Many employers and business owners believe that because they pay someone on a salary basis they are exempt from receiving overtime. This is not always the case.
A good example is someone working as a receptionist. According to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), for a full time administrative employee to be exempt from receiving overtime, they must make more than $455 per week (or $11.37 per hour) and their primary duty includes exercising of discretion and independent judgment with respect to matters of significance. A receptionist making $440 per week ($11 per hour) would not be exempt from receiving overtime on two accounts:
- Their salary is below the $455 per week threshold, and,
- Their main duty is to answer the telephone and not using judgment with respect to matters of significance.
In this instance the receptionist should be paid overtime for all hours physically worked over 40 hours in a week (i.e. vacation, holiday, and personal time do not apply as being physically worked).
Refer to the FLSA on the Department of Labor’s website for specific details as they relate to each employee classification. OR, for any small business HR issues contact www.hrinsights.com.
The Small Business HR Resource
Truth be told, money does not buy happiness but it certainly does help. Money in terms of employee compensation is finite. So, how can business make their employees happy without increasing salaries and financial incentives? Understanding the keys to finding long-term life personal satisfaction and applying them to your work environment is a good start. What makes people feel satisfied?
- A strong sense of support from belonging to a group, whether this group is family, a club, a sports team, or a church.
There is no reason why this “group” cannot be your company. But, how can you apply this underlying dynamic in practical ways? HRInsights would recommend that you think about these 5 simple and low cost/no cost approaches:
- Initiate a group activity: There must be some shared interest that your workers have. Start a reading group, art or music club, investment society, architecture club. There must be something simple and low cost which could bring workers closer together.
- Invest in Planned “Time-Off”: Research points to the obvious. Experiences are more valuable than “things”. Make a special trip to a customer who could demonstrate their product to the team. Invite a guest speaker to talk about an important, local project.
- Create a Business Journal or Scrapbook: Develop a “newsletter” for employees to share their experiences and what is important to them.
- Donate to a Small, Local Charity: The emotional benefits of giving appear to be greatest when the giver feels a social connection with the recipient.
- Have a Tetherball Competition: Or, take a daily walk with colleagues around the parking lot or block. Anything that gets you up and about stimulates your mood-enhancing endorphins.
These ideas do not require a great deal of creativity nor investment. As a business leader, to the extent that you can improve employee satisfaction by reinforcing their “membership” in your organization (group/club), that is a very positive outcome.