What will the Trump administration do with the FLSA?

I wrote this post on April 10th. Since then there has been yet another change. The hearing on this is now delayed until June 30th. The Trump administration has pointed out to the court that the Department of Labor does not yet have a leader. Daniel Acosta has yet to be confirmed by the Senate. According to an article from SHRM, Overtime Reply Brief Delayed Until June 30, the hearing could go a couple of ways. It could just be uncontested and die from the point of view of the Trump administration. However, this would open the door for the Texas AFL-CIO to step in and context the stay. They have a large stake in this, because if the increase occurs they stand to gain a lot of potential union nonexempt targets. Many people think the DOL should continue with hearing and change the salary level to something, $33,000, considered to be more reasonable than $47,476. We will have to wait and see now on June 30th. I am sure this will be a topic of discussion at the SHRM conference in New Orleans. 

As most of you know last December 1, 2016 the salary level that qualified an employee as being considered an exempt employee was supposed to increase. It did not. On November 22, 2015 a Texas judge issued an injunction to stop the increase from going into effect.  According to the National Law ReviewAs expected, on December 1, 2016, the Department of Justice (then under the President Obama administration), on behalf of the DOL, filed a notice with the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to appeal the order. The DOL sought to fast-track the appeal, asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals for an expedited schedule.  The Fifth Circuit initially granted the request, and issued an order to expedite the legal arguments, with the DOL’s reply brief to be filed by February 7, 2017.” But then we had a change in administration! As a result the new administration filed for an extension to allow the new leadership of the DOL to figure out what they would want to do about pursing the stay. The Fifth Circuit granted them a delay until May 1, 2017.

Horns of a Dilemma

May 1, now June 30th,  provides the Trump Administration with a looming dilemma. What is the Department of Labor going to do under a president who in his past has touted himself as being pro-labor and worker friendly, but is currently pro-business? Some people have suggested that the exempt salary level will go up, but not as steeply as was suggested by the Obama DOL, an increase from $23,660 to $47,476. Perhaps someone will suggest a compromise at a more palatable $35,000 per year. Would this assuage both sides? Perhaps, though for some companies that would still be a tough pill to swallow, but for many other companies, that would be an attractive amount to deal with. It would become more palatable if nonprofits got a break from that increase, perhaps an even smaller increase.

We will have to wait and see what happens at the end of this month.


A Lesson from Drucker: Managing your boss

by Michael Haberman on April 26, 2017 · 0 comments

A management lesson from Peter Drucker.

From the Archive:


Everyone has a boss. Many of us have several. Often we would like to have better ones, but if you can’t trade in the boss you can attempt to make the ones you have better. How do you do that? Peter Drucker has some guidance for that process.

The boss list

He said the first step in managing your bosses is to make a list of everyone you to whom you are accountable. This list will include everyone who appraises your work and everyone on whom you depend to make your work effective.

The second step in the process it to go to each of these people and ask the question “What do I do that helps you do your job?” Then ask “What do I do that hampers you and makes life more difficult for you?”

The goal

The goal of this process is to enable each of those bosses to “perform as unique individuals according to their working styles.” You want to make each of them feel comfortable that you are “playing to their strengths and safeguarding them from their limitations and weaknesses.” In other words the best way for you to look good is to make them look good.

This may take some guts for many of you. It will hinge on the relationship you have with your boss. But if you can’t do this then it is an indication this relationship needs to be worked on.


Walking meetings can be productive and beneficial.

Today’s post is written by Robert Brown. Robert writes about running, quality footwear and other sports related topics for Runabees – a website dedicated to running and quality footwear. When he is not running or writing, he is relaxing at home with his family and friends.

If you are like many of us who spend their work day sitting on a desk, you may have noticed how at some point of the work day you begin feeling sluggish, tired and less motivated to work.

There are studies which show that implementing an exercise at work program can help increase your productivity. If you are a business owner or manager, it could really help your business if you add some incentives for the employees to exercise during the work hours. Exercise helps relieve stress and helps the employees to stay active and productive. There are several ways to do that.

Add more breaks during the work day

More breaks will actually promote increased productivity and employee engagement, according to a number of studies. Encourage shorter breaks throughout the day when your employees can step out of the office, or enjoy a cup of coffee or snack during the day. Taking walks will also help the employees stay fresh and efficient. Increase the length of your lunch break, so that your employees can have time to eat and then enjoy some outdoor time or other activity which will help reduce the work related stress and anxiety.

Think about organizing walking meetings

Take your employees outside and organize a walking meeting instead of sticking them in the conference room. This has proven to increase productivity, boost creativity and help improve their problem solving skills. Getting out of the office can do wonders for your business.

Install standing desks

Add some standing desks for your employees, so that they can get up from their desks, improve their posture and their blood circulation and help them burn more calories. You will find that more employees will be willing to try out this new trendy option, and that they will find it more enjoyable than being stuck behind their desks from 9 to 5.

Organize team building exercises and athletic events

You can promote increased activity by organizing your own corporate teams and participate in various athletic events such as soccer, baseball, tennis, marathons or any other sport. This is a fun way to improve the morale and the fitness level of your employees. Happy and healthy employees are more productive ones! Reward the top teams with sporting event tickets, sports shoes or fitness trackers to further nurture their love of sport.

You can offer gym discounts for the employees

Add a discount for a local gym or for other fitness options to your work benefit package. You can offer your employees to get 25% off of the fees for the fitness option of their choice, be it Pilates, yoga, a cycling class or other alternative forms of staying active. This will encourage more people to join some local fitness programs, which will help keep them fit and healthy and will also show that you care about their wellbeing.

Promote challenges in your office

Encourage your employees to cycle or walk to work and to take the stairs instead of the elevator. Get them fitness trackers and promote a challenge for making more steps. Set up an award system for the weekly or monthly winners to encourage your employees to exercise more.

