American Society of Employers

16 October 2018

On Demand Pay Apps – A New Tool to Help with Employee Retention

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

With unemployment hitting record lows and the war for talent only getting more intense, employers are constantly on the hunt for ways to increase employee attraction and retention.  As a way for organizations to set themselves apart from other competitors, some employers have rolled out a new benefit called an “on-demand” pay app.  It allows employees to access a portion of the wages they have already earned without having to wait for payday.  Employers that have...

12 June 2018

A Brief Primer on Social Security Benefits

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Given that 10,000 Baby boomers retire every day, employees may be coming to HR for help determining when to retire and what benefits will be available to them.  They will likely inquire about how Social Security benefits are determined. 

29 May 2018

Has the New Tax Law Impacted Workers and Businesses?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

In December, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which was grudgingly signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.  Upon passage a number of companies such as AT&T, Apple, Southwest Airlines, and Fifth Third Bank announced bonuses to be paid to employees ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.  Fifth Third Bank also increased its minimum wage to $15 per hour, while Wal-Mart hiked its minimum wage to $11 per hour.

2 January 2018

Update: How the New Tax Law Will Impact HR

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Now that the tax law was passed and signed by President Trump, it has many implications for HR.  The new law has mixed-results for HR programs.

31 October 2017

Draw Against Commission Wage Payment Plans – Sixth Circuit “Draws” the Line

Author: Michael Burns

Last week we wrote about the recent Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals decision pertaining to hours worked and travel time. Following up in short order, the Sixth Circuit ruled on yet another and arguably more obscure part of wage and hour regulation, Draw Against Commissions.  They looked at whether an employer can collect draws by the employee that exceeded commissions owed after employment ends.

24 October 2017

Sixth Circuit Rules in Favor of Employer in Travel Pay Suit

Author: Michael Burns

One of the trickier areas of wage and hour compliance is calculating hours worked when non-exempt employees travel on company business. There are several different situations that the wage and hour regulations address. One is “travel that is all in a day’s work” another is “home to work on a special one-day assignment in another city,” and the third is “travel away from home community.”

2 May 2017

Is it Legal to Pay a Woman Less if Based on Salary History?

Author: Heather Nezich

Solely based on Federal law…yes.  A federal court ruled last week that it is legal to pay female employees less than men if it is based on past salary history.  This decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals overturns a previous ruling that stated that pay differences solely on past salary history were discriminatory, based on the Equal Pay Act.

2 May 2017

Federal Compensatory Time Off Legislation Introduced

Author: Michael Burns

One of the more frequent questions ASE receives from private employers is about how to practice compensatory time off. Compensatory time off is the practice of “paying” overtime worked through paid time off at some later time. ASE frequently advises that most compensatory time practices are illegal. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires payment to non-exempt employees (hourly and salaried) of time worked over 40 hours in a week at time and one-half pay. Therefore, if an...

18 April 2017

Piecework Pay, Bonus and Overtime Pay – How do They Collide?

Author: Michael Burns

Piecework pay is not a common pay practice today. In fact, ASE’s most recent Pay Administration Survey found no participants paid on a piece-rate in the Southeast Michigan area. However, in some industries this is still a pay practice.

28 February 2017

Does Your Organization Properly Pay Overtime on Bonus Payouts to Non-exempt/Hourly Employees?

Author: Michael Burns

As the “books” close on 2016, final incentive plan/bonus payments are being made to eligible employees in many organizations. Today variable pay in the form of incentive pay and bonuses is not just for executives. ASE’s 2016/17 Salary Budget Survey results show that almost 50% of employers have an annual bonus for non-union hourly employees and 45% of employers have an annual bonus for salaried non-exempt employees as one form of variable pay. And this is just one type of...

31 January 2017

Caution! HR and Payroll Departments Targets of W-2 Scam

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Human Resource and payroll departments should be aware of an IRS alert that was released on January 25, 2017 providing information about an email phishing scam making its way across the country.  The scam originated last year, and the goal of the scam is to gain access to personal information contained on employee W-2 forms.  Cybercriminals will send an email to an HR or payroll department using a corporate officer’s name (such as the company CEO), and request a list of...

9 March 2016

Who Gets a Deceased Employee’s Final Pay?

Author: Anonym

The ASE research department regularly fields questions about the disposition of an employee’s final pay when that employee dies. Particularly in an age of non-traditional domestic living arrangements, employers sometimes field claims for the money from multiple claimants. Things are complicated by the fact that the issue is mostly governed by state law, and state laws vary quite a bit from state to state. So Michigan-based employers who employ people outside of Michigan could find...

4 February 2015

May an Employer Legally Require Reimbursement for Breakage or Customer Theft?

Author: Anonym

Years ago this author was a young worker pumping gas at a local gas station (these were truly ancient times: no customer ever pumped his or her own gas). When the crew came up “short” at the end of the shift—meaning they turned in less money than the pumps said they had sold—the station manager would take the shortage out of everyone’s pay.  This always seemed grossly unfair, of course. But it was either that or get fired. In business, the loss of...

29 October 2014

Even “The Sopranos” Writers Couldn’t Make This Stuff Up

Author: Anonym

If you believe “The Sopranos” did not get its story lines from real-life events, or maybe those real-life events no longer happen, take note of the following employment lawsuit. In the category of truth being just as strange as fiction, now comes the Michigan employment law case of Dennis Cole v. the Bada Bing Club (the actual name of the club) and Atlantis Lounge.9/25/2014. Mr. Cole sued the now-closed club in Lincoln Park, because its manager and three cohorts...

15 October 2014

Recent Court and Fed Actions Promise New Interpretations of Wage and Hour Rules to Come

Author: Anonym

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on another case that, together with one it ruled on earlier this year, could further change the way non-exempt workers are compensated for time before and after their actual work times. Not to be upstaged by the Supreme Court, the White House itself has directed the Department of Labor to reinterpret (again) the definitions of exempt/non-exempt employment. If nothing else, these developments will give HR professionals and labor attorneys...


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