U.S. Department of Labor Overtime Exemption Rule Changes

The topic of the U.S. Department of Labor’s proposed rule change as it relates to payment of overtime to “exempt” workers has come up in a variety of meetings and discussions over the past couple of months. These changes, if adopted, could have a major impact on the personnel costs for nearly every business and organization, particularly small businesses and nonprofits.

MODC has prepared the following “Fact Sheet” in an effort to highlight the proposed rule changes for our members, and to give you some basic information on how you can prepare for them if the USDOL approves them as currently proposed. If you have any questions you should direct them to your personnel representative or legal advisor.

Ben Waldron
Executive Director
Click here for a downloadable copy  USDOL OT Changes

Smart Hiring: More Than A Gut Feeling Revisited

Pixton_Comic_More_Than_a_Gut_Feeling_by_BillAccordino (click image)

Behavioral Interviewing:

At the heart of effective behavioral interviewing is the belief that past performance is the best predictor of future behavior.  A word of caution is in order.  Past performance will only be a predictor of future behavior if the position that the candidate is being considered for is the same as their past position(s).  Let’s assume that is the case for the balance of this discussion.  Behavioral-based interview questions are open-ended questions or statements that are designed to elicit detailed responses. . .

For the full article please visit its original source at, https://billaccordino.wordpress.com/2015/10/20/hiring-the-right-people-more-than-a-gut-feeling-revisited/

Smart Hiring: Five Steps To Improve Your Hiring Success!

BreakthroughPerformance.TalentManagementHiring the right people is at the core of breakthrough performance.  As business owners and leaders we all know that this is a critical ingredient to the success of our organizations.   Our goal is to get the right people, with the right talents, delivering the right results.  I have communicated this goal in previous posts and will continue to stress how important this is to your success.

Does your current hiring process support this goal?  If you are experiencing any of these symptoms perhaps the answer is no:

  1. Voluntary turnover is increasing
  2. Your recent hires are not fitting well with your organization and its values
  3. Your onboarding process is ineffective, or doesn’t exist

For the full article please visit its original source at Bill Accordino’s Breakthrough Performance Leadership Blog at BillAccordino.com.  You can also contact Bill directly at (732) 528-0320, or at bill@billaccordino.com.

Job Fit: The Power of the Right Person

shutterstock_269067383In order to effectively drive strategic change and achieve breakthrough performance you need to have the right people, with the right talents, in the right jobs, delivering the right results.   Wow, that’s a mouthful!  The old phrase, “says easy, does hard” comes to mind.

We all know this intuitively, and most leaders and managers work diligently to make this happen.  We also know that we should align our hiring process, development process, and succession planning process with our business strategy and talent needs.  My experience would suggest that success in these critical areas is more a matter of chance than a focused strategic workforce plan and its execution.  One key ingredient to make all of this happen is Job Fit.

For the full article please visit its original source at Bill Accordino’s Breakthrough Performance Leadership Blog at BillAccordino.com.  You can also contact Bill directly at (732) 528-0320, or at bill@billaccordino.com.

3 Guaranteed Ways to Hire the Wrong People (By Chris Ruisi / www.chrisruisi.com)

3 Guaranteed Ways to Hire the Wrong People (By Chris Ruisi / http://www.chrisruisi.com)

I’m always amazed how everyone agrees that the quality of your team will determine the quality of your business. Yet many still approach the hiring and selection of employees as a burden or something you “have to do”. Well, you have to do it! And you had better be doing it right if you want to avoid mistakes, lost money and productivity and causing your customers to go elsewhere.
So here are 3 sure fired ways to make certain that you continue to hire the wrong employees. Here’s the point (just in case you need to hear it) – do the opposite!

1. Have minimal if any, job specifications. You know, you’re busy. Who has time to write a job description? Had a client tell me once they wanted someone to handle – “Usual admin stuff and customer service”. Yup that was it. You don’t need a full scale job description to hire the right person. The first thing you need to do is confirm that you have to fill the empty position or a different one to better meet the needs of your organization. Far too many of you go blindly through the motions of filling a need without first deciding what the right need is. All you need is a simple description of the essence of the position – how it will contribute to the goals of your organization followed by no more than 6 to 8 key responsibilities. Maybe this will take an hour to do. Is an hour of your time better than the weeks and months of agony you will experience if you hire the wrong person?

