Legal Challenges for 2016

We’ve compiled some of the hot HR topics of 2016, no doubt some of these will make the spotlight, but as an HR professional, it’s important that you are aware and prepared to handle these challenges.

  1. At a federal level, same-sex marriages are afforded the same rights as opposite-sex couples. The Supreme Court ruling impacts people in all states. Be sure your policies across different locations/divisions are in compliance. As a CA based employer we are very much ahead of the curve.
  2. Paid Sick leave is normal for most companies, but is your contingent workforce in compliance? As the landscape changes make sure your agencies and partners are in full compliance.
  3. Co-employment has always been a hot topic, but with a wealth of new rulings and the ACA definitions/mandates, you are no longer protected by using an agency. The best protection is to make sure your agencies and partners are in compliance.
  4. Privacy and the wearable workforce. New technologies such as google glasses, VR headsets, and body area network ware pose new challenges to harassment, privacy and network intrusion. Be sure to implement specific and rights protecting policies around these new technologies.
  5. The home-based workforce is rapidly growing as a great cost and space effective resource to augment your workforce. Whether you do it directly or through a partner, make sure you have a good “home workers guide” that explains expectations, safety and other unique challenges to the home based workers. Just because it’s their home, doesn’t mean you are released from liability.
  6. Specific is the new general. More and more cases are moving in favor of employees because of the lack of clarity in employer documents and handbooks. Be specific and cover all known areas where a violation may occur and where you ARE NOT infringing on an employee’s rights. As new areas of concern come up, revise the policy and redistribution to employees.
  7. The hourly worker has power! Lately the WhiteHouse has been a strong advocate of the traditional hourly worker. New rights, benefits and wage restrictions are providing more benefit. Make sure you are up to speed. One client in CA recently discovered their hourly timecard didn’t include meal breaks.
  8. Last but not least is 1099 misclassification. Just don’t do it.

Happy New Year

Minimum Wage Updates for 2016

 

Location New Hourly Rate Effective Date
CA Statewide 10.00 1/1/16
Oakland, CA 12.55 1/1/16
Berkeley, CA 12.53 10/1/16
Los Angeles, CA 10.50 7/1/16
Palo Alto, CA 11.00 1/1/16
Richmond, CA 11.52 1/1/16
Santa Clara, CA 11.00 1/1/16
San Francisco, CA 13.00 7/1/16
Emeryville, CA 14.82 7/1/16
Minnesota 9.50 8/1/16
Vermont 9.60 1/1/16
Michigan 8.50 1/1/16
New York 9.00 12/31/15
Rhode Island 9.60 1/1/16
Mass 10.00 1/1/16
Connecticut 9.60 1/1/16
Nebraska 9.00 1/1/16
St. Louis, MO 9.00 1/1/16
West Virginia 8.75 12/31/15
Maryland 8.75 7/1/16
Montgomery, MD 10.75 10/1/16
Prince George, MD 10.75 10/1/16
Arkansas 8.00 1/1/16
Washington DC 11.50 1/1/16
Alaska 9.75 1/1/16
Hawaii 8.50 1/1/16
Chicago, IL 10.50 7/1/16
Seattle, WA 13.00 1/1/16
Tacoma, WA 10.35 2/1/16
Lexington, KY 8.20 7/1/16
Louisville, KY 8.25 7/1/16
Birmingham, AL 8.50 7/1/16
  • Exempt minimum wage increases to 41,600/year
  • Computer software professional min pay rate: 41.85/hour or 87,185.14/year
  • Emeryville, CA minimum wage: 14.82/hour on July 1, 2DOL Overtime Proposal for exempt employees
    Current FLSA salary threshold: 455/week or 23,660/year will increase to 921/week, 47,892/year

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune Recognized TargetCW as one of the Top Workplaces in 2015

The San Diego Union-Tribune recognized TargetCW as as one of the top places to work in San Diego in 2015. We’re pretty excited about it, but with outstanding customer service, a culture of hard work and fun, and a frozen yogurt machine, we’re not surprised.

