Q: Why are some companies more successful than others?
A: Human Resources develop the framework for the organization’s ability to attract and retain talent. The Company culture is developed by human resources policy, procedures, and practice. Effective compensation and benefits programs attract the talent; training, development, and employee relations retains them. RTR Consulting has a proven track record of success for creating value through aligning human resources strategies with business strategies. It is vital to develop HR systems that will retain your talent.
Q: Do I need Human Resources?
A: No matter what size your company, you need HR expertise to effectively manage in today’s volatile marketplace, Whether it is employment law, growing pains, or down-sizing, getting HR expertise protects your company. All it takes is one disgruntled employee to file a claim and it can cost you thousands of dollars. But you may not need a full-time person; a qualified HR consultant can make senior-level help affordable.
Q: What will my organization gain by hiring RTR CONSULTING – The Human Resources Experts?
A: Attracting and retaining top talent does not happen by chance. It takes a thorough understanding of the competitive market place, competitive compensation and benefits programs, a clear definition of the skill set needed for each position and a defined performance management process to keep everyone moving in the right direction.
Q: How do I audit the human resources function?
A: Human Resources can be seen much like Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs:
- Compliance with the Fair Labor Standards Act? Are you in compliance with the wage and hours rules? Do you have the records needed to defend a claim?
- Development of the attraction tools of the company. Building out the total rewards function of the organization, ensuring that benefit and compensation plans are competitive within your marketplace.
- Retention tools of the organization, developing the skills of the organization and preparing the organization to change with the marketplace.
- Mission and Values of the organization, employment handbook, investigations, lay-offs.
- A strategic business partner aligns the human resources transactions with the business needs of the organization.
Q: How does the Human Resources function create the company culture?
A: This atmosphere is built into the handbook, but more importantly, in how employees are treated on a day to day basis. Human Resources is charged with enforcing the company values. It is what you do in these times that show the organization what your real values are. The HR department must be adept at all four stages of Human Resources. First and foremost, compliance with the fair labor standards act (FLSA), and understand the rules and create the records necessar. Second, they must be the master of the tasks in HR; there is a process for hiring, firing, benefits, compensation, and training. Third, they create good faith and fair dealings by how they treat employees and work within the values and mission of the organization. They counsel and train the managers and executives. And finally, they must develop the attraction and retention models for talent in the organization. They need to know what their competitors are paying for employees and benefits.
Q: Do I really need an employee handbook
A: An employee handbook is very important to the organization. It is designed to help the company remain in compliance with state and federal employment law, establish the company’s rights and protect the company.
Q: Can the employer reduce the workweek of exempt/salaried employees without jeopardizing their exempt status? In other words, can we reduce an exempt employee’s salary due to a reduced workweek?
A: No. The primary duty test for exempt is a fixed weekly salary. If an exempt employee works part of the workweek, their salary cannot be correlated with quantity or quality of work. (29 CFR, Part 541). However, there are exceptions for whole or partial days missed because of personal reasons or illness.
Q: Can we set up an attendance policy that allows employees to clock in 6 minutes prior with a round up to start of their shift, with no overtime?
A: “Rounding off” time is allowed. California follows the U.S. Department of Labor’s allowance (29 C.F.R. Section 785.48 (b)). Employers can round to the nearest 5, 6, or 15 minutes. “Nearest” means sometimes the recorded time goes back and sometimes it goes forward. Here’s to apply rounding: 5 minutes – up to 2 minutes, go back; 3 or more minutes, go forward, 6 minutes – up to 3 minutes, go back; 4 or more minutes, go forward 15 minutes – up to 7 minutes, go back; up to 15 minutes, go forward. Rounding must be applied on both sides of the clock and it cannot result in always advantaging only the employer, the employee must also, at times, get the benefit of rounding. For example, at times, employees should get the advantage when calculating overtime worked. Most importantly, over a period of time, the practice of rounding cannot result in failure to pay employees for all hours actually worked.
Q: Our company uses the “seven-minute rule” for computing time worked (if the employee punches in at 8:08, it is actually considered 8:15). This is done on both start and finish times. We are now in a situation where we have to show that this is indeed a legal way to compute time worked. Is there a Department of Labor (DOL) rule allowing this practice?
A: Yes, there is. The formal name is the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 29, Part 785.48 (or 29CFR785.48). There is no “seven-minute rule” as such. What the DOL says in the regulation and the interpretation of the regulation is that approximations (rounding to the nearest five minutes or tenth or a quarter of an hour) are fine as long as they average out over time so that effectively, in the long run, employees are paid for all time worked. So, if the employer is rounding to the nearest quarter-hour, an employee clocking in between 7:52:30 and 8:07:30 would be treated as starting at 8:00:00. What the employer cannot do is round to the next quarter (an employee clocking in between 8:00:01 and 8:15:00 treated as starting at 8:15:00). Why such a rule? If you’ve ever watched employees line up at the time clock to punch in, you know that it takes some time. Conceivably, an employee could be in line at 7:55 but not get to clock in until 8:05. It makes the computation of payroll hours easier (if you are doing it by hand), and the computation of pay is sometimes easier as well. An important aspect of this rule is that in the long run, the employees must be paid for all time worked. That is, if the employee regularly starts working at 7:50 and stops working at 4:40, but is paid for working 8:00 to 4:30, there might be a problem.
Q: Where can I find information on requiring employees to choose between direct deposit or employee check cards?
A: The DLSE has issued an opinion letter approving the use of payroll debit cards. The DLSE has recently issued an opinion letter approving the use of payroll debit cards as an alternative method for paying employees. The employee’s participation must be optional and the employee must voluntarily and specifically authorize the deposit. You will find the discussion and guidelines in the following opinion letter. Re: Payroll/Debit Cards – Payment of Wages Labor Code §§ 212 and 213.