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October 31, 2014

6 Easy Ways to Violate the FLSA – Mistakes 4-6

Filed under: Compease,Compensation,FLSA9:44 am

In yesterday’s blog, we discussed the first three mistakes that lead to Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) violations.  Today, we will take a look at the last three, featured that is; there are many more!

Mistake #4:  Asking Nonexempt Employees to “Work Off the Clock”

More recently, asking an hourly employee to “work off the clock” is considered wage theft.  The FLSA requires employers to keep accurate time records.  Tight budgets often prompt managers to request that employees “work off the clock” by asking them to come in early or stay late and not compensating them.  Such a practice can create huge liabilities for an organization.

Mistake #5:  Prohibiting Employees from Discussing Compensation Issues

Although many employers prefer that compensation rates and other pay issues remain private and even write policies to that effect, forbidding such discussion by employees may be in violation of the law.  The National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) prohibits employers from banning wage discussions as it is interpreted as interfering with employees’ right to engage in protected concerted activity.  The National Labor Relations Board, the government agency that enforces the NLRA, has been watching these actions closely, especially with the more prevalent use of social media.

Mistake #6:  Failing to Properly Pay Nonexempt Employees for Meetings and Training

This is a puzzling one for many employers – knowing whether or not they are required to pay for meetings and training sessions.  Attendance at meetings and training is not counted as “hours worked” if all four of the following criteria are true:

  • Attendance is outside of the employee’s regular work hours;
  • Attendance is truly voluntary;
  • The course, lecture, or meeting is not directly related to the employee’s job; and
  • The employee does not perform any productive work while attending. 

Attendance is not considered voluntary, however, if the employee believes that his working conditions or employment opportunities would be adversely affected if he did not attend.

Even the most experienced HR professionals have difficulty navigating the FLSA.  However, failure to do so can be costly in terms of dollars, time spent fixing problems, bad publicity, and lower employee morale.  Focusing on a few of the most common FLSA mistakes and steering your organization away from them is definitely time well spent.


October 30, 2014

6 Easy Ways to Violate the FLSA – Mistakes 1-3

Filed under: Compease,Compensation,FLSA4:32 pm

No doubt, most employers have a battle with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which establishes the standards for how to pay their employees.  The FLSA governs overtime pay, the minimum wage, and child labor.  Many are simply unaware of the maze of requirements, some try in good faith to act in accordance with the law but fall short, and a few simply ignore the Act, hoping that nothing comes back to bite them.  But ignorance of the law is not bliss…or an excuse.

FLSA enforcement by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recovered just shy of $250 million in back wages for 2013, with 269,250 employees receiving back wages. Another interesting fact is that the average days to resolve a complaint is 110.  This means the Wage and Hour people are very interested in the way you pay your employees and even enjoy perusing your records.

Here are six ways (and believe me, there are many more) in which you could find the DOL knocking on your door:

Mistake #1:  Misclassifying Employees

Nearly every employer must decide which positions are considered nonexempt under the law and must be paid overtime (for hours worked beyond 40 in a workweek), and which positions are exempt from overtime. The FLSA establishes overtime pay requirements by outlining a series of tests that qualify employees as exempt from overtime and minimum wage requirements in these categories:  executive, administrative, professional, outside sales, and certain high-level computer positions.

Mistake #2:  Thinking, “If I make everyone ‘Salaried,’ I won’t have to pay overtime!”

Genius, not.  Be careful.  “Salaried” is not equivalent to “exempt.”  An employer must satisfy an FLSA job duties test mentioned in number 1.  Remember too, that job positions should be reviewed regularly to ensure they still meet the requirements of nonexempt or exempt as the position requirements may change.

Mistake #3:  Failing to Pay Nonexempt Employees for Unauthorized Work

If a company “allows” employees to work, they must pay for this time and include it as “hours worked” for overtime purposes. When an employee who begins work early, stays late, takes work home, or works through the lunch break without authorization to do so, must be paid for unauthorized work (even if the company has a policy prohibiting it).  The employee, though, may be subjected to disciplinary action for violating the policy.

Watch for Mistakes 4-6 in tomorrow’s blog!



