OT Regulations, Vacation Benefits, and Workplace Perks

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The OperationsInc Navigator
June 8, 2015
Benefits That Benefit Everyone

The American Institute of Stress recently reported that employee stress costs businesses more than $300 billion each year. Fast Company outlines several employee benefits that can help alleviate some of the stress felt in the workplace, and in turn positively impact a business’s bottom line. Financial literacy training sessions, subsidized childcare, and offering food as a workplace perk are just some of the benefits Fast Company recommends. 

Employees Who Use Vacation Days More Satisfied at Work

According to Inc., more than 429 million vacation days were left unused by American workers last year – and this is a problem. Inc. reports that employees who take vacations are more productive, easier to work with, and enjoy their work more than their non-vacationing counterparts. Furthermore, the report indicates that that only 27% of those who don’t take vacations are satisfied at work, compared to a 71% workplace satisfaction rate among those who utilize their vacation days.

Overtime Exemption Regulations Expected to Be Announced This Month

The U.S. DOL’s proposed regulations regarding overtime exemptions are expected to be announced this month, and it is anticipated that with these regulations the number of employees who qualify for overtime exemptions will drastically decrease. Anticipated changes include a new salary threshold (which could double the current salary threshold) and a quantitative primary duty test. Employers are encouraged to initiate a review of their current exempt positions, even before the proposed regulations are announced, as it is expected that the final regulations will go into effect very quickly.

Reader Question: 2 Weeks Notice

HR Pro Tip: Summer Dress Code & Reduced Hours

As the trees and flowers bloom and become more robust, the clothing our employees wear to work seems to become less- and more risqu?. This is also the time when employees begin to ask for time off for summer vacations, or if there will be any shortened workweeks. Before it becomes an issue, it is time to put a dress code in place for the summer. Many businesses establish a different set of rules for summer dress designed to allow employees to be a little more casual. Putting a policy out there that talks more about the don’ts and a bit about the do’s will help avert a landslide of potential issues in the coming months. Additionally, beginning Memorial Day and ending Labor Day weekend, it is not too uncommon to find “Summer Hours” as a practice within businesses. The first and most common scenario is one where the scheduled workday is extended by an hour M-TH and then all employees are free to leave for the day on Fridays at 1:00 p.m. Another approach is to maintain the same work schedule as per normal, but offer a specific number of 1:00 p.m. (or similar) departure times on a set number of Fridays to be taken at the discretion of the employee and the employer. Be sure to consult with an HR professional as to how wages may be impacted (if at all) during these arrangements.


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