DOL December Overtime Law! …3

To empower others, you must take their measurements regularly…


Post 3: As they left the executive meeting, Josh and Sharon discussed where they stood with their strategy for successfully navigating the new Department of Labor changes requiring some of their salaried employees to move to hourly positions.  They had hoped to get input on what company statistics should be considered for these critical decisions.

“I’m so glad we asked for their ideas!  We not only have a healthy list of what data to gather and analyze, we even got a team of volunteers to help us find the information.  Sharon suggested hopefully, “Do you have thirty minutes now to compare notes and make sure we have all the input documented accurately?”

“Yes; but I need to eat my lunch while we work.” Josh answered, “I agree with you about their willingness to help. It was like everyone was worrying about it, but they were afraid to bring up the topic and figure out where to start.  But when we brought it up, they literally sat forward and engaged.”

Sharon nodded in agreement, “Also, having this data will help us ask more intelligent questions about compensation law.”

They bulleted the discussion results and assigned volunteers to research each area:

  • What percent of our employee population is exempt from overtime laws today?
  • What percent of our current exempt population pass all three 2016 tests of the FLSA [Fair Labor Standards Act]?
  • For what percent of our employee population must we change their compensation structure because they no longer qualify to be salaried/exempt?
  • Honestly, have we taken advantage of our employees with salaries below $50,000 by expecting unbalanced amounts of time over 40 or 50 hours a week? (Can we interview their leaders to gauge this perception?)
  • How many hours do our exempt employees currently average each week – especially those impacted by this change in compensation law?
    • What percent of our impacted employees directly drive revenue?
    • What percent of our impacted employees have measures in place to evaluate time-to-productivity ratios? (If not, our supervisory oversight requirements may eventually need adjustment.)
    • What effect could our impacted employees have on business results if their productivity decreases significantly in response to a reduction in hours?
    • What influence could our impacted employees have to business results and morale if 20% of them become disgruntled and leave within 6 months after this change is made? (Isn’t that the typical percentage quoted for employees that leave after a significant organization change?)
  • Do any of our exempt groups have recent time-studies data or do any currently measure or track their time?
  • Are there specific spikes in work hours for any of these impacted populations? Are the fluctuations controllable?  Does the law allow for schedule adjustments?
  • Are we measuring productivity results or the right productivity results for all current exempt positions?

“I think this last question is so granular or subjective, we may need to ask it by manager level… along with that question about taking advantage of people.  But otherwise, that looks like the bulk of the input from this morning.”  Sharon commented as Josh finished typing.

“Yep.  This, along with the legal answers we gather tomorrow, should give us a good reality-check on possible solutions to be considered for salaried employees making less than the new minimum compensation.  Should we include any specific instructions for the folks doing this research?”

Sharon hesitated, “I wonder if we should actually have a short meeting with them.  I hate taking the time, but I’d like them to understand the critical nature and timing of this.  And I’d like to let them know that, as they are researching, we’d also like any other applicable facts they run across.”

“You are right.  I’ll set up a call for early tomorrow; I’ll also make the executives they report to optional attendees; that should help with attendance and timing.” Finishing his sandwich, he added, “One more agenda item: they may need additional resources to get some of these answers, so let’s be sure we ask that while we have their leaders engaged.”

Reality: “Aligning work with desired company results” is a key effort under ‘OWNING IT’ [The OZ Principle] as we take responsibility for business leadership.

FOLLOW US & don’t miss the next PEPPERBOX blog:  What critical blind spot to their plan is surfaced during the manager interviews Josh and Sharon conduct?

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