New Federal Overtime Rules Take Effect

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) recently introduced a new, final overtime rule, significantly impacting employers and employees, including making more salaried workers eligible for overtime.

In short, the new overtime rule mandates that exempt executive, administrative, and professional employees must be paid at least:   

  • $844 per week ($43,888 per year) beginning July 1, 2024 
  • $1,128 per week ($58,656 per year) beginning January 1, 2025 

Additionally, highly compensated employees must be paid on a salary basis and receive at least: 

  • $132,964 beginning July 1, 2024 
  • $151,164 beginning January 1, 2025 

These employees must meet the duties test and the salary level for the exempt status.  

Maintaining Compliance

Employers will need to devise a plan for how to address these changes to avoid FLSA violations. There are three main steps to take when determining a compliant course of action: 

  • Identify which exempt employees might be affected 
  • Calculate the hours worked by these employees 
  • Evaluate the options and decide how, and how much, these employees will be paid

Employees classified as exempt and earning less than $43,888 need to be identified. It’s important to include total incentive pay such as bonuses and commissions.

Employers must either:  

  • Increase their pay to $43,888 by July 1, 2024 
  • Reclassify them as hourly non-exempt and determine a new hourly rate on their current salary. They will be entitled to overtime pay 
  • Calculate a cost-neutral rate of pay for non-exempt employees as they will be entitled to overtime pay
  • Reclassify them as salaried non-exempt, paying them the same weekly rate for 40 hours or fewer and overtime for any additional hours over 40 in a workweek  

Coverage and Exceptions

The FLSA applies to employers with: 

  • At least two employees engaged in interstate commerce with at least $500,000 in gross annual business 
  • Hospitals, residential care facilities, or schools 
  • Public agencies 

Covered employees include those involved in interstate commerce, domestic service workers like housekeepers, full-time babysitters, and cooks, even if the employer isn’t a covered enterprise. 

The FLSA provides exemptions from the minimum wage and overtime provisions for employees in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity. The “White Collar” exemptions include:  

  • Salary Level Test 
  • Salary Basis Test 
  • Duties Test 

Exempt employees must be paid their full salary for any week they perform work and must meet the above criteria. 

Nonprofit entities, including religious organizations, are generally subject to the same rules. If these organizations engage in interstate commerce (such as ordering from Amazon), they must comply with the FLSA. 

For informational purposes only. This is not legal advice.

To learn more about how Counter Point can help support your compliance needs, request a call today!

9 Recruiting Trends to Overcome Today’s Top Challenges

According to research conducted by our technology partner, isolved, 65% of HR leaders expect recruitment to be just as difficult or more difficult than last year. If you can relate, explore these tactics to help you get a competitive edge. 

Embrace Flexibility

In today’s dynamic work environment, offering hybrid or fully remote work options is essential. Employees increasingly value the ability to work outside traditional office settings, as it allows for a better work-life balance and can boost productivity. Remote work options can also expand your talent pool geographically, enabling you to hire the best candidates regardless of their location. 

Offer Competitive Compensation

With inflation on the rise, it’s crucial to stay competitive by offering attractive salaries. Competitive compensation not only helps in attracting skilled candidates but also in retaining your current employees. Consider additional financial benefits, such as performance bonuses, profit sharing, and comprehensive benefits packages, to make your offers even more compelling.

Prioritize DEI

Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are no longer optional but essential components of a modern recruitment strategy. Job seekers, especially from Generation Z, are increasingly prioritizing employers who demonstrate a commitment to DEI. Make DEI a central focus in your talent acquisition efforts by implementing unbiased hiring practices, promoting a diverse workplace culture, and ensuring equitable opportunities for all employees. 

Target College Graduates

With new college graduates entering the job market, it’s beneficial to highlight roles that don’t require extensive experience. This approach can attract fresh talent eager to start their careers and bring new perspectives to your organization. Providing clear career paths and growth opportunities can also make your company an attractive choice for young professionals.

