Patrick Mirza; Leon Rubis; Terence F. Shea
Vol. 50, No. 2
Board education; FLSA salary basis test; group moves
You've Come a Long Way, Baby
It seems like it wasn’t all that long ago that the air was filled with complaints that HR needed “a seat at the table.” Remember those days? You better, because memories are all that’s left of them. As this month’s cover story shows, HR is not only at the table, it is also increasingly being asked to lead the discussion and provide education and training to boards of directors.
Being a corporate director today is a tougher job than it was a few short years ago. Corporate scandals—and the increased scrutiny and accountability under Sarbanes-Oxley that they engendered—have made directors’ chairs a virtual hot seat.
To cool things down, corporate directors are increasingly looking to HR professionals to help them get up to speed on the business, the industry, and their own roles and responsibilities on the board.
To see how much of a cry there is for HR’s assistance, and to see how the profession is responding, see Contributing Editor Susan Wells’ engaging cover story, "Educating the Board".
On the Move
If employee relocation was ever a routine staffing procedure, it certainly isn’t now. Influences as disparate as the Internet, terrorism and U.S. economic expansion are altering the landscape for HR professionals who handle relocations. The changes are spelled out in the articles that make up our Special Report on Relocation, starting with "Keeping Information Safe".
An emerging responsibility for HR professionals is protecting employees’ personally identifiable information during a move. As Roseanne White Geisel explains in "Keeping Information Safe", HR must ensure that employees information wont be released to relocation vendors without a valid reasonor proof of how the vendor will protect it. In a world where personal data can be dispersed with a keystroke, anything less could result in the theft of a relocating employees identity.
In "Moving En Masse", Lin Grensing-Pophal details the special characteristics of mass moves. Relocating 20 employees and their families at once is far more complex than doing 20 solo relocations. Group moves have their own dynamics and potential downsides, but they also have some surprising upsides, such as the positive reinforcement that can develop among employees sharing an unusual experience.
And in "Unwelcome Changes", Susan Ladika spells out how security concerns in the post-Sept. 11 era have made it more daunting to bring workers into the United States, and how employers can work effectively within new government rules and procedures.
—Terence F. Shea
The Basics of Salary Basis
Month after month, the questions most frequently directed to the Society for Human Resource Management’s busy Information Center are about how to comply with the wage and hour provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
The past year was no exception, spurred on by new regulations that went into effect last August and that detail when white-collar employees are exempt from overtime pay. In the latest installment of our continuing coverage of these controversial regulations, Senior Legal Editor Margaret Clark examines the ins and outs of the tricky “salary basis” test, one of three basic criteria a job must satisfy to be classified as exempt.
For a better understanding of the fine points of these rules, see Clark’s in-depth article.