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Archive for June, 2019

MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE – JULY 2019

State Map w-Increases_Title

 

The U.S. Federal minimum wage has not increased since July 2009, however, many states, cities, and counties have decided to vote into law their own increase in the minimum wage.  Some states have decided to gradually increase their minimum wage to $15.00 per hour over the course of several years.  While most of the wage increases occur at the beginning of the year, other wage increases occur throughout 2019, with TWO states initiating an increase on July 1.

 

There are only FOUR states and the District of Columbia that will increase their minimum wage post the increases that occurred on
January 1, 2019; they include the following:

  • DELAWARE – $9.25/hour, effective 10/1/2019
  • MICHIGAN – $9.45/hour, effective 3/29/2019
  • NEW JERSEY, effective 7/1/2019
    • $10.00/hour (large employer of 6 or more employees)
    • $8.85 (small employers of 5 or fewer employees & seasonal employers)
  • OREGON, effective 7/1/2019
    • $11.25/hour, Urban counties
    • $12.50/hour, Portland metro
    • $11.00/hour, Nonurban counties
  • WASHINGTON DC, effective 7/1/2019
    • $14.00/hour

An overview of the states, cities, or counties which have minimum wage increases beginning July 1, 2018 include:

  • California – Not statewide; increases in the following cities:
    • Alameda
    • Berkeley
    • Daly City
    • Emeryville
    • Fremont
    • Long Beach
    • Los Angeles City
    • Los Angeles County, Unincorporated
    • Malibu
    • Milpitas
    • Oakland
    • Pasadena
    • San Francisco (city and county)
    • San Leandro
    • Santa Monica
  • Illinois – Not statewide, two local jurisdictions:
    • Chicago
    • Cook County
  • Maine
    • Portland 
  • Maryland – Not statewide; one county:
    • Montgomery County
  • Minnesota – Not statewide:
    • City of Minneapolis
  • New Mexico – Not statewide:
    • City of Santa Fe
    • Santa Fe County

For more detailed information click here:  MINIMUM WAGE CHART.  Review the state-specific tabs for detailed information on the city wage increases.

At WageWatch our compensation consultants are focused on your organization’s compensation needs and ready to help you ensure that your compensation programs are supporting your company’s business strategy and objectives. WageWatch also offers accurate, up-to-date benefit surveys, salary surveys and pay practices data that will allow you to stay current with the times. This information is highly beneficial in creating the best salary and benefits packages that meet or rival the industry standards. For more information on our services, including consulting, salary survey data, benefit survey data and market compensation reports, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.

 

 

Posted in Wage Forecast on June 12th, 2019 · Comments Off on MINIMUM WAGE UPDATE – JULY 2019

TO CHECK OR NOT TO CHECK: A BACKGROUND CHECK PRIMER

Background CheckThere are many types of background checks available to HR professionals that can be conducted in-house or externally by vendors who specialize in employment screenings.  HR professionals should take a strategic view of onboarding as a process.  By doing so, several layers of checks and screenings are implemented to best reduce new hire risks.  It is the old adage that the result is more than the sum of its parts.

New hire selection process starts with the job advertisement or announcement.  The announcement needs to be designed to attract specific skills and behaviors while discouraging those without the requisite skills.  Posting in the advertisement that the position requires a drug test or criminal background check is a potent deterrent.  Those still interested should be directed to a job application that captures information that will form the groundwork for the pre-employment screenings in the next recruitment phase.

The EEOC enforces Title VII of the Civil Rights Act; Age Discrimination Act; Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act; Equal Pay Act; and Title II of the Genetic Information Act.  Employers are welcome to use all manner of pre-employment screenings if they comply with EEOC standards.  None of these Acts directly prohibit employment discrimination based on credit information, conviction records, previous employment, education, or psychological/behavioral profiles.  However, the EEOC has a published a Compliance Manual and provides guidance on a number of pre-employment scenarios, because of the disparate impact facially neutral policies can have on these numerous protected classes.

This is the tightrope that causes many HR professionals to gloss over background checks out of fear of inadvertently triggering an EEOC investigation.  What you don’t know, can hurt you.  HR has a duty to the company to traverse this tightrope and understand the often gray and contradictory playing field (between state and federal guidelines) in which they conduct pre-employment screenings.

Criminal Background Checks – Treat each criminal record individually in the context of the job sought, work environment and conditions, and risk to the organization.  Ask the candidate about the situation. Deliberate omission and lies can be used a basis to disqualify the candidate.

Credit Check – Most commonly used for positions that have are executive level, have financial responsibility, or have access to confidential information such as social security numbers to reduce the risk of theft or embezzlement.  Allow candidates the opportunity to explain negative results as some reasons, such as medical bills, are protected.

Physical/Medical Exam – This screening is allowed only after a conditional offer of employment is extended and is used in specific jobs that require a proof of fitness in order to safely perform duties.  All candidates in the job category are required to have the same medical examination.  The candidate medical history is confidential and must be kept separate from employment records.  HR professionals need to keep in mind that the medical examiner does not make the final hiring decision.

Motor Vehicle Record – This is a critical check for positions that are required to operate a company vehicle as part of the job requirement.  In some states, DUI convictions are kept with the DMV not the criminal court system.  There are vendors that make multi-state verification easier by consolidating searches.

Work & Education History – Past performance is a strong indicator of future performance.  The goal of the work history and education background check is to establish that the glowing resume represented to the recruiter is factual and accurate.  On education, check with the governing body on the authenticity of the degree.  We recommend asking for full transcripts for recent graduates with a short work history.

As a company, it is important for you to understand the new regulations set forth by the EEOC and implement them in your hiring and workplace practices.  Additionally, for the good of your employees, it is helpful to analyze benefits survey data, compensation surveys, and salary reports.  Having this information at hand allows you to plan a budget, including competitive employee salaries and benefits, which will help you to hire and retain a happy, talented team.

At WageWatch, our expert evaluators provide businesses in a large range of industries with accurate and beneficial benefits survey data, compensation surveys, and salary reports to ensure that payment and benefits plans are on par with those in the industry.  For more information on market compensation data, please call WageWatch at 888-330-9243 or contact us online.