Focus on Employee Wellbeing

High rates of burnout among employees make it crucial to prioritize their well-being. Showcase your commitment to employee happiness and mental health through comprehensive wellness programs, flexible work schedules, and supportive workplace policies. Offer resources such as counseling services, wellness workshops, and regular mental health check-ins. 

Bridge Skill Gaps

To address skill gaps, consider lowering barriers to entry and providing on-the-job training. This approach opens up roles to candidates who may not have specific educational backgrounds or experience but possess the potential to excel. Invest in training and development programs to help employees acquire the necessary skills for their roles. 

Promote Pay Transparency

Even if not legally required, promoting pay transparency by listing salary ranges in job postings can increase the number of applications you receive. Transparent pay practices can build trust with potential hires and set realistic expectations, contributing to a more positive candidate experience.

Consider Retirees

Retirees who are re-entering the workforce represent a valuable pool of experienced talent. Their extensive knowledge and skills can benefit your organization, and they can also contribute to creating an age-diverse workforce. Consider offering part-time, flexible, or consulting roles to attract retirees. Their mentorship and experience can be invaluable in training younger employees and providing stability within your team.

Expand Beyond Full-Time Employees

To address immediate hiring needs and adapt to fluctuating workloads, consider utilizing freelancers or independent contractors for short-term roles. Offering temp-to-permanent positions can also be a strategic approach, allowing you to evaluate a candidate’s fit before making a long-term commitment. 

By adopting these strategies, you can navigate the current recruiting landscape more effectively. But strategy can only take you so far. The right technology streamlines all stages of the hiring process, from recruiting to onboarding, so you get the right people in the right positions, right away. To learn more about our solution, schedule a call with us today.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit: What You Need to Know

If you’re not familiar with the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC), you might be missing out on an opportunity to attract and retain top talent, while also enjoying significant tax savings. The WOTC is a tax credit available to employers who hire individuals from certain target groups who have consistently faced barriers to employment. These groups include veterans, individuals with disabilities, ex-felons, recipients of certain public assistance benefits, summer youth employees, vocational rehabilitation referrals, and more.

The WOTC was established by the Small Business Job Protection Act of 1996 and has been extended multiple times since its inception. By offering tax incentives to employers who hire individuals from these target groups, the WOTC not only benefits employers, but also helps to create economic opportunities for individuals who need them most.

What’s In It for You

The WOTC has the potential to provide significant tax savings for employers. The credit available ranges from $2,400 up to $9,600, depending on the targeted group and qualified wages paid to the new employee generally during the first year of employment. Generally, the credit is 40% of qualified first-year wages for individuals who work 400+ hours in their first year of employment. This can result in substantial savings for businesses of all sizes, resulting in funds that can be reinvested in the company.

Aside from the financial benefits, the WOTC offers employers the chance to contribute positively to their communities by fostering economic empowerment for individuals from diverse backgrounds.

How it Works

To take advantage of the WOTC, employers must apply for and receive a certification verifying the new hire is a member of a targeted group. This can be accomplished by completing IRS Form 8850, together with ETA Form 9061 or ETA Form 9062, and submitting them to the state workforce agency in which your business is located within 28 calendar days after the new hire’s start date. After the required certification is secured, taxable employers claim the WOTC as a general business credit against their income taxes, and tax-exempt employers claim the WOTC against their payroll taxes. Read more from the Department of Labor.

While the process requires additional administrative effort, the potential tax savings and positive impact on communities make it well worth the investment.

How You Can Benefit

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to benefit financially from the WOTC while also making a meaningful difference in the lives of individuals facing barriers to employment. Counter Point has a solution to automate WOTC administration. This tool will identify eligible employees, apply for tax credits, while alleviating the burden of administration and compliance. 

Schedule a call to learn more.

HR Attorney vs. Consultant: Which is Best for Your Business?