2. Don’t ask the right questions. Questions are supposed to get you information. Bad questions get you bad information which lead to a bad hire. In addition to asking questions about what they did (which by the way most of you do), ask questions about what you want them to do – as reflected in the need you have to fill. You are spending way too much time asking about their past. Set specific targets about what you want this new person to do at the end of 30, 60, 90 and 120 days after they come on board and then ask questions about their abilities and desire to meet those targets

3. Hire the person right away. Heck if their breathing that’s half the battle, right? Those of you who know have heard my favorite mantra –“Hire slow, fire fast”. Yet most of you do the opposite – you hire fast and suffer slowly and slowly until you can’t take it anymore. Look, hiring employees is a risky but necessary process. You can never minimize 100% of the risk but you can reduce it so as to be able to make an intelligent (not emotional or stupid) hiring decision. You don’t need a long time to get to the right decision but if you don’t follow an intelligent process, it will have consequences.

Hiring the right people the right way will have a significant positive impact on the growth of your business and your financial security. Hiring the wrong people the wrong way is just really bad.

Confidence = Willingness (By Chris Ruisi / www.chrisruisi.com)

Confidence = Willingness (By Chris Ruisi / http://www.chrisruisi.com)

Many of us talk about confidence; want more confidence and struggle with building and maintaining our self-confidence in the face of the challenges we deal with it every day. To be confident means you’re willing to act to first satisfy yourself (and no one else) that you did your very best.
When I talk about confidence, I frame it up around the concept of your “personal willingness”. Let me explain what I mean. Confidence is your personal willingness to:

1. Keep moving forward towards the achievement of your goals; you are persistent and consistent

2. Put yourself out there for others to see and judge because you know what you’re doing is the
right thing

3. Stick your neck out and take a risk

4. Not to worry about what others think of you

5. Question your status quo before you are forced to “react” to change

6. Learn from your mistakes

7. Try again after you experience a mistake or failure

8. Accept responsibility and accountability for your actions – you own it; fix it; learn from it
and move on

9. Use and consistently practice positive “self-talk” and ignore unfounded negative/destructive
negative feedback

10. Take ACTION as needed with a focused and “get it done” sense of urgency

As you can see, personal willingness involves taking ACTION. Every time you take action you give yourself several opportunities. Some of these opportunities could be – an opportunity to accomplish something; an opportunity to learn something; an opportunity to set new limits for your performance. There are probably others but the most important opportunity is that you build or increase your self-confidence in yourself. This last one is the key to your growth – it gives you that personal willingness to tackle something even greater and stretch your full capabilities. You know, to Step Up and Play Big!

Legal and Illegal Pre-Employment Questions

Although the civil rights laws vary somewhat from state to state, federal law governs all organizations doing business in the United States. The following “lawful and unlawful” questions are presented as a general guideline that is applicable under federal law and the strictest states. However, to assure that you are in compliance with legal requirements and interpretations in any specific state, check with local authorities and/or and attorney specializing in this field.

Subject: Race or Color
Lawful*: None
Unlawful: Complexion or color of skin

Subject:  Religion or Creed
Lawful*:  None
Unlawful:  Inquiry into applicant’s religious denomination, religious affiliations, church, parish, pastor or the religious holidays observed.  Applicant may not be told “This is a (catholic, Protestant, or Jewish) organization”.

Subject: National Origin
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Inquiry into applicant’s lineage, ancestry, national origin, descent, parentage, or nationality.  Nationality of applicant’s parents or spouse.  What is your native tongue?

Subject: Sex
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Inquiry as to sex.  Do you wish to be addressed as Mr., Miss, Mrs., or Ms.?

Subject: Marital Status
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Are you married, single, divorced, or separated?  Name or other information about spouse.  Where does your spouse work?  What are the ages of your children, if any?

Subject: Birth Control
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Inquiry as to capacity to reproduce, advocacy of any form of birth control or family planning.

Subject: Age
Lawful*: Are you 18 years or older?  If not, state your age.
Unlawful:  How old are you?  What is your date of birth?  What year did you graduate?

Subject: Disability
Lawful*: Do you have impairments, physical, mental, or medical, which would interfere with your ability to perform the job for which you have applied?
Unlawful:  Do you have a disability?  Have you ever been treated for any of the following diseases . . .?

Subject: Arrest Record
Lawful*: Have you been convicted of a crime?  (Give details)
Unlawful:  Have you ever been arrested?

Subject: Name
Lawful*: Have you ever worked for this company under a different name?  Is any additional information relative to change of name,use of an assumed name or nickname necessary to enable a check of your work record?  If yes, explain.
Unlawful:  Original name of an applicant whose name has been changed by court order or otherwise.  Maiden name of a married woman.  If you have ever worked under a different name, state names and dates.

Subject: Address or Duration of Residence
Lawful*: Applicant’s place of residence.  How long was the applicant a resident of this state or city?
Unlawful:  None

Subject: Birthplace
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Birthplace of applicant.  Birthplace of applicant’s parent’s, spouse or other close relatives.

Subject: Birth Date
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Requirement that applicant submit birth certificate, naturalization or baptismal record.  Requirement that applicant produce proof of age in the form of a birth certificate or baptismal record.

