Expansion Of Overtime Pay Exemptions Hurt White Collar Workers

Expansion Of Overtime Pay Exemptions Hurt White Collar Workers

Overtime pay is presently being debated in the halls of the Department of Labor. New regulations would offer more exemptions to the rules, as well as set new standards for the department’s duties test. Having brought the issue to the floor for debate, and having drafted tentative changes, the regulations are now in the input stage.

 

Overtime Pay Exemptions

Tests To Determine Exemption

There are presently three specific tests that must be met in order to determine that an employee is exempt to receive overtime pay. The first of these is that the employee must be a salaried employee, not paid by the hour. The salary level test states that employees must earn above a specified dollar amount per week to be considered exempt.

Finally, there is the duties test. This test states that if the employee performs specific duties, they are exempted from receiving overtime pay. These duties must be executive, administrative or professional in their core characteristics. The new law sought t be drafted into effect in 2016, states that if the employee does not possess the status or authority within the company, they cannot be exempted from overtime pay.

Duties Redefined

The point in the new regulations that is the core of the present debate is the exemption surrounding executive or administrative duties. The issue at hand entails the reclassification of millions of workers. At present if the job duties of these workers resembles executive, administrative or professional tasks, the employee does not qualify to receive overtime pay.

The debate is that many employees may sometimes perform some of these tasks, but they seriously lack in the standing within the hierarchy of the company to enact the type of power that would classify them as administrative or executive. No power to make changes or enact rules within the company does equate to the ability for employers to exempt the employee from overtime pay.

Input is being sought by the Department of Labor as to what companies and corporations feel about the duties test. Specifically which level or status of employee should get overtime pay, and which ones are above basic workers and managers and therefore qualify for overtime.

 

Loss Of Pay

Loss Of Pay For Many

It is felt that the redefinition of the duties test will exempt thousands, maybe millions, from receiving overtime pay. The new regulations will redefine the education requirements as well as administrative duties that are considered exempted.

For instance, a paralegal does not have the stringent educational requirements as a lawyer or judge, but under the new regulations will be exempted to overtime pay like their higher paid and educated peers.

What is problematic is that the lines that presently separate professional jobs from white collar jobs is being seriously watered down and will eventually fade into history. These better paid, but lesser educated workers do not have the same professional status or pay of the individuals required to attain far greater levels of education.

Limited Scope Of Regulations

When drafting these new regulations, the Department of Labor has only considered a very limited number of workers. These individuals rank at only about 600,000 workers. There are millions of workers in the present workforce.

This issue is that these 600,000 workers have associate’s degrees and are exempted because of the core nature of their duties. What is estimated is that companies will redefine their workforce and put more people on a salary in order to reach the exempt status.

This content was assembled to inform small businesses – like yours – of potential compliance issues. To have employees in the United States means you’ll need quality labor law protection. If you’re based in Anaheim, try one of these labor posters for total compliance. The vendor has professional legal staff review and approve all of their employment posters so employers never have to worry about labor compliance issues.

 

Congressional Input

Congressional Input

The Congress has also weighed in on this matter. They feel that while te old regulations are a bit outdated and need revamping, that the protections offered to millions of white collar workers concerning overtime pay should not be changed.

What is cited is stalled growth in both wages and the economy that would make this type of regulation change favorable for the larger companies, but would seriously hurt families and lower level white collar workers. Even with the proposed section of the regulations that seeks to raise salaried employees pay in order to make them exempt would but a huge dent in the buying power of millions.

What Does It Mean?

What these new regulations seek to put into effect is that any employee making over $65,000 per year will assuredly be exempted to overtime pay. This also includes anyone making more than this amount as well.

In terms of basic salaries, the individuals who make $425 or less per week will still get their overtime pay (this comes to about $22,100 per year). It is projected that these new amounts will propel companies to pay more in order to avoid overtime which will cost them more in the long run.

Whether or not these regulations are a positive move in the right direction is yet to be determined. Even the Congress believes this will do more harm than good to the American worker and his/her family.

 

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Credit for this small business article goes to NECHES FCU, Port Neches, TX.

Neches FCU is a texas credit union and has an awesome team of professionals ready to service all members. When the doors open at any of the 9 service outlets, the mission of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the driving force for every employee. They are known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, delivering a memorable service experience, and where all members are known by their name.

Neches Federal Credit Union has approx. $438 Million in assets with over 45,000 members. Neches is recognized by members and the business community as one of the top credit unions in texas and an actively involved partner, helping our Family, Friends and Community!

