EverythingPeople This Week!

17

Apr

2018

HSA Enrollment is Growing…or Is It?

Author: Kevin Marrs

As of January 2017, 52 health insurance providers reported 21.8 million HSA/HDHP enrollees, up from 20.2 million in 2016.  This is according to a recently released survey from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) who also reported a 9.2% increase in enrollment in HSA/HDHP from 2016 to 2017 in an analysis of a constant sample of 45 health plans.

17

Apr

2018

When is Travel Time Work Time Under FLSA?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Calculating time worked for non-exempt employees who travel for their job is a challenge for many employers.  On April 12, the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division issued an opinion letter that tackles this question.

 

10

Apr

2018

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Auto Dealership Service Advisors Are Exempt

Author: Michael Burns

On Monday, April 2, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) issued a 5-4 decision ruling that an auto dealership’s service advisors that greeted and advised customers on their auto service needs were covered under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) special exemption addressing auto dealership personnel. This decision overturned a Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in 2016 that these service providers were not covered by the FLSA’s exemption and were eligible for overtime. At a...

10

Apr

2018

Is The Gender Pay Gap Real?

Author: Heather Nezich

Yesterday, April 10, was Equal Pay Day, which means that women had to work all of 2017 and until April 10, 2018 to equate to what men made in just 2017.  On average, women in the U.S. are paid 20% less than men according to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. This research prompted Lean In, a nonprofit founded by Sheryl Sandberg to empower all women to achieve their ambitions, to start a new hashtag, #20percentcounts.

10

Apr

2018

Salary Speaks Louder Than Gender

Author: Keisha Ward

We’ve discussed impending changes in the way salaries are approached in today’s market.  It is understood that many states are banning and have banned the practice of using salary history as a factor during salary negotiations. On Monday, a federal appeals court ruled that salary history cannot be considered as a factor to justify wage inequalities between men and women.  To put it plainly, employers can no longer justify paying a man more than a woman based on what she...

3

Apr

2018

Significant Health Care Cost Savings Seen by Managing Dependent Eligibility

Author: Michael Burns

A survey of articles on the effectiveness of dependent eligibility audits show employers, on average, find between 4-8% of current participants ineligible for their healthcare plan coverage. In some cases, ineligible dependents constituted for 15% of the dependents receiving health care benefits. The average cost per ineligible dependent to the employer is between $3,500 and $4,500 per year.

20

Mar

2018

Fluctuating Workweeks and Proper Compensation

Author: Michael Burns

When an employee’s workweek fluctuates above and below 40 hours, employers need to understand what they can and cannot do when it comes to payment of wages and overtime. Wage and Hour regulations address employee work hours that fluctuate above 40 hours in a week. When weekly work hours exceed 40, overtime pay at time and one-half is due. However, in a fluctuating work week situation the overtime rate can fluctuate along with the regular rate.

13

Mar

2018

DOL PAID Program Announced – A Way Out for Non-Compliant Employers?

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced the rollout of a “new” pilot program called the Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program. This program offers employers a process to self-report wage and hour violations with the DOL to clear them up without being exposed to as many potential damages and monetary penalties.

6

Mar

2018

Be Aware of Salary Increase Caps When Promoting Employees

Author: Anthony Kaylin

When promoting an employee to a new position, what pay should be established?  Many employers have policies such as “up to 14% from previous base when promoting, including merit.”  A policy like that becomes especially problematic when the employee being promoted from one position to another is not even close to the pay range of other employees in the same title.  

6

Mar

2018

7 Steps to a Market-Based Compensation Program

Author: Jason Rowe

In today’s society, the right talent is hard to find. When searching for the best candidate for a complex position, compensation is key to attracting the level of talent you need. Having a market-based compensation program is one way to ensure that a company remains competitive. The following seven steps will provide an overview for creating such a program within an organization.

27

Feb

2018

U.S. Supreme Court Smacks Down Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals– Benefits Do Not Continue Unless Specifically Stated

Author: Michael Burns

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Sixth Circuit’s long held principal that ruled a lifetime vesting of a benefit could be presumed using a “Yard-Man” inference. What is the Yard-Man inference? It is a legal inference stating that because the collective bargaining agreement (CBA) in question did not specifically address the duration of retiree benefits, it can be inferred that the CBA was meant to bestow lifetime vesting of the benefit and cannot be...

13

Feb

2018

Wage Growth Improves in January

Author: Kevin Marrs

In May of last year, we artfully described the paradox of good economic news and low or moderate wage growth.  At the time, the U.S. economy had just added 211,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate had fallen to its lowest level since 2007.  However, what was missing in all that good news was signs of substantial wage growth. 

