Month: June 2016

DOL Rules – What You Need to Know

by Stacy Stolen

Real Value Consulting/VolkBell Insurance

The rules are here … now what?


Here’s What You Need to Know

Anyone earning less than $913.00 per week; or $47, 476 annualized base:
• Is now (most likely) entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked over 40 in a week
• Is now required to track and account for all hours worked within respective time keeping periods

How you make and communicate required adjustments to an individual’s current salaried compensation is up to you, and there are several options you might consider. Here are five simple steps you must take now to comply with the FLSA’s latest changes, and make sure you stay in compliance in the years ahead.
1. Increase salaries of current exempt employees to more than $913 per week or $47,476 per year. Exempt employees earning more than that will not be entitled to overtime.

2. Reduce bonuses for exempt employees whose overall compensation exceeds the new minimums. Increase salaries by the bonus amounts.

3. Reclassify exempt employees as nonexempt and pay them hourly. Of course, you will still have to pay overtime when they work more than 40 hours per week.

4. Reclassify exempt employees and pay them on a commission or fluctuating-workweek basis. Consult your attorney to learn more about the fluctuating workweek system, which pays a salary to nonexempt employees whose schedules vary from week to week.

5. Increase staffing levels to eliminate unnecessary overtime.

You can be assured that the DOL, which has already increased its investigative force by 33% since 2010, will put employers under even more scrutiny in 2017 by visiting many employers and auditing; be sure to reach out if you need more information!

DOL Labor Standards Changes

by Stacy Stolen

Real Value Consulting/VolkBell Insurance

On May 18, 2016 The U.S. Department of Labor released its final rule regarding the changes to the overtime threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Among other things, the Department has doubled the minimum salary needed to qualify for these exemptions, from the previous level of $455 a week (or $23,660 a year) to $913 a week (or $47,476 a year).


Key Provisions of the Final Rule

The Final Rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levels needed for Executive, Administrative and Professional workers to be exempt. Specifically, the Final Rule:

  1. 1. Sets the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of earnings of full-time salaried workers in the lowest-wage Census Region, currently the South ($913 per week; $47,476 annually for a full-year worker);
  2. 2. Sets the total annual compensation requirement for highly compensated employees (HCE) subject to a minimal duties test to the annual equivalent of the 90th percentile of full-time salaried workers nationally ($134,004); and
  3. 3. Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every three years to maintain the levels at the above percentiles and to ensure that they continue to provide useful and effective tests for exemption.

Additionally, the Final Rule amends the salary basis test to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) to satisfy up to 10 percent of the new standard salary level.

The effective date of the final rule is December 1, 2016. The initial increases to the standard salary level (from $455 to $913 per week) and HCE total annual compensation requirement (from $100,000 to $134,004 per year) will be effective on that date. Future automatic updates to those thresholds will occur every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020.

For more details:
https://www.dol.gov/featured/overtime


Streamlined Processes at the Development Center

by Mary Ann Huffines     
   
 
Seeking residential or commercial building services in Loveland, CO? Head to the Fire Administration Building located at 410 E. 5th Street in Loveland. You will find Fire Administration on the second floor, but the building has a new name, the Development Center. The Development Center (DC) will unite Loveland’s planning, permitting and inspection functions. If it is related to building in Loveland, you should be able to find assistance at this new center.
During the Development Center Open House and Ribbon Cutting Ceremony on Friday, June 10, 2016, Brett Limbaugh spoke about the new streamlined processes that are now in place for building development and review. There was an impressive gathering of local officials, community partners and citizens to celebrate the opening of the DC. Brett, a Colorado native, was Director of Community Planning and Development Services for Rapid City, South Dakota and replaced Greg George as Loveland’s Development Services Director in March, 2016.
I had the opportunity to meet Brett at the Open House and he offered the following tips to best utilize the services of the DC:
“The best advice I would give to a prospective property purchaser or lessee would be to come in and talk with one of the planning staff regarding their business and the property or properties they are interested in buying or leasing. Apart from the basic building and zoning requirements we can also research past building permit and zoning applications to determine if there are any specific issues with the use or reuse of a property. Planners can produce a formal “Zoning Verification Letter” upon request detailing whether the use is allowed, not allowed or may require a specific application and approval process. This service will dramatically improve the due diligence phase for any property transaction and development or redevelopment.
Our new Development Center is designed to facilitate the process by combining the planning, building, transportation development, and fire district plan review processes and staff in a single location.
Our new process has eliminated the need for paper submittals of building and land use applications which can now be submitted and reviewed using electronic files.
Staff has recently hired a consultant to assist in re-writing and consolidating our annexation, zoning, and subdivision codes into a single “Unified Development Code.” This process will take approximately 18 months to complete but will be targeted at simplifying and streamlining our code and application processes. Staff will also be making several quick fixes to our code in the next several months to expedite the adoption of streamlined procedures.”

     
One of the first things I noticed when I entered the DC was the impressive logo on the t-shirts that all staff members were wearing. The logo for the Development Center was designed by Andrea Maxwell of Speakeasy Studios.

A draw to the DC Open House was the dedication of the 18’ x 7’8” wall mural, “Creating Loveland,” by artist Daryl Thetford. Daryl grew up in Bradford, TN and currently lives in Chattanooga, TN. The mural was created on four aluminum panels with three coats of high gloss varnish and includes historic buildings and vintage painted advertisements on the sides of Loveland buildings.
It warmed my heart to see Nikki Garshelis, Business Services Coordinator for Development Services, roving through the crowd. Nikki was giving tours to attendees, making introductions and being a spectacular ambassador for both the DC and the City of Loveland. She began working with the City of Loveland in 2006. Nikki has been a colleague of mine for seven years and I rely on her for her vast knowledge of the services that the City of Loveland provides and information on key staff members.

The Most Common Business Mistakes to Avoid



The Most Common Business Mistakes to Avoid

Tuesday, July 19, 2016
5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Loveland Center for Business Development
5400 Stone Creek Circle, Loveland, CO 80538

              +               

Join us for another great regional event! The East Colorado and Larimer SBDC are excited to host Coan, Payton & Payne’s, Brett Payton and Bill Garcia. Attendees will learn how to avoid common business pitfalls during this interactive two hour session. Join us, plan big, and continue to better your business practices!

Business owners are busy! We spend our days planning, creating, and innovating. In general, time is spent “getting the job done.”

The corporate form, bylaws, meeting minutes, and even contracts can be missed in the rush to do business. What a business owner says to employees, customers, and the world in general can have far reaching and unanticipated results.

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