The 10 Moms That are Most Difficult to Deal With

10 Types of Moms That are Difficult to Deal With

Let’s face it — making friends with other mothers can be incredibly difficult. There seems to be a protocol of sorts that comes with being a mom. I get it, but I’ve had some difficulty in learning how not to say the wrong thing. There is a steep learning curve with this kind of thing and I am learning as I go, but in the meantime, I have come up with a list of ten types of mothers that for my own sanity and to not put my foot in my mouth, I can’t spend any time around or deal with.

Stay at home Moms
Stay at home Moms

The Stay at Home Mom

Full disclosure, I am a card-carrying member of the stay-at-home mom club. This means that I know all about the stress and toil of having to take care of a small child and just how taxing it can be on the mind, body and spirit. What I don’t do is go eight if somebody asks me what I do all day. I don’t take offense, because honestly, I have been pulling my hair out trying to figure out how more stay-at-home moms don’t drive themselves crazy with boredom. We essentially are on a never ending merry-go-round of cleaning, feeding and transporting kids every single day.

The Working Mom

On the flipside, many working moms hate it when people ask them how they can bear to leave their children while they go out and earn a living. I want to be able to get back into the workforce at some point, but even the notion of it causes anxiety. It would help me to be able to talk to somebody who can tell me about how they tend to balance it all. I have my kind of mom and would never make you feel guilty.

Active Pregnant Moms
Active Pregnant Moms

The Pregnant Mom

Another type of mom that I often put my foot in my mouth around is the pregnant mom. My inclination is to ask some simple questions, such as the sex of the baby or if they have picked out a cute name. I have to keep myself from putting my foot in my mouth by offering any unsolicited advice or by recounting stories of my own pregnancies. To make up for that, I looked the other way and act like I don’t see the pregnant mom jeans or the swollen ankles.

The Mom with an Only Child

Once again, I completely fall into this category. People ask me all the time if I want to have more kids, and I don’t. However, I also don’t get mad at the question. I actually think the question is valid and pay no mind to the fact that someone might be judging me for it.

The Mom with lots of kids
The Mom with lots of kids

 

The Mom with A House Full Of Kids

Seeing mothers with a house full of kids generally fascinates me. I actually have a friend who is on her ninth, yes, NINTH baby. I have a laundry list of questions to ask her, but don’t quite feel right asking. It always makes me wonder how the super moms do it, or what stories they must have — but I just keep it to myself.

The Lesbian Mom

I am completely supportive of love and any two mom families. They probably face enough judgment and discrimination on a regular basis, so I always hesitate to mention anything to them.

Awesome Adoptive Moms
Awesome Adoptive Moms

The Mom Who Adopted

There are a lot of potentially sensitive factors with this one. I actually love to hear the wonderful and loving stories of adoption and would love to hear them. But at the same time, I do not want to make those moms feel like I’m singling them out.

The Mom with Twins

To me, twins are the coolest thing since sliced bread. If I met a set of adorable little triplets, I would probably flip. It will be awesome to hear from a mother with twins about her experiences when it comes to this wonderful little miracle of life.

Moms with Special Needs children
Moms with Special Needs children

The Mom with A Special Needs Child

I don’t want to be condescending about this one, which is why typically don’t bring it up. I am afraid to say the wrong thing. My assumption is that you probably have enough on your plate to contend with, so I don’t want to add to it.

Kid throwing a tantrum
Kid throwing a tantrum

The Mom with the Tantrum Child

Kids throwing Tasmanian devil tantrums sometimes are a fact of life. My inclination is to suggest a wonderful parenting book or tell you how I beat these fits. Instead, I typically opt to thank my lucky stars that my own child is quiet and relaxed at the moment.

The saddest part about all of this is that I would most likely be friends with any of these moms. What’s most likely is that people who are rude and knows he has messed it up and made an awkward for everybody. It is too bad, because this culture of defensiveness forms a barrier that keeps us all from being friends and exchanging stories of Mom-dom.

Author Bio:

Hey there! It’s Jessie from HootBabyDesigns.com! I’m a Mom who loves to blog between running my kids around in their baby jogger city select single stroller. My perfect day starts off with just getting them prepared for an outdoor adventure, packing some healthy snacks, fruits and juices, and off we go. I love having them outdoors early on in the day because it tires them out for their afternoon naps. That’s my prime time to do my blogging about all things Mommy-like and baby product-wise. I hope you enjoyed this post. I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Essential Marketing Tech for Small to Mid-Size Retail Organizations

Essential Marketing Technology for Today’s Retail Businesses

 

Software benefits
Software benefits

In today’s fast-paced world, retail businesses have a lot to contend with in order to both serve customers and let the world know about their offerings. It is nice to know that there are some tools out there that can greatly aid you in your efforts to reach your market.

