What’s New in HR?

9 Thoughts on Manager and Supervisor Training

Manager and supervisory level trainings, both internal and external to the organization are vital to the growth and development of managers and supervisors and the continued evolution of our organizations.  Without adequate, thorough and effective supervisor and manager trainings, we will continue to face challenges in our organizations with unprepared and inexperienced leadership.  Many of the trainings I conduct with local colleges and through my consulting business continue to set supervisors and managers for success in their leadership roles, through improved knowledge and decision making skills. 

Below are my 9 thoughts on manager and supervisor trainings:

  1. New Hire Orientation and Onboarding Paperwork: Some organizations require managers and supervisors to oversee the onboarding and new hire orientation process.  If these individuals are responsible for the new hire paperwork, ensure they understand what is required.  If they sign off on the I-9 Form, ensure they know what to look for, so we are not doing audits 2-years later and finding mistakes.  Create a checklist and train folks to work through the checklist.
  2. HR and Safety Legal Training: Over the past 3-years, I have trained hundreds of managers and supervisors in many organizations on HR law and OSHA.  This training is high-level and covers federal legislation.  We will discuss state regulations as well, but more focus on the federal laws.  The training continues to be a success and the engagement has been fantastic.  I would recommend a legal and safety training for supervisors and managers in any organization.
  3. Performance Reviews and Workplace Feedback: This is an area that many of us have a hard time making the transition, from an employee to a higher-level manager or supervisor.  We need to provide training to leaders in our organizations on conducting thorough and accurate performance reviews, while holding these folks accountable.  Not every employee should receive a 4 out of 5.  The other part of this needs to be employee relations and workplace feedback.  This should include workplace communication, emotional intelligence and difficult/crucial conversations.  These are not easy skills to learn; practice and training makes improved skills.
  4. Legal and Effective Interviewing: An area that requires a specific skill set when we are recruiting, interviewing, onboarding and retaining talented employees in our organizations.  I have also developed a training on legal and effective interviewing for supervisors, this has run successfully over the past 3-years.  We need to ensure our managers and supervisors understand what they can and cannot ask applicants in a job interview and how to treat applicants during the recruitment process.  Remember, treat applicants the way you want to be treated during the recruitment process, it will make a difference.  Six weeks between application and interviewing with no communication does not work and will have long-term impacts on recruitment.
  5. Conflict Management: Conflict in the workplace is inevitable, people are people and we all have different personalities.  The way conflict is addressed and managed in the workplace will make all the difference to employee engagement and retention of talented individuals.  Managers and supervisors need to understand expectations and how to address conflict.  Make this training a priority and work through roleplay scenarios.  This one is critical, managers and leaders must be trained on critical conversation and conflict management.
  6. Policy, Procedure and Employee Handbooks: We should not assume that our managers and supervisors understand every rule, policy and regulation in our handbooks or employee manuals.  Over communicate expectations, especially information on sexual harassment, retaliation, bullying, harassment, etc.  The expectations should be crystal clear and hold folks accountable for enforcing these rules and policies.
  7. Payroll Processing and Vacation Approvals: This is another area that many organizations face challenges with.  At times we are consistently inconsistent with vacation and PTO approvals, inputting FMLA leave, etc.  Ensure all managers and supervisors understand how to approve payroll and approve vacation/PTO leave.  The efficiency in approvals comes with a payroll system that works.  It isn’t complex, at least I hope it isn’t and it is a common area that can be overlooked or assumed everyone knows how to use a payroll or timekeeping system.  Not everyone does and we need to address this.
  8. Workplace Investigations: A crucial area for supervisors and managers to understand.  This should include; workplace conflict, workers compensation discussion and the investigation process.  Scenario’s and examples are the best training opportunities to use in a workplace investigation training.  Another training that we have run successfully with big impacts.
  9. Succession Planning: This one can be a tricky area to communicate and train managers on, but it is a great opportunity for open communication, while providing the workforce information on the future and direction of the organization.  This doesn’t have to be a 3-hour training, it can be a great opportunity to have conversations around expectations, during an annual performance review or during the goal setting process in 2019.  This can be done in a small group or one-on-one setting.

