Which FLSA Law Did You Break Today?

FLSA compliance tools Islandia

Many business owners who have been penalized for labor law violations never realized they were noncompliant. But we all know that ignorance is no excuse. Here are common FLSA violations to avoid:

1. Misclassifying Employees

Any employer who fails to follow DOL rules regarding classification is risking significant penalties. Employee classification affects a host of things including benefits eligibility, minimum wage standards, overtime pay eligibility, and workers’ comp eligibility. Business owners who misclassify are in jeopardy of state and federal penalties and should consult the comprehensive DOL classification rules.

2. Docking Pay From An Exempt Employee

An employee who is exempt from the overtime provision has other rights under the FLSA. One of these is being paid for an entire day even when working less. Business owners who dock pay when a non-exempt employee leaves during the day are committing a punishable violation. Note that an employer can generally take other disciplinary actions.

3. Miscalculating Overtime Pay

Most workers should be paid time-and-a-half for time worked over 40 hours in a week, but business owners continue to violate this law, even though it has been around for decades.

4. Minimum Wage Violations

Two Walt Disney companies were required to pay 3.8 million to workers for wage hour violations that included allowing hourly rates to fall below minimum wage due to paycheck deductions for uniforms.

5. Off-The-Clock Non-Paid Work

Employers must pay their workers for all work performed. This means they cannot ask staff members to perform work off the clock. This was another offense in the Disney case mentioned previously.

At baronHCM we understand how time-consuming it can be to ensure compliance with FLSA provisions, not to mention other laws that affect the workplace such as ACA and PBJ. Employers are also subject to local and state laws regulating minimum wage, overtime, family leave, predictive scheduling, and extra hours for part-time employees.

Employers need a powerful, yet easy-to-use Workforce Management system that includes smartly-designed compliance features. Baron Workforce Management Suite has dedicated compliance tools that help you comply with DOL regulations without having to hire more HR staff. Avoid penalties, store records for verification, and reduce your risk of a wage dispute.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and company.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is developed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

baronHCM: ACA Compliance Made Easy

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Introduction to ACA Compliance For New Business Owners

Hello! Today’s post is for new small business owners who are unfamiliar with the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts their business.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) (informally “Obamacare”), is a United States Federal Statute signed into law by President Barack Obama on March 23rd, 2010. The act was developed to raise healthcare outcomes, reduce costs, and improve methods of distribution and accessibility.

Does it affect my company?

Any business with over 50 full time or full time equivalent employees is directly impacted because it is required to meet the ACA requirements. As part of this legislation, the healthcare benefits offered must also meet a specific level of quality.

It may sound overwhelming to someone who has never dealt with business regulation, but don’t fret over it.

Baron Workforce Management Suite from baronHCM offers businesses like yours a quick, automated answer for ACA compliance.

Step one is to track your staff members’ hours so you know who is full-time and who isn’t. Baron Time automatically tracks hours worked to determine each employee’s status, whether FT or FTE (full-time equivalent). It also produces an electronic “paper” trail for accurate and untampered reporting purposes and provides a Work Week and Work Month report that contains the total of hours worked for that week, and/or pay period.

What if I have employees whose hours vary and I want to keep them under the full-time limit?

The qualifying number of hours that determine an employee’s status of full-time or full-time equivalent for ACA are 30 hours per week or 130 hours per month. Baron Scheduling enables you to define an hour limit per employee that gives you an immediate notification when you attempt to add a shift to an employee who is at the threshold of 29-hours.

What else do I need to worry about?

Baron Time provides an extensive ACA checklist to assist you in knowing what other things you need to do to safeguard against thousands of dollars in non-compliance penalties.

You can visit http://baronhcm.com/ for more details on what baronHCM can do to help you comply with ACA and DOL regulations.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

PBJ File Rejected? Let’s Fix It.

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Today’s post is for PBJ (Payroll Based Journal) managers at long-term care facilities who have had a PBJ file rejected by the CMS. Whether you entered the data manually or used a PBJ reporting platform, you are probably eager to identify and correct the problem to regain compliance, reduce your audit liability, and confirm the standard of care provided at your facility.

Manual PBJ Increases the Risk of File Rejection

Manual PBJ data entry is time-consuming and susceptible to human error. Investing in an automated system will save you time and money and protect you from violations. Baron Workforce Management Suite from baronHCM takes the inconvenience out of PBJ compliance with a system that is quick, easy and cost-effective. The PBJ tools in Baron Workforce Management Suite aren’t an afterthought; they were designed to meet the challenges of real-world SNF staffing scenarios right from the beginning.

