Energy Conference: Decarbonization - A Business Perspective REGISTER

Experts say only 8 percent of us will actually keep our New Year’s resolutions. Below I offer you three HR resolutions you will want to keep; not only will they keep you out of trouble with the government, but they may make your job a little easier as well.

Collect notice acknowledgements upfront.

Amid the dozens of notices you have to put up in your break room, several of them require you get signatures from your employees acknowledging that they have received it. Here’s a quick re-cap of what they are.

    •  Gender Equity Notice: If you have 50 or more employees, you must post a gender equity notice and also get signed acknowledgements every year.
    •  Wage & Hour: Before January 1st of each year, you need to post an updated wage and hour poster which displays the current minimum wage, $8.60 in 2018. Click here  for a copy of the new poster.
    •  Whistleblower: If you’ve got 10 or more employees, you must annually provide notice  of the Conscientious Employee Protection Act (CEPA), also known as the Whistleblower Act. Although CEPA does not specifically require you to get a written acknowledgement, doing so is recommended. Click here  for a copy of the notice.

    Many employers update their handbooks about this time of year, and get signed statements from employees acknowledging the changes. You could attach these notices to the handbook update to collect everything once. If that’s not an option for you, consider distributing them when you provide the employee’s W-2.

    Have employees update their own job descriptions.

    Job descriptions serve as a reminder of current company needs and expectations. Official job descriptions will determine what is a “reasonable accommodation” if an employee needs to be accommodated due to a disability. Job descriptions are also useful for workers’ compensation claims and a host of other workplace issues. So, it is critical that they match the work the employee is actually doing.

    Having your employees suggest changes to their own job descriptions can serve as a springboard for discussion about the nature of your employee’s job and how it has changed over time. It would also help with the annual performance review.

    Conduct a self-audit for overtime pay.

    A self-audit sounds downright painful, I know, but the ones conducted by the NJ Department of Labor and Workforce Development can be a lot worse.

    The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires you to decide whether each of your employees is exempt from overtime, or, if they are entitled to at least one and one-half times their regular rate of pay for any hours worked over 40 in a workweek.

    Many employers get this wrong. Not only are they subject to fines and penalties, but they also must pay the overtime wages they missed, even if it has been going on for years. In making the decision that a worker is not eligible for overtime, you must pass three tests: the salary level test, the salary basis test, and the duties test. (Go here for more information.)

    A self-audit can identify a problem before it becomes a legal headache. Most HR law firms can help you with this, but at the very least, you want to review job descriptions and interview employees in those positions with an eye toward the FLSA requirements.

    Need more?  Contact the Member Action Center at 1-800-499-4419, ext. 3 or member411@njbia.org.