Symmetry provides outstanding human resource advice, support, and advocacy to start-up and small companies who do not have an in-house human resource team.
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Employees straggling in late or not coming in at all is often at the top of the list of employer frustrations. The problem can lead employers to devise creative solutions, such as requiring management employees to clock in and even docking their pay when they’re late. But a solution that’s legal is more important than one that’s creative.
Employers have long used paid vacation policies as a compensation benefit and a means of enhancing employee productivity. To keep pace in a competitive hiring market, many start-ups offer employees the right to take “unlimited” paid vacation. While “unlimited vacation” policies do offer certain benefits, the law on such policies is currently undeveloped, and employers must pay careful attention to implementation and administration to minimize legal risks.
Unscheduled absenteeism costs American businesses billions of dollars every year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). There are myriad potential costs to take into account, including: • Overtime; • Paid sick days; • Use of temporary or “relief/reserve” employees; • Reduced productivity; • Poor quality of goods or services resulting from replacement workers’ inexperience or fatigue; • Administrative costs associated with absenteeism; • Time spent finding suitable replacements; and • Discipline and safety problems due to inadequately trained replacements.
One of the most misunderstood and misapplied sections of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) deals with overtime and comp time. To illustrate the confusion, consider this example: you have a nonexempt salaried employee who will be working an extra six hours each week for additional training for her position. The extra hours will result in overtime hours each week. The employee is requesting comp time instead of overtime pay. Can you let her track the hours she works (including the training time) and ask her to sign a form indicating her desire to waive overtime pay and instead receive comp time? If so, should the comp time be given to her at time and a half?
Attendance problems can lower workplace morale and significantly disrupt employee productivity as all employers depend on employees arriving for their scheduled shifts. Failure to arrive to work may present an especially difficult problem if the employee with an attendance problem is an otherwise excellent employee. Nonetheless, employee attendance is an issue that must be dealt with and following the guidelines below will make the process much easier, and help to ensure that all employees are treated equally.
It’s no secret that since the recession many workers have found themselves expected to do more with less. They’ve seen wage and hiring freezes as well as cutbacks in benefits. They’ve also worked under a cloud – knowing that their jobs could disappear in the next round of layoffs.
Federally, wage and hour laws are governed by the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). This law sets out minimum wage and overtime provisions---two issues that frequently arise. Virtually all employers are covered by the FLSA. In additional to federal wage and hour laws, states, and even localities, set forth their own provisions. As an employer, it is important to know which state and local wage and hour laws apply to you and your business.
Why do I need to go through the steps of progressive discipline when I operate my business in an At-Will state?