May 30, 2014

Did You Know . . . About Our Compease Bridge?

Filed under: Compease,Compensation8:59 am

Keeping your Compease system up-to-date and aligned with your payroll system doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming!  Compease has a built-in Data Bridge Tool that makes systems’ communication a breeze.  HRN Performance Solutions offers a total of four options to help with this data upkeep:

  1. With the no cost option, the User Guide and a spreadsheet are sent to you, enabling you to configure and run the data bridge any time that is convenient for you.  
  1. HRN’s second option provides assistance with the initial setup.  HRN will configure the setup, run the initial import, and provide training to you or your staff for a fee of $150. 
  1. The third option consists of the data bridge configuration, set-up, and the updating of your Compease system.  This is performed either as a one-time service or on an annual basis, thus completing the entire process for a fee of $250. 
  1. Our last option allows you to send your file directly to us on a twice-monthly basis.  We do all the work for you!   This option requires a signed Bridge Service Agreement (BSA) and is processed for a fee of $600 annually, which is added to your regular renewal. 

If you are interested in any of these service options or would like additional information, please contact HRN Performance Solutions at (800) 897-3308.


March 28, 2014

Did You Know . . . Compease is Now in the Cloud?

HRN has released a new, completely updated, CLOUD-BASED version of our popular Compease salary administration application!  Compease, a unique and innovative compensation administration system provides customized, market-driven compensation and salary grade information for every position in an organization based on level of responsibility, job title, geographic location, company size, and industry.

Even more thrilling is, if you currently use Performance Pro and Compease the new sophisticated technology will integrate the two! This integration will reduce duplication, saves time, and makes updating reports easier than ever! Give us a call and speak with one of our experts to understand how Performance Pro and Compease integration can strengthen and support your business. You might be surprised at how seamless it is.

If you don’t currently enjoy Performance Pro and Compease, what are you waiting for?  Contact us now at (800) 897-3308 or



July 24, 2013

The Numbers Are In!

Filed under: Compease,Compensation,Salaries & Pay6:00 am

The average pay increase employees may expect in 2014 is 2.9% according to an article from CNNMoney, with the findings of Mercer’s Rewards, a consulting business.   This is up slightly from an average of 2.8% in 2013.  However, this is a significant increase from early in the recession when increases in 2009 were averaging 2.1%, if increases were happening at all.  Because of the continued high rate of unemployment in June of 7.6%, employers still manage to have their pick of the talent pool without having to bust their budgets, keeping tighter reins on recruitment and retention costs.

Other factors affecting wages are the costs associated with retirement benefits and the still cloudy path of health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act.  Employers will eventually have to increase wages to remain competitive.  Jeanie Adkins, a partner of Mercer’s Rewards, stated, “Employers recognize that their greatest challenge is to retain their top performers to avoid post-recessionary flight.  This means they have to reward them.”

Possessing a good compensation philosophy is crucial to managing your salary budget, meeting key business strategies, and keeping employees contented.  It reassures employees that you are well-equipped with the current market trends, aware of current and future workforce needs, and are paying them a fair wage.  If you don’t have a compensation philosophy, you need one and we can help!


March 28, 2013

2% Increase in 2012 Compensation for Professionals in Higher Education

Filed under: Compease6:00 am

The College and University Professional Association for Human Resources (CUPA-HR) conducted the 2012-13 Professionals in Higher Education Salary Survey.  The survey was comprised of 1,109 higher education institutions, both public (46%) and private (54%), encompassing the salaries of 182,482 job incumbents in 275 positions nationwide.  The findings indicated a 2% increase in the median base salaries for individuals with positions requiring professional-level competencies.  The survey compares current data to previous years’ survey outcomes.

To view the Executive Summary and read more about the salary survey results by Carnegie Class, Job Category, or how salary increases compared to inflation, click here.

Source:  CUPA-HR

HRN Performance Solutions is the provider of , an easy-to-use and comprehensive salary planning and compensation program.


