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What You Need to Know About Overtime!

Posted By Kenyatta Turner, LegalShield Independent Associate, Monday, June 26, 2017
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT OVERTIME

 

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 kenyattaturner@legalshieldassociate.com.

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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10 Ways to Minimize Business Risk

Posted By Mary Juetten, Traklight, Wednesday, August 5, 2015

It’s easy for entrepreneurs to become overwhelmed by the inordinate number of things that they have to do in a given day. It’s hard to find time for the little things, especially when you want to jump right in to big-picture tasks like product development or selling what you’ve created on the market. Often times, the seemingly minor details are best left to another day, as you tell yourself you’ll handle them once you have things under control. But these seemingly minor details, if left unattended, can pose a serious risk that could undermine your work in other areas. Here are the first five of ten ways you can address those risks before they overwhelm your business.


Form A Business Entity

Starting a business without having first created a business entity is putting the cart before the horse. Having a business entity will allow you to separate your personal assets from what you’re spending or earning from your business.  It’s critical to build a wall if someone comes after you legally. Establishing a business entity is a fairly simple and straightforward process, and will save you the hassle of having to untangle a mess of receipts come tax time.

Assign Intellectual Property Rights to Your Business

There are business owners that think they can do it themselves when it comes to filing for legal protections such as patents for their creations. Many end up making mistakes that cost them money and time to market rather than going to an attorney. Patent litigation can be a complicated matter, so there’s nothing wrong with seeking the advice of a professional, especially if it prevents mistakes.

If you have a co-inventor and you’re filing for a patent on your invention, make sure that the patent is assigned to your business rather than an individual. Having a patent held by your business entity will prevent an ownership dispute in the event your partnership breaks up. You wouldn’t want to lose the rights to your work when your former partner makes money from the patent in their name.

Have Co-founder Agreements

Like assigning your patents to your business entity, you need to be prepared should your now-blissful union with your co-founder (or founders) turn sour. Having written agreements signed by every co-founder will make crystal clear the terms of your arrangement and each party’s rights and responsibilities if your partnership dissolves. These agreements should cover things like non-compete and non-disclosure agreements to prevent a disgruntled partner from taking your trade secrets to a competitor.

Understand Employment and Contractor Agreements

Many entrepreneurs start their business as a side project while still working a 9-to-5 as an employee elsewhere. But some companies have language in their employment agreements that stipulate that anything you create while working for the company belongs to them, even if done in your off time. Before you go through the effort to start your own venture, make sure you’ve read your employment agreement to understand what you’re allowed to do.

Conversely, if you’re at the stage of your business where you’re hiring employees or contractors, make sure you have your own agreements that outline things like ownership of work created. While it may seem obvious that you would own any work created by those you’re paying to create it, the law isn’t so cut and dried. Don’t leave ownership rights to chance.

Limit Public Disclosure

There are an ever-growing number of crowdfunding sites and entrepreneurs are increasingly turning to crowdfunding as a way to raise the money necessary to get their products to market. But putting your product or invention on a crowdfunding site with too much detail could qualify as an enabling public disclosure. An enabling public disclosure is giving enough information about your invention that someone in the industry would be able to replicate it. Even worse, putting such information on the internet qualifies as international disclosure, affecting international patent rights, which harms your chances of eventually marketing and selling elsewhere. Before you put your product on a crowdfunding site, make sure you have the necessary legal protections in place.

To learn more about your business risk, visit Traklight.

Tags:  business risk  entrepreneur  Small Business 

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Business Growth Mantra

Posted By Jason Trujillo, Woodbury Financial, Thursday, October 9, 2014

A Business Growth Mantra: Take Big Actions; Make Little Mistakes

by Steve Parrish

Originally posted at Forbes.com 10/06/2014. Click here for original article.

“My life expectancy is 24 years. My money expectancy is about 15 years.” This is the opening line a new retiree makes to a financial advisor. The discussion, and a number of other financial dialogues between consumers and advisors, is showcased in this series of videos designed to encourage people to take action on their financial goals.

This past summer in Chicago, people were offered free taxi cab rides with an advisor during which they could essentially lay out their financial concerns while being driven to their requested destination. These video vignettes remind me of the popular Discovery Channel program “Cash Cab,” but in this case the test is financial honesty and the reward is useful financial advice.

Take Action
The challenge is not so much finding good advice; it’s acting on the advice given. Think about the individual who said he has a longer life expectancy than money expectancy. If he had taken that cab ride 10, 15 or 20 years ago, would there be a better match up today with his money and life expectancy? I’m guessing that “back when,” whether the advisor recommended he invest in 60 percent equities and 40 percent fixed securities, or vice versa, the resulting difference wouldn’t be all that big of an issue. As long as the individual had actually saved the recommended amount of money, his portfolio would be in far better shape than it is today.

I refer to this as the financial law of “little mistake, big mistake.” A person should consider which financial strategies entail the potential for a little mistake and which have the risk of being a big mistake.

Examples:
1. An advisor suggests that a parent buy a particular life insurance policy. It turns out that the suggested policy is more expensive than another product released a few months later. I suppose purchasing the policy qualifies as a little mistake. However, had the parent decided to wait to buy life insurance coverage at a later date—and in the meantime becomes uninsurable or passes away —now that’s a big mistake.
2. An individual has money available to invest in equities. She uses dollar cost averaging to spread her entry into the market over 12 monthly installments. If it turns out the stock market had huge growth during those months, it could be argued she made a mistake. Why? She would have received a higher return on her investment had she participated in the stock market all at once. In the scheme of things, however, that’s a minor error. In comparison, not investing at all during those months would be a bigger mistake.

 

Taking Action in Business
You might contend that the “little mistake, big mistake” approach won’t work in the context of growing one’s business. The very nature of growing a business involves taking risks. I would counter that yes, business involves taking risks, but it also involves minimizing mistakes. When a successful business owner assesses a business growth opportunity, there is a natural balancing of the investment risk and the reward potential. For example, when an entrepreneur considers which expenses in a project will be variable and which will be fixed, that entrepreneur is in effect asking, “How can I limit my downside exposure; if it doesn’t pan out, can I limit this venture to being a little mistake by making some costs variable instead of fixed?”
Similar assessments go into the process of deciding whether to grow a business organically or through acquisitions. There are pluses and minuses to all these decisions. The trick to the decision-making process, however, is to keep the mistakes little, and the growth big.

Tags:  business decision-making  business development  business exposure  Business growth  business mistakes  business planning  business risk  financial planning  financial strategies  Forbes  INC 5000  Principal Financial Group  Steve Parrish 

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