Tag Archives: Independent contractor

Compensation Trends & Pitfalls What You Must Know and Do (Webinar)

images-2Proposed changes in the Department of Labor overtime rules will force you to make significant changes to your pay and benefit structure; a changing economic market is driving wages upward; and an increasing number of wage and hour lawsuits has all put compensation at center stage.

In this one-hour webinar, scheduled for November 12th at 2PM, Rick Dacri will show where wages are going in 2016; how to prepare for the 2016 proposed changes to the overtime rules; and how to avoid the most common wage and hour violations.

This webinar is designed for all executives, managers, supervisors and HR professionals—anyone who supervises staff.

In this 60-minute webinar, you will learn:

  • What the expected pay increases will be in 2016
  • What will be the important 2016 compensation trends you should know
  • How to remain competitive when new hires are driving pay upward
  • Strategies to address the proposed doubling of the overtime minimum
  • A definitive way to differentiate between a salary and hourly position
  • Understanding if you must pay someone who does work on his or her time
  • Knowing when you can deduct pay from a salaried worker
  • Methods to correct mistakes in employee’s pay
  • Pay requirements when employees work through lunch, at home, or before the start of a shift
  • Avoiding mistakes in paying Independent Contractors
  • Whether you can prevent employees from discussing their pay

These are just some of the things we will cover in this packed webinar. In addition, by attending, you will also receive a copy of the PowerPoint slides and 3 white papers (Understanding Exempt Status under the FLSA; FLSA Fair Pay Questionnaire; and Improper Deductions of salaried workers).

The entire program is just $125 (my clients will receive a complimentary pass). To enroll, simply email (rick@dacri.com) or call me (207-229-5954). It’s that easy. I’ll take your information and you can send me a check.

Got questions? Give me a call and I’ll give you an answer.

Sound good. Then sign up now…and tell your colleagues too!

You may want to read:

Compensation Trends and Pitfalls: What You Must Know and Do

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Overtime Eligibility to Double: Prepare for Changes

images(Post by Rick Dacri, August 24, 2015)

The Department of Labor’s (U.S. DOL) proposed change to overtime eligibility is likely to force all employers to review and make changes to their compensation plans prior to the expected 2016 implementation.

Under the proposed rule, 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), would be $970, or $50,440 per year for a full-time worker, more than doubling the salary threshold from the current level of $23,660. Afterward, the salary-level threshold would be updated annually based either on the percentile or inflation.

Earning above the $50,440 annual ($970 per week) salary level does 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 likely 2016 implementation period. 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 $50,440, 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

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 of the law, doling out significant fines, attorney fees and back pay for violations.

Some other problematic areas for employers that should immediately be addressed include:

  • Misclassifying employers as exempt, when they should be non-exempt when the duties test is applied
  • Misclassifying individuals as independent contractors when they are bona-fide employees
  • Failing to pay for “off the clock” work, including non-exempt employees working, unpaid, during breaks; bringing work home; being required to respond to emails, calls and texts, etc.

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 $50,440
  • Review the classification of all independent contractors
  • 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 that can be rolled out in 2016 when (and if) the law changes. Call me if you need help.

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Avoiding Legal Pitfalls (Webinar)

hammer1(This webinar, which you can listen to now, was presented by Rick Dacri, originally on September 17, 2013)

Managing people effectively is a major challenge for every manager. In this webinar, you will learn how to address 5 critical performance and compliance issues faced by nearly all managers—giving you the confidence and knowledge to immediately apply these new skills.

Specifically, you will learn

  1. How to hire right
  2. How to control and reduce workers’ compensation costs
  3. How to deal with alcohol & drugs in the workplace
  4. How to prevent FMLA abuse

This webinar will last approximately 60 minutes. To watch and listen, click webinar.

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Filed under Compliance, Employee Relations, Management

Labor Secretary Targets Business

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(This post was written by Rick Dacri on September 12, 2012)

Employers are on notice. The new Labor Secretary is honing in on issues of concern to the business community.

New U.S. Labor Secretary Perez has introduced an aggressive agenda. In a speech to organized labor on Tuesday, he targeted four areas of attention:

  1. Aggressively enforcing wage laws
  2. Improving workplace safety
  3. Stopping the misclassification of workers as Independent Contractors—a practice he calls “workplace fraud”
  4. Promoting unionization

While much of this was expected, it should be a wake up call to some employers to make sure their houses are in order. DOL has aggressively pursued wage and hour issues, particularly around violations of overtime and break regulations. DOL, the states and the IRS have been clamping down on Independent Contractors. In fact, the IRS has published a 20-point test that all employers who employ ICs should review. OSHA has been targeting specific industry groups while unions struggle to remain relevant.

While we can expect that the DOL will continue to push these issues, as a matter of good business practice, employers should review all their systems and policies to ensure you are complaint. Penalties are severe. Call me if you need some help.

