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The Deadline to Comply with the New Overtime Rules is Approaching


If you haven’t started planning for the upcoming overtime changes, now is the time. As a reminder, on May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new rule regarding overtime wage payment in the United States. This new increases the salary threshold that “white collar” employees must meet in order to qualify for an overtime wage payment exemption. Employers must comply with the new rule by Dec. 1, 2016. Given the significant impact this change could have on your company’s bottom lcoins-1523383_640ine, it is important to start examining your payroll records and re-evaluating your overtime policies now in order to avoid compliance penalties in 2017 and beyond.

What is changing?

In order for an individual to be considered exempt from overtime under the “white collar exemption” that applies to professional, executive and administrative employees, they must meet three requirements. The second requirement is the only one that changed in the new regulations. The salary basis requirement and the duties test stayed the same

1- They must be paid on a salary basis (not hourly, piece rate, etc.).
2- They must be paid at least a minimum salary of $23,660 (increasing to $47,476 on December 1, 2016).
3. They must pass the FLSA duties test for overtime exemption based on their work.

In order to prevent the salary thresholds from falling behind in the future, the final rule requires that the minimum salary level requirements for the white collar exemptions will be updated every three years, starting with the first update January 1, 2020.

For administrative, executive and professional employees, the final rule allows employers to count up to 10 percent of employee nondiscretionary bonuses, incentive payments and commissions as part of the standard salary level—a practice that is not currently permitted. These bonuses may allow employers to more accurately represent employees’ earnings and help determine whether white collar exemptions should apply.

Employers are allowed to make one catch-up payment at the end of each quarter to satisfy the standard salary level. Payments must be made within one pay period after the quarter.

The final rule also increases the $100,000 salary level for highly compensated individuals to $134,004 per year—the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally.

What do employers need to do?

Employers should review their salaried exempt employees and determine if they have any employees that they are currently classifying as exempt from overtime under the professional, executive and administrative exemption or the highly compensated employee exemption. Then employers should identify those employees in this group whose salary below the new threshold.

These are the individuals you need to determine the best course of action for moving forward. Here are some examples to help you weigh your options.

Example #1- Employee who works regular overtime

Mary is a Graphic Designer whose work falls under the creative professional exemption.

She is currently paid a salary of $39,000 per year.

Mary’s work routinely takes her 46 hours per week (which means she works 312 Hours of overtime per year).

Option 1: Maintain exempt status and increase Mary’s salary to $47,476 per year.
Increased cost to employer: $8,476 per year
Pros: No need to track Mary’s hours, potentially improved employee morale due to pay increase
Con: Increased cost to employer

Option 2: Maintain Mary’s salary at $39,000/$18.72 per hour and adjust her status to non-exempt
Increased cost to employer
: $8,776.56 per year (in overtime pay)
Pro: Potentially improved employee morale due to pay increase
Cons: Increased cost to employer, adjustment in employee status, need to track Mary’s hours

Option 3: Maintain Mary’s salary at $39,000/$18.72 per hour, adjust her status to non-exempt and limit overtime
Increased cost to employer
: Depends on actual overtime worked
Pro: Minimal cost increase to employer
Cons: Need to redirect some of the employee’s work somewhere else, adjustment in employee status, need to track Mary’s hours

Option 4: Adjust Mary’s pay to $15.31 per hour and adjust her status to non-exempt
Increased cost to employer:
$9.88 per year
Pro: Minimal cost increase to employer
Cons: Potentially decreased employee morale due to perceived decrease in pay and adjustment in employee status, need to track Mary’s hours

Example #2- Employee who works occasional overtime

Greg is a Business Manager whose work falls under the administrative exemption.

He is currently paid a salary of $39,000 per year.

Greg’s work usually takes 40 hours per week. His overtime is rare, only totaling 36 hours per year.