Business leaders within small companies continually strive to do more with less. One area in which corners cannot be cut is compliance. When resources are limited, you may be wondering what solution is better to meet all obligations – seek help from an HR attorney or an HR consultant. Both play significant roles in managing and advising on HR matters, but they have distinct functions, expertise, and responsibilities. Here’s a breakdown of their differences:

HR Consultant

Roles and Areas of Expertise:

  • HR consultants provide advice on HR best practices, policies, and procedures. They often help organizations develop and implement effective HR strategies.
  • They typically possess extensive knowledge in various HR areas such as recruitment, employee relations, performance management, compensation and benefits, training and development, and organizational development.
  • HR consultants are often brought in for specific projects such as restructuring, change management, employee engagement surveys, or to address specific HR challenges.
  • While they provide guidance on compliance with labor laws and regulations, they do not offer legal advice or represent clients in legal matters.

Typical Services:

  • Designing and implementing HR policies and procedures.
  • Conducting HR audits and assessments.
  • Developing and delivering training programs.
  • Advising on talent management and succession planning.
  • Assisting with organizational development and change management.

HR Attorney

Roles and Areas of Expertise:

  • HR attorneys provide legal advice on employment and labor law matters. They ensure that organizations comply with federal, state, and local employment laws and regulations.
  • They have in-depth knowledge of legal issues related to employment, including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, wage and hour laws, employee contracts, and labor relations.
  • HR attorneys represent organizations in legal proceedings, such as lawsuits, arbitration, and negotiations with unions. They can draft and review legal documents, represent clients in court, and handle disputes.
  • They help organizations mitigate legal risks by advising on the legal implications of HR decisions and policies.

Typical Services:

  • Providing legal counsel on compliance with employment laws and regulations.
  • Drafting and reviewing employment contracts, handbooks, and policies.
  • Representing clients in employment-related litigation and disputes.
  • Conducting workplace investigations and advising on disciplinary actions.
  • Advising on labor relations and collective bargaining.

Who Will It Be?

Whether an HR attorney is better than an HR consultant depends on the organization’s needs and circumstances. An HR attorney is better when dealing with legal disputes, complex legal issues, high-risk situations, and ensuring strict compliance with employment laws. On the other hand, an HR consultant is better suited for strategic HR initiatives, operational efficiency, and general HR management. They provide valuable insights into HR best practices and help organizations develop and implement effective HR strategies. 

We’ll call this match up a tie. In most cases, organizations benefit from leveraging both HR attorneys and HR consultants. To learn more, schedule a call with a Counter Point HCM Consultant.

Cash Balance Pension Plans: Are They Right for Your Business?

Counter Point’s Senior HCM Consultant, Ron Lustberg, recently sat down with Steven Puckett of Fiduciary Pension Partners and Denise Herrick of SNAP TPA LLC for a brief, yet informative webinar to discuss a retirement plan and plan design that brings maximum benefits to business owners. With Cash Balance Pension Plans, employees have the opportunity to put away more money for retirement than with traditional 401k plans. The benefits of a Cash Balance Pension Plan vs. a traditional benefit plan include:

  • A significant tax advantage over profit-sharing plans
  • No contribution limits
  • Money can be taken out in the form of a monthly annuity or cash out as a lump sum payout
  • Ability to roll over to existing 401k or profit-sharing plan, or IRA
  • Manageable administrative burden – similar to that of a 401k plan

Learn more about Cash Balance Pension Plans, the benefits, and plan design considerations. Click here to access the 15-minute webinar.

Considerations for Hiring Seasonal Employees

Every year as summer approaches, many businesses look to meet heightened demand during their busy season by hiring seasonal employees. Others seek to employ college students who are on break as a way to build their talent pipeline and help augment their workforce. Whatever the reason, bringing on temporary workers comes with challenges and considerations. Here is what companies need to know when hiring seasonal staff.


