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.

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.

6 Tips for Remote Onboarding

What does onboarding a new remote employee look like? 

Bringing on a new team member doesn’t look the same when an employee isn’t in the office. It’s important that new employees have what they need to feel connected to the organization and to their peers. It’s also imperative that they have the tools they need to be successful at their job.

Remote onboarding is more important than ever as flexible working models continue to rise in popularity. According to Forbes, as of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home—while 28.2% work a hybrid model. And it is projected that 32.6 million Americans will work remote by 2025 which equates to about 22% of the workforce.

This uptick is a result of organizations recognizing how successful remote work can be. In addition to reducing burn out, work flexibility has also proven to increase productivity, and reduce employee turnover and absenteeism. 

To help boost remote onboarding within your organization, we present these 6 tips. 

Make New Hires Feel Welcome

A warm welcome to the company can certainly help get things started off on the right foot and reinforce a new employee’s decision to accept the position. 

Send a welcome email or set up a video call to introduce them to their team members. Introducing them prior to their first day will help “put a face to the name” and lessen the fear of not knowing anyone (especially when they aren’t directly down the hall). 

Got some cool company merch? Send that along too! Company swag is a great way to warmly welcome a new employee and help them get excited to be a part of the team.

Provide an Employee Handbook

Sharing an employee handbook is a crucial part of onboarding. If you were to purchase a new T.V. you’d expect it to come with a manual, some kind of instruction to get it set up, what to expect from it, and what kind of features there are. 

Similarly, a new employee should be well versed in the company culture and protocols, the so-called “rule book”. This prepares employees for what to expect when entering this new relationship. 

Using a HR information system is an effective way to make sure all employees have acknowledged and signed the handbook. Scheduling a video call to go over these documents will help create a more personal connection with your remote employee. 

Set Them Up for Success

Make sure that your remote employees have the tools they need to do their job successfully. Confirm that they have a dedicated working area within their home that they can use as a home office. 

If you have a budget in place for setting up a new employee’s home office, consider sending items like a printer, computer, paper and anything else they might need before their first day. This gives them plenty of time to get set up and prepared to start. 

Make Their First Day Special

On a new hire’s first in-person day at the office, you might show them around, introduce them to various employees, peers and upper-level staff. You might point out where the conference room is or the employee kitchen. 

With remote employees, it’s still important to make them feel comfortable and connected. Set up a “first day coffee chat” via video conferencing with your new employee. Encourage team members or managers to join in on the call. 

This is a great way to make “face to face” introductions, help them understand the team roles, and how they will fit into the mix. 

Check In

After a while, there might not be a need to check in with your employees on a frequent basis, however, starting a new position remotely can be isolating. Routine check-ins can be helpful in making sure your employee feels connected and understands their role.

Schedule regular check-in times and encourage them to ask questions. You don’t want to make them feel micromanaged, the goal is to find a balance between efficiency and proper acclimation.

Rely on the Right Technology

By automating onboarding, you’ll have more time to devote to making your new hires feel welcome and engaged, while setting them up for success within the organization.

Schedule a call today to discover how Counter Point HCM can help you source, hire, and onboard the right talent regardless of whether your team is remote, on-site, or hybrid.

Say Goodbye to Poor Offboarding Experiences

Regardless of the reason, it’s never easy when an employee leaves your company. Yet, the offboarding process is often overlooked, even though it’s arguably one of the most important parts of the employee life cycle.

You may have the misconception that paying attention to an employee who is leaving the office is a waste of time, but having a formal offboarding process in place is good for business. Proper offboarding ensures that exiting employees experience a smooth transition. It helps them feel respected and supported, even as they leave the organization.

Additionally, it provides the employer with an opportunity to gather feedback, maintain positive relationships, and protect sensitive information. It’s also a good way for a company to reevaluate other processes within their organization such as recruitment, onboarding and training, and performance management.

Reputation is important. Make offboarding a priority!

Making sure an employee’s exit is pleasant not only bolsters an organization’s reputation—it also helps in the hunt for new talent. According to research conducted by our human capital management (HCM) partner, isolved, word of mouth matters when it comes to recruiting.

HR leaders were asked what they consider to be their most valuable recruiting tool…

  • 26% say employee referrals
  • 24% say employee review sites

Offboarding Done Right

By prioritizing offboarding, companies demonstrate their commitment to professionalism, integrity, and employee well-being, even during times of transition. Here are some things to consider, along with tips to ensure it’s done the right way:

Promote Compliance, Avoid Lawsuits – State laws vary when dictating how the departing employee is paid, and which benefits remain (and for how long).