Option 1: Maintain exempt status and increase Greg’s salary to $47,476 per year.
Increased cost to employer: $8,476 per year
Pros: No need to track Greg’s hours, potentially improved employee morale due to pay increase
Con: Increased cost to employer

Option 2: Maintain Greg’s salary at $39,000/$18.72 per hour and adjust his status to non-exempt
Increased cost to employer
: $1,012.68 per year (in overtime pay)
Pro: Small increased cost to employer
Cons: Adjustment in employee status, need to track Greg’s hours

Option 3: Maintain Greg’s salary at $39,000/$18.72 per hour, adjust his status to non-exempt and limit overtime
Increased cost to employer
: Depends on actual overtime worked
Pro: Very minimal cost increase to employer
Cons: Need to redirect some of the employee’s work somewhere else, adjustment in employee status, need to track Greg’s hours

Option 4: Adjust Greg’s pay to $18.28 per hour and adjust her status to non-exempt
Increased cost to employer:
$9.52 per year
Pro: Minimal cost increase to employer
Cons: Potentially decreased employee morale due to perceived decrease in pay and adjustment in employee status, need to track Greg’s hours

As you can see, there are multiple options and each situation is unique. As an employer, you will likely need to review each employee’s situation independently before making your decision. If you need help, contact A Plus Benefits for assistance at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com.

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A Plus BenefitsThe Deadline to Comply with the New Overtime Rules is Approaching
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What is Open Enrollment?


This time of year you will hear the term Open Enrollment in the news, among friends and Businessman Wearing Remindersespecially at work. So what is Open Enrollment, anyway? Open Enrollment provides an opportunity for you to make changes to your benefit plans that are not allowed at other times during the year. For many benefits options that time falls toward the end of the year.

For any of the benefits offered through A Plus Benefits, the Open Enrollment period is from November 1-November 23. Changes that may be made include:

  • Eligible employees may enroll in new benefits.
  • Employees may cancel or change their existing benefit options.
  • Employees may add eligible dependents to existing benefits.

This time of year is important because employees who fail to make changes or enroll by November 23, 2016, will have to wait until the next open enrollment period unless they have a qualifying event.

Additionally, this time period is the only opportunity existing employees have to enroll in the 2017 Flexible Spending Account and Dependent Care Account. Employees should remember that FSA enrollments do not roll over year to year. You must enroll each year that you would like to participate.

If you have questions about open enrollment or what benefits are available to your employees, please contact our Account Management team at 1-800-748-5102 or service@aplusbenefits.com.

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A Plus BenefitsWhat is Open Enrollment?
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A Plus Benefits Celebrates Do Something Nice Day


October 5th is Do Something Nice Day. To celebrate, we asked our clients to share stories of their employees flower-22656_640doing something nice for a customer or a co-worker. Here are a few of the stories we received:

Elite Housing
Nomination by Darrell Mecham

Charlie Nackos is our newest employee at Elite Housing, but he is also the most seasoned with 77 years of experience.  He is continually trying to improve his surroundings with his friendly approach to people who visit our homes or tidying up with a broom and dust pan.

He lives the Golden Rule of treating others as he wants to be.  He shares goodies he brings from home with others and willingly works the Saturday shifts to keep the sales office staffed.  Charlie is our nomination for someone who does nice things for others at work regularly.

 

LinkTrust
Nomination by Jody Sears

I would like to nominate Jamison Peterson.  Jamison is a relatively new employee who came into our office on such a positive uplifting note. He is always happy and upbeat and constantly willing to help others when it doesn’t interfere with his work time.

He makes such a difference every day because his like this consistently and it is contagious! We love having him as part of our team!!

 

Reddish Pharmacy
Nomination by Kevin Reddish

We had filled a patient’s monthly prescriptions for her and Kolby Reddish had put in a few of the little York peppermint patty candies with a little note that said, “A little treat for one of our sweetest customers, hope you have a great day.”  That customer went on to explain that she had just recently lost one of her parents and that small act of kindness made a huge difference in her day.  She broke down several times while telling me the story, so I know how much it meant to her.  I’m so thankful to hear stories of how we are able to make someone’s day, those are customers that we will have for life!