Looking for a job? Why not join our team?

Need help? We offer a range of contingent workforce solutions for companies of all sizes.

 

The Age of Contingent Workers

We live and work in a very different world than we did 20 years ago. Technology has completely changed the way in which we do business and many of the once-assumed realities of the workplace have vanished.

One of the biggest changes that has come to the modern marketplace is the emergence of the contingent workforce. According to a study done by Oxford Economics (2014), close to 33% of the workforce in America today is contingent. What’s more surprising, is that by 2020 some experts believe that number will rise to over 80% in some industries.

You might be wondering why this change is taking place. Well, one argument stems from evolutionary theory and neo-darwinianism’s the survival of the fittest. That simply means, in the words of a recent Harvard Business Review article, “The prevailing paradigm of people working as full-time employees for a single organization has outlived its usefulness (Hagiu & Biederman, 2015, p. 1).”

Regardless of the reasoning, the age of the contingent worker is upon us. Corporations like General Electric, Uber, Staples, and dozens of other Fortune 1000 companies are increasingly utilizing contingent workers. While some are resistant to change, the reality is that contingent workers are essential to a winning business strategy, regardless of the industry or company size.

While change is scary, it also brings about great things and the rise of the contingent workforce is no different. This shift is bringing about positive change in many areas, for example:

  • Workers. The rise of the contingent workforce allows workers greater flexibility and work-life balance. In addition, when in the past some would be let go during a rocky fiscal quarter, many workers can remain 50%-80% employed regardless of an economic downturn.
  • Employers. The cost of locating, onboarding, and vetting potential workers can cost as much as 150% of an annual salary for a managerial-level position. This money could be better spent improving company processes, products, and culture.
  • Society. With increasingly unique and flexible jobs, more citizens can become apart of the workforce. In addition, the societal costs of unemployment benefits and Medicaid declines as the contingent workforce increases.

Whether we like it or not, the age of the contingent workforce is here to stay. While it may feel scary, it will actually improve society and the marketplace in many ways.

Always remember that we have contingent workforce experts that are happy to answer any question you might have.

Working Internationally – The Perils and Pitfalls

When your company grows, it’s really exciting. You get new clients, you expand into new regions, and you need to hire more workers.

If you’re growing really fast, you might even consider expanding into other countries and utilizing contingent workers there. While this can be exciting, it can also be problematic. Here are six hurdles that you’ll experience trying to work internationally:

  1. Time. Setting up a local entity can take months. You have to jump through hoops and there are often delays.
  2. High costs. Every country has different costs and some are high. If you’re using contingent workers, the short-term nature of some assignments might not make fiscal sense.
  3. Taxes. In every country that you utilize workers you have to register and comply with local tax laws. Yes, every country.
  4. Local laws. On top of tax laws, every country has unique and subtle local rules and obligations that you need to abide by. These include all labor laws that might affect your workers.
  5. Banking. To work internationally, you have to be able to process multiple currencies.
  6. Liability. Finally, with different cultures and different laws/regulations, there is increased liability and likelihood of employee issues.

Overwhelmed? Now, we don’t want to discourage you from expanding internationally, but we do want you to be aware of how difficult it can be.

The good news is you don’t have to do it alone. In fact, some of the smartest companies in the world utilize TargetCW to help them manage their international workforce.

Here’s how we can help:

  1. TargetCW can be your worker’s legal employer of record in each country.
  2. Because TargetCW is the legal employer, you aren’t required to register or have a legal presence.
  3. This allows easy entry into any market on your radar.
  4. This significantly lowers the risks and costs involved.
  5. We’re able to guide you in understanding employees’ rights and your responsibilities in each country.
  6. Your employees will have a local payroll manager that is available in their time zone that can speak their language.
  7. Employees are paid in local currencies, but for your convenience your invoices can be in USD.
  8.  We handle all GST/VAT in accordance with country laws.
  9. We have no hidden fees and our mark-up rates encompass all employee costs (e.g., registration, social security, etc.).

Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

We know you’re excited about the chance to expand internationally and we want to help make it as easy as possible for you. Feel free to reach out to us for more information or if you have any questions.

Human Resource Need to Know: Sketchy Sick Days

Imagine this scenario:
Robert is a California employee who has accrued two sick days at his current job. Following Labor Day, he called in sick, providing himself with a 4-day weekend. His boss was suspicious and gave him a verbal warning. But, Robert was well within his legal rights and could pursue legal action or fines.

Why this story? There are new laws in California that might make this situation more common than ever.

So, what’s going on?

Beginning July 1, 2015, almost all employees working in California can receive paid time off for sick days. This new law allows employees to accrue paid sick time that can be used when they are too sick to come to work, need to visit a doctor, or need to take care of a family member.

This law came into effect on January 1, 2015, but many employers are unaware of the ramifications.

Here’s the big thing you need to know:
Employers can’t retaliate against an employee who requests or takes paid sick leave. That means you can’t fire, discipline, or demote an employee for requesting or taking protected sick leave. Unless you want to deal with Mr. Law, of course.

Now, most good employers like yourself would never do this. But, there are some situations that may make even the best employer suspicious. For example, if Mike calls in sick the day after his vacation or Samantha conveniently gets the flu the Friday before Labor Day. Or, Joey doesn’t give you a heads up before taking some “sick time.”

From your perspective, situations like these may seem deceitful. But it’s important to remember that this new law prevents you from taking adverse action, no matter how sketchy the excuses seem. So, the next time an employee takes some sick days, handle the situation carefully.

Please Wear Deodorant!

Do you remember how bad everyone starts to smell right before they realize it’s time to wear deodorant?

Thankfully, somewhere around middle school, a kind-hearted adult – a gym teacher, parent, or concerned citizen – initiates that awkward conversation and hands you a travel-size Speed Stick. Thank God for the people willing to be honest with us about our garbage-like aroma. Because the truth is, without their honesty, we would all probably still smell like a middle school locker room.

Now, as adults, most people don’t need to be told to wear deodorant, but the principle still holds true: If people don’t tell us something, most of the time we’re never going to have a clue.

Earlier this week I got an email from one of our contingent workers. He was on site with one of our client companies for less than two weeks before they fired him. He was frustrated and fuming. His biggest issue was he had no idea why he was fired – they never told him.

He has a degree in Engineering and recently moved to the United States. He works hard and is passionate about his work, yet he’s been let go from 3 different jobs with no explanation. And no one will tell him why.

How can he ever improve if no one tells him his weaknesses?

This story isn’t new. In fact, this happens all the time. Because companies are so afraid of the legal ramifications of compliance, they forget their primary task: to lead people.

The truth is, our employees look to us as leaders. They look to us for answers. They look to us to help them grow as workers and people. And if we’re too afraid of compliance issues to be honest with our workers (both the good ones and the bad ones), it might be time to reevaluate why we’re doing what we’re doing.

With that in mind, I’d like to give you some simple guidelines to help you lead people while also avoiding compliance issues:

  1. It’s okay to explain to workers why an assignment ends. If it’s a project or performance issue, reliability issue, or even if they just don’t fit with the team. There’s no need to argue, you can simply explain to them the problem.
  2. It’s okay to give contingent workers progress reports. Don’t think of it as an employee review, but simply as a way to be honest about your expectations in terms of their performance.
  3. It’s okay to celebrate with your contingent workers. Often, contingent workers are left out of company parties and gatherings. However, including them increases engagement and leads to more efficient and happy contingent workers.

In addition, there are some things you should avoid:

  1. Don’t include contingent workers in the “normal” review process. It’s best to create a separate process for normal employees and contingent workers.
  2. Don’t forget to train your managers on proper vernacular. Be sure your managers can identify and label resources and workers correctly. Temps, contractors, employees, etc. Use common vernacular across your organization to avoid confusion.
  3. Don’t forget to keep your agencies in the loop. Make sure to CC your agency if you give an evaluation, terminate, discipline an employee, or any other HR matter. This helps us all stay on the same page.

