Overtime Exemption and Sustainable Jobs? - Part I -

I am back after a long summer hiatuswith Breaking News today: The DOL has finally issued a final rule on overtime exemption, raising the minimum salary exemption level to $684 a week or $35,568 a year. This takes effect January 1st of 2020, a new year gift to employees and employers alike.
For the story, let's look back at my previous post on the subject of minimum wage, and at what other countries have in store. Where do we stand on the global scale with so called developed countries? However, first things first: what overtime exemption entails?
Defining Exemption
Overtime rules refer us to the  Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Basically, for any hours worked over 40 hours during the week, an employee paid under $684 a week will be entitled to overtime pay, that is 1.5 times his/her hourly wage. The new rule is expected to impact 1.3 million workers.
As a refresher and as a rule of thumb three tests are required to meet the exemption definition: The salary basis test: the worker mu…

Communication and Benefits

Let's Spring forward with March, the DD Awareness month, and dedicate a short time to a growing HR challenge: Healthcare and related matters.

Today, the burgeoning idea of a single-pay system found the spotlight. Changes are looming and businesses need to follow closely the subject: no need to be caught by surprise. Whether it will happen or not, HR needs to anticipate possible changes and reexamine benefits portfolios. Healthcare benefits have been on a roller coaster, from being voluntary  to quasi-mandated to possibly or potentially removed from employers' charges. According to a study by the Think Tank Kaiser Family Foundation supporters of a single-pay system rose to 55% in 2017 from a more modest 40% in 2000. Caution is however to be observed since when informed about the practical implications of such system, that number decreased by 21%, bringing up opponents to the system to a total of 60% to 62%.  However, opinions will very much take shape and swing following any com…


Life teaches us lessons in leadership on a global and personal scale as well, and branding is closely linked to leadership, as much as branding relies on communication. Lights on leadership can be dimmed or brightened depending on how communication is managed. It has been a challenging year to say the least, with its heavy share of highs and lows. So what life lessons can we take on this season of lights?

It is no secret: times have changed in pace and depth; with societal changes - call it evolution or revolution as you want -  we face extremely challenging situations. The older we are, the harder it is - no age discrimination intended - because the fact is that we have "learnt" and operated under different societal rules. Who says that change is easy? With the #meetoo -now global movement-, #green initiatives to say the least, and social media explosion, the communication game is trickier day by day. Communication is not a…

Can - Do People Trust HR?

August was by no means silent, only vacated. We are back ...

All things considered, I doubt that HR hears the whole story. I am also convinced that leadership cannot hear all voices in places where no formal HR exists, such as in smaller organizations or units of larger ones. On the other hand, I highly doubt that leaders hear any story that does not resonate with them. Indeed, do YOU want to know? The questions remain: what resonates with leaders and do people trust HR?

Can HR  Pull and Push Stories?In one organization, managers and high level employees would come to my office and sit down to chat while waiting for their turn to see a VP of the company. My office happened to be accross the hall from his, and I was accessible: we had an open door policy. And they would tell their stories: how and why they came to join the company, how they accepted the position, what their concerns were,  their personal passions or issues at the time, or at any time. It were moments of sharing and list…

Thoughts of July Celebration as HR Highlights Trading Places, People, and Services

This is July! It's hot as we celebrate the 1st of July in Canada, the 4th of July in the USA,  and the 14th in France!  And HR seats get hotter as we think of trading assets across borders.

Reading news and thoughts on the subject really brings me back to my Economics class! Today, the professor would be so happy because of the slew of information and thoughts on the subject; and most lead to the conclusion that this is not so much a cause for celebration for HR. And, yet, it is: we celebrate!
Globalization is neither bad, nor is it a banned word for the HR world: it is a living and ever-changing process. Basic principles of economics dating from thousands years ago introduced the notion that no group can grow without exchanges. So, let's just limit ourselves to two main thoughts: 1) Businesses have to accept exchanges if they think about sustainability, and 2) Exchanges are synonymous of partnership, collegiality, and as such, opposite to adversity.HR in a Global WorldIt is so …

Rethinking HR : Resources are Human Beings with Needs and Personal Lives

Do you consider yourself passionate about HR? I care equally about business interests/results and people matters. It is an enjoyable "juggling" or balancing act. It keeps you engaged. Unfortunately, concerns often conflict and it puts HR on a rough spot; it is a consistent reminder of our vulnerabilities as humans and professionals, regardless of our field of work.  It is also fair to say that among my other top interests are Fashion and Cooking. To me, both are synonymous of cultures in so many ways: both Fashion and Cooking/Cuisines tell you so much about a given society and/at a given time. It is a constant discovery, and stimulates creativity. It is also sharable.
Share Help ResourcesThis week's shock hit hard and so close to home with the tragic losses of Fashion icon Kate Spade and celebrity Chef  Anthony Bourdain. Please, refer to available sources for help@afspnational, or text “Talk” to 741741.I
They will be remembered for their outstanding , out- of-…

Privacy Matters: An HR Refresher for Business in Crisis

True, I have been silent for awhile, but here am I, reminding myself that from inadvertent chit chat to note trail, and let alone cyber security concerns, we need to remind ourselves that privacy is no matter of laugh or joke. It does matter, more than ever in HR, in these times where many businesses are struggling to find a balance between the need for HR presence and assumed better efficiency via automation. 

A few recent observations reminded me of how privacy is a constant work in progress, and that HR should stay heavily involved in the process, in training, information, communication, and enforcement. Ethics is no matter of joke or negligence: a timeless reference here. In flattened organizations however, the challenge is becoming a problem as all ends are loose in absence of HR. The strategic decision of eliminating HR is increasing HR_related risks. The situations can be simplistic but the risks are not that simple as it appears.

Scenario 1 - The Bubbly Employee: A client asked…