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October 2015 - MVHRA Connections

 

October 2015 MVHRA Connections Newsletter

 

Presidential Ponderings Volume 4, Edition 10

Making Time

 

Kelly O’Connor, PHR, GBA
President/Servant Leader

 

With the leaves flying and the cooler weather, we are officially in fall. Yea! It’s also the time of year when the world of HR gets even busier.With benefits enrollments, budgeting and strategic planning, I often hear about how busy and swamped everyone else. I, too, can often feel this way.

But let’s not let the busyness of our workdays hold us back from professional development. It can be harder to make the time, but it’s still very important. My grandpa used to always say “People can take your money, possessions and friends. But no one can take away your education.” He was a big believer of continuing to learn… all through your life.

His words repeat in my head every time I start to say “I’m too busy to go to that workshop.” I have to make the time.

With all that said, we are very excited about this month’s workshop and luncheon. The workshop will be a new and different format… not only will we learn about social media, but we’ll be in a computer lab actually practicing what we learn.

Then, for the luncheon, we have SHRM’s Vice President of Government Affairs visiting to discuss the 114th Congress and the Obama Administration. We are thrilled to have a SHRM representative visit us and we know legal updates is always a hot topic.

Employment Corner!!

 

Check out these exciting Human Resources job opportunities:

·         Manager of Employment Services – University of Dayton

·         Human Resources Officer – Montgomery County – Environmental Services

·         HR Business Partner – PSA Airlines

·         HR Manager – Wright-Patt Credit Union

·         HR Generalist – Antioch University

·         Corporate Recruiter – (Undisclosed)

·         HR Generalist – ADESA Auto Auction

·         Manager of Employment Services – University of Dayton

·         HR Partner – Assurant Specialty Property

 

 

Status of Obama Administration’s Wage and Hour Proposal
 

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

40 N. Main Street

Suite 1700

Dayton, Ohio 45423

Email: mullins@taftlaw.com

Email: jlordi@taftlaw.com

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) has released a proposed rule that would raise the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the “white collar” exemptions under the Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) from the current minimum salary requirement for the executive, administrative, professional and computer employee exemptions of $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $970 per week ($50,440 per year). This rule would also raise the threshold for exemption as a “highly compensated employee” (“HCE”) from $100,000 to at least $122,148. Both the minimum salary level for exemption and the HCE threshold would increase annually after the new regulations become effective, based on the Consumer Price Index. DOL projects that 4.7 million workers would be affected.

The next step will be publication of the proposed language in the Federal Register. After publication, there is a comment period of 60 days. Following review of the comments, DOL will publish a “final rule” that likely will differ from the proposed rule. The date of issuance will probably be late 2016.

How do these proposed changes impact employers? We suggest:

  1. Don’t overreact. DOL’s proposed changes will undergo modification during the rulemaking process. Before implementing drastic alterations to existing policies and procedures, wait to see the final rule.
  2. Begin analyzing positions. While it would be unwise to make many changes before the final rule is announced, that does not mean employers should wait to begin planning. Review those positions in your organization now considered to be exempt but would change under the new rules. How close are the current incumbents in those positions to the new threshold? Do they regularly work more than 40 hours weekly? How difficult would it be to begin tracking time for these incumbents, as you now do for non-exempt employees?
  3. Develop a plan to communicate with employees. Supporters of the proposed changes predict that it will result in significant wage increases for those affected. That conclusion may be optimistic (or overly pessimistic depending on your perspective). As we saw with the Affordable Care Act, it is too early to predict what impact these changes may have on employees. Employers could reduce hours for certain jobs and hire additional employees to perform the work without incurring overtime. Under that strategy, some employees could face a cut in pay and fall under the 30-hour requirement for health insurance coverage and other benefits. Employers could change an employee’s classification but then lower the employee’s hourly rate so that even with overtime hours, the employee makes essentially the same amount made in salary before the changes. Even a more modest response by employers, such as more closely monitoring hours of work, could have a negative impact on employees. Employees who now enjoy the flexibility of being exempt could face increased scrutiny regarding when they come and go and how many hours they actually work. Before making any changes in response to DOL’s proposed rule, employers should design a comprehensive communication plan.
  4. Consider Impact in Budgeting Process. It is likely that some change will occur. Employers should assess the potential impact of the required changes in the current budgeting process. This analysis could impact raises, bonuses and hiring decisions.