As the laws continue to change and the needs of our organizations change; training and open communication is necessary.  I offer many of these trainings tailored to the needs of the organizations and they continue to be successful.  Make training a priority and designate enough time for training is necessary for impactful and successful training.  In one organization I am working with, we are implementing the learning organization philosophy with our managers and supervisors.  This is a dramatic change throughout the organization, but one that is necessary.  We start each training session with an open discussion about any issues or concerns managers and supervisors are facing and as a group currently developing metrics for the organization.  Training is necessary for the growth and development our workforce, make training a priority in your organization!

7 Avenues for Improved Workplace Communication

Organizations large and small are challenged with the right approach for how best to communicate within their workforce.  How personal do we make the communication?  How do we communicate important information timely to a large group of individuals?  Do we send a mass email?  Do we have all hands meetings?  The answer to these along with many other questions regarding workplace communication is that it depends; it depends on the workforce, the information, the timing and the culture of the organization. 

All leaders will have a different approach to communication, whether the organization is 5 people for 50,000 people.  The worst thing any of us can do is not communicate with the workforce, delivering less than positive news is not always easy but for an employee to learn about it on social media or through another channel of communication is not acceptable. 

Below are 6 avenues for improved workplace communication:

  1. Know Your Organization: How communication has and has not worked in the past within the organization.  If you were an employee of the organization how would you want to hear about good and/or bad news?  If you are unsure of what avenue of communication to use, ask the workforce.  Can you please everyone?  Probably not, but it will make it easier and much more efficient to communicate with people knowing this information.
  • All Hands Meetings: This is a great approach to deliver information to a large group of employees.  They hear the same message from the same person, there is no second or third hand information delivery.  We found success with all hands meetings quarterly; we developed an agenda and each department leader presented on metrics.  The downfall to this approach is employee’s not asking questions in front of peers or a larger group.  Be open to suggestion or questions ahead of time to help prepare the information.   
  • Bulletin Boards or Intranet Communication Walls:  Bulletin boards have existed in organizations for decades.  Keeping a bulletin board updated in a breakroom or near a timeclock is a great way to communicate information, if you consistently update the bulletin board with new information.  If you have a memo that has not been changed in 1 year, employees will stop looking at the bulletin board.  Remember the labor posters as well!  The intranet is a new trend in organizations, a great place to update information and communicate, if all employees have access to the intranet.  If you do use the intranet and it is updated, there should be a mechanism that alerts all employees of the update via email, text message, etc. so they know to review the new information. 
  • Newsletter or Paychecks:  Organization have had tremendous success with newsletters, we wrote a newsletter monthly, printed it and sent it out via email throughout the organization.  Newsletters work if you are consistent, add a personal touch and have relevant information within the publication.  I always added birthdays, new births, pictures of the shop and any upcoming meetings with 401k, health insurance etc.  I also asked for input from employees within the organization.  If someone wanted to write an article I was happy to add it, if the article was appropriate.  Many organizations are now adding workplace communication memos on paycheck or direct deposit stubs.  This is a great idea to communicate small amounts of information to the employees or the employee’s spouse. 
  • Crew Meetings and Roundtable Discussions:  Managers and supervisors will meet with a team prior to the start of a shift.  The benefit to crew meetings or shop huddles is the manager/supervisor is familiar with the workforce and the group might be more comfortable asking questions in a smaller setting.  Roundtable discussions are discussions held by managers and leaders of the organization with small groups of employees.  Organization might choose to ask the employees questions or they might leave it as an open ended discussion.  I have seen this work, if it is done consistently and if organizational leaders follow-up on questions or concerns with employee’s directly.  Do not say “let me get back to you” and never get back to the employee.    
  • Memos or Suggestion Box:  Memos will work for small amounts of information, this is usually communicated by a manager or supervisor in a crew meeting, sent via email, posted on a bulletin board or updated on the intranet.  Memos will work if they are short, relevant and timely.  In past organizations we have found success with a suggestion box program, where other organizations have not had success.  Is your organization ready for a suggestion box?  Do you need a suggestion box?  Is there value to adding a suggestion box?  Will you or the leadership team follow-up individually with each employee on the suggestion good or bad to close the loop?  Implementing a suggestion box program will take time and resources, research options prior to rolling out a program and ask the workforce if it would be valuable. 
  • Decision Making Trees:

These are just a few of the many avenue’s organizations use to communicate within their respected organizations; email, memos home, safety meetings, safety councils, workplace communication teams, phone calls, text messages, training sessions, policies and procedures are other avenues of workplace communication.  Knowing your organization and the workforce will help you as a leader develop a communication process and communicate information consistently and timely.  As mentioned earlier, the last thing you want is for an employee to find out good and/or bad news through social media, on the internet or through the gossip mill.  This is a negative for employee morale.  If you do need assistance developing a communication plan or process, ask for help.  Communication is critical to the success of any organization, large or small.  If you commit to following up on a question or concern, ensure that you follow-up. 

6 Definitions for Fair Labor Standards Act Exemptions

Exempt and nonexempt, hourly, salaried, and salaried nonexempt are definitions that most of us know and currently use to classify the positions in our organizations.  We know that we must classify individuals in an exempt or nonexempt (overtime eligible) position for payroll, overtime and reporting purposes.  There are numerous definitions to define exempt level positions under the current FLSA (federal) regulations.  Remember that the salary threshold in New York State varies for executive and administrative professionals, when comparing with the federal law.  As leaders, we need to ensure our classifications for each position within our organizations are accurate and our workforce is paid correctly for work performed and hours worked.

Fact Sheet #17A: Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer & Outside Sales Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The 6 exempt level definitions under the FLSA:

  1. The Executive Exemption: Primary duties include managing the enterprise, directing the work of at least two or more full-time employees and has the authority to hire and fire employees.  The link(s) goes into specific duties tests on the exemptions.  NY State Law
  2. The Administrative Exemption: Primary duties must be the performance of office or non-manual work related to the management of the business and exercising discretion and independent judgement with respect to matters of significance.  NY State Law
  3. The Learned Professional Exemption: Primary duties must be the performance of work requiring advanced knowledge, which is predominantly intellectual in character and requires discretion and judgement.
  4. Computer Employee Exemption: Primary duties consist of the application of systems analysis techniques, design development, documentation, analysis, creation, modification of computer systems and designing, testing or modifying computer programs.  This exemption is complex, ensure you read through the FLSA definition prior to deciding and thoroughly understand the duties test. 
  5. The Outside Sales Exemption:  Primary duties must include making sales, obtaining orders or contracts.  The employee must be regularly engaged away from the employer’s place of business. 
  6. The Highly Compensated Employees Exemption: Perform office or non-manual work and paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more.  They regularly perform at least one of the duties of an exempt executive, administrative or learned professional identified in the standard tests of exemption.
  7. Other Definitions:                   Blue Collar Worker

Police Officers, Fire Fighters and First Responders

With all the definitions of exemptions, a standard duties test must be performed to ensure we are accurately classifying positions within our organizations.  Under the current federal law, the salary threshold is $455 per week (Computer Employee Exemption an hourly rate of not less than $27.63).  The $455 per week is subject to change, as we have seen in the past.  However, we have not seen the Trump Administration make any changes to the levels.  Each definition in the article has a link that takes you to the FLSA definition for each position.  Ensure that all positions are reviewed and accurately classified as exempt or nonexempt.  As the law changes in NY State, positions can change from exempt to nonexempt.  If you are confused, seek guidance.  Classifying positions can be complex, especially the computer related positions.

New York State Exempt Administrative and Executive Minimum Salaries
The minimum salary for exempt executive and administrative employees in New York will increase as follows:

  • Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester counties: $1,050 per week, which equals $54,600 per year.
  • The rest of the state outside New York City: $937.50 per week, which equals $48,750 per year.
  • (The minimum in New York City previously increased to $1,125 per week.)
Executive & Administrative Exemption Weekly Salary Threshold Schedule
Location12/31/2012/31/21
NYC – Large Employers (of 11 or more)$1,125.00$1,125.00
NYC – Small Employers (10 or less)$1,125.00$1,125.00
Long Island & Westchester$1,050.00$1,125.00
Remainder of New York State$937.50$990.00
https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/2022-new-york-minimum-wage-2293859/

EEO-1 2021 Collection of Component 1 Data April – May 2022

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced its tentative schedule for the 2021 EEO-1 Component 1 data collection portal, which is set to open on April 12 with a filing deadline of May 17.