Subject: Photograph
Lawful*: None
Unlawful:  Requirement or option that applicant affix a photograph to employment form at any time before hiring.

Subject: Citizenship
Lawful*: Do you have the current authority to work in the U.S.?  Do you require sponsorship to work in the U.S.?
Unlawful:  Cannot ask if someone is a U.S. citizen unless a security clearance is required for the job.  You may not ask if one has the permanent right to work in the U.S.

Subject: Language
Lawful*: Inquiry into languages applicant speaks and writes fluently.
Unlawful:  What is your native language?  Inquiry into how applicant acquired ability to read, write or speak a foreign language.

Subject: Education
Lawful*: Inquiry into applicant’s academic, vocational or professional education and the public and private schools attended.
Unlawful:  None.

Subject: Experience
Lawful*: Inquiry into work experience.
Unlawful:  None.

Subject: Relatives
Lawful*: Name of applicant’s relatives other than spouse, already employed by this company.
Unlawful:  Names, addresses, ages, number or other information concerning applicant’s spouse, children or other relatives not employed by this company.

Subject: Notify in Case of Emergency
Lawful*: Who do we contact in case of an emergency?
Unlawful:  What relatives do we contact in case of an emergency?

Subject: Military Experience
Lawful*: Inquiry into applicant’s military experience in the Armed Forces of the United States or in a State Militia.  Inquiry into applicant’s service in a particularly branch of United States Army, Navy, etc.
Unlawful:  Inquiry into applicant’s general military experience.

Subject: Organizations
Lawful*: Inquiry into applicant’s memberships in organizations which the applicant considers relevant to his/her ability to perform the job.
Unlawful:  List of all clubs, societies and lodges to which you belong.

Subject: Driver’s License
Lawful*: Do you possess a valid driver’s license?
Unlawful:  Requirement that applicant produce a driver’s license prior to employment.

*Inquiries which would otherwise be deemed lawful may, in certain circumstances, be deemed as evidence of unlawful discrimination when the inquiry seeks to elicit information about a selection criterion which is not job-related and which has a disproportionately burdensome effect upon the members of a minority group and cannot be justified by business necessity.

Posted by:

Bill Saloukas

Broad Waverly Staffing Services

(732) 747-4400


Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2014

Payroll Fraud Prevention Act of 2014

Introduced by congress May 8, 2014. Dealing with independent contractor(IC) misclassification.

The proposed bill would create a new definition of workers called “non- employees”.

If enacted this act would make misclassification of employees as Independent Contractors (IC s) anew Federal Labor offense. The bill would expand the federal Labor Standards Act to cover the new category of employees, Non -EMPLOYEES, and make it a prohibited act to wrongly classify workers.

The purpose of this bill would give present law more teeth and exposure in the constant battle over worker classification. The cost of misclassifying a worker as an independent contractor as opposed to an employee is that the government risks non reporting by the recipient if a 1099 is not issued. The employer benefits by not classifying the worker s an employee because of the savings related to not paying payroll taxes and employee benefits. Present law bears serious penalties for improper classification.

The bill has a number of key provisions as follows;

  1.  The bill would require notification t all workers as to how they are classified, e.g. Independent contractor or employee.
  2. Directing the employees to the Labor Department Web site to learn about employee rights.
  3. Directing employees to contact the Labor Department if the employee suspects that they have been improperly classified.
  4. The bill provides every employer must provide a written notice to all workers providing labor or service of their classification and to notify the Department of Labor if they suspect that they have been misclassified.
  5. Heavy fines will be imposed for non compliance. For each employee or other individual for failure to provide notices to them, a $1,100 first offense and $5,000 for second offence will be levied. The penalty could be assessed per employee and non employee.
  6. The Law will also pierce the corporate or LLC veil if the entities are being used to attempt to circumvent the law.
  7. Directs the Secretary of Labor to establish a misclassification web site.
  8. Authorize the Sectary to report to the IRS misclassifications, and implement target audits.

The above is a summary of the proposed legislation. The IRS and regulatory bodies are closing in on misclassified employees.

Present law designates an individual as an employee for federal employment tax purposes if the individual has the status of an employee under the usual common law rules applicable in determining employer- employee relationship, (section 3121(d) of the Internal Revenue Code). Generally, the question of whether an individual is an employee or independent contractor is one fact to be determined upon application of law and regulations in each case.

Among the factors used by courts in determining whether an employer – employee relationship exists are:

  1. The degree of control exercised over the details of work.
  2. The worker’s investment the facilities.
  3. The worker’s opportunity for profit or loss.
  4. Whether the type of work performed is part of the principal’s regular business and
  5. The permanency of the relationship.