There are a multitude of other possibilities

Add a tennis table to your office, organize group training, build a small in-office gym, or use any other way to keep your employees active and happy. Cheer them at sports events and encourage them to try out new fitness and sports activities. Make sure you brainstorm them and take suggestions from them for events and activities which you can add to your work schedule. You will see how in time, the employees will feel happier, more highly valued and respected. They will become closer and will start working as a better team – both during the sports events and when at work.

Photo credit: pixabay.com/en/urban-people-crowd-citizens-438393/


Global Skills-Jobs Gap

by Michael Haberman on April 24, 2017 · 0 comments

What are the world’s governments and businesses going to do about education?

Today’s post is a reproduction, with permission, of The Herman Group newsletter. I found this information startling. 

The other day we interviewed futurist, Edward Gordon, PhD, author of Future Jobs: Solving the Employment and Skills Crisis. Gordon shared a great deal of up-to-date information about the global gap between jobs employers need to fill and the skilled workers to fill them.

Germany: shrinking population and failing educational system

Though Germany’s population is shrinking by 100,000 people/year, the country has the premier dual system of education in the world—separating those students who are best fit for the trades and those who are college bound. The problem is that dual system is failing. Like the situation in the United States, the trades are not respected. Parents are pushing their children to go to university. Apart from Badden-Wittenberg and Bavaria, their system is simply not working. As if that were not enough, they have a shortage of 100,000 engineers.

China’s technological and economic challenges

As China is struggling to move from cheap, mass-produced goods to higher-priced goods, they are transitioning to more sophisticated production facilities, which require more highly skilled workers. The reputed lack of quality control speaks to the fact that the Chinese lack an adequate educational system to support their great leap forward. All this change is happening against a backdrop of a slowed economy.

India: a thriving economy with a weak educational system

Unfortunately, though India’s economy is growing (over 7 percent rise in GDP), its greatly expanded university system has resulted in colleges and universities becoming diploma mills. Moreover, its elementary and secondary school system is weaker than China’s. Most graduates simply do not have the knowledge and skills Indian companies are looking for.

The US is not doing any better

Gordon reports:

“The skills gap in the United States is serious. The impending retirements of 20 million baby boomers by 2020 will add to this gap. According the National Association of Home Builders, about 200,000 construction jobs are unfilled nationwide. There are now 500,000 IT and computer science jobs, 600,000 unfilled high-end manufacturing jobs, and at least 700,000 vacant nursing positions according to surveys conducted by their professional associations. Both Boeing and Airbus are struggling to find enough trained aerospace technicians to ease their gigantic backlog of unfilled aircraft orders. Many communities have started RETAINs (Regional Talent Innovation Networks) which are public-private partnerships focused on rebuilding regional education-to-employment delivery systems.”

South Korea: the exception

“South Korea is an economic and education miracle of major proportions.” Its population is highly educated and its students compete very well on OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) global tests (9th in the world in reading performance). However, now even Korea has a shortage of engineers, and many of its young people are so addicted to computer games, there are now boot camps to help them break free.

What are the solutions?

Start early: introduce your careers to students in elementary schools; encourage schools to tour your facilities. Consider mentoring promising high school students. Offer scholarships and tie them to internships and on the job training. Companies also need to work with their local school systems and the technical colleges to ensure that the educational institutions are producing employable graduates.

From “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or http://www.hermangroup.com. Visithttp://www.HermanTrendAlert.com to sign up.  The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.”


Future Friday: AI is not as perfect or unbiased as you may think

by Michael Haberman April 21, 2017

Tweet The push toward the use of “people analytics” in HR is ever increasing. More and more HR departments are using analytics. According to People Analytics: Recalculating the Route “…71% of companies see people analytics as a high priority in their organizations.” Companies see this as being so important that in some organizations the use […]

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Companies planning on more foreign workers per CareerBuilder survey

by Michael Haberman April 20, 2017

Tweet Despite the hullaballoo over the immigration policy of the Trump administration employers are not put off their hiring of immigrants according to a survey by CareerBuilder. Fully one third, 33%, of employers will be hiring foreign workers in 2017. Industry and jobs What I find interesting about the survey is the diversity of industries […]

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Comp time for non-exempt workers? Has its time come?

by Michael Haberman April 19, 2017

Tweet Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when a nonexempt employee works overtime the law requires that any time worked more than 40 hours in a week be paid in cash at the rate of 1.5 hours for every hour worked. What if there was a way to allow employees to take that pay […]

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A #SHRM17 interview with Ryan Estis on Rethinking HR

by Michael Haberman April 18, 2017

Tweet One of the most popular presentations at the SHRM conference in Washington, D. C. in 2016 was that of Ryan Estis, speaking about Rethinking HR- The future of work and HR. Ryan was asked to return to #SHRM17 and present a Mega Session on this topic. This session will be on Monday, June 19 […]

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A brief lesson from Peter Drucker on picking people

by Michael Haberman April 17, 2017

Tweet Peter Drucker, management guru extraordinaire, tell the story of General George C. Marshall, who had a remarkable record of putting people in the right job at the right time during World War II. Marshall appointed approximately 600 people into positions, most had never commanded troops, and he ended up almost without a failure. Why […]

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Future Friday: Gary Kushner at #SHRM17 and Five Global Trends Impacting HR Strategy

by Michael Haberman April 14, 2017

Tweet In anticipation of #SHRM17 I had an opportunity to talk to Gary Kushner about his session, which will be held on Tuesday, June 20 at 10:45 am. The full title of his presentation is The Changing Nature of Work and the Worker: Five Global Trends Impacting HR Strategy. At #SHRM2013 I attended Gary’s session […]

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