Tag Archives: human resources

Drugs, Talent, and the Law: Confusion Reigns in 2017

(A post by Rick Dacri, January 5, 2017)

img_3347Some days it feels like you just can’t win. Our 4 year old (puppy?) golden retriever, Bailey, woke us up with his usual pre-5 AM whimper, reminding us that his stomach and other urges needed to be met. Our cat, Maggie, also decided to join the choir. It was raining, so we passed on the walk and let Bailey out into his pen. Mistake! You see, rain makes mud, which means Bailey’s earlier $60 spa treatment was now for naught. Spending your early, pre-coffee morning, cleaning up a muddy dog, and house, was not in the plan. Finally, semi-cleaned, it was time to sit and enjoy a nice cup of coffee—that is until Bailey decided to join me on my lap and the coffee was now airborne. And the day had not yet even begun.

Many employers are feeling the same way. Finding and keeping talent, post election uncertainties, opioids in the workplace are all flying at you, preventing you from running your business. And it isn’t likely to get any easier.

Here are just 4 huge issues you will be facing in 2017.

  1. Opioids epidemic: Drugs on the streets means drugs in the workplace. More employees are coming to work addicted. And many are using hard drugs. Yesterday’s street junkies are today’s nurses and executives. While this may shock you, our society is openly welcoming the legalization of medical marijuana and now recreational marijuana. Society’s drug problem is only going to get worse and now it is your problem to solve.
  2. Losing good people: Poaching is now an acceptable sport. Good people are leaving and heading to your competition. And it is just not the rank and file. Managers and executives are going just as fast. Why? 3%-4% merit just doesn’t it cut it anymore. Limited opportunities, I’m out of here; bad boss, well, you can “take this job and shove it.” When all employers are scrambling for help, employees look for greener pastures. Loyalty is dead.
  3. Hiring is impossible: Finding good talent is becoming harder and harder. And with experienced workers retiring out, shortages are growing. The numbers are just not working. It is going to get bad…very bad.
  4. Employment law chaos: You heard it (by me and others), the Fair Labor Standards Act updates are going to radically change how you need to pay your people, so get your systems updated before the implementation date. Ready? Never mind, it’s now on hold and may be permanently delayed. What? How in the world do you get that Jeanie back in the bottle? Finally figured out Obamacare? Hold! The new Congress and Administration are going to scrap it and start all over again—at least that’s what they claim. Your state has legalized medical marijuana or maybe even recreational use of marijuana. How do you handle that? Wait, the feds still say its illegal. Your state has just passed an increase in minimum wage, but you’re a multi-state employer and each state has a different rate…and the feds have a totally different one. Yikes! What can you do? Best bet, become an employment attorney, as you’ll have plenty of work. In the mean time, you’ll need to do some juggling to figure these out.

It is going to be a challenging 2017 and frankly, I could have addressed several other issues. While it seems to be going from bad to worse, as an employer, you need to address these issues and find solutions…and fast.

Let’s take a deep breath first. I’ve got to give Bailey a bath, but I need another coffee first. Maybe you should join me.

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Filed under Management

New White Collar Federal Regulations Blocked

(Post by Rick Dacri, November 28, 2016)

Time to take a deep breadth.no-sign

By now you know that a federal judge in Texas has put on hold the implementation of the changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act. The law, with a scheduled December 1 effective date, would have increased the salary level to qualify for overtime, virtually doubling the existing rate to $913 per week.

The overtime rate (“means test”) needed adjusting, but the Department of Labor’s proposal was excessive, so a hold is a good thing, albeit a bit last-minute. If Labor had asked me (they didn’t) I would have suggested a modest adjustment, along with a closer look at modifying the “duties test,” which many employers do not fully understand. It was the biggest area of misunderstanding from employers who called into my HR HelpLine.