Communicate salary expectations with prospective interns, clarifying whether the position is paid or unpaid, and if there are additional benefits such as stipends or bonuses. Outline compensation details, including hourly rates or fixed amounts, ensuring interns understand their financial arrangements before accepting the position.

Ensure the intern understands the role by providing clear expectations and goals, and by outlining responsibilities. Determine whether the internship is part of the intern’s educational program. If so, you may be required to include integrated coursework or receipt of credit. Foster a supportive environment that promotes growth, learning, and professional development, while also protecting their rights. While internships are a great way to scout future talent, be sure to communicate there is no guaranteed employment following an internship. 

Worker Classification

Just like with permanent employees, you need to assess if your seasonal staff are independent contractors or employees based on labor law guidelines. Classification of employees determines their pay structure and eligibility for overtime. Employees classified as exempt must be paid on a salary basis and are not entitled to overtime pay. Employees classified as non-exempt (hourly) do not pass the duties test and must be paid overtime based on 40 hours in a workweek (in most states). 

A new rule under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is in effect starting July 1, 2024. Most salaried workers who earn less than $844 per week will become eligible for overtime pay. On January 1, 2025, most salaried workers who make less than $1,128 per week will become eligible for overtime pay. Wage law violations from misclassification can be costly, so it’s important to keep on top of any changes.

Minimum Working Age

Be aware of both the FLSA rules and their state’s laws whenever employing people under 18 years old. As a general rule, the FLSA sets 14 years old as the minimum age for employment and limits the number of hours worked by minors under the age of 16.

Health Benefits

Seasonal workers aren’t typically offered company health insurance, 401(k), or other benefits you’d normally extend to your full-time employees. When it comes to ACA and determining whether you are an applicable large employer (ALE) with 50 or more full-time employees, it’s important to understand the definition of a seasonal employee. To be classified as an ACA seasonal employee, the duration of the employment is six months or less and the job is performed around the same approximate time each year.

Time Off Policies

Finally, make sure seasonal workers have your handbook/time off policy and understand how to request it. Be aware of state-mandated sick leave, which applies to seasonal and part-time workers as well. 

Are you hiring seasonal employees? Whether you’re looking to bring on board temporary or permanent, full-time staff members, we can help. Contact us today.

What Makes Our HCM Technology Special?

Industry Analysts Weigh In

When vetting payroll and HCM solutions to support your business, it’s in your best interest to seek out third-party validation. Customer review sites and industry analyst reports like those published by Sapient Insights, NelsonHall, iSG, and Nucleus Research provide an unbiased assessment of providers to help with the selection process. 

isolved, our HCM technology partner, is regularly recognized by independent firms evaluating the HCM space. Here are just a few of the significant accolades our platform has recently received.

Leader in Payroll

Providing accurate and timely payroll isn’t only required by law, it’s also critical to employee retention. A payroll solution that is intuitive and reliable is essential to maintaining an engaged and productive workforce.  

Analyst group NelsonHall gives insight into the capability of vendor software and services, identifying vendors that excel across a wide spectrum of criteria. isolved was acknowledged as a Leader and second overall in its Vendor Evaluation & Assessment Tool (NEAT) evaluation of payroll providers.

Leader in Core HR and Talent Management

iSG, a leading global technology research and advisory firm, recently released its Provider Lens evaluation for HCM. In its report, isolved was named a Leader in Core HR plus Talent Management for the small to mid-market.

Here are a few of their takeaways about isolved: Continuous customer listening as part of product innovation, differentiated industry focus spanning many verticals, and advanced analytics.

#1 in User Experience

Sapient Insights’ Annual HR Systems Survey includes input from verified customers who utilize HR software. In its 26th edition, isolved took the top spots in the small business categories for HR Management Systems, Payroll, Time, and Onboarding.

For two years in a row isolved received the highest combined user experience and vendor satisfaction for Core HR Management Systems, Payroll and Time Management Systems. In addition, isolved ranked second in Recruiting software and in the top five for Learning Solutions.

