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Ignorance Is Not Bliss: It’s Time To Enact A Meaningful Sexual Harassment Policy

Posted By Kristi Feist, Payday HCM, Thursday, March 8, 2018


Each day more and more women come forward to share their stories of abuse within the workplace. People are listening.

As women become more emboldened to speak up and as the public becomes more receptive to listening, employers have more to worry about than just the legal repercussions. In the year 2018, merely an accusation could end a career, or even bring down a business. Thus, it is more important now than ever for employers to implement workplace procedures for preventing harassment and properly handling accusations.

Addressing sexual harassment requires first understanding what it looks like. It might surprise you to know that harassment is likely much broader than you think. In general there are two types of sexual harassment—quid pro quo and hostile work environment.

Sexual harassment falls under the category of sex discrimination, which is impermissible under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. To be actionable under Title VII, the conduct must be “sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim’s employment and create an abusive working environment.” Meritor Sav. Bank v. Vinson, 477 U.S. 57, 67 (1986). A worker need not suffer an adverse economic effect to meet this standard. Rather, the focus is on the unwelcome nature of the behavior.

Thus, even conduct that appears to be tolerated by a subordinate or coworker may constitute sexual harassment if the advances are unwelcome. Considering that the courts struggle with the concept of unwelcome versus welcome conduct, employers and their supervisors should hesitate to assume that seemingly innocent behavior is ok with a female (or even a male) colleague.

When employers receive a complaint of sexual harassment, they must act. In the current climate, the public will not accept a company’s claim of ignorance. Sticking your head in the sand is no longer a viable option when a woman comes to you to say “me too.”



Payday HCM offers comprehensive on-site HR Consulting Services to help you navigate sexual harassment claims, and proactively create policy to manage your work environments. Our experts can provide you with a complete suite of services, including:

  • Handbook and policy formulation
  • EEOC Manager Training
  • Harassment and discrimination investigations
  • Risk mitigation
  • Interactive trainings on the responsibilities and requirements or managers
  • Interactive trainings on the responsibilities and rights of employees


Payday HCM is available on-call and at your location to advise management and employees on subjects such as disciplinary actions, terminations, unemployment claims, performance improvement, federal and state audits, FLSA, FMLA, ADA, ADEA, EEO, Workers’ Compensation, and other applicable regulations and laws. We work with our clients to resolve any employee related issues and maintain compliance with employee related documents:

Contact our HR Consulting Team today at


Tags:  Business  HR  Human Resources  Policy  Small Business 

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What You Need to Know About Overtime!

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Monday, June 26, 2017


If your employees work more than 40 hours per 7-day workweek they may be entitled to overtime pay. New overtime rules were set to take effect late in 2016. These regulations would have expanded the number of employees eligible to receive overtime pay but they are currently tied up in federal court. It is vital that you observe the current regulations to avoid potential fines or litigation. If you have questions about state or federal overtime rules, contact your LegalShield provider law firm.

  • Current Rules - Federal overtime regulations are part of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA entitles employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek to one and one-half times their regular pay rate. If your business has, “an annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more” you are required to pay overtime. All schools, hospitals, medical facilities and public agencies are required to pay overtime. Click here to determine whether FLSA applies to your business.
  • State Regulations - Many states set additional rules for overtime pay. California, for example, requires overtime for those who work more than 8 hours in a day and double pay for those who work more than 12 hours in a day. Other states set specific thresholds for businesses that must comply with overtime rules. Arkansas requires employers with more than 4 employees to pay overtime. Click here to view a map highlighting current state overtime laws. It is important to understand both the federal and states regulations where you do business.
  • Exempt Employees – There are exemptions for some executive, administrative, computer professionals and other professional service employees.

From the Department of Labor:

A. Currently, to qualify for exemption, a white-collar employee generally must:

  1. be salaried, meaning that they are paid a predetermined and fixed salary that is not subject to reduction because of variations in the quality or quantity of work performed (the "salary basis test");
  2. be paid at least a specific salary threshold, which is $455 per week (the equivalent of $23,660 annually for a full-year employee) in existing regulations (the "salary level test"); and
  3. primarily perform executive, administrative, or professional duties, as provided in the Department's regulations (the "duties test").

Certain employees are not subject to either the salary basis or salary level tests (for example, doctors, teachers, and lawyers).

