June 2016

The summer has started off at an exciting pace with the recent announcement regarding upcoming changes to overtime regulations.  Please see the below articles which provides more information so you are prepared.  HRA will be working with many of our clients to help explore best practices to implement these changes by December.  Contact us at if we can assist you.

HRA's Video Employer Advice
June 2016

This month we look at "Employee Counseling" 
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to start viewing and learning more.

New Overtime Regulations

Under the current Federal wage and hour law, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), non-exempt workers are required to be paid overtime pay - 1.5 times their regular rate - for all hours worked in excess of forty (40) in a week There are exemptions to this requirement. The most common exemptions are the "white collar" exemptions because they primarily apply to executives, administrative, and professional employees.

In order to be an exempt white collar worker, the employee must satisfy three requirements: 

(1) they must perform duties that are specific to each exemption (for example, the executive exemption), 

(2) they must be paid on a salary basis, meaning that they receive their full salary in any week in which they work, with very few exceptions,

(3) their salary must be at least the minimum level ($913 per week / $47,476 per year).
The New Regulations: This is the last requirement to be changed by the new regulations. Prior to the change, the minimum amount since 2004 was $455 per week/$23,660 per year.  The new regulations increase this new minimum to $913 per week/$47,476 per year. This annual amount will also be adjusted every three years.

Most salaried workers whose salary was between these levels should expect a change in their compensation system, especially if they work over 40 hours per week. In order for an employer to be in compliance by the December 1st deadline they may:
1) Reclassify such workers to a non-exempt hourly status,
2) Increase their salary to maintain exempt status; or
3) Make other changes in order to be in compliance.
Under the new regulations, up to 10% of the salary amount can come from non-discretionary bonus, incentive payments, and commissions, as long as those payments are made at least quarterly.
Workers currently paid on an hourly basis are not impacted by the new regulations. The new regulations go into effect December 1, 2016. They are expected to automatically adjust every three years, based on federal statistics about wages for salaried workers, so that the new minimum stays at the 40th percentile of the lowest national region.  HR Advantage has already received many calls and emails regarding the new overtime changes and are here to answer any of your questions. Helpful link to SHRM on action to be taken Click Here 

Summer Dress Codes 
in the Workplace
Maintaining a dress code in the workplace in the summer can be challenging for employers.  Some businesses, particularly if they have a strict dress policy, relax their rules during the summer. Others that already allow business-casual attire don't feel the need to loosen standards even more. But in either situation, employees may take it on themselves to make the dress code more casual by simply wearing more relaxing apparel to work - whether or not there's an official policy in place.
Here are four ways to ensure workers' appearances match your organization's expectations:
1. Put it in writing. If you're willing to relax the dress code at times, give a timeframe. For example, advise workers a summer dress code will be in effect "between Memorial Day and Labor Day."

2. Give examples. Many dress-code policies have gone awry because they were too vague. Be specific about what's appropriate and what's not, such as whether employees can wear:
  • Sandals,
  • Sleeveless shirts, t-shirts or polo shirts,
  • Shorts, or
  • Casual pants, such as blue jeans and capris.
Also, address the use of bright colors and hosiery, and be careful with wording. For example, if you allow "dressy" sandals but not "beachy" sandals, you may see workers sporting flip flops with heels or sparkling evening shoes.

3. Walk the talk. Be sure your managers toe the line (in appropriate footwear, of course) and follow the dress code. If they don't, neither will staff members.

4. Be consistent. Styles of dress can spread like a virus. If a worker wears sandals or a sweat shirt one day, you could have a few employees wearing them the next day and half your staff by the next week. So address dress code violations immediately by pulling the worker aside and telling him or her what's wrong. If the outfit is inappropriate, send the worker home to change.

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Candida Arvizu MS, PHR, SHRM-CP  

HR Advisor

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Crystal Viefhaus HR Advisor  

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Lynette Weatherford MA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP President

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