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Category: Human Resource Management

H/R News :: Employee Pay & Attendance Issues When Bad Weather Strikes

It’s that time of year again, when snow and slippery conditions may make it difficult for your employees to travel to work. Consider the following guidelines that can help your company be prepared when bad weather strikes.

Winter-Tree

1. When an employee misses work due to bad weather conditions, whether the employee is entitled to be paid for the absence may depend on the employee’s exempt or non-exempt status.
Under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are not required to pay non-exempt employees for hours they did not work, including when the office is closed due to bad weather.

Exempt employees generally must be paid their full salary amount if they perform any work during a workweek. However, an employer that remains open for business during a period of bad weather may generally make deductions, for full-day absences only, from the salary of an exempt employee who chooses not to report to work because of the weather. Deductions from salary for less than a full-day’s absence are not permitted.

If the business is closed for the day as a result of inclement weather, the employer may not deduct the day’s pay from the salary of an exempt employee. The general rule is that an employer who closes operations due to a weather-related emergency or other disaster for less than a full workweek must pay an exempt employee the full salary for that week, if the employee performs any work during the week. This is because deductions may not be made for time when work is not available.

2. Some states require employers to pay employees for showing up even if no work is available or there is an interruption of work and the employee is sent home.
Although payment for time not worked may not be required for non-exempt employees under federal law, some states do require that employees be paid for a minimum number of hours for reporting to work, even if there is no work that can be performed (such as when the office is closed) or the employee is sent home early, for instance, due to an impending storm.

Often called “reporting time pay,” these laws may apply to specific industries (e.g., manufacturing) or certain employees only, so it is important to check with your state labor department for requirements that may apply to your company before implementing any policy.

3. Plan ahead so your employees know what is expected of them and to help minimize disruption to your business.
Make it a priority to notify all of your employees, both exempt and non-exempt, of your company’s policy regarding employee attendance and pay during periods of inclement weather. Your policy should include information on how your employees can find out whether the office is open or closed, such as by email, radio broadcast, calling in to hear a recorded message, or other methods that all employees can access. Be sure to apply your policy consistently and fairly to all employees.

It’s also prudent to remind employees to use their best judgment and not to put their safety at risk when it comes to traveling to work during or after a storm. If possible, see if you can arrange for employees to work remotely from home on days when the weather makes travel dangerous.

Learn more about G.R. Reid Human Resource Management Services.

 

 

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5 HR Compliance Resolutions for 2013

Sales Team

 

The New Year is a great time to take stock of your company’s compliance with important federal and state labor law requirements. Keep these resolutions in mind to help your company stay in shape in 2013:

1. Give your poster wall a thorough check-up.
Make sure all of your federal and state posters are up-to-date and the correct size. Check with your state labor department (http://www.dol.gov/whd/contacts/state_of.htm) for any industry-specific poster requirements that may apply to your business.

2. Stay on top of notice requirements.
From summary plan descriptions (SPDs), to COBRA- and FMLA-related notices, employers are required under various federal and state laws to provide employees with certain information about their benefits and responsibilities. Confirm that your employee communications are accurate, consistent, and in compliance with applicable law.

3. Keep up with recordkeeping.
In addition to being a good business practice, employers are required to maintain certain types of employee records in order to comply with both federal and state law. Verify that your recordkeeping procedures address any requirements related to confidentiality and how long to keep records.

4. Review policies and procedures.
Be sure your company policies and procedures comply with federal and state labor laws related to employee leave, equal employment opportunity, sexual harassment, worker safety and other requirements.

5. Confirm that your workers are classified properly.
Misclassifying employees as independent contractors  can result in costly legal consequences. Also remember that an employee’s exempt or nonexempt  status is based on his or her compensation and specific job duties–not job title.

Employers who have specific concerns are encouraged to contact G.R. Reid Associates for a consultation with one of our Human Resource Services directors.

 

 

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Human Resources Services :: 7 Topics to Cover During New Employee Orientation

New employee orientation (also called onboarding) introduces new employees to the workplace and familiarizes them with some of the company’s basic practices. Onboarding should be conducted as soon after an employee’s start date as possible. Some of the topics you may wish to cover include:

1. Welcome
Give your new employee a brief tour of the workplace and introduce managers and co-workers. Be sure the employee’s work station is neat and organized to make him or her feel welcome.

2. New Hire Paperwork
Orientation is a good time to collect and complete any necessary paperwork, such as Form I-9 (employee must complete no later than the first day of work for pay), Form W-4 and any required state income tax withholding forms.

3. Compensation and Benefits
Provide details on pay periods, direct deposit, payroll deductions, health insurance and any other benefits to which your new employee may be entitled. Prepare a benefits packet ahead of time to give to the employee and let him or her know who can answer questions.

4. Attendance and Leave
Review the employee’s expected hours of work, as well as the company’s policies regarding absenteeism, meal and break periods, and time off (including notice required).

5. Employee Conduct
Make sure the employee understands the rules regarding dress code, telephone and computer use, and other expectations. If your policies are explained in an employee handbook, be sure the employee receives a copy.

6. Safety and Security
Explain necessary safety and security procedures and distribute building keys, employee identification, and parking passes as appropriate.

7. Required Training
Schedule training sessions as soon as possible so the employee can learn about the technology, safety, and any other special skills necessary to perform his or her job.

Regardless of whether you distribute a full employee handbook, it’s a good idea (and in some instances may be legally required) to inform employees in writing of your company’s policies. Remember to follow-up with your employee during the first several weeks to address any concerns and answer any questions that may come up. For more information about how your company can benefit by working with G.R. Reid’s Human Resource Services, contact us.

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7 Strategies for Keeping Top Talent at Your Company

A new study released by the not-for-profit organization WorldatWork reveals that companies are increasingly worried about retaining top talent, particularly as the economy starts to improve.

Understanding the reasons why key employees leave is important to developing effective retention strategies. According to those surveyed, the main reasons for turnover include opportunities for better pay, lack of promotional opportunities, dissatisfaction with work and perceptions regarding unfair pay.

Ways to Increase Retention

Consider the following strategies to help reduce turnover and increase satisfaction among your company’s valued employees:

  • Make sure your compensation package is fair and competitive.
  • Acknowledge and reward your employees’ contributions and provide regular, constructive feedback.
  • Provide a forum to encourage new ideas and open communication.
  • Offer training programs and mentoring to enhance skills development, learning and career growth.
  • Provide employee assistance, wellness and health programs.
  • Support work-life balance and offer flexible work arrangements, such as varied hours and the possibility of telecommuting.
  • Provide leadership opportunities.

A high rate of employee turnover can result in a loss of knowledge and skills, as well as have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Creating a work environment which includes a range of motivators can result in improved performance as well as increased retention and enthusiasm for the company.

See more information on our Human Resource Management Tools.

G.R. Reid Associates, LLP
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Phone: 631.425.1800 / Fax: 631.425.4656

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