13

Feb

2018

Pay Discrimination Cases - Equal Pay Act vs. Title VII

Author: Michael Burns

Most federal gender pay discrimination cases are brought under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The other applicable law that was intended to address pay discrimination, the federal Equal Pay Act (EPA), was enacted before Title VII and was more narrow-focused.

6

Feb

2018

Increase in Wages Seen (Maybe) in Latest Economic Data

Author: Michael Burns

As unemployment has steadily ticked down for the last several years, economists watched and waited for wage growth to start. Questions as to why a tightening labor market was not resulting in higher pay have been discussed and debated. As late as this week, an article in the New York Times (NYT) pointed to several macro force reasons wage movement was not behaving as economists have predicted. 

30

Jan

2018

Association Health Plans: Potential Solution to Rising Health Care Costs for Small Employers?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the requirements of the ACA have profoundly impacted small employer plans (under 50 employees) by raising costs at a faster rate than large employer plans.  

23

Jan

2018

The Importance of Benchmarked Compensation Data

Author: Sara Pebbles

Benchmarked compensation data provides organizations the information they need to make sound pay decisions for hiring, promotions, internal equity salary adjustments, and general compensation planning.

 

16

Jan

2018

Paid Family Leave Credit Under the New Tax Law

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The paid family leave credit under the new tax law is another provision that has many holes that need filling.  Under the law, employers would have to provide at least two weeks of leave and compensate their workers at a minimum of 50% of their regular earnings. The tax credit would range from 12.5% to 25% of the cost of each hour of paid leave, depending on how much of a worker’s regular earnings the benefit replaces. The credit starts at 12.5% of the benefit’s costs if...

16

Jan

2018

DOL Unpaid Intern Definition is Loosened for Employers

Author: Michael Burns

In 2010 the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued Fact Sheet # 71 narrowing the definition of what qualified as an unpaid internship. The definition, or more technically speaking…the six-part test, defined a true unpaid internship very narrowly. The 2010 Fact Sheet stated that in order for a for-profit company to engage a true unpaid intern, the job the person was doing had to mirror the type of instruction received in class, and the employer could “derive no immediate...

2

Jan

2018

Pay Equity Investigations Increasingly Require More Detailed Pay Data

Author: Michael Burns

Pay discrimination investigations have been around for a long time. After hiring discrimination, pay discrimination follows as one of the most common areas of discrimination complaint. Lilley Ledbetter’s Fair Pay law, passed in 2009, highlighted pay inequity and has put pay discrimination front and center with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFFCP). 

5

Dec

2017

Small Employers Slow to Adopt Formal Pay Administration Practices

Author: Jason Rowe

A recent survey from the American Society of Employers (ASE) revealed that small employers are less likely to adopt critical pay administration practices like pay structures or written compensation philosophy statements. By not embracing these compensation systems they are putting themselves at greater risk of employee attraction and retention issues.

14

Nov

2017

Highly Compensated Exemption May Not Work on Commission Based Pay

Author: Michael Burns

Imagine an employee that is paid close to a million dollars annually, is non-exempt, and therefore entitled to time and one-half on top of their six figure pay. Possible? A federal court in Tennessee says yes. The Plaintiffs in this case were employees paid as commission based sales representatives. They earned well over $100,000 per year, and in some years the most successful sales representatives earned over $900,000. 

7

Nov

2017

Michigan Wage Theft Legislation Scheduled for Introduction

Author: Michael Burns

Michigan Democratic Legislators are introducing legislation intended to curtail illegal deductions from pay.  Any illegal deduction from pay is being called wage theft. Wage theft is described as the “denial of wages or employee benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee.”

7

Nov

2017

How the Proposed Tax Bill Would Impact HR Programs

Author: Anthony Kaylin

The Republican tax bill was introduced last Thursday by the House of Representatives.  The proposed bill has mixed-results for HR programs, although 401(k) programs are relatively untouched.

31

Oct

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.

31

Oct

2017

Caregiver Benefits in the Workplace

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

As the population continues to age, more and more adults are finding themselves in caregiving situations.  By the year 2040, the percentage of people aged 65 or older will have nearly doubled to almost 22%, up from 13% in 2010.  More than 1 in 6 Americans are currently working full- or part-time and assist with the care giving of an elderly or disabled family member or relative.  The typical “sandwich generation” employee is a woman in her late forties who not only...
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