Labor Law Changes

On this month’s episode of the HR Insider, we will be joined by a special guest, employment law attorney, Tina Izadi. The topic is about employment law and how it relates to small businesses. One of the numerous things we discussed in this episode was the recent changes to certain regulations regarding overtime pay. Because this is a looming cloud that is hanging over a lot of business owners, especially small businesses, we wanted to share with you a little of what was discussed before the episode airs.

The United States Department of Labor is considering changing certain language surrounding “defining and delimiting the exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act.” Although the department is currently looking into modifying this language; in 2016, state, federal, and local legislatures have passed modified laws in favor of workers.

In case you missed it, here are some information on some of the laws that have been changed or could be changed:

Higher Minimum Wage Rates (States not Federal)

Although the federal minimum wage rate is $7.25 per hour, some states took it upon themselves to raise the wage within their own states themselves. Colorado, Arizona, Maine and Washington were a few states that took matters into their own hands (or the voters) and raised the state level for minimum wage.

Overtime

Last year, businesses received shocking news that the Department of Labor was going to update a regulation that would increase the salary threshold for paid overtime from $455 per week to $913 per week. In the current language, salaried workers were only able to earn overtime if they made less than a salary of $23,660. The new law was set to go into effect on December 1, 2016 – but after 21 states challenged the proposed change, a federal judge halted the new law from going into effect indefinitely.

While President Obama’s revised overtime regulations will not be happening, many businesses are still wondering if the law will be changed yet again. In July of earlier this year, the Department of Labor issued a Request for Information that seeks to gather comments from the public concerning salaries and wages. You can go here to let your voice be heard: https://www.dol.gov/whd/overtime/rfi2016.htm.

President Trump may revisit the overtime labor law changes as his Secretary of the Labor implied that the administration may change the salary threshold to $34,000 – $36,000 which is $650 to $700 per week.

Easy Time Clock ™   is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader.

Cloud Based Attendance Tracking – The New Frontier

Welcome to the Golden Age – or as we like to call it – the cloud based age. Remember that tidbit of advice marketing experts gave to small business owners a few years ago? It went something like this, “if your business is not online or not doing any form of online marketing then you might as well be out of business.”

As truthful as that may be for being online, we are here to tell you that the Cloud is going to be next frontier – especially when it comes to storing data.

Here are a few benefits of using a cloud based attendance tracking system:

  1. Set up is easy. In fact, we even allow a 30 day trial period where you are able to get a feel of our system before actually purchasing a subscription.
  2. Reduce or eliminate your costs on IT. With a cloud based attendance tracking system, there is no need for certain installations or expensive hardware. Using a cloud based system allows you to have promptly support via email or phone call.
  3. Streamline payroll. Turning in paper time sheets, adding in overtime, ensuring the proper deductions are being taken out, and other payroll functions can be time consuming and demanding. By using a cloud based attendance tracking system, it will allow you to streamline your payroll process with the only thing you have to do is approve your employees’ hours!
  4. Follow the cloud, instantly. With cloud based systems, employees can clock in and out on their phones or laptops! It’s that simple.

As you can see, cloud based attendance tracking systems are becoming the new frontier for HR, especially in regards to payroll. For smarter, more effective, more efficient use of your time, we recommend switching to a cloud based attendance tracking system today.

How to Track Employees’ Benefits

You just hired your first set of employees and have finally finished setting up your payroll. Given these are full-time employees, they are also entitled benefits. The benefits you have decided to offer your employees are retirement and healthcare. Now comes the hard question – how do you track them? This could get tricky, especially for small businesses whom do not have a human resources department or specialist.

But before you even begin to track your employees’ benefits, you may want to do some research on how you should properly streamline this process. Here are a few tips:

  1. It is important for you to know how other companies in your industry are managing their employees’ benefits. Perhaps you find out it is much easier to only offer health and dental insurance and let your employees pay for their own vision insurance.
  2. Meet with a HR professional or employment lawyer to become more knowledgeable about the benefits you are offering to your employees.

