about 25 miles west of Cleveland. Home to nearly 54,000 people, Elyria offers a mix of small-town charm and urban amenities. From quaint shops and restaurants, outdoor recreation areas [such as the Lakeview Park & Beach and the Black River Reservation], to art galleries and cultural events, Elyria boasts something for everyone.
Position Qualifications and Compensation
- Five  years or more of finance/accounting experience; public sector experience is highly preferred.
- A Bachelor’s degree in Accounting or another relevant discipline is required.
- Certified public accountant [CPA] or other related professional certification is preferred.
- Experience, knowledge, and skills in all aspects of financial management including:
- Generally accepted accounting principles [GAAP]
- Budget administration and development
- Financial planning and analysis
- State auditing requirements
- Legal compliance
- Proficiency in the following core competencies:
- Organizational and community awareness
- Problem solving/solution-oriented
- Proactive/takes initiative
A generous compensation package includes competitive base pay with a pay range of $75,000 to $90,000; healthcare, dental, and vision benefits, retirement plan, time-off, and more.
Please submit your resume and a cover letter [including salary requirements] via email to: email@example.com. No third-party candidates please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
Our first ALA conference and exhibition was a great success! We spent several days in Chicago last month learning more about the key issues facing libraries, learning more about the landscape of organizations supporting libraries, and most importantly, meeting with many library professionals and telling them about our work with libraries. It was our first time as an exhibitor, and we were excited to be part of this event!
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world. Founded on October 6, 1876 during the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, the mission of ALA is “to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.” In 1998 the ALA Council voted commitment to five Key Action Areas as guiding principles for directing the Association’s energies and resources:
- Equity of Access
- Education and Continuous Learning
- Intellectual Freedom
- 21st Century Literacy.
We have been ALA members for several years. The ALA is a tremendous resource to us in our work helping libraries solve their Human Resources and Recruiting needs.
If you were at the conference, we were glad to see you! If you didn’t get a chance to talk to us, send us a note to connect and as always, check out our blog for updates and our library stories for more.