EEO-1 Reporting Obligation

Businesses with 100 or more employees and some federal contractors with at least 50 employees must submit an annual EEO-1 form, which asks for information from the previous year about the number of employees who worked for the business, sorted by job category, race, ethnicity and gender.

The EEOC also announced the discontinuation of the use of Type 6 reports for multi-establishment employers. Type 6 reports allowed these employers to report only the total number of employees at an establishment with fewer than 50 employees, instead of providing demographic data by EEO-1 category for each location.

Single-Establishment vs. Multi-Establishment Filing

Single-establishment companies are required to submit only one EEO-1 Component 1 data report. Multi-establishment companies must submit:

  • A report for the headquarters.
  • A report for each establishment of the company with 50 or more employees.
  • A report for each establishment with fewer than 50 employees. The Type 8 establishment report, as it’s called, must include employee data for each establishment broken down by job category, race, ethnicity and gender.
  • A consolidated report that includes all employees.

(EEOC)

Extensions Last Year

Covered employers had until Oct. 25, 2021, to file their 2019 and 2020 EEO-1 reports. Although the reporting deadline was delayed several times during the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency eventually said it would not authorize any more extensions. The EEOC said it does not intend to collect controversial pay data from Component 2 of the EEO-1 form, which was the source of a heated legal dispute in recent years.

Additional Links:

https://eeocdata.org/

https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo-data-collections

https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo-1-data-collection

https://www.eeocdata.org/eeo1

WHO NEEDS TO FILE THE EEO-1

  1. What companies are required to file the EEO-1 report?

    A: All companies that meet the following criteria are required to file the EEO-1 report annually:
    1. Subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, with 100 or more employees; or
    1. Subject to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, with fewer than 100 employees if the company is owned by or corporately affiliated with another company and the entire enterprise employs a total of 100 or more employees; or
    1. Federal government prime contractors or first-tier subcontractors subject to Executive Order 11246, as amended, with 50 or more employees and a prime contract or first-tier subcontract amounting to $50,000 or more.
  2. Do I need to file if my company has fewer than 50 employees but does have a federal government contract worth $50,000 or more?

    A: No, your company must meet both requirements of 50 employees and the government contract worth $50,000 or more.

https://www.eeoc.gov/employers/eeo1survey/faq.cfm

Legal Requirements

  • Recordkeeping Requirements
  • Download the “EEO is the Law” Poster in English (including a screen-readable electronic version), Spanish, Arabic, and Chinese
    Employers are required to post a notice describing the federal employment discrimination laws.
  • EEO Reports/Surveys
    Employers who have at least 100 employees and federal contractors who have at least 50 employees are required to complete and submit an EEO-1 Report (a government form that requests information about employees’ job categories, ethnicity, race, and gender) to EEOC and the U.S. Department of Labor every year.

DOL Federal Labor and Employment Law Posting Violations Increase 2022

Original article date: 3/14/22

Maximum penalties for federal posting violations are now going up by more than $2,000 under the increases just announced by the Department of Labor.

The department outlined the increases in a rule published in the federal register on January 14, 2022. They apply to penalties assessed after January 15, 2022.
The new maximum fine amounts are:
• Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): $189
• Job Safety and Health: It’s the Law (OSHA): $14,502
• Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA): $23,011
F

Federal Poster (20″ x 26″) includes these postings:
Minimum Wage (FLSA)
Job Safety and Health “It’s the Law!” (OSHA 3165)
Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA)
Equal Employment Opportunity Is The Law (EEO)
Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)


Federal Department of Labor Poster Website
OSHA Posting Requirements
New York State Posting Requirements
New York State Unemployment Posting Request Form
New York State Time Off to Vote Posting

Reminder of the whistleblower law and upcoming technology monitoring changes in 2022.