Now it’s time for you to begin tracking your employees’ benefits.

  1. The most popular form of tracking your employees’ benefits is by using an administration benefits software. Manually tracking benefits is unnecessary in this day and age. Also, a lot of these tracking softwares come with expert assistance and automated processes. Some of the benefits of using an administrative benefits software platform include on-boarding new employees, ability to store information in the Cloud, and access employees’ benefits information. (Did we mention Easy Time Clock does all of this too?!)
  2. Block out time every month to review benefits information. As we know, health insurance benefits information is constantly changing. You want to make sure your information stays up to date.
  3. Make sure to review your employees’ enrollment and deductions each pay cycle to ensure everything is running smoothly.
  4. Make sure to update your employees’ benefits information immediately if they have submitted a change to prior information (like birth of a new baby, married, etc.). Doing this promptly avoids any incorrect deductions being made on their next pay cycle.

Those are just a few tips on how you can begin to track your employees’ benefits. Being a small business owner is no easy task – trust me I know.

But don’t feel stressed out if you just hired your first set of employees and do not know how to track their benefits. In fact, if you are reading this blog then you are already on our website for Easy Time Clock. A little bit about what we do. We are a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader. Easy Time Clock also tracks and manages your employees benefits so you don’t have too! Please call us today to request a free demo!

Properly Defining Your Employees

Although many small business owners are aware of the repercussions of not properly defining their employees – exempt or non-exempt; salaried or hourly; some small business owners still runs into problems come tax time. By not properly defining your employees’ statuses, businesses owners can face hefty fines and penalties even if the error was completely unintentional.

To avoid getting penalized and fined, business owners, especially small business owners, should understand how to properly determine an employee’s classification and how they should get paid.

Salaried Employee

A salaried employee is paid on an annual, fixed amount. The salary is divided by the pay periods based on  2,080 hours. Employees whom are salaried do not have to clock in and are not required to submit time sheets.

Hourly Employee

An hourly employee is paid on the hours that are worked. Hourly employees are required to submit time sheets and clock in and clock out.

Best Practices on Differentiating an Hourly Employee and Salaried Employee

Here are some best practices on how you can differentiate an employee who should be salaried versus hourly.

  1. Hourly employees are required by law to be paid overtime if they exceed their 40 hours in a single work week. If you have to pay overtime to these employees then this means they should be considered non-exempt and are entitled to overtime.
  2. A common misconception is that salaried employees are not entitled to overtime, however, that is not the case. Just because an employee is salaried does not make them automatically exempt. Salaried employees who make less than the minimum amount of money set by the Department of Labor are able to receive overtime and a half; they are also able to be classified non-exempt.
  3. An employee can be considered exempt if they pass the white collar exemption test. Senior executives, managers and supervisors are most commonly classified as exempt.

For more information about overtime, white collar exemption and other employee law information, please visit the Department of Labor’s website .

Also – don’t forget Easy Time Clock is a cloud-based time and attendance system that provides a comprehensive, accurate, and affordable solution allowing employees to clock in and out with a computer, mobile device, or biometric reader. Let us keep track of your hourly employees’ time and benefits!

What is the Lilypad technology?

By: Alisha Allen Gardner

I wanted to take Easy Time Clock to a new level and begin to offer other Software as a Service (SaaS) products. One of the major pain points I felt as a child care provider in my past, and now as a parent with a child in daycare, was the lack of ability to communicate digitally with the provider. We are in a time in which we live off of technology. If you don’t take a credit card, that’s a burden on the parents to make sure they have checks or cash on hand (who even keeps their checks on them anymore?).  Every day at pickup, you are provided a daily sheet that inevitably ends up on the floor of your car. As a parent who has shared custody, I never knew what was going on with my kiddo unless someone else told me. MyLilypadApp.com solves all of those problems and more.  Lilypad brings the power of the internet to your daycare to save the provider time and money. We offer time tracking, a parent portal for payments, daily sheets, calendar access, and billing management for the provider. It is also super cute and offers different blog options than Easy Time Clock. I hope, in time, we are able to be a provider and parent resource for anything kiddo related.

