EverythingPeople This Week!

23

May

2017

The Impact of Motherhood on Pay

Author: Michael Burns

Gender pay disparity and the many reasons for it, continues to be studied by researchers.  A new study by researchers at Wellesley, Harvard, Boston College and the Institute for Social Research in Oslo, Sweden identifies motherhood as a big impediment to equal pay as women’s careers progress. 

16

May

2017

Michigan Appeals Court Looks to Handbook Language to Settle Compensation Claim

Author: Michael Burns

A recent Michigan Appeals Court decision (unpublished) again affirms that courts regularly and purposely use employee handbook policy language to determine what the employer means when a dispute arises about payment of wages or fringe benefits. In the case of Robert E. Heine v. Mack 1 Global Services, Inc. (No.328964) 4/25/2017, the issue for the court was whether the organization’s incentive plan was properly followed in the payment of monies allegedly earned under the employer’s...

9

May

2017

Where’s the Beef – or the Wage Growth?

Author: Kevin Marrs

There has been a spate of good economic news recently.  Notably, April’s job report was strong, soundly beating analyst estimates.  To be specific, the U.S. economy added 211,000 jobs in April, and the unemployment rate, now at 4.4%, fell to its lowest level since 2007.  In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported recently that unemployment rates were lower in March than a year earlier in 336 of the 388 metropolitan areas it measures.  And, in a promising turn,...

9

May

2017

Defending Equal Pay Act Claims Becoming More Difficult

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Under the Equal Pay Act (EPA), courts have generally allowed employers to prove that some “factor other than sex” justified the pay differentials.  However, a recent Federal 8th Circuit of Appeals case narrowed the parameters that employers can use to defend EPA lawsuits and allowed broadening of testimony to show the employer is committing systemic discrimination.

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...

25

Apr

2017

Increase in Infertility Coverage Latest in Family Friendly Benefit Offerings

Author: Kristen Cifolelli

In the ongoing war for talent, many companies are looking to broaden their benefits coverage and make them more family friendly.  One benefit that is garnering more attention and is on the rise is coverage for infertility treatments such as fertility drugs, in vitro fertilization (IVF), and fertility concierge services.  For employees facing difficulties conceiving, the financial cost of pursuing such options on their own can be out of reach.  The American Society for...

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.

18

Apr

2017

Excessive 401(K) Fees Lead to Lawsuits

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It used to be that retirement plan administration was a routine affair.  Not anymore.  Excessive 401 or 403 fees are the hot new area of ERISA lawsuits.  They can be costlier than wage and hour lawsuits and personally hit the retirement plan fiduciaries.  

 

18

Apr

2017

Pay Equity Plays Important Role in Employee Engagement and Retention

Author: Jason Rowe

Do you worry about hiring the right people? Do you worry about retaining and engaging your current workforce? All in an effort to drive business performance?  Maybe it is time to look at your organization’s pay equity.

21

Mar

2017

With ACA Repeal Pending, Shouldn’t the Million Dollar Question be What do Employees Want?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

With the introduction of and the quick movement out of committees in the House, the American Health Care Act (AHCA) may roll back several Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions.  These may include the out of pocket expenses cap and the Premium Tax Credits that lower health care premiums between 2.5%-9.5% of household income for employees who are not provided health care or opt out of employer health care.

7

Mar

2017

Obamacare Repeal Bill Unveiled

Author: Kevin Marrs

Earlier this week, House Republicans introduced legislation that seeks to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), President Obama’s signature health care law.  Released Monday night by top Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee, the bill will, among other things, scrap the individual mandate.  It would also end the requirement that large employers offer insurance to their employees or pay a penalty.

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...

24

Jan

2017

The Six-Hour Workday Experiment and Its Results

Author: Heather Nezich

After a two-year government study on 6-hour work days that took place in Sweden, the results are in.  While employees proved to be happier, employer costs were higher.  Is the increase in cost worth it?

