Department of Labor Announces New Overtime Rule

  We know many of you have been waiting for months to hear the DOL’s decision regarding the overtime rule. This morning the DOL announced a Final Rule to update the regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule will effect millions of previously classified exempt employees in the United States. The Anthros team is here to help our clients understand how this new rule affects your business and how you can prepare for and address it. The DOL covers the provisions of the new rule in this Fact Sheet on their website. The Key Provisions are also listed below. 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. 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. 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. 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. The Final Rule also 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... Read More

Are Your Employees Engaged?

How would you answer this question: are your employees engaged? Studies show that a huge chunk of workers in the United States are not engaged: more than 75 percent! And the cost is enormous. In the U.S. employee disengagement carries with it a price tag of $300-$500 billion dollars each year. So what does an engaged employee look like? • Enthusiastic. Committed. Heart and soul goes into their work • Mission oriented. Think in terms of “us” and what will further the interests of the organization • Works harder and more efficiently Employees who are engaged feel and convey pride in their work, and this enthusiasm fosters an environment of collaboration in the workplace. When employees are engaged, everyone is pushed to be a better employee. This is the result: • Fewer layoffs for poor performance • Employees come to work • Employees stay • Fewer on-the-job accidents and Human Resources problems Companies with engaged employees are more productive, more profitable and save big from their low rates of turnover. According to a Gallup study, companies with high levels of employee engagement are 400 percent more profitable than companies with disengaged employees. So how do you engage employees? Here’s what employees are looking for: • Recognition and appreciation for their contributions and a job done well • Open communication between managers, leadership and employees • Opportunities for advancement, longevity, mentorship and training Most executives say motiving employees is their greatest challenge. But what’s the cost of not motivating them? Much greater than the time and expense that goes into creating a comprehensive employee engagement strategy. At Anthros Inc. we... Read More

Unconditional Support: Treating Your Team Like Family

  Unconditional Support: Treating Your Team Like Family Should the saying, “in sickness and in health” only apply in a marriage? We don’t think so. Just as a family supports one another in times of need, a “work family” should do the same. At Anthros, we began asking the question, “What if individuals cared for their work families as much as they cared for their birth families? Imagine the impact it would have on the team member and overall organizational morale. Imagine the example it would set for corporate America. Imagine the effect it could have on humankind. At Anthros, we no longer wanted to imagine. Anthros Founder & CEO Anurag Dandiya recently announced that the company has placed $5,000 into the Anthros Family Emergency Fund (AFEF). No one can predict unforeseen emergencies, but when and if they occur, the financial impact can be a heavy burden to bear. A loss of a loved one, an auto accident, a serious illness, damage to a home, all of which may contribute to unexpected expenses. The financial burden on a team member may trickle out towards other members in forms of performance, morale or absenteeism. The Anthros Family Emergency Fund (AFEF) is a special fund designed to assist any Anthros team member who may need some extra “breathing room” in the event of financial or personal hardships. Establishing this fund can help team members in several ways: Provides support which creates a morale boost Gives team member a level of relief to better focus on Anthros responsibilities Maintains our “family” atmosphere Protects our most important asset- the Anthros team! Ultimately, the fund was designed to... Read More

Mr. Bill Edwards Joins Anthros, Inc. as Director of Legal Affairs

Mr. Bill Edwards has been appointed Director, Legal Affairs for Anthros Inc. Mr. Edwards has worked closely with the Anthros team since 2005 and has believed in the Anthros vision for nearly a decade. Prior to joining Anthros Inc, Mr. Edwards served Of Counsel in the Tampa office of Broad and Cassel. Mr. Edwards was a member of the Firm’s Commercial Litigation, Corporate and Securities and Labor and Employment Practice Groups.Prior to Broad and Cassel, Mr Edwards served as General Counsel and Director of Legal Services for a national Professional Employment Organization. As a member of the executive management team, he was a decision maker for complex commercial litigation strategy, regulatory issues, employment litigation and contracts. Edwards has significant experience managing corporate, commercial and employment practices liability insurance claims. Edwards has defended clients from charges of discrimination brought before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), various human rights commissions and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. He has also represented clients in wage claims before the Department of Labor. Edwards is well-versed in labor and employment law and provides EEOC compliance training and strategic advice for the human resources departments of organizations. Edwards received his Juris Doctor from Stetson University College of Law and his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Florida Southern College. While in college, he achieved many honors and served as commencement speaker for his graduating class. Mr. Edwards is an active member of various professional and community organizations, including FAPEO and NAPEO and has recently been selected to join the Legal Advisory Council for the National Association of Professional Employer Organizations (NAPEO). Edwards joins 41 other industry professionals from some... Read More

Gratitude

 Expressing gratitude to your employees does not have to cost a lot of money or take much time. Many organizations struggle with how to thank their employees for a year of hard work and dedication, particularly during times of financial difficulty. The good news is that as long as it is heartfelt, it does not have to break the bank. One way to thank your employees is to give them a little freedom during the day. If that hard working mom needs an extra hour at work to run a few errands or go Christmas shopping, the freedom to do so will go a long way. Encourage your employees to step away from their desk each month to enjoy a meal with their child at school, spend some time at the gym or even volunteer at a local charity. Encouraging personal and professional development will undoubtedly create a more inspired, engaged and happier workforce. Hosting a holiday potluck lunch at the office is another way to express gratitude toward your employees. For example, Anthros recently joined together for our first annual Thanksgiving luncheon. The company provided the turkey and team members contributed side dishes. It allowed us to take the time to sit together, share the things in our life for which we were thankful, and enjoy a meal as a family, not just as colleagues. It was cherished time together and a celebration enjoyed by all. Additional gestures of gratitude may include gifting your employees a subscription to their favorite magazine, or perhaps providing a gift certificate to the local grocery store. The monetary amount associated with the... Read More

The Future of 401(k) and Social Security

How do we get a larger potion of the work force to think about the future? Approximately half of large companies offer retirement plans and only about 10% of their employees participate. Should retirement savings be forced on employees? The Administration’s latest initiative would expand automatic enrollment in 401(k) and other retirement savings plans to make it easier for companies, especially those smaller and midsize firms lagging behind their larger counterparts, to sign up their workers and decide whether and how much they should save for retirement Under these plans, employers deposit a set percentage of each employee’s paycheck into his or her retirement account, and the worker could opt out or invest a different amount. The Government initiative will make it easier for employers of all sizes to adopt automatic enrollment by allowing them to rely on pre-approved language issued by the IRS. Currently, plan sponsors typically must first get the agency’s written approval to amend their plans. While this idea may not excite lower income workers, recent research has found automatic enrollment programs go a long way toward helping the nearly 78 million Americans who don’t have a retirement savings plan at work. The Administration says there’s a clear need because fewer than 10% of those without a plan at work formally save for retirement on their own. Another option would be for workers under a certain age to opt out of social security and put the same percentage (or more) in a 401(k) retirement plan. The laws would have to change; under the present social security system, the government prevents the contributions from unconditionally being passed... Read More