New York City Postings
• Fulfills the requirement for employers to post an anti-sexual harassment rights and responsibilities poster under Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code, §8-107-29
• Fulfills the Temporary Work Schedule Changes posting requirement for covered employers. The posting requirement is found in Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code, §20-1205 (b)
• Also fulfills the requirement for employers in New York City to notify employees of their right to be free from discrimination in relation to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions under Title 8 of the New York City Administrative Code, §8-107-22
• Includes the Earned Sick Time Act Notice of Employee Rights, which may be posted to inform employees of their right to sick leave under Title 20 of the New York City Administrative Code, §20-919

Pennsylvania Labor Posting Requirements

Texas Labor Posting Requirements
All Texas employers must display posters containing information on the Workers’ Compensation Program, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, and the Occupational Safety and Health Act. Employers subject to the Texas Payday Law must display a poster containing employee information on it. Employers liable under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act must display a poster that includes information about both unemployment compensation and the Texas Payday Law. Also, every employer with 15 or more employees, and smaller employers with federal grants and contracts, must post the notice entitled “Equal Employment Opportunity Is the Law,” which contains information about the Equal Employment Opportunity/Americans with Disabilities Act laws.


TWC Required & Optional Posters
Payday law
All Texas employers subject to the Texas Payday Law must display a poster prominently in the workplace.


• Texas Payday Law Poster – English
Texas Payday Law Poster – Spanish (Spanish-language version optional)
Texas employers not liable under the Texas Unemployment Compensation Act, but subject to the Texas Payday Law, must display the Texas Payday Law poster. Print it from the links above or request it from the TWC Labor Law unit at 800-832-9243 or 512-475-2670.


Unemployment Compensation
Businesses whose employees are entitled to file for state unemployment benefits and are also covered by the Texas Payday Law should request the poster that combines both laws: Texas Unemployment Compensation Act and Texas Payday Law.


Note: We have removed account specific information from this poster.


You can download the poster below or through Unemployment Tax Services, or request a copy by email or fax, or by contacting your tax office:
• Download the poster:
Unemployment & Payday Law Poster – English
Unemployment & Payday Law Poster – Spanish (Spanish-language version optional)
• Request the same poster online using Unemployment Tax Services
• Call: 512-463-2731
• Email: tax.statussection@twc.texas.gov
• Fax: 512-936-3205

When requesting by email or fax, include your mailing address and specify whether you want English or Spanish.


Optional Posters
• Information on Equal Employment Opportunity laws in Texas, as regulated by TWC’s Civil Rights Division.
The Law in Texas
• Information on the Child Labor laws in Texas, as regulated by TWC’s Labor Law Department.
Child Labor Law in Texas Poster – English
Child Labor Law in Texas Poster – Spanish
• Information on Filing a Wage Claim under the Texas Payday Law, as regulated by TWC’s Labor Law Department
Are You Owed Wages poster – English
Le deben salarios atrasados poster – Español

Required Posters
https://www.twc.texas.gov/news/efte/required_posters.html

  1. Comprehensive information and links to required posters (all free of charge) are found at https://twc.texas.gov/businesses/posters-workplace.
  2. Posters should be displayed in such a way that each employee can readily see them (generally, the requirements have language such as “conspicuously placed” and “readily accessible” to employees). That would mean that employees who do not normally get to certain offices would not be served by posters displayed at those offices. The offices, or sub-offices, where those employees normally congregate would need to have the posters displayed for the benefit of the employees who are served by each such location.
  3. Posters and other kinds of required notices do not have to be placed in individual locations that are only temporary worksites. Example: construction workers building homes in a subdivision would not need to have posters in each house, but rather only in a company jobsite trailer for the project.
  4. In case of a co-employment situation, such as temporary employees assigned to client companies, the employees working at client sites are co-employed by the staffing firms and their clients under various state and federal employment laws. The notice statutes merely require the posters to be in the workplace. The enforcing agencies do not care who actually places the notices where the employees work, as long as the posters are up and visible to the employees. Thus, as long as the client companies have the applicable notices properly posted, their compliance with the notice requirements inures to the staffing firm’s benefit. By the same token, if the clients do not have the notices posted, the staffing firm would be co-liable with them for non-compliance with the laws. Bottom line: the staffing firm needs to determine whether the appropriate notices are posted in the clients’ locations, and if they are not posted, cooperate with its clients to get the posters displayed.
  5. In a virtual office situation, where the company does not maintain a physical location where employees normally congregate, assemble, or show up for work-related purposes, post copies of the posters on the company’s web site section restricted to staff and send an e-mail, “read receipt requested”, to all affected employees listing and identifying the posters, complete with links to the posters on the web site, and reminding the employees that the posters are there for their benefit and that they should keep the e-mail archived so that they can easily find the links to the posters if needed.

