EverythingPeople This Week!

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

Apr

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

Feb

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

Jan

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

Mar

2016

Who Gets a Deceased Employee’s Final Pay?

Author: Joe DeSantis

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

Feb

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

Oct

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

Oct

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 plenty...

23

Jul

2014

Minor Leaguers Sue Major League Baseball for Wage and Hour Violations

Author: Anonym

Baseball embodies the best and worst of what we love about professional sports. We are charmed by the history and the beauty of the game, and we are thrilled by the skill and competitiveness of the players. But those players, who earn obscenely high salaries, are unionized. And their relationship with management has always been fractious if not downright hostile. Players have gone on strike against the owners more than once over the years, and each time the fans have wished a pox on both...

23

Jul

2014

Does the Employer Have the Right Under FLSA to Establish Work Weeks?

Author: Anonym

Certain employees can work odd schedules. For example, it is not unusual for nurses to work 12-hour shifts over several consecutive days.  The same can be true in manufacturing and other work environments where business necessity requires these types of hours. A recent case in the Eighth Circuit (Michigan is in the Sixth Circuit) focused on the question of whether or not an employer can establish a work week that reduces or even eliminates the amount of overtime it must pay its...

9

Jul

2014

Employers Take Note: Financial Wellness Improves Performance and Morale

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Even though the U.S. economy has been steadily improving and unemployment rates are dropping, financial worries continue to be widespread among employees.  According to PWC’s April 2014 Employee Financial Wellness Survey, nearly half of all employees (48%) find dealing with their financial situation stressful. Further, 38% report that their stress levels over financial issues increased in the last 12 months. The good news is that the overall results are actually slightly down...

18

Jun

2014

Proposed Regs are out for the $10.10 Minimum Wage for Federal Contractors

Author: Anonym

On February 12, 2014, President Obama signed Executive Order (EO) 13658 increasing the minimum wage for Federal contractors and subcontractors to $10.10 per hour.  The Executive Order specifies that the minimum wage clause will only apply to the following service contracts, provided the wages are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Service Contract Act (SCA), or the Davis-Bacon Act (D-BA): Procurement contracts for services or construction Contracts or...

21

May

2014

ASE Survey on Minimum Wage Reveals Diversity of Opinions

Author: Anonym

The American Society of Employers recently surveyed its members concerning recent and ongoing efforts in Lansing and Washington to increase the state and federal minimum wages. The goal of the survey was to assess the perspectives of ASE members around the issue and determine the impact, if any, they believe an increase would have on their businesses.  The survey, conducted in mid-April (before the latest developments in Lansing—see below), collected data from 161...

23

Oct

2013

Case Illustrates the Traps in Creative (and Exotic) Fluctuating Workweek Agreements

Author: Anonym

Most employers never explore the more exotic areas of overtime and payment of wages in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Most employers would not want to. The following case illustrates more than a few problems that an employer who explores these dangerous and alien lands can confront. In the case of Betty Black v. SettlePou, PC, No. 12-10972, (5th Circuit Court of Appeals, October 11, 2013), the Plaintiff was a recently promoted paralegal supervisor whom the employer was...

10

Jul

2013

Employer’s Mandate Delayed; No Harm, No Foul . . . Maybe

Author: Anonym

On Tuesday July 2nd, the Obama administration announced that it will delay for one year the reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for large employers. Requirements that would have gone into effect January 1, 2014 will now go into effect January 1, 2015. The ACA requires large employers—those with more than 50 employees who work more than 30 hours per week—to offer those employees affordable health insurance starting in 2014 or face fines. According to the...

10

Jul

2013

Payroll Card Fees Coming Under the Microscope

Author: Anonym

Some larger employers are moving their payroll from checks or direct deposit to a method of payment using payroll cards. Payroll cards work like debit cards and are, in theory, less costly (for the employer) than issuing checks. An employer using this method loads the employee’s pay onto a payroll card, and the employee uses the card for purchases as he or she would with any debit or ATM-type card. There is now a growing controversy over the cost to the employee of using the...

19

Jun

2013

Do You Run Background Checks for Executive Positions?

Author: Anonym

Hiring for a high profile position takes a lot of due diligence.  Take the example of Scott Thompson, whom Yahoo hired as its CEO. His downfall was his resume, which claimed that he had a computer science degree.  His failure to review his resume which, he claimed, the executive recruitment agency created, cost him his job and the company a major black eye. An expert in the field of recruiting high-end executives, Keith Giarman of the executive search firm DHR International,...

19

Jun

2013

High Deductible Plans Mean Fewer Office Visits and Less Rx Use—Good? or Bad?

Author: Anonym

By Kevin Marrs June 19, 2013

In the early- to mid-2000s, if you were like most employers you were (and probably still are) fixated on controlling the increasing cost of health care. One of the many tools that came on the scene in those days was the consumer-directed health plan (CDHP). CDHPs, which often feature a high-deductible component, were meant to increase employee awareness and accountability in the health services transaction.  The long-term goals were to control healthcare spending and make...

19

Jun

2013

Federal Court Takes Unpaid Intern Programs to Task

Author: Anonym

This is the time of year for attending graduation parties and hearing, “I have an internship at (name of organization).” You generally give it a positive nod to affirm that that’s what you have to do to get your first great job out of school. Both you and the intern—and future employers—understand that it demonstrates motivation, that it is about paying one’s dues and getting experience. But sometimes the internship involves serving in another city,...

29

May

2013

FLSA Cases: A Snowball Rolling Downhill

Author: Anonym

A quick look at a bar graph showing the growth in employee-initiated Wage and Hour claims in the last 10 years makes startlingly obvious what HR professionals have long sensed—the numbers are not just increasing. Rather, they are more like the proverbial snowball—well on its way down the hill, rolling freely and gaining momentum. According to the law firm Seyfarth Shaw, the number of claims for wages brought by individuals and groups jumped by another 10% in the year...

22

May

2013

The Final Stage of Emergency and Disaster Planning: Recovery

Author: Anonym

This article on Emergency Response planning will wrap up our series of three articles on that subject. First, we reviewed the OSHA requirements for employers with over ten employees. Then we reviewed the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Emergency Management Guide for Business and Industry. FEMA's guide presented step-by-step instructions on developing a company plan to respond to the kinds of catastrophic emergencies an organization can face. But keep in mind that Emergency and...

22

May

2013

Part-Time Employees Confused About the Affordable Care Act

Author: Wendy LoCicero

Do you feel confused about the Affordable Care Act?  If you do you are not alone.  A new survey conducted online by Harris Interactive reveals that many part-time employees are confused about  the impact the new law will have on them. The study, commissioned by The Workforce Institute™ at Kronos Incorporated, surveyed 2,066 U.S. adults. According to the survey, 27% of respondents indicated that they were "confused" about the Affordable Care Act, another 25% said...

21

Nov

2012

Sixth Circuit OKs Automatic Mealtime Pay Deduction System

Author: Anonym

ASE receives many wage and hour questions from members. A good number of them involve how to properly account for hours worked around meal and break times. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) states that employers do not have to pay for meal breaks of a half-hour or more. This is not new. But the Wage and Hour division and the courts find new opportunities to expound on the subject all the time. Most of them come from the ways employers integrate a daily meal time into the work day, and how...
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