 

Tides are Rising
Nomination by Cortney Brown

I would like to submit a story on Becca Giles. Becca has gone above and beyond in teaching me my new role as sales admin. She used to work this position and has it down to a science. She didn’t have to train me or help me. She has put all her work aside to help me and make me feel comfortable in my new position. Becca always has a smile on her face and willing to stop whatever she is doing to help someone. I wanted her to be recognized for all that she does and for keeping the morale of the team up.

 

YWCA Sweetwater County
Nomination by Cheryl Tarno

My boss, Lauren Schoenfeld, sent me a personal note to my home address while I was away on vacation. When I returned home I was surprised to see an envelope with her name on it. Upon opening it I discovered that she had written how much she appreciated me as an employee. I was touched by her thoughtfulness and it did make me feel very appreciated. My husband was awestruck that she would take the time to do that.

 

Acaydia Spa & School of Aesthetics
Nomination by Andrea Hulse

Cacci Karcich is a new educator at Acaydia. Last week, she took the time to organize and restructure a practical training room. She saw a need and jumped in to make a difference, not expecting any recognition. Oh…and she always makes delicious treats and brings them to work to share! I’m so glad she is part of our team.

 

We also had a client nominate one of our internal A Plus Benefits employees, which we are always happy to hear.

Olsenbeal
Nomination by Sammy Jo Hunt

Ann Armitage is our company’s Payroll Specialist.  I have found her exceptional and very professional in all our weekly payroll exchanges.  She has always been extremely knowledgeable, and helpful any time in the past 4 years of working together.  If I’ve had any questions that she has not been able to answer immediately she always gets back to me with the answer in a quick and timely manner.

She has been a valuable liaison between A Plus Benefits and Olsenbeal.  I look forward to working with her for many years to come.

 

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A Plus BenefitsA Plus Benefits Celebrates Do Something Nice Day
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Are Sales Employees Affected by the New Overtime Regulations?


“Are sales employees affected by the new overtime regulations?” is one of the most common questions we have received from clients since the release of the final rule in May changing the “white collar” overtime regulations.business-1031754_640

Many business owners are concerned that their salaried or commissioned outside sales employees will have to receive a pay increase or be paid overtime. According to all of the research we have found, the changes to the law only affects the salary requirement for executive, administrative and professional employees, which would mean that outside sales employees would not be affected.

The following website is a Q&A following an overtime webinar by the Department of Labor: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/final2016/webinarfaq.htm

Question 12 on this web page is:
Q. Straight Commission Employees: How do we handle outside sales staff who are paid straight commissions?
A. Consistent with the current regulations, neither the old or new salary requirements will apply to the outside sales employee exemption.

Question 22 on this same web page is:
Q. Just wanted to verify that any person employed as an outside sales person does not need to have their salary increased?
A. Correct. Outside sales employees are not subject to the salary basis or salary level requirements, so they are not affected by this Final Rule.

There are a few other questions on this page relating to outside sales and several times the DOL states that the outside sales exemption does not have a salary requirement.

Also, according to the Department of Labor Fact Sheet on the website: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/fs17f_outsidesales.pdf

Outside Sales Exemption
To qualify for the outside sales employee exemption, all of the following tests must be met:

  • The employee’s primary duty must be making sales (as defined in the FLSA), or obtaining orders or contracts for services or for the use of facilities for which a consideration will be paid by the client or customer; and
  • The employee must be customarily and regularly engaged away from the employer’s place or places of business.

The salary requirements of the regulation do not apply to the outside sales exemption.

Now the caveat we have to this position is that the person you deem as “outside sales” must meet the duties requirement for this exemption. That means that the employee’s primary duty (“primary duty” means the principal, main, major or most important duty that the employee performs. Determination of an employee’s primary duty must be based on all the facts in a particular case, with the major emphasis on the character of the employee’s job as a whole.) must engage in sales outside of the office. The outside sales exemption does not include sales made by mail, telephone or the Internet unless such contact is used merely as an adjunct to personal calls. Sales made from the employer’s location (inside sales) do not qualify as outside sales.