New York City Salary Range in Job Postings Law

Original article date: 3/7/22

Beginning on May 15, 2022, “the New York City Human Rights Law (NYCHRL) to require that employers disclose a salary range “from the lowest to the highest salary the employer in good faith believes at the time of the posting it would pay for the advertised job, promotion or transfer opportunity” on all job advertisements for positions located in New York City. Employers will also have to include the salary range in all announcements or postings regarding promotion or transfer opportunities.


As the term “salary” is not defined, employers should comply with the new law regardless of whether a position is a salaried, exempt, or hourly non-exempt position. Failure to include a salary range would be considered a discriminatory practice under the NYCHRL. The posting requirement will not apply to temporary positions listed by temporary help firms.” (DWT)

“Kelly Cardin, an attorney in the Stamford, Conn., and New York City offices of Ogletree Deakins, said that the law would apply to employers with four or more employees, including independent contractors, but does not apply to job postings by staffing firms for temporary positions.


“Existing provisions … authorize the New York City Commission on Human Rights to impose civil penalties of up to $125,000 for unlawful discriminatory practices or acts,” Cardin noted.” (SHRM)


So far, only Colorado’s law, like the recent New York City bill, requires employers to include salary ranges in job postings.


Other jurisdictions are considering wage transparency laws. The New York State Senate and Assembly have proposed legislation, S5598A / A6529, which, like the New York City law, would require employers to disclose salary range information to applicants “upon issuing an employment opportunity for internal or public viewing.” Wage transparency bills have also been introduced in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.

NYC Salary Range in Job Posting Legislation

“Employers in 10 jurisdictions (and counting) are now subject to wage disclosure requirements. Colorado and New York City have made headlines as the first jurisdictions to mandate such disclosures. Employers must review the laws of each individual jurisdiction to remain compliant with this growing collection of wage disclosure laws. The following table provides an overview of these jurisdictions and what they require:

While these laws seem similar on their face, each has its own nuance. As a result, using a uniform policy may prove to be a challenge for a multistate employer. For instance, in Rhode Island, employers must not only disclose a wage range for applicants and employees upon transfer or promotion but also must respond to an employee’s request for a wage range for their current position. California, Washington, Connecticut, and Maryland all require disclosure upon request, but Nevada mandates automatic disclosure after an interview for an applicant, or after an application for a current employee.


The New York City law appears to apply to jobs located within New York City only, which leaves an open question as to remote work; Colorado, on the other hand, has taken the position that remote positions require wage disclosure and any employer seeking to get around this requirement by specifically excluding Colorado applicants is not compliant with the law.


In practical effect, the onus is on employers to document their rationale for their hiring and pay decisions. Employers can:
– Document formal job descriptions for both new applicants and promotion/transfer opportunities.
– Determine salary ranges for each job classification using existing data or on a good-faith basis.
– Create internal policies regarding promotion/transfer opportunities within an organization. Develop internal systems for handling employee requests for salary reviews.” (SHRM)

Labor Law Postings Visible to Onsite and Online Applicants

Original date: 2/28/22

Six federally mandated labor law posters employers are required to display, four must be visible to job applicants. These include:
• Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) — Explains employee leave eligibility and benefits, as well as employer responsibilities
• Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) — Covers anti-discrimination provisions and legally protected characteristics
• Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) — Describes the rules around lie detector tests in employment (even if you don’t use them)
• Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) — Addresses re-employment after military leave, anti-discrimination provisions and health insurance issues. (While not specifically mandated, this poster is recommended because the law applies to applicants).

For online job applicants, the Department of Labor (DOL) recommends that you include a notice near the application form that states: “Applicants have rights under Federal Employment Laws,” and include links to the required posters.


