EverythingPeople This Week!

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...

24

Oct

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.”

17

Oct

2017

Salary History Bans – How to Handle Them

Author: Keisha Ward

As an experienced recruiter, I have talked to thousands of candidates throughout the years.  Candidates from all levels within numerous industries from manufacturing and healthcare to finance, IT, and engineering.  No matter the level of the positions that I have supported, it has always been considered the norm to request a candidate’s salary history.  However, in recent months recruiters are being cautioned on this approach.

10

Oct

2017

Despite Court Injunction of Revised Exemption Rule and USDOL Rule Review – Do Employers Still Need to Comply?

Author: Michael Burns

When the Obama Administration’s Department of Labor increased the Exempt Rule’s salary level test to $913/week, this forced most employers to review many of their positions for exempt compliance. For the past few years employers have had the opportunity to re-classify jobs properly – hopefully avoiding a compliance complaint in the rule “changeover and controversy fog.” 

5

Sep

2017

Federal District Court Permanently Enjoins DOL Salary Level Test

Author: Michael Burns

Another blow was landed against the Obama administration’s effort to change US wage and hour law without passing an amendment to the almost 80-year old Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The same Texas federal court that originally temporarily stayed the implementation of a new salary level test rule issued a permanent injunction against those rules last week. The Court’s reason for the permanent injunction remained the same: the salary level set by the new regulations was too high...

5

Sep

2017

Maternity Concierge Service New Benefit to Help Retain New Moms

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Open enrollment season is rapidly approaching, and for many employers late summer and early fall is the time of year when benefit packages are reviewed for competitiveness.  Fifth Third Bank has recently rolled out a new benefit specifically aimed at retaining employees that are new moms - a maternity concierge service.

29

Aug

2017

ASE Healthcare Survey Reveals Telemedicine as the Number One Cost-Saving Measure for Employers

Author: Heather Nezich

ASE recently released the results of our 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey.  48% of Michigan employers surveyed have either implemented or plan to implement telemedicine services in 2017.  This is a rising trend in healthcare that encompasses two-way video, email, smartphones, and other technology to make a virtual diagnosis.

22

Aug

2017

Expanded Bereavement Leave – The Latest Trend in Employee Benefits

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

Over the last several years organizations, especially in Silicon Valley, compete with each other by offering expanded parental leave benefits or unlimited PTO policies as a way to attract and retain talent.   Over the last several months the newest growing trend in leave benefits is offering expanded time off for bereavement.

1

Aug

2017

DOL Solicits Comments on the Overtime Rule

Author: Anthony Kaylin

As previously reported in the EPTW, the Trump administration was going to publish a Request for Information (RFI) on the White-Collar Overtime Exemption. It did so on July 26, 2017.  Previously, the Obama administration had published rules that would be effective December 1, 2017, that increased the exemption salary level test from $433/week up to $913/week with an escalation every three years.  This would have dramatically impacted employers.  Essentially most employees would...

18

Jul

2017

Are Americans Finally Using Their Vacation Time?

Author: Heather Nezich

According to the Project: Time Off report, The State of the American Vacation 2017, it appears that Americans might finally be starting to use their vacation time.  For years, vacation time usage has been on the decline in the U.S., but the 2017 report shows some optimistic results.

11

Jul

2017

U.S. DOL Walks a Fine Line as it “Walks Back” Overtime Rules

Author: Michael Burns

The US Department of Labor (DOL) is working toward rescinding its judicially enjoined overtime rules. These rules were published during the Obama Administration and dramatically increased the exemption salary level test from $433/week up to $913/week.  It was intended to reduce the number of jobs that could be classified non-exempt by employers.  

11

Jul

2017

To Ask or Not to Ask

Author: Heather Nezich

The salary history question has become quite controversial in recent months, and some cities and states have created laws around it.  It used to be an expected question during the interview process, but there is debate over whether the question is a fair one and could cause pay inequality to prevail as women progress through their careers.

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