  • New Rules from 2016 – Overtime exemption thresholds were set to nearly double in December of 2016; however, the new rule is currently tied up in court. There is a great deal of speculation about the fate of the new rule with many expecting a change in direction from the new administration. The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would allow certain employers to offer comp time instead of overtime pay. The bill still must pass the Senate but it is yet another sign that changes are coming. It is important for all businesses to follow these changes carefully.  If you have any questions, contact your LegalShield provider law firm or Kenyatta Turner at 602-367-1069 or

Tags:  Accounting  business owners  business resources  business risk  business services  employees  Employers  Hiring  HR  human resources  labor  legal  legal services  management  small biz  small business  small business owner  startup  tax  wage hour lawsuits  women-owned business 

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4 Common Company Problems and Solutions That Demand Attention

Posted By Gabriel Salcido, Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, January 8, 2016
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Tips For Managing Generation Z Employees in the Workplace

Posted By Margaret Jacoby SPHR, MJ Management Solutions, Inc., Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In previous articles on Traditionalists, Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y/Millennials, we’ve highlighted the characteristics and best management strategies for these generations of workers. Now we turn our focus to Generation Z.

While employers have been working hard to understand and appreciate their Generation Y workers for years, now they have an entirely new generation to engage with: Generation Z employees. Generation Z, much like the Millennials, aren’t always easy to figure out. And if you aren’t doing what you can to tap into and leverage their unique contributions, you may find it difficult to retain these highly valuable employees.

Generation Z workers are essentially the future of your company. While they likely don’t hold important positions in your business yet, you can groom them so they are ready to take on those roles in the future. They can teach smaller businesses how to create an impression on customers and have the impact of a much larger company. They also adopt new technology faster than before and set the pace for what everyone wants but doesn’t know how to voice.

Who Are Generation Z Workers?

Generation Z employees were born between 1995 and 2012. Right now they comprise about 7 percent of the workforce, but by 2019 it is estimated that 30 million will be employed. This generation has grown up with uncertainty and often has more radical differences than the other generations. (Click to Tweet)

Generation Z employees are highly energetic and enthusiastic, but many lack the social skills you would expect from employees—including those who entered the workforce at a young age.

What Generation Z Workers Expect From Management

Generation Z workers typically connect via smartphones and other portable devices. They like information at their fingertips at all times, and don’t handle it well when they have to wait to receive an answer. They are used to constant streams of data, which means they expect management to provide them with instant access to the information they need.

While Generation Z workers are high maintenance, they’re good employees as long as their unique needs are met. (Click to Tweet)

Tips for Managing Generation Z Employees

To bring this generation of workers up and help them grow within your company, you must:

  • Create high-intensity relationships: They react better to highly defined, small workgroups that have a strong peer leader. There must be an easy to identify chain of command when it comes to management. They respond best to managers that teach while leading.
  • Invest in training: Generation Z workers may need more training, especially in the area of interpersonal and communication skills. If they’re entering customer service positions, create a training program that focuses on behavior—showing them the right skills and communication techniques to fulfill the role of their job.
  • Provide lots of awards: This generation has grown up used to rewards for even the smallest accomplishment. To encourage performance and growth, offer periodical rewards and continue redesigning the rewards to meet the changing expectations.
  • Offer dream positions: Generation Z workers thrive on opportunity. If you want to keep them interested and motivated at your company, show them their dream position is within your business and help them work toward getting there.

Generation Z workers are complex, challenging, and entrepreneurial. By understanding what makes them tick and customizing your management of them, you can keep your workers for the long-term. Learn more about how to effectively retain all generations of your workforce by getting your copy of Practical Tools to Manage Costly Employee Turnover today.

Subscribe to Tips and Tools, our weekly newsletter that provides human resources tips to grow your small business.

Margaret Jacoby, SPHR, is the founder and president of MJ Management Solutions, a human resources consulting firm that provides small businesses with a wide range of virtual and onsite HR solutions to meet their immediate and long-term needs. From ensuring legal compliance to writing customized employee handbooks to conducting sexual harassment training, businesses depend on our expertise and cost-effective human resources services to help them thrive.

Let’s connect: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook | Google+

Tags:  HR  human resources  small business 

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Division of Child Support Services: Reporting Newly Hired Employees

Posted By Elizabeth Thomas, Division of Child Support Services, Wednesday, March 4, 2015

New hire reporting is mandated by law in all 50 states and is essential to helping children receive the support they deserve. One of the main goals of new hire reporting legislation is to make it as easy as possible for employers to comply. Federal and state statute requires that all employers report newly-hired, re-hired and temporary employees to a state directory of New Hires within 20 days of their hire date.