All of the above factors are analyzed in making a determination as to whether the worker is an employee or independent contractor.

A more detailed analysis of the above criteria for determining employee-independent contractor status will be the subject of my next Blog.

In the interim you may reach out to me for additional assistance.

Sal Schibell, Partner, Lawson, Rescinio, Schibell & Associates

732-531-8000, ext 225


The Opportunity to Compete Act

Opportunity to Compete Act- New Legislation Passed in NJ (Action Required)



New Jersey recently passed new legislation, the Opportunity to Compete Act (the “Act”), which bans the box on job applications that require job applicants to disclose criminal history information.  The Act is designed to give individuals who have “paid their debts to society” a fresh start with regard to opportunities for employment.


What Is The Act?

The Act prohibits employers from doing the following:

  1. Posting job advertisements indicating that persons who have been arrested or convicted of a crime will not be considered for employment.
  2. Requiring applicants to complete a job application that requires disclosure of their criminal history.


This Act covers only the initial employment application process which includes both the job application and the first interview of the job applicant.


The Act does not prohibit employers from running a criminal background check on an applicant after the first interview or, after a conditional offer of employment has been extended to the applicant.


Who Does The Act Apply To?

The Act applies to employers with 15 or more employees who do business, employ people or take applications for employment in New Jersey.


When Does The Act Go Into Effect?

The Act will become effective on March 1, 2015.


What Action Needs To Be Taken By Employers?

  1. Ensure that any advertisement or job postings for open positions do not state that applicants who have been arrested or convicted of a crime will not be considered for employment.
  2. Review and revise your company employment application to ensure that applications do not request criminal history information.  For example, if the current employment application asks “Have you ever been convicted of a felony?” then you should remove that question from the application.



What are the penalties for noncompliance?

Employers who violate the Act may be subject to civil penalties for noncompliance. A first violation carries a fine of $1,000; a second violation $5,000; and each subsequent violation $10,000.



EnformHR is a Human Resources consulting firm helping companies protect their business and maximize their assets to achieve sustained profitability and growth. They provide a full range of HR services: HR Management, Training & Development, and Strategic Partnering. Contact them for assistance on this and other issues at 732-534-7844, info@enformhr.com, or visit them at www.enformhr.com.


Strategic Workforce Planning

Strategic Workforce Planning is a process that ensures that your business has the right people in the right jobs at the right time to achieve your expected results.  The steps in the strategic workforce planning process are:

  • 1.  Establish where your business is going?
    • What is your business strategy?
      • Areas to grow
      • Areas to maintain
      • Areas to exit
    • What does this change mean for the business?
      • Executive level
      • Business unit level
      • Front-line operational level
    • Expected speed of change
  • 2.  Understand where the labor market is going
  • 3.  Understand your future talent demands
    • Organizational structure necessary to support future strategy
    • Jobs necessary to support the future organization
    • Obsolete jobs to phase out
    • Critical employee segments
  • 4.  Assess your current talent inventory
    • Behavioral fit for new future jobs
    • Skills to perform new future jobs
    • Internal talent movement
  • 5.  Identify your talent gaps
    • What positions will you need to fill?
    • When will you need to fill them?
    • How will you fill them?
  • 6.  Implementation
    • Secure top-level executive sponsorship
    • Don’t attempt to swallow the entire elephant
      • Focus on critical roles, or most significant pain points
      • Build positive momentum through quick wins
      • Learn through a focused pilot
    • Much more than an HR initiative


The crucial question to ask is, “What does this new, or changing strategy mean for the business?”.  The answer to this question must be understood at the executive level, the business unit level and the front-line operational level.  Strategic change fails when the people implementing the change don’t know what they need to do differently in order to support the new strategy.  These disconnects create confusion, conflict, and stress, and put even the best people in a position to fail.

As a business owner or executive, you have to know how fast you can reasonably move.  It takes time, money and thought to design and build technology infrastructure, production facilities and distribution capability.  Similarly, it takes time to source, deploy and train talent.  This is even more true when your workforce requires special skills or credentials, or when your jobs are located in a talent-poor or highly competitive region.

The bottom line is that you need to know your business strategy, and the impact of that strategy, before you can create a meaningful workforce plan.  The focus of these discussions will be how best to align your talent with your business strategy.

Key Questions (Please post your comments):

  1. What challenges are you currently facing regarding how to align your talent with your business strategy?
  2. What techniques have you successfully used to align your talent with a change in your business strategy?
  3. What challenges are you currently facing in helping your teams understand what they need to do differently as a result of a change in strategy?
  4. What techniques have you successfully used to identify and communicate how a change in business strategy requires employees to do things differently?


Posted by:

Bill Accordino

Success Maps, Inc.


(732) 528-0320