Indiana News & Analysis

  • When 'regular rate' isn't so regular: 4 common mistakes in calculating overtime pay

    Many employers make the mistake of assuming an employee's overtime pay rate is simply the person's hourly rate multiplied by 1.5—paying "time and a half" the hourly pay rate for overtime hours. In reality, the correct overtime rate is determined by dividing the employee's "total remuneration" for employment in a workweek (subject to a few specific exclusions) by the total number of hours actually worked by the individual in that time period. To compensate overtime-eligible (nonexempt) employees properly and dodge costly wage and hour lawsuits, you should avoid the following common mistakes when it comes to calculating the regular rate for overtime pay.

  • Waiting is the hardest part: Don't fire poor performer without keeping good records

    Sooner or later, all employers will experience a poor performer. Ideally, struggling employees will improve through your efforts to train, review, coach, and reward good performance. But some don't improve, and you must ultimately grapple with terminating them. Before doing so, it's critical to confirm that written job evaluations accurately document the individual's performance. If you don't, you have missed an opportunity to develop the primary defense against a potential wrongful discharge claim: written reviews establishing a legitimate basis for the discharge. When the records are inadequate, your best option is to postpone the termination until you can establish an accurate account of the person's performance.

  • Handling office romance in #MeToo era: Know your options

    As Valentine's Day nears, love is in the air—and oftentimes in the workplace. Although workplace romance is common, it can make HR professionals fret about all the what-ifs. What if a relationship is between a supervisor and a direct report? What if rumors of favoritism poison the workplace environment? What if one or both participants is married to someone else? What if a couple's public displays of affection make coworkers uncomfortable? What if a relationship goes sour and the breakup affects morale? And perhaps the most important question to consider: What if a relationship is one-sided and is more accurately described as sexual harassment instead of consensual?

  • Something lacking in your workplace? Boosting employees' soft skills can help

    Anyone involved in recruiting and hiring knows the importance of assessing a candidate's skills. Does the candidate have the right training, experience, and credentials to do the job? But anyone in charge of hiring (or maybe even rehabilitating already-employed workers who aren't quite measuring up) knows that merely evaluating a candidate's hard skills isn't enough. More and more, employers are finding "soft skills" are essential in the workplace.

  • Q - A: Employee's absences are a punch to the gut

    Q: We have an employee who is using leave protected by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) because of ulcers. He calls in nearly every day but occasionally shows up for work before he's off again. I heard through the employee grapevine that he is having surgery later this month, but he hasn't officially notified HR. When he does come in to work, he isn't completing his assigned tasks in a satisfactory manner. If not for his FMLA leave and his medical condition, we would terminate his employment. What can or should we do?

  • European countries take steps to confront #MeToo issues

    As the #MeToo movement enters its third year, its important to note the United States isnt the only country where the awareness of discriminatory and harassing conduct in the workplace has increased dramatically. Governments in Europe and elsewhere also have responded to the urgent need to combat the persistent and unwelcome behavior.

  • Winter is coming: FLSA and your pay obligations during inclement weather

    During the winter months, the threat of the weather turning frightful is on everyone's mind. No matter what business you may be in, inclement weather and treacherous road conditions can cause many headaches—including issues with employee payroll. Many employers grapple with the question of how to pay employees when the business is closed because of bad weather and whether deductions from pay for closures are allowed. Let's explore what the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires of employers when Mother Nature wreaks havoc.

  • Looking back at 2019 and to what's ahead for federal agencies in 2020

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP), and the Department of Labor's (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) all ramped up their enforcement endeavors in 2019. The NLRB has refocused its efforts on unionized businesses, the new EEOC chair is pushing to settle old cases, the OFCCP director is aiming to end the year with the largest settlement total in the agency's history by resolving or litigating old audits, and the WHD has filed a record number of enforcement cases against employers.

  • SCOTUS decision on LGBTQ workplace protections coming in 2020

    Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 makes it unlawful to discriminate against employees or job applicants on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In recent years, controversy over whether the term "sex" as used in Title VII includes sexual orientation and gender identity has arisen among the federal circuit courts of appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to resolve the split. No matter where the Court falls on the issue, the decision will supersede existing precedent in at least some circuits and will have a lasting impact for decades to come.

  • Truth about holiday season? It's not always what it's nut-cracked up to be

    Many of us are fully involved in the crush of festivities and holiday shopping that traditionally mark the beginning of the sprint to New Year's Eve. This is the season of peace on earth and good will toward our fellow man, right? Well, not always.