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October 29, 2012

It’s Almost That Time – Time Off to Vote!

Every four years we have a presidential election rolling around that causes us to pull out our policy manual and check our “Time Off for Voting” policy.  I would suspect that most company policies regarding this are pretty standard; generally allowing for a reasonable amount of work time off (paid or unpaid) for employees to stop by the polls and cast their ballots.

However, the process may be a little more complicated.  Your policy may need to be revised based on the state(s) in which you have employees.  State laws vary with respect to whether such time off must be paid; the amount of notice employees must provide to their employer; and whether employers may designate the hours taken off to vote.

Below is a list of states that have the most notable state law requirements.  If you have employees working in these states, be sure to go to that specific state’s website to find out the details so you are in compliance.

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland,

Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio,

Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Keep in mind these laws apply every year, not only when there is a presidential election.  For more information regarding company policies, including time off to vote, check out our HR Suite product by clicking


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.


November 7, 2011

Earthquakes and Other Unexpected Events

This past Saturday night I experienced a natural phenomenon that was much unexpected, especially in the Midwest.  I experienced my first earthquake.  Technically, it was probably an aftershock of an earthquake, but whatever it was I felt my home shake and it was a freaky and uncomfortable encounter.  Living in Kansas, we know all about tornados.  We know what weather conditions to look for and we know where to go for safety taking our precious belongings and family members (including pets) to ride out the storm.  But I was unprepared to know what to do in the case of an earthquake.  I didn’t know whether to sit still, bracing myself for more shaking moments, or start grabbing things that might break or fall.

Many times in the world of human resources, unexpected events pop up.  Are we prepared to address and handle the harassment claim an employee brings to your attention?  Do we have policies in place regarding social media?  The very thing that makes human resources so appealing and exciting – “something new every day” – can also be quite daunting in terms of being prepared for most any situation.

As the end of the year draws near, it might be a good time to complete an HR audit.  By doing so, you may find gaps where you don’t have policies in place to address unexpected events.  Or you may find the laws have changed and items need to be updated.  There are many forms and tools available that walk you through the process, along with third-party resources that can provide an objective viewpoint.  In any case, it’s always better to address items on a proactive basis rather than reactive.  Because you never know when the next earthquake may hit.

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