EverythingPeople This Week!

12

Jun

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

DOL Wage and Hour Publishes Opinion Letters Giving Direction on Three FLSA Issues

Author: Michael Burns

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published three opinion letters earlier this month providing employers guidance on how to treat travel time, break time, and whether lump-sum payments can be garnished and to what extent.

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.

29

May

2018

If You Guessed 3%, You’re Right – 2018 Compensation Survey Results

Author: Sara Pebbles

Last week at the 8th annual Compensation & Benefits Conference, ASE released the long-awaited results of ASE’s 2018 Compensation Survey.  Those in attendance were able to get a first look at the results and historical trends.     

22

May

2018

2018 College Graduates are Entering the Market – Know Your Data

Author: Heather Nezich

Employers say they are planning to hire more recent college graduates this year than they have in more than a decade, according to new CareerBuilder research. 80% percent of employers say they plan to hire college graduates this year, up from 74% last year and 58% in 2008. Those who are not hiring college grads say it's because their organization isn't expanding headcount this year (57%) or they need more experienced workers (26%).  How does this compare with ASE’s 2018 Starting...

8

May

2018

How to Select the Right Benchmark Survey for Your Organization

Author: Jason Rowe

There are thousands of benchmark surveys available to both employers and their employees that can be utilized when making compensation and benefit decisions. As an employer, choosing the right survey(s) may not always be easy or straightforward. So how do you know which survey is right for you?

1

May

2018

Must I Accommodate Overtime When Overtime is a Requirement for the Job?

Author: Anthony Kaylin

At times overtime is required in order to meet customer demand.  An HR issue can arise when an employee presents a doctor’s note stating that the employee can only work eight hours per day and no overtime.  Since ADA or FMLA may apply, how does the employer respond to this situation?

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...
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