Now that the law is on hold, what should employers do? Unfortunately, since the enforcement was enjoined at the last minute, most employers have either put the changes in place or at least announced the changes. And, Labor is likely to appeal the ruling, so an implementation of the law may still happen. So, here is what I suggest:

  1. If in the course of your review you found positions that did not meet the duties test, implement those changes.
  2. If you have not put in place compensation changes based on the new means test (raised salaries to meet the threshold and/or reclassified positions), you may want to put these on hold until we get clarity on Labor’s next move. Keep in mind, if you announced the changes, you will need to address the employee’s potential expectations.
  3. If you implemented salary changes and reclassified employees, it would be hard to pull these back. Besides it being an employee relations nightmare to do so and because you could still be in violation of some state laws, if the law is finally implemented, it could requires restoring them again.
  4. Communicate your plans to your employees. They may not know that the law is on hold and clearly do not know your plans. Be open and frank.

Employers have been put into a box with these actions. Consider what I have suggested above and put together your new plan. You may also want to seek professional legal guidance before you take any action.

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Filed under Department of Labor, FLSA, Management

Final Overtime Rules for Private & Public Sector Employers

 

Unknown(Post by Rick Dacri, June 1, 2016)

The Department of Labor’s (U.S. DOL) changes to overtime eligibility have been approved and are scheduled for a December 1, 2016 implementation. The waiting is over and all employers need to immediately prepare. No one will be able to avoid this.

I have outlined below a summary of the changes that apply to both private and public sector employees. Remember, this is a summary and does not constitute a complete review of all the changes to the rules nor should it be considered legal advice.

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

  1. Sets the salary threshold under which employees would be nonexempt—required to receive overtime pay (regular hourly rate x 1.5 for all hours worked beyond 40 hours per week) at $913 per week or $47,476 annually for a full-year worker, more than doubling the salary threshold from the current level of $23,660.
  2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test, to $134,004; and
  3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years.
  4. Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

Earning above the $47,476 annual ($913 per week) salary level do not automatically classify an employee as exempt from mandatory overtime pay, as the duties test still comes into play.

This is a significant change to the law and all employers should review their plans now, before the December 1, 2016 implementation. Don’t wait, as changes will be complex and contain plenty of pitfalls.

To avoid problems with existing exempt workers currently being paid less than the new threshold, your options include:

  1. Reclassify affected workers as nonexempt, or
  2. Increase the employees’ salaries to at least $47,476, or
  3. Reduce the hours of these workers, or
  4. Pay a lower hourly rate so that, when multiplied by time-and-one half, weekly compensation remains unchanged

As I have noted in previous posts, none of these steps are ideal and are likely to result in employee relation issues and increased payroll costs. To make matters worse, the DOL has stepped up enforcement, expecting to dole of the law out fines, attorney fees and back pay for violations.

Rules for State and Local Governments:

The FLSA contains several provisions unique to state and local governments, including compensatory time off, under certain provisions.

  • Comp Time: State or local government agencies may arrange for their employees to earn comp time instead of cash payment for overtime hours.
  • Fire and police small-agency exemption: The FLSA also provides an exemption from overtime protection for fire protection or law enforcement employees, if they are employed by an agency that employs fewer than five fire protection or law enforcement employees, respectively.
  • Work periods rather than workweeks for fire protection or law enforcement employees: Employees engaged in fire protections or law enforcement may be paid overtime on a “work week period” basis, rather than the usual 40-hour work week of the FLSA.