If your company has an inside sales team, that does not travel away from your worksite, the outside sales exemption does not apply for these employees. An inside sales employee would generally be classified as non-exempt and would need to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week. There are some exceptions to this for commissioned inside sales employees in retail establishments that can be found here. This is one of the most common mistake by companies when it comes to exempt vs. non-exempt. There is often a preconceived notion that a sales employee, no matter if they are inside or outside sales, should be exempt from overtime, but that is not the case.

It is hard for us to say with all certainty that your outside sales employees would be considered exempt from overtime because we do not know the ins and outs of their daily work. In the end, it comes down to your ability to defend your position should an outside sales employee ever file a wage claim against your company asserting that they should be paid overtime, or if you are ever investigated or audited by the Department of Labor.

We would suggest you take a look at the job duties of your outside sales employees and make that determination of each individual in question. In fact, now is a great time review the duties of all employees you are currently classifying as exempt to ensure they meet FLSA requirements. If you need help, please contact an HR Business Partner at A Plus Benefits at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com.

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A Plus BenefitsAre Sales Employees Affected by the New Overtime Regulations?
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Six Leadership Habits That Instill Trust


Are the leaders in your organization trusted by employees? You may think that there is an adequate level of trust, but if you are experiencing issues of low employee engagement, high turnover, poor communication or low employee morale, distrust in leadership may be to blame. According to research from Globoforce, 80% of employees trust their colleagues, but only 65% trust senior leaders.

A recent article from Fast Company provides six habits your leaders can begin developing today to have an impact on the level of trust in your organization.

  1. Keep your promises– With any relationship, friendships, parent-child, etc. breaking your word is the fastest way to erode any trust you may have developed. Do what you say you are going to do so that employees learn they can depend on you. If circumstances change and you are unable to keep a commitment, apologize and explain why. Make sure these instances are the exception and not the rule.
  2. Provide context– Help employees understand why change is occurring or why you are making a particular request. This is especially important if the task is challenging or there is a drastic change in procedure. When you provide context and explain why something is happening, employees feel more included in the decision-making process and are more likely to trust your leaders.
  3. Be present– Practice active listening when speaking with employees. Understand what is important to your employees. Avoid distractions such as your phone or email. Make sure employees feel that you value their time and their opinions.
  4. Welcome diversity– Get input from all levels of employees within your organization. Getting feedback from a diverse group of individuals will allow you to better understand your workforce as a whole.
  5. Be human– Admit your mistakes. Ask questions when you don’t understand something. Being vulnerable makes you relatable and will increase the level of trust your employees have for you.
  6. Have their backs– Employees will trust you if you demonstrate that you support them. Make employees feel secure in their position within the company. Set clear, realistic expectations and then provide the necessary training, feedback and support to help your employees succeed.

Gather your leadership team together and look for ways that you can start using these habits today. You might be surprised at the positive ripple effect this may have on your organization. If you are looking for more ways to empower the leaders in your company, contact an HR Business Partner today to discuss our leadership development opportunities.

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A Plus BenefitsSix Leadership Habits That Instill Trust
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What is Employee Engagement, Really?


Employee engagement has become a bit of a buzz word in the human resources world. There are thousands are articles and tons of research surrounding employee engagement (we’ve written quite a few ourselves) and its impact on your organization.startup-593299_640

With so much noise out there, it is important to drill down to the basics and remember what employee engagement really is. What do you think of when you hear the phrase? Free lunches, bringing pets to work, ping-pong tables? Employee engagement is so much more than a fun and positive employee experience.

Employee engagement at its core is your employee’s emotional investment in your organization. It is the extent to which employees are willing to go above and beyond; expending more of their time, effort and energy than is requires to just get the job done.  According to a recent blog from IBM Smarter Workforce, there are three simple things employees need to become truly engaged:

Growth– Humans are not content staying in one place for very long. Your employees want to have opportunities to grow and learn both personally and professionally. Growth requires having leadership that provides you with constructive feedback so that you are able to continually become better each day. Feedback must be ongoing. An annual performance review with no other feedback from leadership will not result in engaged employees.

Recognition– Employees need to know that their work is appreciated. Without this recognition, employees will not be likely to go above and beyond. Gratitude doesn’t have to be big or flashy. A handwritten thank you note speaks volumes. For other recognition ideas, check out our free Employee Recognition Toolkit.