Here are some of the latest, useful pieces of technology for your retail business:

online payment
online payment

PayPal Pay in Store:

While more of a pay solution that brings you in front of a larger market, it still is worth looking into as more and more of your customers want to pay with their smartphones and not their wallets.

When you sign up with PayPal, it allows customers to check in with your store and order and pay for products that you advertise online before they even reach your store, making it as easy as them showing up to pick up their order in some cases.

Email Communication
Email Communication

 

MailChimp:

If you want to build a guest list or a customer list, this is definitely the service for you. It integrates into your website and allows you to ask or require customers to sign up to be on your mailing list.

If your products are unique, MailChimp is surprisingly effective at building a list of core customers that you can manage and contact with promotions and newsletters in the future. The nice thing about MailChimp is that it allows you to get started without paying so that you can find out how well it works for your retail store.

Website template
Website template

 

WordPress:

For a free piece of software, WordPress is one of the most evolved marketing tools ever developed. Many large newspapers trust their operations to run on it and several very large corporations use it for marketing communications as well. As a tool, it provides a website framework in the form of a blog or communications site that is easily customized.

One of the real powers of WordPress, however, is the large number of free plugins available to extend and bridge your website data so that you can use it in different programs. A good example of this is the social media plugins that allow you to post your blog simultaneously to Facebook and other social media sites.

Social media
Social media

 

Social Media Aggregation:

Several new businesses have sprung up that concierge your social media presence so that you do not have to spend hours updating each social media site that your retail establishment is on. For those who would like to keep their presence consistent without paying for one of those services, there are a variety of startups that broadcast your updates to several different social media sites at the same time.

A nice concept:

One post, many receivers, not that much time spent on updates. Although Hootsuite is an early leader in this field, you should also check out Buffer if you want precise schedules for your updates and SocialOomph if you want to manage subsequent individual communications with the audience that you have gathered.

Retargeting software
Retargeting software

 

Online Ad Software:

At a certain point, your retail store will probably want to at least test the waters beyond just gathering a core group of customers with your own site. One way to do this is to use social media or search engine advertising to target your audience and make them aware of your products by placing an advertisement.

On the social media front, Facebook advertising is hard to beat due to the level of granularity that they offer advertisers when it comes to targeting their market. For search engines, Google and Bing also provide both detailed targeting and statistics so that each campaign that you run will offer no surprises.

Online marketing
Online marketing

 

Overall, the cost of starting marketing efforts for your retail business is very reasonable. As your efforts prove themselves in the marketplace, each type of tool listed offers options that ease your transition into full-fledged pay schemes that will reap additional benefits for your firm. Have ideas on this topic? Please visit our Scoop.It page and post your comments other resources to discuss this further.

Thanks go out to Tracksmart.com for providing this small business content.
Let’s take a second and focus on YOUR business. How would you handle issues like chronic absenteeism and excessive tardiness in your office? Would you use time and attendance tracking software? Would you go looking for ideas from an HR blog or consult a peer for what their recommendations are? Some of our our readers mention they have begun using online time clock software to handle the tracking of their staff’s time tracking in-house and remotely when in the field. So, we’re trying to get an understanding of how the market is handling these issues in today’s business landscape. Insert a comment below this article and let us know your ideas for a solution.

Should You Rethink Your Entity Structure After Obamacare?

Is it Wise to Rethink Your Entity Structure Under Obamacare Taxes?

Obamacare left many business owners with important decisions to make. As part of the Affordable Care Act, business owners might have to offer healthcare to their employees, depending upon the size of their business. Business owners most affected by the change were those who owned smaller ventures. When Obamacare was unveiled, business owners had to weigh the options available to curb costs in overhead.

Obamacare and Taxes
Obamacare and Taxes

 

What the Law Says

Starting in 2015, employers with 100 or more employees have to cover 70 percent of full-time workers in order to avoid tax penalties. Employers with 50 to 99 employees must also begin offering health coverage in order to avoid fines. The caveat to the 50-employee rule is that employees may purchase coverage through the available exchange options and must have wages that are low enough to qualify for subsidies. The rules and restrictions don’t apply to part-time employees who do not work over 30 hours a week.

Employers Reducing the Number of Hours and Employees

Employers are faced with a number of challenges. Some employers have chosen to exercise the option of converting full-time employees to part-time hours as a way to reduce the number of full-time employees and avoid health insurance responsibilities. Other employers have responded by slowing hiring and keeping their headcount under 50 in order to avoid having to offer health insurance to their employees.