At the end of the day, HR’s primary goal is not to make more and more rules and regulations to make your job harder. HR’s primary goal has always been and always will be improving the lives of your workers while meeting the goals of the organization. If we lose sight of that, we lose sight of our primary purpose of leading our workers and helping them grow. Obviously, it’s important to understand compliance issues, but don’t become so dogmatic and robotic that you forget the most important asset you’re dealing with: people.

Client Services: A New Division for Amazing Customer Service

One of the most exciting changes coming to our company is the establishment of the Client Services division. As we change and grow the Client Services division will be a key ingredient in helping us deliver the amazing customer service you have come to expect.

This division will be made up of Account Analysts (AA’s). As a valued client, you will work with a designated AA, who will serve any custom/unique/higher level needs you have. You can think of your AA as your one-stop shop for anything that would make your life simpler as our client. In addition, our Account Managers will continue doing what they do best – giving your workforce dedicated, personal, and efficient service.

In the next few weeks, your personal AA will reach out to you to give you more information and answer any questions you may have. Again, our primary goal as a company is to take care of your contingent workforce, so you can focus on running your businesses.

TargetCW Announces “2015 Best Places to Work in San Diego” Award

Our company shines as having one of the best cultures in San Diego. We are honored to announce that TargetCW has been listed as one of the best places to work in San Diego for the 3rd consecutive year by San Diego Business Journal.

TargetCW (www.targetcw.com), a leader in the contingent workforce industry providing payrolling (employer of record) services for companies around the globe, was named one of 2015’s Best Places to Work in San Diego for the 3rd consecutive year by San Diego Business Journal.

“TargetCW connects businesses with a solution for payrolling their contingent workforce, mitigating liability and increasing visibility and worker satisfaction,” said Samer Khouli, President & CEO of TargetCW. “We’re proud to be recognized for having such a unique and enjoyable work environment for our employees. Our culture and sense of community has been a big factor in the growth of our company, and we’re humbled to be recognized for the 3rd year running.”

This survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize, and honor the best employers in San Diego, benefiting the county’s economy, workforce, and businesses. The list is made up of 100 companies split into four categories: 35 small-sized companies (15-49 US employees), 35 medium-sized companies (50-249 US employees), 17 large-sized companied (250-1,999 US employees), and 13 mega-sized companies (2,000 or more US employees). TargetCW has been named one of this year’s Best Places to Work in San Diego in the medium-sized companies category.

To continue to improve and maintain their position as one of the best places to work in San Diego, TargetCW also recently added two members to its senior leadership team, Elisa Goodwin as COO, and Brian Smith as Sr. VP of Business Development (https://www.targetcw.com/our-leadership). Samer continues, “This is an exciting time for TargetCW. The addition of Elisa and Brian will help us maintain our small business environment that was built on community as we adjust to rapid growth and expansion.”

 

Top Results from TargetCW’s 2014 Happiness Survey

Here at TargetCW, feedback is essential to the overall growth and success of our company. Feedback helps us analyze and prioritize projects designed to improve daily functions for our employees and clients including: reducing liability and increasing visibility, compliance and workers satisfaction.

In addition to the feedback we receive year round using our email Thumbs Up tool, we conducted an online happiness survey. The survey was sent to over 11,000 current employees and clients. We asked questions about customer service and overall experience, as well as the level of efficiency using our contingent workforce solution.

Here’s a consolidated look at some of the top stats:

  • 100% of our clients said that they saw an overall increase in efficiency 
  • 98% of our clients said they found happiness with our customer service
  • 95% of our employees were happy with TargetCW overall

Out of 11,000+ people surveyed, how many do you think called for customer support in 2014? Click here and find out what our employees and clients had to say about TargetCW!