Have “The Talk” With Your Employees
You’re likely in the midst (or at least should be!) of analyzing what changes need to be made to employee classifications and wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) before the December 1st deadline. You’re analyzing job descriptions, identifying whose salaries need to be bumped up to meet the new $47,476 threshold, deciding who should be reclassified, and analyzing how to better manage overtime. But don’t forget the most important pieces of this plan – your employees.
Changes to employees' pay could have a significant impact on their lives and they deserve to understand when and why the changes will take effect. Develop a communication plan to minimize the impact on morale. If employees have to start punching a clock, the good news is that they can earn overtime or be able to leave in time to make it home for dinner. For those workers who may have their hours or overtime reduced, early communication is recommended to allow them sufficient time to adjust their household budgets or to look for part-time employment on weekends to earn supplemental income. And of course, there will be those who will receive a bump in salary, which is always welcomed news!
But don’t just explain all of this in a written memo that gets distributed in your employees' paychecks around Thanksgiving. Plan to meet with your employees IN PERSON and far in advance of December 1st. Explain how you have been deliberate and thoughtful in this analytical and complicated process. Explain that the changes in the law apply to almost all employers in the country, not just your company. And explain why the change may be impacting the individual who is sitting across the table from you. After the face-to-face explanation, then send the written memo.
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