The Most Advanced PBJ Solution

If you used an automated system with PBJ tools but your file was still declined, perhaps the PBJ tools are substandard or too complicated to use. Baron Workforce Management Suite PBJ tools are user-friendly and can be set up in minutes.

Regardless of the reason your file was rejected, Baron Workforce Management Suite has the solution. Here is a list of the most frequent reasons PBJ reports are not accepted.

  • Duplicate Employee ID Numbers: The ID is a unique identifier and cannot be assigned to another member of current or former staff. This ID cannot include any PII (Personally Identifiable Information) such as a Social Security number.
  • Incorrect Calculation of Time Worked: Employee time worked is calculated in fractions rounded to the nearest 10th.
  • Reporting Hours by Shift vs Date: Hours reported are assigned to a calendar day which ends at midnight. For example, if a team member logs a shift that starts at 9:00 PM on 10/7/2017 and ends at 5:00 AM on 10/8/2017, 3 hours would be entered for 10/7/2017 and 5 hours for 10/8/2017.
  • Not Reporting Hours for Contract or Agency Staff: Hours for each staff member furnishing patient care (including agency and contract employees) must be reported.
  • Wrong File Type: The CMS only accepts XML files.
  • Job Code Errors: When an employee’s primary role changes during a shift, the report must include a job code for each specific primary duty.
  • Reporting Hours for Meals: Paid or unpaid meals should not be included in the hours reported.
  • Data Not Auditable or Verifiable: The report submitted cannot be a stand-alone record. It must be corroborated by other records such as time cards, payroll records, invoices, or employee contracts.

No More Compliance Headaches

By implementing Baron Workforce Management Suite, you can eliminate each of these PBJ errors going forward. Call 631-266-2500 today to schedule a demo. We can help you get all of your information entered quickly and show you how easy it is to use Baron Workforce Management Suite to handle your PBJ reporting timely and accurately.

Note: The requirement to submit hire and termination dates was originally mandatory but in 2017 the inclusion became optional.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and company.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

How to Evaluate Your Labor Audit Liability

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Are You Compliant?

Is your company at risk for fines or sanctions in case of a labor audit? By answering the following questions, you can better establish your current labor audit liability.

Are Your Timekeeping Procedures Sufficient?

  • Are employee time and attendance records accurate and accessible?
  • Are staff members paid for all the time worked?
    • (Employers should not require employees to work before and after shifts, or at home off the clock.)
  • Does the system accurately calculate PTO?
  • Would the data stand up to a labor audit?
  • Can employees cheat the system?

Do Employees and Managers Increase or Decrease Your Liability?

  • Do employees know how to properly punch in/out for shifts, meals, and breaks?
  • Do employees know how to total time cards?
  • Do managers know federal, state, and local labor provisions?
  • Do managers know how to verify time cards?
  • Do managers know how to approve shift change requests?
  • Are managers educated about company policies regarding overtime?

Need a New Timekeeping System?

Based on the previous questions, have you decided that your business needs a better employee timekeeping system to protect yourself in case of a labor audit or employee labor dispute?

Improve Compliance Without Adding More Work

Baron Workforce Management Suite paired with one of our biometric time clocks can significantly lessen your risk of being fined for noncompliance while simultaneously decreasing the time required to track employee time and attendance. Call baronHCM today for a demo of our economical, cloud based system.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

How a Timecard Goof-up Can Cost You $30,000

Islandia labor law compliance tools

Restaurant Owner Owes $30,000 for a $30 Mistake
Bobbi Best owns Blondies’ Bistro in Grants Pass, Oregon. In December 2015, a man named Martin Robinson applied for a cook’s position. In the restaurant industry, it is customary for job seekers to exhibit cooking expertise in a “working interview.” As Best had routinely done with previous job seekers, she asked Robinson to sign a waiver in which he consented to an unpaid working interview.

Signed Waivers of Acceptance Don’t Supersede Labor Regulations
Evidently, Best did not recognize that Oregon labor laws obligate payment of at least minimum wage for time spent in working interviews. At minimum wage, the working interview would have earned Robinson about $30. The following day, Robinson worked a standard shift but then rejected the job in a text message to Best. Best paid him approximately $60 for the regular shift.

Ignoring It Won’t Make It Go Away
Robinson took Best to court where she was ordered to pay a fine for the violation. Best didn’t pay the initial fine which compounded to $4,400 in the early spring of 2016. As of October 31, 2016, she had paid over $13,000 in legal fees but still owed over $21,000 to Robinson and his lawyer.