All employers are required to report the following information:

  • Employer’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
  • Employer’s Name
  • Employer’s Full Address
  • Employee’s Name (First, Middle, Last)
  • Employee’s Full Address
  • Employee’s Social Security Number
  • Employee’s Start Date (Date the employee works for wages)

The benefits of employers reporting newly hired, re-hired and temporary employees are: 

  • Expedites collection of child support from parents who change jobs frequently
  • Locates parents to assist in establishing paternity and child support orders.
  • Reduces welfare fraud by detecting unlawful/erroneous public assistance payments, workers compensation and unemployment over-payments.

Employers are a key partner in ensuring the financial stability of many children and families and should take pride in their integral role. On behalf of Arizona’s children, we thank you for your partnership in new hire reporting.


For more information on the various and easy ways to report new hires, please visit or contact Elizabeth Thomas at (602) 771-6291 or by email at to sign up to attend one of our monthly Employer Seminars.

Tags:  Arizona  Child Support  Employers  HR  Legal 

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Who is Your Best Employee?

Posted By Jilly Jesson Smyth, Dr.D, Legal Shield, Worldwide Cyber Security, Friday, February 27, 2015
Could You Imagine...
You are on deadline, have a location full of clients or customers and your best employee has been pulled over because of identity theft or an accident on the road and their transportation is impounded or towed. 
Would that impact your business? 
I can help, 
Call or contact me to set a brief free phone consultation.
Everything is NEW!
Jilly Jesson Smyth, Dr.D

Tags:  accidents  emergency  Employee Benefits  employees  HR  insurance 

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Division of Child Support Services: Helping Employers Understand their Legal Requirements

Posted By Elizabeth Thomas, Division of Child Support Services, Monday, January 12, 2015

Employers are a key partner in Arizona's Child Support Program.  Over seventy percent of the child support collected is made possible by employers withholding wages from a parent’s paycheck.  This is the single most effective method of getting timely and consistent payments to families.

The Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) recognizes that child support related activities create extra work for employers and we are working to making it easier for employers to comply with their legal requirements as it relates to child support.

To help employers understand their responsibilities under federal and state law, the DCSS is offering FREE Employer Seminars to payroll and human resource professionals.

Individuals will receive information on:

- New Hire Reporting
- Income and Medical Withholding 
- Employment Verification 
- Child Support Payment Remittance 
- Reporting Employee Terminations 
- Our easy online tool to receive and respond to child support notices electronically

For more information or to register to attend one of the monthly seminars, please contact Elizabeth Thomas at (602) 771-6291 or by email at

Tags:  Arizona  Child Support  Employers  HR  Legal 

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10 Reasons Why You Can't Afford the Luxury of a Mis-hire

Posted By Jerry Houston, HPISolutions, Tuesday, October 7, 2014


Industry colleague Steve Morris gives us some great advice about mishires... Bad hires are draining, both financially and emotionally. We might also add that they are very disruptive to business. Today, more than ever, it's important to understand the system you employ to find new talent will determine whether you make a sound and strategic business hire.


Here are 10 reasons you can't afford the luxury of a bad hire and what inevitably happens when you hire the wrong person for the job... and think how this poor hire will affect your teambuilding efforts in your organization!

  1. Wasting time and money defining the job, advertising for the position, recruiting potential candidates, and interviewing key prospects.

  2. Paying unrecoverable fees to recruiters and incurred legal fees (should the ex-employee sue).

  3. Wasting time and effort on existing employees during the on-boarding and training processes, as well as getting the new hire acclimated to your business.

  4. Turn out less work or fewer, if any, results for every dollar and hour you invested, because the bad hire did not do their job.

  5. Frustrate and negatively impact the workload of all the people who worked with the bad hire and who were expecting better performance; some may even disengage as a result.

  6. Lose opportunities to engage and sell to new and existing customers; as a result, you may sour relationships with potential new clients.

  7. Destroy long term relationships with key existing clients.

  8. Other people you employ may be led in the wrong direction.

  9. Lose the time invested in coaching and other attempts at corrective action.

  10. Depending on the job, total dollars lost in opportunities. The collective effort of others in the company could range from a few months of payroll to tens of millions of dollars in less than two years. 

We agree with Steve that we don't know any business that can afford these multiple and sometimes hidden costs of a single bad hire.

The bottom line must hire right the first time with a disciplined job benchmarking and job-matching process.

WANT TO KNOW MORE? Contact us today at and register for our FREE workshop, Building High Performance Teams on October 23rd.


Tags:  Employees  Hire  Hiring  HR  Tips 

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Tackling the Truth of Turnover

Posted By Jerry Houston, HPISolutions, Wednesday, September 3, 2014

"A team is only as strong as its weakest link."