Do not forget any local or state posters that also need to be available to onsite and online applicants during the interview process.

State Posting Changes (Posters Issued)

Set Up Properly When Launchinga Home-Based Business

Original post date: 2/21/22

Written by: Carla Lopez of boomerbiz.org

Starting your own business is an exciting thing. Being your own boss and being able to spend more time at home can be a dream come true, but figuring out the logistics of running your business from home can be challenging. These tips from Burr Consulting can help you establish your business and set up the perfect home office space, so you can get down to business right away.

Establishing Your Business

One of the first steps of opening a business is deciding how you want to file. Do you want to form a corporation, be a sole proprietor, organize a partnership or something else? As you weigh your options, note that for small businesses, filing as a limited liability company, or LLC, can have many advantages. As the name implies, an LLC limits the liability you incur as a business owner. Unlike a partnership or sole proprietorship, owners of LLCs don’t risk losing personal assets to repay debts or settle lawsuits if their business gets into trouble.

Along with creating an entity for your business, you’ll need to file an annual report each year. While this isn’t a huge project, it will take some of your focus away from running your business. The filing process can be simplified by filing online.

Setting Up Your Office Space

Once you have all of the paperwork out of the way, it’s time to set up the perfect office space in your home. Your office should be a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, happy and productive. Investing in your home office can do wonders for your job satisfaction and the success of your business. First, Architectural Digest explains you’ll need to determine how much space you need, any business-specific needs and the style that you want. Then, you can get to planning!

Some homes just don’t have enough space to accommodate an office, and a small home shouldn’t hold your business back. If you need more room, research your market and talk to a realtor about buying a new home. You can explain your price range and exactly what you want for your home office and living space, and receive personalized help finding the perfect house that fits all of your needs and your budget.

Sometimes, a house has a room that would be perfect for an office, but it needs a little bit of TLC to spruce the place up. If that’s the case for you, then consider renovating the existing space. Small changes, such as adding new lighting, replacing furniture, adding an area rug, and hanging up some wall art can go a long way in creating your dream office. These quick and easy projects will help set up an incredible office in no time, so you can get to work right away.

If you already have a home office but the area has some room for improvement, consider redesigning your office space. You can build an addition to increase your office space, remove walls to improve the layout or make cosmetic changes. These design changes will help you create a brand new office that’s perfect for you and your business.

Whatever you decide to do, be diligent about keeping and storing receipts and any necessary documentation. Purchases for your business can be included as tax deductions, while renovations can increase your home’s value and need a paper trail to back it up. Stay organized by keeping all your files digitally organized in one place. You can even combine PDFs into one file so that you’ve got everything in a single place.

There’s a lot of work that goes into running a home business, but the payoff is well worth it. Setting up your home-based business right from the beginning puts you on a strong foundation for success.

Burr Consulting can help your business solve critical HR issues. Reach out to learn how we can help your organization. 607-227-4386

2022 New York Employer Notification of Phone, Email, and Internet Use Legislation

Original post date: 2/14/2022

On November 8, 2021 New York governor Kathy Hochul signed a new law which will require all employers to provide an electronic monitoring notice to all employees.

The law will take effect on May 6, 2022 and will require all private employers to provide a written notice to all new employees upon hire if the employer plans to monitor any telephone calls, internet use or emails. The notice must be in writing or in an electronic form and must be acknowledged by the employee. Employers are also required to post the notice in the workplace where it can be available for viewing. 

“Under a new statute, New York employers are required to notify employees if they intend to monitor their company-controlled phones, email, or internet use.

Requires all private employers to notify their employees of their intention to monitor work phones, email, or internet use. The law is effective as of May 6, 2022.

Under the new law, any employer that monitors or otherwise intercepts email or transmissions by employees must provide them with written notice upon hiring.  (The law does not specifically address notice requirements for current employees.)  The notice must be in writing or electronic format and must be acknowledged in writing or electronically by the employee.

Additionally, employers must post a notice in a “conspicuous place which is readily available for viewing by its employees.”  The notice must advise employees that “any and all telephone conversations or transmissions, electronic mail or transmissions, or internet access or usage by an employee by any electronic device or system, including but not limited to the use of a computer, telephone, wire, radio or electromagnetic, photoelectronic or photo-optical systems may be subject to monitoring at any and all times and by any lawful means.”