Not Affected by Changes:

Many employees won’t be affected by the final rule:

  1. Hourly workers: The new threshold will have no impact on the pay of workers paid hourly.
  2. Workers with regular workweeks of 40 or fewer hours: To the extent that many salaried white-collar staff have jobs where they work no more than 40 hours, the changes to the overtime rules will have no effect on their pay.
  3. Law enforcement and fire protection employees who regularly work hours that conform to the longer work periods permitted for such employees, the changes will also not impact their pay.
  4. Workers who fail the duties test: Salaried workers who do not primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties are not eligible for the white-collar overtime exemption and therefore are not affected by the final rule.
  5. Highly compensated workers: White collar workers who fail the standard duties test but are “highly compensated”—earn more than $134,004 in a year—are almost all ineligible for overtime under the highly compensated employee exemption, which has a minimal duties test.
  6. Police and fire employees in small agencies: Fire protection or law enforcement employees in public agencies with fewer than five fire protection or law enforcement employees respectively will continue to be exempt from overtime.
  7. Elected officials, their policymaking appointees, and their personal staff and legal advisors who are not subject to civil service laws
  8. Public employees who have a comp time arrangement

To avoid problems and lawsuits:

  • Audit your compensation program and pay practices for compliance
  • Review the classification of all exempt workers, particularly those being paid under $47,476
  • Put in place a safe harbor policy, which states that if an employee feels he/she has been incorrectly paid, to bring it to your attention for review.

Develop a plan now to implement before the December 1 deadline. If you have questions, contact the Dacri HR HelpLine.

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Filed under Compliance, Uncategorized

Vice President, Human Resources Position Open


carroll-logo-642x152Vice President, Human Resources

Carroll Enterprises, Inc.

Carroll Enterprises,headquartered in downtown Worcester, MA, with over 250 employees in multi-state locations, seeks a strong leader to serve as their new Vice President Human Resources. This is an ideal position for a Director of Human Resources or an Assistant VP who is ready to move to a VP-level position.

Since 1968, Carroll Enterprises, Inc. has met the specialized needs of insurance buyers and major corporations in the business-to-business and business-to-consumer markets.  Carroll Enterprises is an entrepreneurial, technology intensive, marketing distribution and services company, serving the retail, wholesale and institutional marketplaces in the insurance and financial services industries.  

Reporting to the CEO, with full responsibility for all aspects of the HR function, the VPHR will be part of the executive committee and will manage a staff of five HR professionals. The ideal candidate will have strong HR generalist skills, demonstrated skills in managing a strategic HR function, and enjoy working as a full business partner in a growing, dynamic organization. You should possess 10 years of progressive HR responsibility, preferably from financial service or technology industry, and have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree. Working within an organization with a call center is ideal. An outgoing, confident, hands-on professional, who is not afraid to make decisions, will thrive in this entrepreneurial environment.

Carroll Enterprises is facing unique challenges in an industry steeped in tradition, while moving to a culture that embraces technology and ecommerce. Carroll needs an individual who can hit the ground running, operate effectively with a highly diverse workforce, and actively contributing to the senior management team.

The next VPHR will enjoy the opportunity to work in a vibrant community, with a supportive management team and staff as well as an experienced and engaged workforce. Carroll Enterprises is a recognized leader and takes pride in being a premier employer and a respected community member.

Located in the heart of Massachusetts, the city of Worcester combines historic New England charm with the conveniences and lively attractions of a bustling metropolis, that includes 10 colleges and universities, world-class medical facilities, a convention center, vibrant arts and other cultural venues, museums, college and professional sports teams, golf courses and many new dining options. For those looking for things to do while escaping traffic and parking problems, Worcester is the place to grow your career.

Carroll Enterprises offers an attractive salary and comprehensive benefit package along with the opportunity to grow your career. To learn more about this position, call Rick Dacri, Dacri & Associates Executive Search, at 207-229-5954 or rick@dacri.com.