All About Zach!

Easy Time Clock shines a spotlight on on employee, Zachary Wright. Read his exclusive interview where he discusses working at Easy Time Clock and how he defines success.

What three traits define you?

Allocentric, Conscientious, Empathetic

What is your personal philosophy? 
Please be kind, rewind. Be kind to everyone you come into contact with, and there’s a chance they will be kind to you and the next person they speak to.
What’s one thing you couldn’t live without?
Water and a musical instrument of some sort.
What is the one thing you cannot resist? 
Looking at dishes before I use them to make sure they meet my cleanliness standards.

What is your greatest fear? 
My Achilles Tendon being damaged or severed.

Which one would you want most – flying cars, robot housekeepers, or moon cities? Flying cars.

Where is the best place you’ve traveled to and why?
Germany. It is such a gorgeous country and they are very environmentally conscious.

How do you define success? 
Knowing that I put the hard work into the task I am attempting to accomplish. I feel successful when I can honestly tell myself that I put my best effort on the table.

Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
I believe I am more introverted than extroverted but I have lots of friends and will hang out with them more than 50% of my free time.
What is the greatest challenge you have had to overcome in your life thus far?
Being a good college student. Still working on that.

What makes Easy Time Clock such a great place to work?

Having a voice that is heard. Grouping together to brainstorm to solve issues and come up with policies.

Good to Grow was a Huge Success!

Held at Allegiance Credit Union on August 6, Good to Grow: A Health and Wellness Expo was a success! Below is a list of all the booths that we had this year.

  1. Allegiance Credit Union
  2. Allena Massage Therapy
  3. Bethany Library
  4. Captain Supertooth
  5. Community Builders Church
  6. Danny Gordon Art
  7. Delishes Dishes
  8. Easy Time Clock
  9. Family Builders
  10. Hearts for Hearing
  11. InBalance Chiropractic & Wellness
  12. Just Kids Pediatrics
  13. Kona Ice
  14. Northwest OKC Chamber
  15. OKDHS
  16. Sams Club and Immunizations
  17. Smart Start Central
  18. Variety Care
  19. Vizavance
  20. Crafty Communications for photography

In addition to the booths, we had an activity center where every 15 to 30 minutes an interactive activity was held. Captain Supertooth showed us the benefit of oral health care, Danny Gordon Art taught us all how to draw a fish  and we wrapped up the day with a Story from the Bethany Library. Throughout the event we gave away over 20 free raffle items for participants.

KOCO aired an interview with Co Partner Jill McCartney of the NWOKC Chamber and our CEO, Alisha (Pictured Above).  Representative Tammy West showed an interest by appearing and participating as well.  All signs point to this becoming an ongoing annual event.  Through Good to Grow, we have created a series of excellent networking contacts who have a heart for the community and partnership.

Welcome Rob!

Introducing Rob Allen

Chief Officer of Operations

Rob brings 20 years of leadership as a pastor, counselor and vice-president of a non-profit and an additional 10 plus years in new home sales and construction management. Married to Beth, he is the father of three (Alisha, Ashley and Alex) and grandfather of four (Phoenix, Hunter, Paisley & Pierce). A California native, he graduated from Fresno State before going on to seminary and graduate work in theology, counseling and business. His focus is to devise and implement systems and processes that improve productivity and customer satisfaction. His great passion is to develop team members to be the best they were designed to be. Rob reads a lot and is a student of leadership and history. When not working or with family, he enjoys oil painting and sketching.

What you might not know about Rob is that he is our CEO, Alisha’s, dad! “I am extremely excited and grateful that my dad has graciously accepted joining our team. His guidance and experience will make our team and business grow leaps and bounds!” -Alisha