17

Jan

2017

Investment in Value-Based Recognition Programs Pays Off

Author: Kevin Marrs

According to a recently released survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce, a leading provider of social recognition solutions, organizations that dedicate 1% or more of payroll to values-based rewards and recognition are more likely to see greater impacts on retention and financial outcomes.

10

Jan

2017

Are Meritocracy Systems Fair?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

It is thought that in the war for talent, having a system that rewards performance, a meritocracy, is one that highly talented individuals would gravitate to.  In other words, employees would want to work in an environment where rewarding and promoting employees is based on their merit.  However, implementing meritocracy is not that simple.  One of the major issues many organizations deal with today is how to develop and implement an appropriate performance management...

3

Jan

2017

Minimum Wage Should be Driven at the State Level

Author: Michael Burns

As we enter the new year a bevy of states have raised their minimum wage. Michigan’s minimum wage just increased to $8.90/hour effective January 1st. Some states are leading the charge toward $12/hour or even higher.  West coast states such as Washington have minimum wages currently set at $11/hour and will continue to increase to $13.50/hour in 2020. In addition, some municipalities are overruling both state and federal minimum wages with their own. Michigan solved that concern...

20

Dec

2016

HR Trends to Expect in 2017

Author: Heather Nezich

2017 is right around the corner, and the HR industry is ever changing.  The war for talent continues to evolve, performance reviews as we know them are disappearing, and just when we figured out the Millennials, Generation Z is entering the work force.  Let’s look at some trends being predicted for 2017.

25

Oct

2016

Think Outside the Box to Retain Employees

Author: Heather Nezich

One of the biggest concerns for most HR departments is employee retention.  According to AFLAC, 47% of employees are likely to look for a new job in the next year and an additional 31% are extremely likely.  That’s 76% of the workforce that are very likely to seek out a new position next year.  What can companies do to prevent this?

11

Oct

2016

Paid Sick Leave is a Reality for Federal Contractors

Author: Anthony Kaylin

On September 29, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published the final rule for paid sick leave for certain federal contractors.  Under the regulations, paid sick leave will begin with specific contract types on or after January 1, 2017.  It is not retroactive to current contracts.  Below is a short summary of the final rule.

11

Oct

2016

Congress Considering Bill to Delay DOL’s Exempt Classification Rule Change

Author: Michael Burns

Momentum is growing around obstructing the implementation of the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) change to the salary level test for exemption from Wage and Hour overtime and recordkeeping requirements. This rule is scheduled to go into effect December 1, 2016 and impact an estimated 4 million jobs that without correction could become non-exempt and overtime eligible.

27

Sep

2016

Banning Inquiries into Applicant Salary Histories

Author: Dan Van Slambrook

There is a growing line of thought that salary history of applicants is not relevant when negotiating salaries of new hires.  In fact, the pundits believe that applicant salaries should be set based on market value determined by others with similar experience in the job being hired into regardless of previous salary.  In addition, these pundits believe that women in particular are hurt by these inquiries as studies have shown that coming out of college their salaries are in general...

20

Sep

2016

Wellness Programs – Are They Effective?

Author: Heather Nezich

As revealed in ASE’s 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefit Survey one of the top cost containment strategies that Michigan employers are using to reduce healthcare costs are Wellness Programs.  In fact, 37% of Michigan employers either currently have a plan or intend to create one in 2016.  Are they working?

20

Sep

2016

ASE Healthcare Survey Results

Author: Sara Pebbles

This year 229 organizations participated in ASE’s 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefit Survey.  The survey covers a wide variety of employer-sponsored health insurance benefits including practices related to both traditional and High Deductible or Consumer-Driven Health Plans.  Highlights from this year’s survey include the following:

6

Sep

2016

Are Unions Really That Bad?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

Given that Labor Day was this past Monday, it is a time of introspection.  The war on unions has had, according to at least one study, a significant impact on the U.S. economy and worker wages.  Has it been good or bad?

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