Trust– Employees need to trust that the leaders are on the right path to success. No one wants to be aboard a sinking ship. Employees need to understand where the company is headed and trust that leaders know how to help employees get there. Employees also need to know that leadership trusts them.

These three keys to employee engagement don’t have anything to do with unlimited vacation polices or other flashy employee benefits. Instead they get to the core of what employee engagement really is. Are you looking to brainstorm ideas for your organization? Do your leaders need a crash course on employee engagement? Contact a member of our HR team for details.

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A Plus BenefitsWhat is Employee Engagement, Really?
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Standing Out in a Job Interview- Advice from Real Small Business Leaders


Job interviews are nerve-wracking, no matter how many or how few you have participated in.  It is your one shot to impress your potential employer and help them see that you would be a good fit for their organization and you don’t want to mess it up. So, how does a job candidate go about this exactly?shield-1020318_1280

You could read countless career-advice blogs, magazine articles or books, but we wanted to find out from real business leaders what one thing a job candidate can do to stand out in an interview. So we asked some of the smartest people we know, our clients. We also asked some of the leaders within our own organization to weigh in. We ended up with some common themes.

Being on time for an interview is critical. Robert Brockbank, owner of B&S Painting Inc. listed that as his number one thing a job candidate can do to stand out. Justin Rowley, VP of Risk at A Plus Benefits agreed, but said it is important to a job candidate not to show up too early either. Showing up 15 minutes or more before an interview sends a negat8ve message instead of a positive message.

Being on time isn’t the only first impression that is important. Dressing appropriately, looking the interviewer in the eye and following basic instructions (did they show up when and where they were asked to, did they bring any documents you requested, etc.) are also important to Rhonda Porter, owner of Nutrition West. This can all take place within the first few minutes of meeting, before you even answer any interview questions.

In most interviews, the employer will ask a number of questions designed to help understand what kind of an employee you have been in the past, so they can determine if that is the type of employee that would fit the open position. What kinds of things are employers looking to hear? Alice Johnson with Duane’s Auto Wrecking wants to hear that the job candidate is willing to learn and do whatever it takes to get the job done. Chuck Travlelstead, owner of Wing Pawn is also looking for a history of a strong work ethic. When answering questions, Mehana Curie, Payroll Manager with A Plus Benefits , wants job candidates to provide specific examples. This helps her to learn more about the candidate’s capabilities.

Many of the leaders at A Plus Benefits emphasized the importance of the job candidate demonstrating he or she has some knowledge about the company. Jake Lunt, COO of A Plus Benefits said job candidates should take the time to review the company website, learn something about competitors, and determine if he or she is already connected to any of the employees on LinkedIn. If so, reach out to those employees to find out what working at the company is really like.

Being familiar with the job descriptions and how you would fit within the organization is also important. Amber Hunter, Director of Employee Performance at A Plus Benefits suggests that job candidates be prepared to explain how their education and experience fit with the position and also admit where they may need additional training.

Personality matters as well. Tiffany Bundy, Payroll Operations Manager at A Plus Benefits wants get the impression that you are a positive person. If your previous employer wasn’t a good fit, it is ok to be honest about it, but spending time in an interview listing only the flaws in your previous employers and co-workers, sends a bad impression. Also, if you make a mistake, lose your words or stumble she wants to see you be able to laugh it off and move forward. She also wants to hear that you are passionate about the kind of work you will be doing.

Follow-up was mentioned by several of the leaders, including Jacob Hoehne, owner of Issimo Productions. Steve Anderson, VP of Benefits at A Plus Benefits said he appreciates receiving a follow-up email from a job candidate after an interview. It shows that the candidate was really interested in the position and the company.

The next time you are headed in for an interview take these pieces of advice into consideration. It just might just give you a leg up on your competition.