There are several lessons to be learned from this story:

  1. Employers need to keep accurate, comprehensive records to protect themselves in case of a labor dispute. Accurately track employee hours for working interviews, training, and regular shifts with Baron Workforce Management Clock from baronHCM. Customize settings to reflect state and industry-specific provisions.
  2. Be aware that a or employee may exploit even a small infraction. Labor courts almost always favor the employee, even if they act quickly to make amends.
  3. Gain an intensive understanding of state and federal labor regulations, comply with them, and keep up with changes.
  4. In the unfortunate event that you are fined, pay immediately before late penalties build up.

Are You at Risk?
Call 631-266-2500 today to see how Baron Workforce Management Clock can protect you from a similar nightmare.

Source:
Based on an October 31, 2016 story written by Jeff Duewel for the Grants Pass Daily Courier, republished by the Medford, Oregon-based Mail Tribune. Jeff Duewel, “Working interview turns into nightmare for Grants Pass Bistro,” Mail Tribune, October 31, 2016, http://www.mailtribune.com/news/20161031/working-interview-turns-into-nightmare-for-grants-pass-bistro, accessed February 28, 2017

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is developed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to book a demo.

New Employers: Avoid The Top 3 Payroll Mistakes

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Owning a business after being an employee can be very satisfying. You are the captain of the ship and can chart your course without having to answer to anyone else. When you get to the point where you need employees, however, it’s vital to realize that being an employer can be complex when it comes to payroll. To ensure the best chance of success, be sure you avoid prevalent payroll mistakes:

1. Failing to Pay Payroll Taxes
We list this one first because there are major penalties attached. Brand-new small business owners may mistakenly think that failing to pay payroll taxes is akin to not paying personal income taxes. This is a hazardous error.

If you get in a cash pinch, DO NOT delay paying your payroll taxes as a stopgap measure.

This is what the Dept. of Justice has to say about withholding payroll taxes (trust fund money) and not turning it over to the IRS:

“An individual’s failure to comply with employment-tax obligations is not simply a civil matter. Employers who view amounts withheld from employee wages as a personal slush fund, treat withheld employment taxes as a loan from the government that can be repaid if and when they see fit, or whose business model is based on a continued failure to pay employment tax, are engaging in criminal conduct and face prosecution, imprisonment, monetary fines and restitution. According to statistics provided by IRS Criminal Investigation, in the 2015 fiscal year, individuals convicted of employment tax crimes were sentenced to an average of 24 months in prison.” https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/justice-department-reminds-employers-their-employment-tax-responsibilities

2. Inaccurate Time Cards
Manual timekeeping processes that require employees to enter hours on a paper timesheet are exposed to errors that are both intentional and accidental. Employees often record their prescribed starting time even when arriving late and do the opposite when leaving early. Even your most high-principled employee can have trouble accurately recalling hours when filling out a time card several days after the fact. Inaccurate time cards increase costs of labor unnecessarily and burden your HR staff (which may just be you) who have to gather information to correct the time cards.

Paying employees a few minutes here and there for time not worked can really add up. Consider the following example. If you have 25 staff members who estimate their hours with an extra 8 minutes of time each day for which they were not on the job, you will overpay:

$184 weekly
$367 biweekly
$794 monthly

3. Misclassifying Employees
It is tempting for an employer to designate an employee as an independent contractor. In most cases, employers are not legally obligated to withhold and pay Social Security, unemployment, and Medicare taxes for money paid to workers classified as independent contractors. Additionally, employee classification a host of other things including benefits eligibility, minimum wage provisions, overtime pay eligibility, and workers’ comp eligibility. Employers who misclassify are at risk of state and federal penalties and should consult the comprehensive DOL guidance on the subject to be safe. The nature of an employer-employee relationship can also evolve over time and alter the classification. It’s critical to review the relationships periodically.

baronHCM serves hundreds of businesses like yours and can help you avoid these common pitfalls. Call us today at 631-266-2500.

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is created for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.

How to Cover Your Bases With PBJ: Are You In Compliance?

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Today’s article is for owners and operators of long-term care facilities subject to Payroll Based Journal reporting. Since PBJ reporting became nonelective in July of 2016, how has it been going for you? Have you created a workable process? Are you meeting the quarterly deadlines? Are you confident that your information is accurate?

