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2018 Florida Minimum Wage Changes

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Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum wage increased from $8.10 to $8.25 per hour for most employees in Florida, with exceptions for tipped employees, some student workers, and other exempt occupations. The federal minimum wage is $7.25. The annual calculation is based on the percentage increase in the federal Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage […]

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Costly HR payroll mistakes restaurants make

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Restaurants in general continue to make costly HR payroll mistakes that leave them exposed to claims by plaintiffs’ lawyers, and increasingly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (otherwise knows as ICE). These mistakes are easily avoidable by making some easy to implement policies and procedures. First of these costly mistakes is the misclassification of employees as exempt, mainly […]

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The Tax Cuts are Coming

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On December 22, 2017, President Donald Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 bringing with it a slew of changes to the corporate and personal tax code. One of the impacts of the new law is the reduction in payroll tax withholding rates for 2018. The IRS is currently working to develop […]

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Are Your Employees Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

Last month LendEDU reported that almost half of all college students surveyed believe they will be entitled to student loan forgiveness.  Most of them will be disappointed to find out that this isn’t true. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) was designed only for those employed in certain professions. Generally, employment with the following types of […]

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Companies hiring H-1B workers under additional scrutiny

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced multiple measures to further deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse. Beginning today, USCIS will take a more targeted approach when making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and the worksites of H-1B employees. USCIS will focus on: Cases where USCIS cannot validate the […]

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New I-9 Handbook for Employers

New I-9 Handbook for Employers Released Tuesday, February 14, 2017 United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) quietly and without much notice released the new M-274 “Handbook for Employers with Guidance for Completing Form I-9” on Tuesday. In addition to detailed I-9 completion instructions, the Handbook contains guidance on Photocopying and Retention, Unlawful Discrimination and Penalties, […]

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Are Your Employees Eligible for Loan Forgiveness?

Last month LendEDU reported that almost half of all college students surveyed believe they will be entitled to student loan forgiveness.  Most of them will be disappointed to find out that this isn’t true. Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) was designed only for those employed in certain professions. Generally, employment with the following types of […]

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Fiduciary Rule Delayed

Unless you’re a benefits or retirement manager, you probably have not paid much attention to the Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule announced last April. One of the rule’s goals was to put an end to the billions of dollars a year that investors are estimated to waste paying exorbitant fees. According to InvestmentNews.com, “The idea […]

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Employee Recruitment Scams (Yes, This is a Thing!)

If there are any trust issues in the employee recruitment process, they’re usually from the perspective of the recruiter. Is this candidate embellishing their resume? Providing false information? Leaving out an arrest record? As representatives of our employers to those who want a job, our trustworthiness is rarely called into question, especially with those just […]

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It’s Bonus Time!

Are you one of the lucky ones getting a year-end bonus? Many companies appear to be in a generous mood this holiday season, at least when it comes to providing bonuses to their employees. A recent survey conducted by Accounting Principals found that 75%of the companies surveyed planned to give out a year-end bonus or […]

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We just elected a new President. Now What?

We just elected a new President. Chances are you’re either still celebrating or still in shock. President-Elect Trump made many campaign promises and, while we don’t know yet which ones he will deliver on, several key promises will directly affect employers. Among the safe predictions are a focus on immigration worksite enforcement and sweeping changes […]

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Thank Goodness its Election Day

Election Day is finally here. And, boy, we can’t wait until it’s over! The ugliness of this year’s presidential campaign has wreaked havoc on many American workplaces, creating tension among co-workers and, in some cases, forcing managers into the role of office referee. Two weeks ago the Wall Street Journal reported the case of a […]

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HR’s Role in the Wells Fargo Debacle

By now we’ve all heard numerous tales of the fake accounts created by Wells Fargo employees in order to meet unrealistic sales quotas and the subsequent firing of more than 5,000 as a result. Millions of phony deposit accounts. Hundreds of thousands of phony credit card accounts. Phony pin numbers and email addresses too. If you’ve […]

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Florida’s Tipped Minimum Wage

