HR Newsletter: DOL Publishes Four FLSA Opinion Letters

DOL Opinion Letters

On August 31, 2020, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published four new opinion letters. Opinion letters provide the DOL’s official position on how labor and employment standards, in this case the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), apply in specific situations.

  • Retail Exemption for Truck DriversFLSA2020-11 patterns the analysis employers must use to determine whether truck drivers working for a retail establishment qualify for the “retail or service establishment exemption.” While the facts are specific to the gas and oil industry, the underlying principles have greater applicability.
  • Use of Personal Vehicle for BusinessFLSA2020-12 addresses whether to reimburse non-exempt hourly employees who use their vehicle to further their employer’s business for expenses related to their vehicle, including: gas, oil, routine maintenance and repairs, fixed vehicle expenses, registration fees, license fees and insurance costs not required by the employer.

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HR Newsletter: Preparing for the PTO Bomb

PTO

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on nearly every facet of the workplace. With everything upended, employers are understandably focused on maintaining their service and product quality. But working hard isn’t the only key to successfully enduring the pandemic—in fact, the opposite may be just as critical.

Paid time off (PTO) is something many employees take for granted. Hundreds of millions of vacation days go unused each year, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Due to a variety of factors, some employees opt not to use time off, and they—and the entire organization—end up suffering for it in the long run.

Even the act of taking PTO—whether it’s used for relaxation or not—is correlated with greater success. Employees who took 11 or more vacation days were over 30% more likely to receive a raise than those who took fewer days, according to the Harvard Business Review. Furthermore, for each 10 vacation hours an employee used, their performance review scores raised 8% on average.

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HR Newsletter: Proper Workspace Ergonomics

Posture

One of the primary ways to prevent work-related neck and back injuries is to evaluate your workstation and make sure it is ergonomically correct and promotes good posture. The discomfort and pain from slouching at a desk all day is very common, with many office workers suffering pain at least once a week. If you are working at an ergonomically incorrect workstation or practice poor posture, you can suffer from neck, shoulder, wrist and elbow discomfort.

Avoid unnecessary discomfort at work by focusing on your posture and making your workstation ergonomically appropriate. Typically, aches and pains from office work stem from physical stress due to prolonged and awkward positions, repetitive motions and overuse.

We’ve created an infographic to help you and your employees promote good posture and correct ergonomics. Click the following link to view the infographic on “How to Properly Arrange Your Workspace.”

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HR Newsletter: Leading Remote Teams

Remote Teams

Due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, many organizations are offering remote work options to more employees than ever before—sometimes out of business necessity. Numerous studies show that remote work had expanded even pre-coronavirus, and continued growth should be expected as employers prepare return-to-work plans.

Expanded use of the remote workplace can offer numerous benefits to employers. These benefits include access to a broadened talent pool, reduced costs and more—though a successful virtual workplace isn’t created without obstacles. Both remote employees and teams face unique challenges—however, leaders can address these barriers with proactive planning.

While, in some cases, remote work is being adopted out of necessity, many employees feel confident in their abilities to fulfill their roles remotely. The Harris Poll conducted a survey on behalf of Glassdoor among nearly 1,000 employed adults during the COVID-19 pandemic. Results indicated that 60% feel confident in doing their job efficiently from home, even if it means doing so indefinitely. The same survey also revealed that 50% believe they would be equally or more productive working remotely.

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