Ensure a Smooth Transition – A cooperative former employee will help ensure day-to-day operations run smoothly, and critical functions don’t fall through the cracks.

Glean Insights – Throughout the offboarding process, valuable insights can be gathered to further improve the employee experience.

Let Them Help Themselves – Soon to be former employees have quite a bit to wrap up before they depart. Allow them to take control of their offboarding tasks through self-service.

Visualize Workflows – The leaving process can be arduous and disparate for HR teams. Make it easy to keep track of each offboarding task from start to finish.

Automate, Automate, Automate – There are a litany of tasks to be completed for a departing employee. Streamline administrative tasks, including the collection of assets to enable leave payout.

Learn Through Leaving – A departing employee leaves behind a mountain of data. Find gold by capturing and storing data throughout the process and analyze trends to support recruiting and retention efforts.

Saying goodbye can be hard to do. Enable a smooth departure by automating administrative tasks and offer a modern, streamlined offboarding process.

Learn more about how Counter Point HCM can help you create a superior offboarding process. Request a call today!

Get Set for Success: Onboarding Best Practices

During a time of increasingly challenging talent acquisition and retention, organizations must find ways to gain a competitive advantage. A massive opportunity exists in creating exceptional employee experiences—from onboarding to offboarding.

These interactions have an enormous impact on your workforce (not to mention your organization’s reputation). Research from our human capital management (HCM) partner, isolved, finds that nearly half of employees have been tempted to leave a new job due to a negative onboarding experience.

And that’s not all…

  • 86% of employees say onboarding is important
  • 48% of employees say onboarding should be completed in the first month
  • 32% of employees say their current employer doesn’t offer a modern onboarding experience

First Impressions Matter

Onboarding is crucial for setting the stage for their success within an organization. It provides new hires with essential information, resources, and support to integrate seamlessly into their roles and the company culture. Effective onboarding fosters engagement, reduces turnover, and accelerates productivity. It does this by clarifying expectations, building relationships, and facilitating a smooth transition into the organization.

Starting a new job with a new company is an exciting prospect for employees. They have the chance to meet new team members, get immersed in a new company culture, and ultimately make their own unique imprint on the organization. With great excitement comes great expectations—and companies should have processes in place to deliver what their employees want.

Optimal Onboarding

Here are some tips for enhancing your onboarding experience:

Make it Snappy – A slow and disjointed onboarding process poorly reflects an organization. A new employee is ready to hit the ground running, and the onboarding process should provide a smooth and clear runway.

Streamline the Process – If a new hire feels like they’re on a scavenger hunt during their first days, they’re likely to get lost. Clear and concise communications are a must for new team members.

Deliver a Modern Experience – If you’re using outdated processes, like fax machines or physical signatures, your new hire might wonder which century their new employment home is operating in. A modern onboarding experience assures a new hire they’ve made the right decision to accept a position within your organization.

Utilize Built-In Tools Leverage technology to automate employee eligibility I-9 forms and processes for new hires and hiring managers—giving them both valuable time back on their calendars.

Enable E-signatures – Enable new team members to breeze through documents like employee handbooks and non-disclosure agreements digitally with electronic signatures.

Automate Workflows – Implement, collect, track and store all forms and documents, including federal and state tax forms and prevent potential costly errors.

Power Up Self-Serve – Allow onboarding tasks to be completed from any device, at any time, and from any place. Provide a secure, self-service environment that empowers employees and saves your HR staff time and effort.

New hires are excited to join your team! Meet their excitement through a modern, streamlined onboarding experience that will ensure that feel valued, motivated and prepared to make a meaningful impact on your organization.

Learn more about how Counter Point HCM can help you better welcome new employees for better outcomes. Request a call today!

The 4 Cs of Employee Engagement

Are your employees coming in late and calling out sick more often than usual?

Do they appear withdrawn, stressed, or exhibiting a negative attitude?

Have you noticed a drop in productivity?

If so, your workforce may be disengaged. Employee engagement is critical to an organization’s success. High engagement levels are associated with a lower incidence of turnover and a higher level of productivity.

Fortunately, even if employee dissatisfaction is widespread, there are actions you can take today to energize your workforce.

The Maslow Connection

You may recall learning about Abraham Maslow in your high school psychology class. According to his Hierarchy of Needs, all people have needs that they instinctively seek to satisfy. He illustrated this through a pyramid with the most basic needs on the bottom level. His theory is often cited when it comes to motivating employees in the workplace, especially the top three levels: belongingness, esteem, and self-actualization.

This model supports what we have labeled the 4 Cs, four things that employees seek from their employers for engagement.