PBJ Doesn’t Need to be a Full-Time Job
There are two ways to transfer PBJ reports: manual data entry and data upload from a payroll or time and attendance system. If you have tried going the manual route, you know what a hassle it is, and it will only get more time-consuming, tedious, and error-prone as your organization grows.

PBJ Your Way
Baron Workforce Management Suite from baronHCM takes the headache out of PBJ compliance with a system that is quick, easy and cost-effective. The PBJ tools in Baron Workforce Management Suite aren’t an afterthought; they were designed to meet the challenges of real-world SNF staffing configurations right from the get-go.

  • Do you employ a team of direct employees, contract, and agency staff members? No problem.
  • Do you have staff that splits their time between patient care and administrative responsibilities? We’ve got it covered.
  • Do you have employees that work more than one job code? No sweat.
  • Do you have physicians who provide both direct patient care and medical director duties? Easy peasy.
  • Does your staff work at multiple facilities? You are going to have to do better than that to stump us.
  • Do you have both SNF/NF and non-certified beds? We can manage that in our sleep.

Baron Workforce Management Suite PBJ Reports Include:
A complete, accurate record that distinguishes direct care workers by job code (includes agency, contractors, and certified medical personnel as defined by CMS)
Residence census data (Medicare, Medicaid, other)
Direct care staff turnover and tenure (start and term dates)
Total hours of care provided by each category of employee per resident per day including start and end date and the hours worked per individual

Baron Workforce Management Suite protects you from audits and gives rating agencies the documentation necessary to verify that your facility provides a first-rate level of care. Call today for a demo!

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and business.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is established for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and decrease labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to schedule a demo.

$3.8 Million Disney Fine Underscores Importance of Accurate Timekeeping

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When companies run afoul of labor regulations, the fines can be staggering.

Recently, Walt Disney Co. reached an agreement with the Department of Labor to pay out $3.8 million to 16,339 employees. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division concluded that Florida-based Disney Vacation Club Management Corp. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S. Inc. failed to observe the the Fair Labor Standards Act overtime, minimum wage, and record keeping standards.

Do you employ hourly employees? Are you in compliance with all DOL standards? DOL officials say that the illegal Disney practices are fairly widespread.

“These violations are not uncommon and are found in other industries, as well.” -Daniel White, District Director for the Wage and Hour Division in Jacksonville, Florida1

These are some of Disney’s specific violations:

Failure to pay employees for required pre-shift assignments
Failure to pay employees for required post-shift duties
Allowing an employee’s hourly rate to temporarily fall below minimum wage because of a nonelective paycheck deduction for uniform expenses

Even a Couple Minutes Count

Keep in mind that the pre- or post-shift tasks for the Disney staff members could have only taken a couple minutes. If a staff member is supposed to change into a uniform (or costume in the Disney case) before their scheduled shift, they must be paid for this time. Do you require your team members to get their workstations ready, or perform other tasks before their prescribed shift start times?

“Employers must accurately track and pay for all the hours their employees work.” -Daniel White2

Are You Prepared for an Audit? baronHCM Has Tools to Protect You

If you are using old school manual timekeeping systems, it’s almost impossible to accurately track associate hours. Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Workforce Management Clock make up the Baron Workforce Management SuiteBaron Workforce Management Suite solves your compliance headaches.

  1. Track employee time to the minute
  2. Easy clock in/out for offsite employees
  3. Automatically create audit-ready reports

Because our suite is fully integrated, you won’t have any issues getting all of your time and attendance, scheduling, and payroll data synced together properly.

Call today for a demo and learn how Baron Workforce Management Suite can help you avert the costs of a labor audit.

Sources:
1 “Disney Reaches Agreement on Pay Practices with the US Department of Labor,” US Department of Labor, March 17, 2017, https://www.dol.gov/newsroom/releases/whd/whd20170317, accessed May 9, 2017
2Jennifer Calfas, “Disney Is Going to Pay $3.8 Million to Employees Who Were Charged for Their Costumes,” Fortune, March 17, 2017, http://fortune.com/2017/03/17/disney-labor-department-costumes-employees-charged/, accessed on May 9, 2017

Contact baronHCM for information regarding Baron Workforce Management SuiteUPGRADE TODAY

baronHCM offers Baron Workforce Management Suite, the powerful, fully-integrated Workforce Management Suite that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and organization.

Baron Workforce Management Suite includes Baron Time, Baron Scheduling, and Baron Mobile. Baron Workforce Management Suite is established for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and lessen labor costs.

How much can you save? Check our baronHCM ROI Calculator.

We can get you up and running with Baron Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.