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A Plus BenefitsStanding Out in a Job Interview- Advice from Real Small Business Leaders
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Ladder Safety is Important for All Work Environments


Did you know that 43% of fatal falls in the last decade have involved a ladder? And among construction workers, an estimated 81% of fall injuries treated in U.S. emergency departments involve a ladder? But, ladders aren’t only used in construction environments. Many office, manufacturing and retail workplaces have ladders that employees may use occasionally. Any employee that may use a ladder should be trained on appropriate use. Here are some great reminders from the Ladder Safety Hub blog:folding-ladder-1122072_640

  1. Before you use your ladder, make sure the ground you are putting it on is level. If you need to, dig out one side to make the ladder even with the other side. You also can use levelers. Don’t use your ladder on stairs unless you are using an articulating ladder.
  2. When calculating the weight being put on a ladder, make sure to include the tools and supplies the worker will be using. If the ladder is rated for 250 pounds, and the worker weighs 240 pounds, he or she should have no more than 10 pounds of equipment.
  3. Why is the bottom rung the most dangerous? Because that’s the rung that gets missed the most. Almost 20 percent of all ladder accidents are caused by the worker thinking he is on the last rung when, in fact, he has another one or two rungs (so one or two feet) to go. These accidents can lead to sprains, strains and, in the more serious cases, broken bones.
  4. When climbing the ladder, keep your center of gravity between the rails. Often, people will lean to save time so they don’t have to move the ladder. Doing this is not only dangerous, but can cost more time in the long run if there is any sort of accident.
  5. When working on a ladder, don’t stand on the top rung or top cap. The top rung serves no purpose but to hold a warning label. When a worker climbs on the top rung or top cap, he or she risks a ladder accident.
  6. Different jobs require different ladders. Don’t use an A-frame when an extension ladder should be used or an extension ladder when an A-frame would be better.

If you would like help putting together ladder safety training for your employees, contact our Safety Director Reed Balls at 801-443-1090 or rballs@aplusbenefits.com for more information.

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A Plus BenefitsLadder Safety is Important for All Work Environments
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Do I Have to Pay Someone Working as an Intern?


Unpaid internships are popular across the country, providing benefits for companies and valuable experience for college students or recent graduates. This question comes up with our clients each year, as they look for ways to recruit new talent from colleges and universities. There is a common misconception that if a student is willing to work for free to get industry experience, then there’s no harm in taking advantage of it. Unfortunately, this practice leaves many employers open to substantial legal liability. It is vital that you make sure your unpaid internships meet DOL standards to help avoid significant penalties.computer-1185626_1280(1)

DOL Guidance
The 2010 guidance addresses unpaid internships under the FLSA, clarifying the determination of whether an intern is considered an employee (subject to minimum wage) or a trainee (legally eligible to perform unpaid work). These guidelines apply to for-profit, private sector employers. Unpaid internships in the public sector and for non-profit charitable organizations are generally permissible under the FLSA.

To determine whether an intern can be considered a trainee, the DOL lists six criteria that the internship must meet.

  • The internship, even though it includes actual operation of the facilities of the employer, is similar to training that would be given in an educational environment.
    • This can often be satisfied by having a student’s university sponsor and oversee the internship and offer course credit for its completion.
  • The internship experience is for the benefit of the intern.
  • The intern does not displace regular employees, but instead works under the close supervision of existing staff
    • If the intern is working under the same supervision as regular employees, then the internship likely does not satisfy this condition.
  • The employer providing the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern and, on occasion, the employer’s operations may actually be impeded.
  • The intern is not necessarily entitled to a job at the conclusion of the internship and the internship is for a fixed time period.
    • Though an incidental job offer at the conclusion of the internship is acceptable, the employer is generally not allowed to use unpaid internships as a “trial period” for potential future employees.
  • The employer and intern understand that the intern is not entitled to wages for the time spent in the internship.

If all of these conditions are met, then an employment relationship does not exist under the FLSA and an unpaid internship is legally permissible. The DOL has issued a fact sheet on this topic.

Penalties
Employers who are not in compliance with the DOL regulations face legal exposure, including penalties from the government and potential lawsuits. Penalties can include owing back pay, taxes not withheld, Social Security, unemployment benefits, interest, attorneys’ fees and liquidated damages (double the unpaid wages).

