What the Proposed Overtime Changes Will Mean for Employers

Human resources expert available to offer commentary on new overtime proposal

Department of LaborThe Department of Labor (DOL) has just released their proposed changes related to the federal overtime regulations.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment solutions expert says, “Under the new proposal, employees earning less than $35,308 per year will automatically be eligible for overtime pay. Employees will continue to earn one and a half times their regular pay rate for time worked over 40 hours in a week. However, since this is a proposed rule, the final regulation may incorporate substantial changes including a possibility of the salary threshold ending up higher or lower than the current target of $35,308.”

As for the impact of the possible changes on the business community, Wilson points to past attempts by the Department of Labor to alter overtime regulations.

“This isn’t the first time the DOL has gone down this road,” says Wilson. “In November 2016, a federal court in Texas granted a nationwide injunction prohibiting the DOL from increasing the salary threshold to $47,476. The law would have also included an automatic increase that would be scheduled for every three years. The change was set to take effect December 1, 2016 with the first salary threshold update set for January 1, 2020. Although the Texas court’s permanent injunction is on appeal, the 2016 rule would be rescinded as part of the new proposal.”

Wilson says that the DOL proposal is not without its drawbacks.

Continue reading

Employees Quit in Record Numbers Over Perceived Poor Pay

Employment trends expert explains how to manage the tricky topic of raises

QuitA record number of people are leaving their jobs because they are not happy with their current pay. In fact, nearly half of the employees who recently quit their jobs did so because they wanted a raise.

“Employees are being advised that the job market is improving, which makes them believe that this a good time to ask the boss for a raise,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “However, not every employer agrees.”

Wilson goes on to point that salary increase levels are uncharacteristically low given how good the unemployment numbers have been.

“We expect national salary levels to increase 3.1% in 2019,” says the employment trends expert. “The vast majority of our clients are expecting to increase their 2019 salary budgets by that same target.”

So, given that raises will be a hot-button topic that many employers will face in the coming months, how should they approach this topic with their workers?

“We recommend that employers review not only employees’ performance to set 2019 salary levels, but also review that position’s pay against internal and external salary data to ensure their top performers are compensated appropriately,” says Wilson.

The employment trends expert also says privacy can be a good idea when it comes to a person’s pay.

“In very few organizations is it a good idea to openly communicate salary ranges for each position to the entire employee population.  We’ve seen this go very poorly in companies without strong total compensation philosophies,” says Wilson.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

Changes to Overtime Law Loom: What Employers Need to Know

Employment trends expert weighs in on private-sector overtime pay requirements

OvertimeOvertime continues to be a developing hot button topic in states across the United States, with Washington being the latest state to draft a proposal which would offer overtime to professional workers who earn 1.5 times that of minimum wage.

“Workers who earn slightly more than $37,000 a year would be eligible for overtime when they work over 40 hours a week,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “While some say that these changes are good news for employees, others caution that it could spell financial ruin for small-business owners.”

Since 2016 when President Obama signed an overtime law which made employees who earned less than $47,476 a year eligible for overtime compensation, many small business owners have been fearful that they will not be able to keep pace with new requirements. When a Texas judge blocked that ruling, it offered a small reprieve until President Trump took office.

“Many business owners breathed a sigh of relief when President Trump backed away from President Obama’s 2016 decree,” says Wilson. “However, we still don’t know where Trump’s administration will land on when it comes to their take on private sector overtime pay requirements.”

Wilson says that we should expect to find out what President Trump’s overtime numbers will be sometime around Jan. 2019.

“The Labor Department is in review mode right now,” says Wilson. “They are looking at the number of people who are eligible for overtime (currently those who make $23,660 a year or less), and wondering how they should apply that to more workers.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

How to “ICE-Proof” Your Business

Employment expert explains how businesses can stay on the right side of immigration law

Last week, immigration officials descended on almost 100 7-Eleven stores in 17 states. They carried notices requiring owners of these establishments to produce hiring records for their employees within 3 days.

“These employment audits are part of President Donald Trump’s commitment to changing the face of immigration policy in this country,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA. “Businesses need to realize that this administration is taking immigration records very seriously, and if they fail to produce the proper paperwork when questioned, they could face fines or even criminal charges.”

Wilson says that states like California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas should be on special alert, as it is known that these are the states with the highest number of undocumented workers.

“President Trump is going to start by cracking down in places that are known to have a history of undocumented workers,” says Wilson. “And, he’s going to be tough on employers. Unlike past administrations which focused more on the workers themselves, Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, promises a significant increase on work-site raids and he says that they will prosecute those who knowingly hire undocumented workers.”

The employment trends expert says that there are several things companies need to do in order to ensure that their businesses are “ICE-proof”:

  1. The most important step is to ensure that Forms I-9 are properly created when a worker is first hired. Form I-9 is used to verify the identity and ability of people to work in the United States. Staff should receive training to learn how to legally complete the form, inspect the person’s documents (e.g., driver’s license), and answer employee questions.
  2. Employers should also periodically coordinate Form I-9 self-audits to be conducted by a neutral and knowledgeable employee or vendor who is not part of the regular process. These audits will surface deficiencies with the actual Forms I-9 or the process itself.  If problems are discovered, the staff may need additional training.
  3. To complete the preparation, companies should also create inspection and raid day plans. Everyone from the receptionist to the HR personnel to the CEO should be ready for possible scenarios where ICE presents a criminal search warrant, administrative arrest warrant, or inspection notice. In some circumstances, the company can deny ICE immediate access to their private property and Forms I-9.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.