It is probably too early to modify your practices. Many prior administrators have tried to impact the FLSA and have failed. This effort may fail as well, though some change may be overdue. Keep in mind that any modification made must be applied prospectively so there is no liability based on past practice, as long as you were in compliance with the rules in effect at the time.

 

 

 

Welcome New MVHRA Members!

Kimberly Lukaszewski

Rachel Zidaroff

Bryan Lucas

Laura Hayes

Shannon Landers

Julie Bettker

Summer Kovacs

Tishuawa Walker

Christine Campbell

Lisa Merritt

Tanisha Lovelace

Rachel Lawson

Shannon Copner

Heather Osborne

Michelle Lewis

Jasmin Spirk

 

 

Committee Spotlight: Job Opportunities

For this month’s committee spotlight article, we’d like to focus on the Job Opportunities Committee.

Led by Jamie Coble, our job opportunities committee manages the job postings and resumes on our website. This committee plays a key role to connect job seekers and those hiring

 

A huge thank you to our Job Opportunities Committee for all their hard work!

 

NLRB Expands the Definition of Joint Employer Affecting Companies Using Leasing or Staffing Firms

 

Jeffrey A. Mullins, Esq.

Jessica A. Lordi, Esq.

Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

40 N. Main Street

Suite 1700

Dayton, Ohio 45423

 

Email: mullins@taftlaw.com

Email: jlordi@taftlaw.com

 

A joint-employer scenario typically arises when an employer leases or borrows employees from a leasing or staffing firm. If a joint-employer relationship exists, each employer (i.e. the staffing firm and the employer) is required to bargain with a union representing jointly controlled employees; and each employer is liable for unfair labor practices. Prior to August 27, 2015, an employer was considered a joint employer of the leased or borrowed employees if it had the right to control the essential terms and conditions of their employment (i.e. hiring, firing, discipline, supervision, wages and hours, scheduling, etc.) and it exercised that right directly, immediately, and not in a “limited and routine” manner. 

On August 27, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) decided the case of Browning-Ferris Industries of California, and expanded the definition of joint-employer, which overturned decades of precedent. Under the new definition, an employer could be a joint employer if it merely has the right to control essential terms and conditions of employment, even if it does not exercise that right. Specifically, the NLRB stated that “[t]he right to control, in the common-law sense, is probative of joint-employer status, as is the actual exercise of control, whether direct or indirect.”  With this new definition, bargaining responsibilities and liabilities are substantially expanded to a potentially wide variety of businesses including franchises and other companies that obtain labor from employee leasing or staffing firms and those that regularly contract out non-core services (i.e. cleaning, janitorial, and maintenance services or shipping services).

            To illustrate this new definition’s breadth, Company A uses a staffing firm to supply janitorial staff to clean its offices. Company A and the staffing firm are joint employers of that janitorial staff if Company A imposes requirements or conditions upon the janitorial staff, such as minimum qualifications and pre-requisites for employment, ceilings on wages, or the right to reject workers provided by the staffing firm. Meaning if Company A asks that the staffing firm’s janitors provide services before 8am and after 5pm then Company A is a joint employer of the janitors because it has the right to control the janitors’ terms and conditions of employment. Because Company A is considered a joint employer, both Company A and the staffing firm are required to bargain with the janitors’ union and both have potential liability for unfair labor practices.

            It is important to note that even if your company does not have a unionized workforce, this decision can affect your business if there is an organizing campaign at your company or a complaint from your leased workers. Looking forward, companies should reexamine and revise current policies to limit the risk of falling under the new joint employer definition.

 

College Relations Corner - MVHRA Member Participation

One of the things that makes us a strong chapter is our strong relationship with our SHRM student chapters. There are several upcoming opportunities for our MVHRA members to interact with college students interested in HR careers. Get involved and volunteer for these upcoming events!

·         October 21 and November 18, 6:30-7:30pm - speakers wanted for the Wright State HR/Mgt. Club meetings. You can determine the topic on a recent HR change such as the effects of health care changes, independent contractor exemption status, etc. Email Betsy Brown at betsybrown@woh.rr.com for additional details.

·         November 16, 6:30-8:00 - mock interviewing “round robin” with WSU students. We need volunteers to help graduating seniors brush up on their interviewing skills. Email Kelli Cowgill at cowgillk@cintas.com for additional details.

 

·         February, first and second weeks – volunteers wanted to host a student for either half or full day job shadowing opportunities. Email Lind Dean at ldean2@woh.rr.com for additional details.

 

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