Applauded for Value

Within its Nucleus Research’s 2023 HCM Value Matrix, isolved was recognized as a Facilitator for its ability to enable businesses to implement the features that they need when they need it, avoiding the cost and complexity of capabilities that do not fit their current requirements.

Finally, isolved made its debut in the Forrester Wave in 2023. In its 28-criterion evaluation of HCM providers, Forrester identified the 11 providers that matter most, evaluating them as Leaders, Strong Performers, Contenders, and Challengers. In it, isolved was named a Strong Performer for HCM.

These accolades mean that when you choose Counter Point as your payroll and HCM partner, you gain access to top-notch support and an award-winning, industry analyst-recognized HCM platform. Schedule a call with us to discover what the buzz is about!

The FTC To Ban Non-Competes

What You Need to Know

On April 23, 2024, The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced its Final Non-Compete Clause Rule that would prohibit the enforcement of most non-compete agreements between employers and their workers. 

The rule makes it a violation of federal antitrust laws for employers to enter into non-competes with workers (including employees and independent contractors) on or after the rule’s effective date. Existing non-competes with senior executives may remain, but those with other workers are not enforceable after the effective date.

Senior executives are defined as workers who earn more than $151,164 annually and who are in a “policy-making position” which is defined as:

  • A business entity’s president, chief executive officer, or the equivalent.
  • Any other officer of a business entity who has policy-making authority.
  • Any other natural person who has policy-making authority for the business entity, similar to an officer with policy-making authority.

When This Will Happen

The final rule will take effect 120 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register, which means it could be in place as soon as late August.

While most feedback received by the FTC has been favorable, the rule change is facing significant pushback. It is expected to be challenged by trade associations and businesses across the country. The appeals process may take 12-18 months before the Supreme Court issues a final ruling.

What This Means and What You Should Do Now

Non-competes are widespread. It is estimated that approximately 1 in 5 U.S. workers are affected, or about 30 million workers total. If you have a non-compete policy in place, under this new law it will no longer be valid. If you are hiring someone who has a non-compete in place, it will also no longer be valid.

Here’s how you should respond:

  • Determine which current and former employees are impacted and be prepared to send notices once the law takes effect. 
  • Create a plan to secure confidential and privileged company information. Have your employees review confidentiality policies on an annual basis and educate them on what conduct they need to follow through training and communications.
  • Consider how, and if, the company should use non-disclosure, confidentiality, and non-solicit agreements to protect the business.
  • Keep up to date on any changes and requirements. We will continue to monitor this rule and alert you.

For help with this or other compliance-related concerns, schedule an appointment with us today.

Predictive Scheduling and the Workplace

Add a shift or lose your job.

Sadly, many workers are faced with this dilemma on a regular basis due to unpredictable scheduling practices.

On-call, just-in-time, or tentative scheduling means that an employee could be called to work a shift, or asked to stay late, without adequate notice. Most commonly used in the retail, food service, restaurant, and hospitality industries, these practices are desirable to many employers, but take a toll on workers who must juggle the demands of their personal life and an erratic work schedule.

A large percentage of the workforce is affected. According to a recent study of nearly 30,000 hourly workers in large U.S. retail and food service chains (known as the “Shift Project”), 63% of respondents received less than two weeks’ notice of their work schedules.

An End to America’s Scheduling Crisis

The Fair Workweek initiative seeks to put an end to these practices and what they have labeled “America’s scheduling crisis.” Across the country, states are adopting predictive scheduling laws, a result of the Fair Workweek movement.

Laws vary by jurisdiction, but generally include:

  • Schedules must be posted before the first scheduled shift (generally 7-14 days)
  • Extra pay must be provided to workers if an employer changes the schedule after it is posted, what is known as “predictability pay”
  • Employees need adequate time off between shifts unless the employee volunteers to work during the rest period
  • Employers must keep scheduling records for a certain time period

The Impact of COVID

The COVID crisis has had an impact on many employment laws, including those related to predictive scheduling. The industries these laws affect are among the hardest hit sectors of the pandemic.