October 5, 2012

HR Fact Friday: Visit HRN at 15th Annual HR Technology Conference & Expo

Filed under: Compease,HRN News,Performance Pro6:00 am

HRN Performance Solutions will be exhibiting at the 15th Annual HR Technology Conference & Expo taking place in Chicago, IL Oct 8-9. Stop by and visit with HRN representatives at booth 1042 and learn what’s new with HRN solutions and services.

So what is new you ask?

  • Well, the 2013 Compease salary data update is shipping this month to all of our Compease clients.
  • And speaking of Compease . . . HRN developers are hard at work and scheduled to complete the Compease online release in late Q1 2013. Once available, Compease will  seamlessly integrate with Performance Pro and allow for convenient and secure online access.
  • Next week HRN will be announcing an exciting technology integration partnership with BambooHR (based in Provo,UT). Stay tuned for more news about this partnership that will allow for seamless online integration of BambooHR HRIS employee data with Performance Pro creating a true integrated talent management solution for small and medium sized businesses at a fraction of the cost of the big enterprise offerings.
  • If that isn’t enough, HRN product managers and developers are hard at work on a new succession planning module that will operate either on it’s own or as part of Performance Pro.
  • And finally, the annual HR Suite update was released in August providing updates and additions to over 20 policies and HR forms.

So as you can see we have a lot to talk about. Stop on by. See you Monday and Tuesday in the Windy City. If you are not able to attend and would like more information about any of HRN’s solutions and services don’t hesitate to contact HRN directly at (800) 940-7522.


June 22, 2012

HR Fact Friday: Paycheck Fairness Act Stalls in Senate

The United States Senate recently considered S. 3220, the Paycheck Fairness Act, noted in the last update as a legislative alert. Proponents of the bill were unable to muster 60 votes to cut off debate on the bill, and thus it is not likely to become law. The bill prohibits employers from retaliating against workers who ask about pay disparities and allows employees to sue for punitive damages when there are large differences in salary levels between male and female workers.

To avoid potential situations where pay disparities could result in a lawsuit, talk to HRN and ask about Compease. Compease is a complete compensation administration solution that ensures you are not overpaying or underpaying your staff resources and that there is defensible pay equity across your entire organization. To learn more go to and register to attend a no obligation webinar demo.


May 18, 2012

HR Fact Friday: HRN Exhibiting at WorldatWork Total Rewards 2012 Conference

HRN Performance Solutions will once again be an exhibitor at the 2012 Total Rewards WorldatWork Conference and Exhibition taking place May 21-23 at the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center in Orlando, FL.

If you are attending please stop by and visit with HRN staff representatives Russell Gerrard and Gene Mandarino at booth number 227. We look forward to meeting you!

About WorldatWork: Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides HR practitioners with knowledge leadership to effectively implement total rewards – compensation, benefits, work-life and executive rewards. WorldatWork has 30,000 members representing 100 countries.

HRN is a respected provider of compensation administration consulting services and software applications serving small to medium sized businesses. The HRN Compease compensation administration and salary planning application is in use by over 800 clients around the country. For more information about Compease go to:

For more information about the conference go to:

See you in sunny Florida!


December 12, 2011

Are you Modifying your Executive’s Incentive-Based Compensation Program?

If so, you are not alone.  According to an article from WorldatWork, corporate executives can expect moderate salary increases and tougher performance hurdles in 2012.  This information was gathered from a survey conducted by Pearl Meyer & Partners, a leading provider of compensation consulting services and survey data.

So what are the key components from the survey participants? 

  • Linking pay to performance is absolutely essential
  • Incorporate a metric that is more closely tied to creation of shareholder value
  • Stock options remain very popular among smaller companies and in certain sectors
  • Need to validate alignment of relative pay and performance was ranked as the top priority for compensation programs in 2012
  • Prepare for new SEC disclosure and governance requirements, including explanation to shareholders the link between CEO pay and company financial performance and compute the ratio of CEO pay to “median” employee pay

Executive salaries are expected to realize a relatively modest growth in 2012, marking a continued break from the annual 4% pay growth of most of the past two decades.  A total of 59% of participants projected a 2% to 4% salary increase, and 10% anticipate a salary freeze or decrease next year.

The survey is available for download on Pearl Meyer & Partners website.

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