Reducing the number of Employees
Reducing the number of Employees

 

Straddling the Fence

Some employers are straddling the fence when it comes to Obamacare by offering only the minimal coverage to their employees. Other companies are encouraging their employees to seek coverage on the exchange. While some employees can expect their premiums to go up, the quality of coverage may be far better in many cases.

Franchisees Feeling the Pressure of Obamacare

Most small businesses will be able to avoid the costs associated with having a full-time staff. The companies most likely to be affected are those with multiple locations. For example, franchises tend to have multiple locations, which could easily put them over the threshold for needing to offer insurance. Since franchise entities have less access to the most favorable negotiating terms with insurance companies, they may be hit hard by the changes. Costs for owning a franchise could increase due to the very structure of a franchise.

Franchises Are Affected by Obamacare
Franchises Are Affected by Obamacare

 

How Do the Fines Work?

The new law requires that employers with 50 or more employees pay for coverage for “substantially all” – 95 percent – of the employees or face fines. Companies not offering coverage for their employees must pay a fine of $2,000 per employee.

Who Will Be Affected by the Obamacare Provision?

According to research, approximately 96 percent of employers will not be affected by the law. Altogether, four percent of businesses will be affected by the law changes. Two percent of employers with up to 99 employees will be affected, and two percent of employers with more than 100 employees will be affected by the law changes.

Business Fines under Obamacare
Business Fines under Obamacare

 

The Reality of Those Changes

Employers with more than 100 workers must meet the various compliance requirements starting in 2015. Businesses have to prove that they are offering affordable coverage within the 70 percent threshold. Business owners are going to have to rethink their structures to accommodate these new legal changes.

Is it Wise to Rethink the Structure of Your Business in the Wake of Obamacare?

Businesses have several options available to them: they can raise their prices, cut employees’ hours, lay off staff or outsource certain projects. Companies have pared down their structure by offering contracts to service firms. Employers can increase their headcount and reduce the number of full-time employees they have on their staff. There are additional options available to employers, such as keeping the same structure and raising prices for the consumers.

On the topic of using contractors, make sure you simplify your tax filings and maintain accurate records.  When you decide to file 1099 online to several contractors, it can get cumbersome and time-consuming.  This is because you’ve not just got to send out printed copies of the 1099 and w-2 forms, not just submit the filings to the recipients. A quick tip: find a service to efile 1099 forms that does BOTH the e-filing and the print and delivery for you. Check out www.eFile4Biz.com to see what one should look like.

Employers can also hire contractors, who don’t technically qualify as full-time employees. Other companies have decided to rely primarily on temp employees to avoid driving up costs. From paring down the headcount to sourcing key tasks, companies have tackled the increased costs of offering healthcare to employees with a range of methods. Visit our Bitly and let us know what you though about this post.

Does Every Small Medical Office Need The HCFA CMS 1500 Form

This can get confusing…

There are so many forms that you need to fill out when working within a medical billing office. I guarantee you, it gets confusing to medical office staff. In most offices, the HCFA CMS 1500 form is the most widely used document submitted for reimbursement. Initially the form was called the HCFA 1500. However, it was renamed the cms 1500 form 02/12 form. The name change came as a result of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

 

Some Medicaid State Agencies require this form to process billing.

This standard form is used to claim by suppliers and non-hospital providers. The rule is that you must file the form with the payer within 365 days of providing the service to your patient. Downloading or photocopying the form is not recommended, as it’s printed with a specific type of ink. For the sake of speed and efficiency, the payers typically use Optical Character Recognition technology to scan the information, and process the requests for payment.

 

Any blood work done typically requires a CMS 1500 filed for insurance payment.
Any blood work done typically requires a CMS 1500 filed for insurance payment.

If the form is not exact it will not be read correctly.

The scan reads what has been added to the form making it extremely important you have the exact form. To ensure your form submissions are successful, use the latest form edition, and the correct ink color and quality. If you ignore these steps, delayed payments and rejections are almost inevitable.

 

Patient getting blood work done.
Patient getting blood work done.

Wait too long… and you may not get paid.

What’s worse is that if you wait too long to re-send the corrected form, there’s a chance you may not be paid at all. The bottom line is you need forms that are trustworthy. And as such, you need to find a quality provider. A smart choice is to order revised cms 1500 claim forms from a provider who has been in the industry for several years. The result of this diligence is a stream on timely insurance payments for your services rendered.