According to the “justification” section of the bill provided by the sponsors, employers “will retain the right to monitor computer usage, simply with the stipulation that employees are informed of surveillance practices,” which they say “will increase transparency within the organization,” “help to avoid lawsuits and litigation regarding invasion of privacy,” and “permit employees to make informed decisions about their internet use with full knowledge of the ramifications of their actions, while supporting companies’ ability to monitor Internet activity within their organization.” 

The bill specifically provides that it does not apply to processes that (1) are designed to manage the type or volume of incoming or outgoing electronic mail or telephone voice mail or internet usage, (2) are not targeted to monitor or intercept the activities of a particular individual, and (3) are performed solely for the purpose of computer system maintenance and/or protection.

Any employer that violates the law will be subject to a maximum civil penalty of $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the second offense, and $3,000 for the third and each subsequent offense. The law will be enforced by the state Attorney General, not the Department of Labor, and does not provide for a private right of action. (The statute is an amendment to the state’s Civil Rights Law, not the Labor Law or the Human Rights Law.)” (https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/new-york-employers-must-notify-3192761/)

It is recommended to review any handbook, policies, and procedures throughout your organization. Ensure any changes are communicated to the workforce and new policies have signature pages. Continue to watch for any labor and employment posting changes or requirements based on the changes to this legislation.

Why Businesses Should Use HR Consultants

Written by Carla Lopez of boomerbiz.org

Many businesses handle HR internally with 54% of small businesses dealing with employment processes. If you’re doing it alone, you’re likely wasting time that could go toward core business activities that help your company grow. Find out how all companies, even small startups, can benefit from using HR consultants.

Streamline Recruitment

The average time to fill a position is 36 days with screening taking an average of seven days, interviews taking eight days, and making a hiring decision taking an average of five days, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. HR consultants can help you refine your recruitment process to make it more efficient. They can help you attract more candidates, handle applicant tracking, improve interviewing, and other recruitment activities.

They can help you explore various recruitment methods, such as using internships. According to Zenbusiness, hiring interns gives you a chance to train potential full-time employees while testing them out to see if they’re a good fit for the company. 

Amplify Employee Performance

HR consultants can evaluate your overall employee management practices to identify issues and suggest improvements. Many options can improve productivity and employee performance. Examples include:

  • Time tracking and attendance
  • Performance reviews
  • Employee development
  • Mentoring and coaching

Focus on Retention

High employee retention saves you money and keeps productivity high. Calculating your retention rate gives you a baseline, so you can determine if employee turnover is an issue. An HR consultant can help you evaluate your rate and give you strategies for improving it. 

Meet Compliance

Employment law includes lots of regulations that you must follow to stay compliant. For example, employers are required to display certain workplace posters regarding specific regulations, such as the minimum wage and the Family and Medical Leave Act. Specific requirements can vary based on the size, industry, and other factors of your business. You also face compliance issues for payroll. Hiring Burr Consulting makes it easier to understand those requirements so you can stay in compliance.

Improve Training

Training ensures your employees have the skills and knowledge to perform well. HR consultants can provide tailored training programs that fit your company’s needs. Outsourcing your training planning saves you significant time and ensures the training is valuable with the right topics. The training can cover workplace basics that everyone needs, such as workplace violence and harassment, or specific topics, such as managerial training

Help With Benefits

Creating a competitive benefits package is crucial for attracting and keeping talent. Designing your benefits program can be difficult, especially if you have a tight budget. It can be difficult to know which benefits offer the most value and appeal to employees. An HR consultant can help you maximize your benefits budget and choose the perks that your employees really want.

Get a Fresh Perspective

If you’re not an HR professional, you might not know the best practices. It’s difficult to stay current on HR trends when you’re dealing with other aspects of running your business. Using a professional HR service gives you instant access to expertise, which can give you a different perspective and fresh ideas.

Consider HR Consultants

Using an HR consultant can streamline and improve all of your employment tasks and free up your time. Explore the HR services from Burr Consulting, LLC.