To apply, email your resume, cover letter and salary history, in confidence, to:

Rick Dacri

Dacri & Associates, LLC

Executive Search

207-229-5954

rick@dacri.com

 

Carroll Enterprises is an Equal Opportunity Employer

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Filed under careers, executive recruitment, Uncategorized

How To Quickly Cut Your Workers’ Comp Costs & Get Injured Employees Back to Work

Dacri-FB-WebWorkersComp

This program has been postponed

Wednesday, April 20
2PM ET
60 minute webinar
Register Today via email at rick@dacri.com or call

207-229-5954

This webinar is ideal for:

  • CEOs & Finance Managers who want to reduce costs
  • HR & Benefit Managers who want to understand how workers’ comp works
  • Managers & Supervisors who want to reduce accidents & get injured workers back to work

Here’s what you’ll learn in this webinar:

  • How to control workers’ comp costs
  • How to get your experience modification below 1
  • How to spot & prevent fraud
  • How to get injured employees back to work quickly
  • How to manage a light duty program effectively
  • How to manage claims
  • How to analyze an accident
  • How to develop a positive working relationship with your medical provider & insurer
  • How to easily understand the intricacies of workers’ comp

This webinar will provide you with the information and advice you need to develop a pre and post injury response program so you can have a safe workplace and low workers’ comp costs.

Once again, to enroll, email me at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954

Cost? $125.00. Not a bad investment for learning how to save a bundle while creating a safer workplace. And Dacri & Associates’ clients receive an automatic 10% discount.

Sign up now.

I hope to see you there,

Rick Dacri
Dacri & Associates, LLC
http://www.dacri.com
rick@dacri.com

P.S. We will be recording the entire program (audio and visual). Your admission gives you access to the recording for easy reviewing after the fact.

Register Now via email at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954.

Feedback from Previous Webinar Attendees:
It was excellent, clear, easy to understand and follow; applicable in many areas and overall very interesting. Thank you
EXCELLENT as Rick Dacri always is!
This was incredibly informative and I would love to attend more!
The program is great because it triggers you to look into areas of the organization that need improvement.
Thank you, Rick. Well paced and informative.
Nice work Rick! Enjoyed the presentations.
Great information to have for managing a business. You are a great resource for questions.
Great tips and information.
As always, a wonderful Rick Dacri presentation – just the right amount of information and appropriate stories to illustrate the point.
For an hours time the information covered was very valuable.
The content was incredibly helpful. Found the content on hiring right, training managers to interview well and addressing problematic performance important and useful.
It is good to have a better understanding of the HR side of the business and how to avoid potential problems

Register Now via email at rick@dacri.com or call 207-229-5954

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Filed under Compliance, Management, Uncategorized

How To Lose Your Next Unemployment Comp Claim

(This post was written by Rick Dacri, April 1, 2016)

face-extreme-1554895There is nothing more frustrating than losing an unemployment compensation claim when you know the employee should not be eligible to collect. Too often, I find supervisors pulling out their hair out and lashing out at the system. How could they let this “bad employee” collect?

Generally, there are 4 disqualifying events for employees:

  1. Fired for misconduct (not performance);
  2. Voluntary quit without good cause attributed to the employment;
  3. Not available or unable to work full-time; and
  4. Not citizen or authorized to work

If any of these events are present, the employee cannot collect unemployment. Now there are nuances and interpretations, but if one of these applies, their claim will be denied.

While the system is not without faults, many times, mistakes are made by employers and ultimately costing them at the hearing. Here are 10 ways that will guarantee you a loss: Continue reading

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Filed under Compliance, Management, Uncategorized

NEW How To Make Managing Easy Webinar Series

This program has been postponed

Answers to

Complex Workplace Issues Managers Struggle With new 2

 Five, 60-Minute Webinars

Begins Wednesday, April 20 @ 2PM ET

Ask any manager what’s the hardest part of their job and you’ll hear the same thing: “Managing People!”

Not the technical aspects of their job, not the budgeting, or even the dealing with customers. It’s the people aspect of it. Managing people is just plain hard.

And it is. You can read a lot of articles and books discussing the theory of management, but when you’re face to face with an employee, theory, fads and the latest gimmicks go flying out the window, so you better really know what to do.

For over 25 years I’ve advised managers and supervisors on what to do and say when faced with an employee. I’ve always provided practical, understandable and uncomplicated techniques designed to deal with the situation, making the job as a manager easier and ultimately making managers better at their jobs. And it works. I know because managers repeatedly tell me I’ve helped. And I even wrote a book about it, which you can get.