Each year by October 15th the State of Florida determines what the following year’s minimum wage rate will be. Take a minute to check your calendar – we can expect this announcement soon! While many would like to think these decisions are completely left to politics and protesters, the minimum wage determination in Florida is […]

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Equal Pay Debate Will Fall to Next President

With the passing of longtime anti-feminist Phyllis Schlafly, famous for her long and prominent history opposing women’s rights and equal pay, perhaps now is the perfect time to consider the impact the election could have on equal pay, especially since this election could potentially result in the first female president of the US. According to […]

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Political Debate in the Workplace: More at Stake than Lost Productivity

It’s election season and, unless you’ve mastered the art of conversation avoidance, it’s likely that you’ve been invited (or forced!) into a political discussion in the course of an average day. This election is a little “louder” than those of the past. With the constant media attention given to our current Republican and Democratic Presidential […]

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The Future of Minimum Wage May be Decided in November

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If you asked around the office for opinions on the current Presidential Election (Don’t! Nothing good will come of that!), the only thing everyone might agree on is that we can’t trust politicians. As the old saying goes, “Campaign promises are like marriage vows. They are made at the beginning…but are quickly forgotten” (Dick Gregory). […]

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Classifying Restaurant Staff

Restaurant operators already have a dizzying amount to manage without getting bogged down by payroll or wage and hour issues. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides state-specific guidelines for things like minimum wage and employee classification that can make even a seasoned HR professional’s head spin. However, considering that failure to comply can result […]

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Do your managers qualify for their exempt status?

Small business owners without any HR expertise and without seeking outside counsel tend to classify their employees on a whim, believing that granting someone “exempt” status will save the business on overtime expenses. Little thought is given to whether their “exempt” employees actually qualify for their exempt status. This is a problem that unfortunately, many of them […]

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HR Trumps political speech at work

You overhear them in the dining rooms, kitchens, and break rooms around this time every four years or so- sometimes more often in off-cycle election years. Political chit chatter between your employees. Sometimes, they even get heated and you begin to hear voices being raised. You might even notice employees avoiding others at the office […]

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The HR Side of Hurricane Season

In case you’ve missed the onslaught of radio, TV, print and social media messages, hurricane season is here again! Most of those messages, however, are geared towards making sure your home and family are prepared for potential storms. Planning for the workplace, however, is another story. Not only are there physical assets to consider, but […]

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The new overtime rules are here!

Key Provisions of the Final Rule The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule: Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South […]

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Millennials Believe In Life After Work

According to Deloitte, many millennials around the world are planning near-term exits from their employers. Many have expressed their belief that businesses have few motivations beyond profit and they would prefer to place their own values ahead of organizational goals. For millennials searching for new employment opportunities, a good work/life balance is their top priority in […]

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Job Prospects Looking Up for New Grads

It’s graduation Season. Across the country Colleges and Universities are graduating a new crop of prospective employees who are about to begin their search for the perfect job. The good news for these grads is that 67% of employers surveyed by CareerBuilder said they plan to hire recent college grads this year. The numbers haven’t […]

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Beware the rule-following co-worker, Harvard study warns – The Washington Post

Harvard study on toxic employees lays out three characteristics that should make you suspicious. Every workplace has them. The colleague who bad-mouths you behind your back at the water cooler. The boss who takes credit for everyone else’s ideas. The sexist jerk people actively avoid by taking circuitous routes to the printer and lying about their happy hour plans. These employees are the bane of […]

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Uber will pay up to $100 million to settle labor suits

Uber has agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle two class-action lawsuits that would have defined the relationship between the company and its drivers. Uber has survived a major threat to its business model, settling two legal suits brought by drivers who sought to be classified as employees instead of independent contractors. The ride-hailing […]

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The Rise of People Analytics

After several years of industry buzz about the HR possibilities that lie within data analytics, little progress was made in implementation. Business Leaders seemed to like the concept, but weren’t ready to buy in. This year, however, is shaping up to be the year that we get beyond the discussion and into People Analytics. People […]

