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Toss the Schedule Spreadsheet, Watch Your Shop Floor Excel

Your top performer on a critical workstation just called in sick. If you can’t get the shift covered you won’t complete an order for your important new client, and you’re barely keeping up as it is. Which of your employees is available on short notice AND trained on the equipment?

It’s Phishing Season: Don’t Take the Bait

We've blogged on phishing before, but it's time for a refresh. In 2017 the IRS received approximately 900 complaints about phishing and suspected scams. That’s up from about 100 in 2016, and the number is expected to grow again in 2018. According to the IRS, in 2017 “more than 200 employers were victimized, which translated into hundreds of thousands of employees who had their identities compromised.” Don’t let your company be the next victim.

Fight Workplace Harassment, Encourage Safety, Respect

As you've probably heard, sexual harassment is making headlines. Men and women, from Hollywood stars to everyday people, are speaking out - and perpetrators are facing hefty consequences. No complaints at your company? Don’t breathe a sigh of relief quite yet; just because you haven’t heard about harassment at work doesn’t mean it’s not there. Make no mistake, harassment encompasses far more than dirty jokes or unwanted advances. You should know all the forms of harassing behavior, what to do about them and how to promote a workplace culture that doesn’t tolerate them.

Help Wanted? Here’s How to Find Qualified Candidates

Like many U.S. employers, you may be looking to fill or create new jobs.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates there are 5.9 million U.S. job openings as of November 2017. But with millions seeking employment, how can you reach qualified candidates?

Absenteeism: A Symptom You Can’t Afford to Ignore

Employee absences are inevitable.  Scheduled or not, legitimate or not, absences mean less work completed as time and money go to paid sick time and overtime, picking up the slack, training a sub, or bringing in a temp. And don’t forget “soft” costs like increased workload, coworker resentment and reduced productivity. Absenteeism may be an unavoidable part of life at work, but it can be managed. The time you spend tracking attendance helps you find ways to improve it. Besides, what you learn about your employees’ absenteeism could be like the canary in the coalmine – a sign that something else is wrong.

Stop Terminating Your Employees (Until You’ve Read Our Essential Guide)

It’s inevitable. The employee you thought would rocket to the top of your corporate ladder has been consistently slipping. Performance is taking a nosedive and careless mistakes are adding up. Eventually, it becomes clear you can’t fix this problem employee. You’ll have to let them go.

Taxes, Wages and ACA Compliance:  Don’t Drop the Ball in the New Year

 

2018 is coming fast!  Are you paying attention to the changes and deadlines that are right around the corner? Our tips will help you navigate changes to tax and wage rates and stay compliant with the Affordable Care Act. 

End Your HR Year by Setting Up 2018 for Success

Ask anyone who works in human resources about the signs of autumn - chances are, leaf colors and pumpkin spice beverages aren't at the top of the list. In the HR world, open enrollment, preparing form 1095-C and setting up next year’s payroll schedule are really what signal that fall is here. There’s paperwork to file (or e-file), employee data to verify and did we mention the deadlines? It can make for a hectic time with lots of projects to keep track of. Read on to stay organized and manage the chaos.

Boomerang Employees: Tips for Rehiring

It used to be that once an employee left a job, they were cutting ties with the organization forever. However, it’s becoming more common for employers to rehire former employees, anyone from seasonal workers to full-time professionals. A 2015 national survey of more than 1,800 human resources professionals, managers and employees found that ”nearly half of HR professionals claim their organization previously had a policy against rehiring former employees – even if the employee left in good standing – but 76 percent say they are more accepting of hiring boomerang employees today than in the past.”  So - how do you do it right?

Strong US Economy Heading into Q4

In July the Dow hit a record high of 22,000 and it continues to climb as 2017 rolls on. While the stock market is volatile and influenced by many factors, the Dow's continued growth is one sign that the economy is strong. Here are a few other key indicators that are looking up as the US heads into Q4, indicators every employer should be familiar with.

Exit Interviews: Let Departing Employees Get the Last Word

Employees facing exit interviews need only look to Google for article after article offering guidance on what to say and what not to say. Leaving a job can be an emotional roller coaster, so employees are often advised to be constructive and diplomatic, honest but guarded and most of all, to avoid burning bridges. There’s an art to giving constructive criticism without breaking confidence with coworkers or making one’s manager look bad. Not everyone can pull it off and some don’t even want to try. The result for employers? Vague answers to exit interview questions and a lack of actionable insights. But, there’s plenty you can do to help departing employees give useful feedback while still taking the high road.

Reduce Overtime Monitoring to Just Minutes a Week

Are you a business owner? Or maybe a supervisor with hourly employees? Are you running shifts that vary according to your staffing needs? Then you're probably well aware that mismanagement of overtime can increase labor costs in addition to having significant compliance implications.

Hiring Minors? Follow These 5 Best Practices

In October 2015, 23.7% of US high school students age 16-19 had jobs. Where are these young people working? According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, industries in accommodation and food services (e.g. restaurants, hotels), retail (including grocery and food stores) and arts, entertainment and recreation (including amusement parks) see the highest numbers of youth workers. These tend to be companies looking for entry-level, minimum wage and temporary workers, maybe even yours. 

When Is An Independent Contractor Really An Employee?

In our blog last week, we explored the general problem of employee misclassification.  This week we're taking a closer look at independent contractor versus employee status.

Can You Afford to Misclassify Your Workers?

 

It’s Monday morning: Employees make their way to their workstations, the Keurig whirrs in the break room and the office starts to hum along as usual. Then, an employee approaches you and says that he’s done some research and discovered that his exempt job has been misclassified, and he’s actually nonexempt. What? No one has ever questioned their job status before, and your company’s job titles and descriptions are all in order. Is this employee correct? Are there others?  How is a misclassification fixed? Or do you need to do anything about it? If he’s right, does the company owe him money? Are there tax penalties?

It’s going to be a long week.

8 Reasons You Need Automated Timekeeping

Think you don't need automated timekeeping? Think again. But what exactly is it and how can it help your business?

The New I-9: What You Need to Know

The US Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS), part of the Department of Homeland Security, released a revised I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification form on July 17, 2017. You may be curious as to why the USCIS revised the form only eight months after its last publication. Read on to find out why a new form was created, what has changed about the form and what you need to know as an employer. 

Get On Board with Onboarding: Why The Way You Hire Matters

Most of us can remember being the new person on the job. Even if you’re excited for a change, it can be a little scary when you don’t quite know what to expect from the group (or what's expected of you). Did your new co-workers help you learn the ropes, or were you left to sink or swim, clutching your benefits application and employee handbook and little else? It’s not hard to guess which scenario most people prefer. Let's talk about how to avoid the latter.

How to Evaluate Your Labor Audit Liability

Why Worry?

According to the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM),

"Employers should keep in mind that the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) can audit employers at any time, although the most common reason for a DOL audit is a complaint from an employee. The DOL has also targeted employers in low-wage industries for wage and hour violations, particularly in the areas of agriculture, day cares, restaurants, garment manufacturing, guard services, health care, hotels and motels, janitorial services, and temporary help."

Even if you aren't in one of the previously-targeted industries mentioned above, you should be aware of what an audit entails and what you need in order to ensure compliance.

Employee Social Media Posts: Should You Go There?

 

“Social media has irreparably blurred the line between one’s personal persona and one’s professional persona,” says Jon Hyman in Workforce magazine. If you consider that a recent Pew Research Center survey of 1,520 U.S. adults that found 79% of those online use Facebook, 24% use Twitter and 29% use LinkedIn, chances are pretty good that most of your employees are active on one or more social media platform. What does that mean for you, the employer?