When people are unhappy at work it costs a lot... more than just money! Morale slips, people feel disengaged and eventually they are no longer competent. Read this article from Tom Lemanski where he tells us to have a strong team, that isn't leaving, it is always about more than the money!

When it comes to understanding their employee turnover, many employers don't know what they don't know. 


And just when they think they know, there's usually something else. 

I've long been a believer that business owners must maintain an awareness of their standing in two highly competitive and equally important arenas.

1.  Competition for customers

2.  Competition for the talent needed to attract, serve and maintain those customers.


Some attrition is natural in both arenas. Significant defection in either area will adversely affect the other. Because this is a briefing, let's examine one element of defection: employees who voluntarily leave and why.


Workplace Solutions magazine published a list of the top reasons people leave their jobs. (Note: These are listed in no particular order.) 


The Top Five Drivers of Voluntary Terminations

+ Relationship with Manager

+ Opportunities for Growth

+ Workload

+ Organization

+ Compensation


What Are You Hearing?

Of these five reasons, which one do you hear most frequently? I am willing to wager that it is the last one on the list, "More Money." Why? The authors of the book Play to Your Strengths provide some insight about a potential flaw in the exit interviewing process they call the Say-Do Trap. Just as political pollsters face challenges with the accuracy of their responses, the same is true for exit interviewers. What employees say is not always what drives their behavior. Exiting employees who prefer not to burn bridges may be saying that they have found a position for more money. But that answer often masks the real issue. Compensation is a socially acceptable reason to leave and it typically will not be challenged. The exiting employee can easily avoid having a potentially uncomfortable conversation about the real reasons that led them to seek a happier workplace. While their search may have coincidentally resulted in higher pay, the reality may be that they would have been content to work for less money just to escape a bad situation.


There's Something Else About Mary

Here's a hypothetical scenario about "Mary." Mary tells her exit interviewer that she got "more money" elsewhere while her real reason for departure is that her manager is a condescending, incompetent idiot. Mary is one of several in her department who have recently left for that same stated reason, more money. To address this defection problem uncovered by socially correct exit interview responses, what does management do? They decide it's time to raise the department pay scale. So, not only has the exit interview failed to get to the root cause of the problem, misinformed management's remedy results in an unnecessary increase in overhead. They succeed in slowing down turnover by creating a barrier to exiting in the form of combat pay that is not easily exceeded. But what happens to productivity in this manager's combat zone of a department? The company now pays more for less output.

Take it to the Bank...

Whether you're dealing with the departure of either your external or internal customers, it's about more than money. There's always something else. In either case, it's about the overall value proposition of your offering. In either case, examine your information gathering process to determine if your boat has sprung a leak.


To your success!




Tags:  Employee  Houston Partners International  HPI  HR  Mentor  Turnover 

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What to Do Before Hiring Your First Employee

Posted By Rhette Baughman, Arizona Small Business Association, Friday, August 8, 2014

When your business takes off and you have more work than you can do, consider hiring your first employee.

Here are eight steps from SCORE and the Small Business Administration on what to do to comply with federal and Arizona regulations.

1. Obtain an Employer Identification Number (EIN), also known as an Employer Tax ID or Form SS-4, from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

2. Set up records for withholding taxes. For federal income tax withholding, employees sign a withholding exemption certificate, Form W-4 and employers submit Form W-4 to the IRS; employers annually report wages paid and taxes withheld on Form W-2 to the federal government in a federal wage and tax statement (plus send Copy A of the W-2 forms to the Social Security Administration as well as to your employee (go to for dates and details).

For Arizona state taxes, employers withhold Arizona income tax from the payment of wages for compensation for services performed in Arizona, and new employees complete Arizona Form A-4 available on

3. Federal law requires employers to verify an employee’s eligibility to work in the U.S. and complete Form I-9 (employment eligibility verification) attesting to the confirmation. Employers can use the information on Form I-9 to electronically verify the employment eligibility of a new hired employee by registering on E-Verify (

4. Report newly hired employees to the Arizona New Hire Reporting Center (

5. Obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis or through the Industrial Commission of Arizona.

6. Arizona law requires small businesses to display posters in a place where employees will see them easily. Required posters (English/Spanish) can be downloaded free from the Industrial Commission website. The U.S. Department of Labor provides a Web page on workplace poster requirements for small businesses.

7. Develop a job description for each employee that outlines the major duties and specific job expectations along with skills and qualifications required.

8. Write an employee handbook for your business: workplace rules and policies you want your employees to follow.

Originally published at Arizona Daily Star. Written by Diane Diamond. Photo credit flazingo_photos via photopin cc.

Tags:  entrepreneur  hiring  hr  new company  small biz  Small Business  startup 

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