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Big Data is Coming to Human Resources

There’s no doubt about it. In 2016, if you want to ensure that your organization remains competitive and that top talent is not only acquired but also retained, your human resources department must begin thinking of how to leverage big data. Data analytics, sometimes referred to as Big Data, is the process of examining large data […]

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The Latest Corporate Benefit: the 529 Plan

The 529 plan is coming to the workplace. To make it easier for employees to save money for college, more companies are adding 529-plan perks to workplace-benefits packages. Some employers allow workers to fund these college-savings vehicles automatically via payroll. Others kick in matching contributions. The goal is to make saving for college akin to […]

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Hire Top Talent Without Breaking the Budget? Think Remote!

Few small businesses have the budget necessary to compete with the biggest companies when it comes to hiring top talent. But money isn’t everything! Offering a flexible work environment that increases work-life balance could be worth its weight in gold. Let’s face it – the days when 100% of the workforce actually went in to […]

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The Never Ending Discussion of Wages

It’s almost impossible to watch the news or follow social media without hearing at least one side of the debate for raising wages. Last year The Wall Street Journal and Vistage International conducted a survey of 728 small business owners across the U.S., from a range of industries, and found that small business owners were […]

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Are you Paying Too Much – Or Too Little?

Choosing how much to pay your employees can be difficult. Are you paying too much? Too little? How much is enough to keep your best and brightest employed within your organization? Being fair to all employees while also showing that they’re valued takes more than a standard pay scale. While the ability to hire a […]

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When the New Hire Isn’t Really “New”

Ask any graduate of HR 101 and they will tell you that the employee life cycle is supposed to begin with recruitment and end with departure. Or at least that’s the way it used to be. Introducing the “boomerang employee.”   Or as we like to call it, the not-so New Hire. This new buzz word, […]

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Is love in the air at your office?

It’s Valentine’s Day, let’s recognize that love is not just in the air this time of year – it may also be in your office. Workplace romances are more common than you might think. Last year’s Vault Survey of Office Romances found that 51% of respondents had been involved in an office romance. The scary […]

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ACA Reporting Deadlines Extended

Just in time to celebrate the New Year, the IRS released Notice 2016-4 which announced the extension of due dates for Affordable Care Act (ACA) reporting. If you’re not familiar with the ACA reporting requirements, we refer you back to our October blog post which can be found here. By delaying the deadlines, the IRS […]

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2016: It’s (Past) Time for a Social Media Policy

Say what you want about social media, but you can’t manage a business without addressing it in one way or another. Many, if not most, businesses have accepted social media as an important marketing tool. Others may still be in denial about its virtues. Whether you’ve embraced it as part of your business strategy or […]

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Attendance at the Holiday Party is Optional…. But We EXPECT you to be there!

Are you ready for the annual holiday party? In today’s multicultural, highly litigious workplace, some employers have chosen not to celebrate the holidays at the office at all. Trying to figure out how to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Ramadan, and Bodhi Day in one event is reason enough to consider pulling the plug on holiday […]

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Narcissistic? Perhaps. Valuable? Absolutely. The Millennial Workforce.

Quick Insights into the Millennial Workforce Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, have a reputation for being lazy, entitled job hoppers who are more attached to their technology than they are to reality. While in some instances this may be true, it does not negate the fact that Millennials are the largest generation in […]

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Are You a Joint Employer? Well…It’s Complicated!

In late August the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) made a decision (Browning-Ferris Industries of California, Inc., et al. v. Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Local 350, International Brotherhood of Teamsters) that might make you think twice about outsourcing your next project. Through this decision the NLRB pronounced a new legal standard to determine if […]

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New App Could Provide Workers With Safe Space to Report Harassment

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Jeremy Light started his career in the restaurant world.  He entered the restaurant industry after attending culinary school and later worked as a general manager, learning how to run a successful restaurant. A longtime employment defense lawyer and her business partner are hoping to change the way employees and employers communicate via a third-party cellphone app, which […]

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