The crisis delayed some laws from becoming enacted, including those in Philadelphia and Chicago. It has also affected the enforcement of these laws. While some contained an exception for threats, natural disasters, and pandemics, others were up for interpretation. 

Technology Eases Fair Scheduling Requirements

Workforce management technology helps organizations create predictable, balanced schedules. Robust shift and scheduling features, like Counter Point’s Scheduling, will become important as employers need shift tracking functionality to comply with these laws. 

The technology behind this feature helps employers draft and post schedules, receive notifications of change requests, with the ability to approve or reject. Workers are notified of schedule changes, can adjust their availability, pick up or swap shifts.

To learn more about Scheduling, schedule an appointment with a Counter Point HCM Consultant today.

Remote Attendance Policy Dos & Don’ts

Creating an attendance policy is essential for every business. It establishes expectations for working hours, attendance, and paid time off. It’s easier to uphold such a policy when you’re able to see the productivity within the office. But what about when you now have a remote team?

A remote working option can be beneficial to employees as much as employers, as long as there are clear expectations and guidelines. Which is why having a solid attendance policy is key to success. 

Flexible schedules and a greater work-life balance is very appealing. For managers however, it comes with its own set of challenges. Monitoring if schedules are being followed, if remote employees are “showing up” during the workday, and if productivity is high are all crucial assessments for success. 

In this article we address the importance of creating an attendance policy for your remote team. 

Tips For a Time & Attendance Policy for Remote Teams

As flexibility within the workplace continues to increase, your workforce may contain a mix of in-person and hybrid teams. Strict adherence to attendance policies will help enable communication between co-workers, as well as efficient productivity.

Clearly outlining what’s expected of your employees will better equip managers for handling situations when employees fail to adhere to these guidelines.  

Detailing everything related from:

  • Working hours
  • Attendance
  • Paid time off
  • Time tracking

Establish Clear Working Hours and Expectations

Remote employees are said to work 1.4 more days per month than in-person employees.  This can lead to an overworked and burnt-out team. Clear expectations of working hours should be set not just to make sure employees are working enough but to make sure they aren’t overworking themselves either.

A best practice is to mirror the regular in-office work day, which is typically 9am-5pm. If you value work-life balance, there should be an expectation of a set number of hours employees are expected to work. 

Maintain An Attendance Policy

Managers do not have the option to pop into someone’s office and inquire about projects when working with remote teams. It is important to implement an attendance and availability policy. 

You shouldn’t feel like you’re hunting down employees by sending numerous emails and messages, waiting for replies and updates. Make sure everyone knows when to be available and how to communicate. Additionally, employees should be aware of the approval process for taking time off from work. Employees can’t simply use a slow day “working from home” to disappear for the day. 

When working from home, employees should still be entitled to personal and sick days, but an approval process should be in place. The ability to prepare for when an employee will be absent from the day will help others to fill in the gaps. 

Provide Time Tracking Guidelines

All employees should understand how to track their working hours and guidelines should be given for:

  • How employees should track their time
  • When employees should submit their tracked time
  • What to do if employees are working outside of their scheduled working hours
  • Employees should be made aware of any repercussions due to falsified information

Time and labor management technology allows for accurate payroll, ensuring employees are correctly paid for the time they work.

Avoid Workforce Management Problems

Businesses have been using time and attendance policies for years and implementing such guidelines are essential for employee and companywide success. Streamlining these processes, even if they need to be updated, will help remote employees manage their time and productivity. Managers can eliminate any confusion or problems within the workforce by enforcing these policies and ensuring everyone understands the requirements. 

Need Help with Time and Attendance Within Your Business? Request a call today!

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