Communication

Employees value transparency. 70% of employees say they are most engaged when senior leadership updates them and communicates openly. Employees need to be informed to be motivated and fully engaged.

And they need to be heard. Listen to your employees; encourage them to speak freely about any job-related questions, concerns, and ideas. When their voices are heard and their contributions are valued, employees feel more connected to the company, enthusiastic about their job, and motivated to meet company goals.

Compensation

Beyond competitive salaries and benefits packages, employees need to feel valued. Provide feedback and recognition regularly. Discuss individual performance, and career goals, and set achievable milestones. Employees who feel accountable and appreciated are more productive.

Recognize your employees’ potential within the organization through training and development. Demonstrate your commitment by investing in a comprehensive learning management system. Knowing that an employer is willing to provide opportunities for growth builds loyalty and attracts top talent.

Collaboration

According to a Gallup Report, 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important” for success. Coworkers have a profound impact on each other’s job performance and job satisfaction. In productive organizations employees feed off each other’s desire to succeed.

With many employees working remotely, encouraging collaboration and camaraderie has become more challenging than ever. To help your team collaborate, provide them with the tools they need to share ideas and stay aligned across functions and locations.

Connection

Employees feel connected to an organization when they share the same vision. To encourage this, define your company through a mission statement, share department goals, and continually educate employees on your products and services. The more your employees know, the faster they will align with the objectives that you are all working towards.

Connect employees with your mission and goals by identifying where they fit in the process. Review job descriptions and evaluate performance regularly. Take the time to make sure each employee knows what they are doing, why they are doing it, and that their role matters.

From self-service tools to engagement platforms, technology can play an important role in engaging employees. To learn more, schedule an appointment with Counter Point HCM today.

3 HR Best Practices Every Small Business Should Follow

Managing the HR needs of a growing workforce is challenging, especially when resources and headcount are limited. For organizations without a dedicated HR professional, these responsibilities are oftentimes left to individuals who wear several hats and hold countless responsibilities.

They may feel overwhelmed having to navigate numerous systems and tackle endless tasks including managing employee information, processing payroll, keeping track of time and attendance, onboarding, recruiting, and more. When you factor in maintaining compliance, these accidental HR professionals may find themselves asking “Where do I start?”

Luckily, there are best practices every small to mid-sized business can follow to make their HR workload more manageable.

Review the Employee Handbook

The employee handbook is something that is often overlooked, but immensely important for clear internal communication and appropriate employee relations. At the very least, it should be updated annually.

It serves as a rulebook that addresses all things related to the employee/employer relationship and provides legal protection against employment claims. A well-written one should integrate company policy, answer common workplace questions, and most importantly, be in accordance and up to date with employment law.

What to include in an employee handbook? At a minimum, it should cover:

  • Company mission, vision and values
  • Anti-harassment and non-discrimination policy
  • Standards of conduct
  • Dress code
  • Communication policy
  • Compensation and benefits Information
  • Discipline processes
  • New hire and separation procedures
  • A confidentiality policy

Leverage an HR Information System

An HR information system (HRIS) should solve your problems, not add to them. Multiple, disconnected systems are a thing of the past. Your HRIS should centralize all important HR tasks in one place.

If you already have a solution in place, take the time to evaluate it and see what is working and what isn’t. Your HRIS should work for you, not the other way around. Automated workflows, configurable forms and reports, and real-time access to accurate and consistent employee information enable a reduction in administrative workload and a minimized compliance risk.

Your HRIS should streamline all facets of the employee life cycle including:

  • Onboarding
  • Benefits administration
  • Job and salary management
  • Training management
  • Certification tracking
  • Performance management
  • Compliance reporting
  • Statement of total compensation
  • Separation

Conduct Management Training

You’ve reviewed the handbook, found an HRIS that works for your organization and streamlined processes, what’s next? Training.

Training through an intuitive learning management system ensures alignment and that management is on the same page. Not only does training teach new and even experienced managers the fundamentals of being successful, but it also promotes a compliant workplace.

A comprehensive training program should cover these topics:

  • Inclusivity and diversity in the workplace
  • Conflict resolution
  • Workplace security
  • Hiring and termination processes
  • Employee retention
  • Emergency procedures
  • Accessibility requirements
  • Problem-solving
  • Management skills
  • Workplace changes
  • Company goals

Staying current on all things HR can be a daunting task. That’s why it’s important to not only look over employment laws, but also ensure the technology and solutions you have in place can keep up with the demands of your workforce. To learn more about HR best practices and how Counter Point HCM can play a role in helping your business succeed and thrive, request a call today.

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