If you want to know more about how I can help you, click Dacri & Associates.

If this post was helpful, you may also want to read:

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6 New CEO Challenges Require Immediate Action

 

imagesPost Written by Rick Dacri, July 8, 2013

CEOs consistently tell me that the challenges of the business fill their plate and the ongoing people issues just make it worse. The last few weeks the Courts and government agencies have simply overwhelmed them. Let’s take a look at what has happened:

  1. DOMA: The Supreme Courts overturning the Defense of Marriage Act now extends to same sex couples, who were married and reside in the 12 states and the District of Columbia that recognize same sex marriage, all the federal benefits offered to heterosexual couples. That means employers must now make the changes to policies, benefits, and payroll taxes to comply with the changes. While this brings a consistency to the compliance between state and federal law, it leaves the question of what happens in the other 38 states.
  2. Independent Contractors: Both the federal and state government agencies (IRS and Labor) have both redefined their definition of an Independent Contractor and begin strict enforcement of the new standards forcing employers to change how they manage their workforce and quickly bring their company into compliance or face huge fines. For many companies, this will be s tremendous burden.
  3. Interns: Two high profile class-action lawsuits against NBC Universal and Fox Searchlight point to the perils of not paying summer interns. In both cases, the Court determined these companies violated the Fair Labor Standards Act for not paying their “workers” forcing employers nationally to rethink how they employ and compensate interns. These rulings will hurt valuable college internship programs.
  4. Affordable Care Act: The Obama administration gave small employers a welcome reprieve by extending the compliance deadline to 2014 for implementing the mandate for employers with 50 or more employees to provide insurance coverage. While on the surface this is good news, it brings further confusion to an already difficult implementation schedule.
  5. Immigration: As Congress wrestles with immigration reform, CEOs suffer with the inability to recruit badly needed skilled and unskilled foreign workers. With a growing skills gap and an aging workforce, foreign workers could fill the void. Without Congressional relief, CEOs must operate without essential workers.
  6. New Definition of Supervisor: The Supreme Court has clarified its definition of a “supervisor” and in doing so, provided employers with a bit of clarity in defending itself against claims of harassment. While this is a helpful decision, it still requires policy changes and education of managers to ensure compliance.

Running a business is always a challenge. The Courts and government made it a whole lot more complicated. Regardless, CEOs must begin to address the changes, make the adjustments to their policies and practices, and quickly get into full compliance, while continuing to lead their business.

If you want to know how I can help you with this, click Dacri & Associates.

If this has been valuable, you may also want to subscribe to our free electronic newsletter. Just Click The Dacri Report.

Other posts you may want to read:

  1. DOMA Overturned Means Changes for Business
  2. Independent Contractors in Labor’s Cross Hairs
  3. Interns: Employers Obligation to Pay or Not?
  4. Affordable Care Act: What Employers Need To Know
  5. Immigration: Tear Down Those Walls
  6. Harassment Claims: Courts New Definition of Supervisor

 

 

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Filed under Compliance, Management, Uncategorized

Independent Contractors in Labor’s Cross Hairs

imagesThe U.S. Department of Labor is once again putting Independent Contractors in their cross hairs. The issue for Labor is whether employers are properly classifying employees to avoid paying overtime and payroll taxes. As I have noted in several blogs, the regulators, both on the state and federal level, are actively pursuing those they feel are violating the law.

Several industry groups including construction, technology, trucking and home health care are targeted, but no industry group or company is exempt from scrutiny.

To protect your organization, a complete review of all your Independent Contractors is needed. The DOL, IRS and the respective states have published, though very complicated, guidelines. My advice, audit your positions now.

 Call me if you need assistance.

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Independent Contractor Standards for Maine

Maine’s new definition of an independent contractor applies to unemployment, wage and hour and worker’s compensation cases according to the State Department of Labor Press Release

 The new independent contractor definition goes into effect Dec. 31, 2012, replacing the current definitions under both the Workers’ Compensation Act and the Maine Department of Labor. Both agencies will operate under the same definition for all cases originating after the effective date.

This new law clarifies the conditions under which a worker should be classified as an employee or as an independent contractor. The independent contractor standard will be applied uniformly in the unemployment, wage and hour and worker’s compensation laws.

Under the new law, both the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board and the Maine Department of Labor will use the new standard to determine whether a person who performs services for payment is an employee or an independent contractor. Independent contractors must be free from the essential direction and control of the employing party and meet several other criteria.

Also included in this new law are clear penalties to deter the intentional misclassification of workers as independent contractors when they are employees per the standard. This practice not only creates a competitive disadvantage for those employers who correctly classify their workers but also increases unemployment tax premiums because fewer employers are paying appropriate taxes. Therefore, the new law includes penalties ranging up to $10,000 to deter this practice.

The criteria of the new law: Continue reading

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