I know that when you understand what you have to do, how to do it and what to say (and not say) to your employees, you can ultimately improve overall performance, solve problems, and make your job as a manager easier. And that’s what this webinar series is all about.

  • Manage your people well, and they become happier and more productive.
  • Manage your people poorly, and performance tanks and your life is miserable.

In these 5, information packed webinars, I’ll show you how making a few essential changes and improvements to how you manage will vastly increase your effectiveness as a manager.

The 5 webinars in the “How To Make Managing Easy” series include:

  1. How to Quickly Cut Your Workers’ Compensation Costs April 20 @ 2PM

Includes role of supervisor in controlling cost; 7 steps to reduce W/C costs; spotting & preventing fraud; creating a post-injury response program; managing claims; benefits of light duty; developing a relationship with a medical provider and insurer; getting employees to return to work; and more

 

2.How to Deal with Substance Abuse & Use May 4 @ 2PM

Includes awareness of issue; performance versus diagnosis; medical marijuana; drug testing; reasonable suspicion rules; DOT requirements; drug free policies; role of supervisor; and more

 

3. How to Control Ten Difficult Conversations May 18 @ 2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; 11 steps to stress free conversations; handling emotional employees; topics: absenteeism/tardiness; poor performance; inappropriate dress; insubordination; raise in pay denial; and more

 

4. How to Discipline, Terminate & Win at Unemployment June 2 @2PM

Includes scripts/talking points; differences between discipline, counseling, coaching; lay off vs. firing vs. quitting; airtight documentation; what disqualifies an employee from collecting; how to lose an unemployment claim; what happens at a hearing; and more

5. How To Create a Respectful Work Culture June 15 @ 2PM

Includes the warning signs for discrimination, harassment & bullying; what managers & supervisors must do to foster a respectful culture; how to model respectful behaviors;  scripts/talking points when talking to an alleged victim; requirements under the law; investigating a claim; addressing “he said/she said;” and more

 Here’s what you’ll learn from these 5 webinars:

  • How to quickly spot, understand and manage employee issues
  • How to confront problem employees & resolve tough issues, including attitude, performance and behavior
  • How to provide honest feedback
  • What the words you should use (“the script”) when talking to an employee
  • How to avoid stepping on a legal landmine
  • What systems and polices must you have in place & what should they include
  • What can you expect at an unemployment hearing & how you should respond
  • How to spot and address workers’ compensation fraud
  • How to handle an employee who threatens to sue
  • What to do if you suspect an employee has been drinking
  • And much, much more

Each 60-minute webinar is filled with real life examples and scripts to follow. Prior to each session and right after, you will be able to call or email me with your specific questions and feedback.

Total Cost? $125 for each individual webinar or $500 for all five, a $125 savings (20% off).

Clients of Dacri & Associates enjoy an additional 10% off. Not a bad investment for something that will dramatically make a difference in how you manage.

And yes, you can sign up for 1 or 2 or all 5 webinars if you want.

I hope you’ll join us.

Each webinar will be limited to the first 25 who sign up. They will be approximately 60 minutes in length.

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To register, call me at 207-229-5954 or email me at rick@dacri.com.

Rick Dacri Photo

Rick Dacri

 Rick

President

Dacri & Associates, LLC

207-229-5954 (Cell)

rick@dacri.com

www.dacri.com

 

P.S. Can’t make it to the live sessions? No problem, go ahead and sign up anyway. I will be recording (audio and visual) each session and each registrant will receive a link to the recording within 24 hours after the session is over.

P.P.S. Be one of the first three to sign up and I’ll send you a copy of my book Uncomplicating Management.How To Make Managing Easy

Uncomplicating Management

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Filed under communications, Compliance, Employee Relations, Management, Uncategorized