Compliance Tips
The following strategies can help your company’s unpaid internships stay compliant with federal law and meet the six criteria established by the DOL.

  • Work with the student’s university. The school will often sponsor the internship and may offer the student course credit. Coordinating with a university can help ensure that the internship is providing the necessary training to make it an educational experience for the student.
  • Make sure the intern is learning skills that are applicable in multiple job settings, rather than being specific to your company.
  • Consider allowing interns to observe various aspects of your company’s operations (for example, job shadowing) without always needing to engage in work.
  • Make clear before the internship begins what the responsibilities and expectations will be, that the internship is unpaid and that there is no expectation of a job offer once the internship is over. Keep records of these written expectations along with any other documentation that describes what the intern does, what training is available, what type of supervision is provided, etc.
  • If the internship program causes any disruption to your company or represents a time commitment for any of your employees, this should be documented as well. An unpaid internship that satisfies the DOL’s requirements should actually be somewhat of a drain on the employer due to the time put in for training and the lack of production coming from the intern.

If your company has unpaid interns, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the DOL guidelines and make sure your program is in compliance as it could be costly for your company to get caught not complying.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact an HR Business Partner at A Plus Benefits at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com

Information in this post was provided by Zywave.
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A Plus BenefitsDo I Have to Pay Someone Working as an Intern?
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Answers to Common Questions About the Overtime Rule Changes


On May 18, 2016, the Department of Labor announced the final rule on the changes to overtime exemptions that have been discussed for almost a year. The new rule requires that these employees who make under $47,476 annually to be paid overtime for any hours worked over 40 in a week, even if they are considered an executive, administrative or professional level employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act. Employer have a lot of questions about what this means for their employees. We answer some of the most common questions we have heard so far.the-eleventh-hour-1364075_1280

What size employer does this change apply to?

The change in overtime regulations is a change to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which applies to nearly all employers whether you have one employee or 100+ employees. It applies to private sector employers and Federal, State, and local governments.

How do I know if my employees are impacted by the new regulation?

Any salaried exempt employees (those you do not pay overtime to and you do not track hours for) who fall under the administrative, professional or executive duties tests (see DOL definitions) who are paid less than $47,476 per year are impacted by the change in the overtime regulation.

We have developed a report you may access through the Manager Self-Service Portal on our website. The report will list all of the employees whose current salary is less than $47,476 per year. After logging in, click on My Company and then choose Informer (Ad Hoc Reporting) from the drop down menu. This will give you access to some additional reports we have built, including the OT Eligibility Report. Find the OT Eligibility Report in the list and click Launch. Then click Launch Report to see your results. You can export this list to Excel by clicking Export Results. (We are aware that the ability to export the results is temporarily not available but is in the process of being restored. In the meantime users are able to view the OT Eligibility report results within the system.)

What are the requirements for an employee to be classified as salaried exempt?

A salaried exempt employee is an individual who is paid a flat salary of at least $23,660 per year (increasing to $47,476 in December 2016), regardless of the number of hours they work or their production, who also does not receive overtime payment for any hours worked in excess of 40 in a week.

To legally be classified as exempt from overtime, professional, administrative and executive employees must meet 3 requirements:

  1. They must be paid on a salary basis (not hourly, piece rate, etc.).
    2. They must be paid at least a minimum salary of $23,660
    (increasing to $47,476 on December 1, 2016).
    3. They must pass the FLSA duties test for overtime exemption based on their work.
    Also see the A Plus Benefits Exempt Employee Justification Form.

The second requirement is the only one that changed in the new regulations. The salary basis requirement and the duties test stayed the same

What about salaried/commissioned outside sales employees?

Employees who fall under the outside sales duties test (see DOL definition) are not affected by the change in the overtime salary threshold. There is no threshold for salary for the outside sales employee exemption.

Where can I access some additional resources?

Here are some pieces of information that may be helpful:

Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to an HR Business Partner at A Plus Benefits at 1-800-748-5102 or humanresources@aplusbenefits.com for assistance.

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A Plus BenefitsAnswers to Common Questions About the Overtime Rule Changes