Back to School: How to Handle Hourly Limitations for Young Workers

As the new school year approaches, it is important to consider the hourly limitations of young employees as they transition back into their school schedules. 

Both Federal and State laws govern the employment of young workers and when both are applicable, the law with the stricter standard must be obeyed. Employers should be aware of any discrepancies between the federal laws and the laws of the state(s) in which they are conducting business to remain compliant.

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) establishes both hours and occupational standards for youth. Children of any age are generally permitted to work for businesses entirely owned by their parents, except those under age sixteen (16) may not be employed in mining or manufacturing and no one under the age of eighteen (18) may be employed in any occupation the Secretary of Labor has declared to be hazardous.

Read more...

FLSA Frequently Asked Questions

HR Partners frequently has inquiries regarding exempt employees and managing their schedules. See below for a few of the most common questions and answers.

Can an employer create a specified schedule for exempt employees? 

The Fair Labor Standards Act (“FLSA”) does not specifically prohibit employers from requiring exempt employees to work a particular schedule or to track the hours they work. The Department of Labor (“DOL”) has stated that employers may require exempt employees to work a specific schedule and to record and track hours without affecting their exempt status. 29 CFR Part 541. However, it is important to note that if you require exempt employees to work a certain number of hours and account for their work time on an hourly basis, you may jeopardize the exempt status of these employees if the accounting has the effect of treating them like hourly workers. This will likely create liability for overtime payment for the employer.

Read more...

CBD in the Workplace  

Marijuana and hemp both contain Cannabidiol (“CBD”), which is now being marketed and sold in a variety of forms, including oil (the most popular), health and beauty products, vapors, beverages, and infused edibles, such as chocolates and gummies. CBD is a chemical found in marijuana and its close relative, hemp. However, pure CBD does not contain tetrahydrocannabinol (“THC”), the psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana that produces a high. In addition, pure CBD usually will not report a positive test result for marijuana because drug tests typically look for THC levels that are too low to be detected from pure CBD. For this reason, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, employees are generally not at risk of becoming intoxicated or impaired if they use pure CBD. However, if the CBD product contains enough THC, it is entirely possible the product could cause a positive drug test result for THC.

Read more...

Motivating Burned-Out Workers

Have you noticed your best workers unmotivated or burned out? Motivating a burned-out employee takes more than an extended weekend. Below are five (5) strategies to help employees go from burned-out to energized:

  1. Create a career development pipeline. Companies should look for opportunities to build a succession planning program, particularly among non-exempt employees where the potential to create advancement opportunity is easy to achieve.
  2. Develop a “high-po” program. High potential programs focus on identifying the top workers and awarding them for their achievements, while building their skills. These employees may not be ready to promote, but the structured program serves as an effective recognition and development tool that contributes to formal succession planning.
  3. Develop an active employee recognition program. Employee recognition is critical to honor outstanding employees and their efforts. Look for simple and effective ways for managers to recognize their employees and communicate the expectations and celebrations openly.
  4. Help employees reach their personal career goals. Employee satisfaction is driven by career development. Companies can assist their high potential employees by building their resume through training and educational opportunities.
  5. Plan ahead. Job security and stability is crucial to employees. Informing employees of how their contributions affect the company’s larger goals is an effective way to motivate employees.

Read more...

Protected Activity – Discussing Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions 

Many companies at one point or another have experienced the negative impacts of “water cooler talk” on staff morale and productivity. To alleviate the effects of employees discussing their wages, many companies enforce a policy prohibiting discussion of wages. However, if you are a private sector employer in America, a policy prohibiting discussion of wages is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides employees the right to discuss the “terms and conditions of employment” with one another, including their wages, benefits, etc. This right applies in both union and non-union settings, as well as on social media platforms.

Read more...

The HR Partners Holiday Video - 2023

We appreciate your business, and we wish you nothing but the best for Christmas and the New Year holidays.

2024 will be an epic year and we can’t wait to work with you to continue the magic.

To view the video, click the image below or click here, and once you see the video on Vimeo, please click the play button. Enjoy!

 Christmas Video 2023

 

HR Advisor Newsletter

What our clients say...

What Our Clients Say About Us

"It's not what you say about yourself, it's what others say." - Anon.

We like to think our clients know us best. Here's what they have to say...


"Thank you all for your help in our search! We would be glad to give your company stellar reviews and recommendations. You cast an effective net, helped us with a professional approach to filling a vital job, kept us on track, and found the person we ultimately hired. Should we need you in the future, we will re-engage you with confidence!"

Rev. Dr. Larry Ross
Interim Co-Regional Minister
Christian Church (Disciplies of Christ) in Kansas


 

“HR Partners provides a screening process when searching for candidates for a position. The phone screens save me valuable time and give me the information needed to decide whether to invite someone to our office for an in-person interview. They also serve as a knowledgeable resource for up to date standards with HR issues. Two of the most significant improvements would be making the hiring process a breeze and having a resource to provide valuable feedback on HR issues.

HR Partners allows you to continue to work on your mission, whatever it might be, while spending less time on HR issues. You have the confidence when hiring someone that they will have the skills/knowledge to the job well.”

Gina Stewart
Executive Director of Administration
Washburn University Alumni Association and Foundation


 

“Knowledgeable and efficient are the two words I would use to describe HR Partners.  When I need accurate information in a timely manner, I know I can count on HR Partners!”

Angie Clevenger
Human Resources
Butler Electric Cooperative


“We started working with HR Partners when we had staffing changes in our Accounting and Human Resource department. HR Partners has been there to assist us in that transition and has become a resource that we plan to continue to utilize. Everyone in their office is professional, courteous, knowledgeable, and always very prompt. HR Partners has been able to provide advice and guidance on numerous HR topics and provided a mandatory Workplace Etiquette for our employees. They have also updated our personnel manual in order to provide clear and consistent polices for our employees. HR Partners would be an asset for any company looking for assistance with any human resource needs.”

Kevin Holland
Vice President
Cook, Flatt & Strobel Engineers


“It gives me the peace of mind knowing that we have the support and expertise of Human Resources professionals just a phone call away through our collaboration with HR Partners. I would definitely tell anyone considering working with the HR Partners team that they offer a wide variety of services tailored to the client. The HR Partners team assisted our Company with the revision of the Employee Handbook by customizing it to our needs and culture while ensuring it complied with federal, state, and local employment laws.”

Sandy Atwood
Director of Human Resources
Kaw Valley Bank


 

“I’ve been working with HR Partners for seven (7) years and they’ve been a trusted resource for all of our HR needs.  From creating our Employee Handbook, Job Descriptions, assisting with the hiring process and terminations, they have been a much needed and valuable partner as our company has grown from one location with six (6) employees to five (5) locations with over forty (40) employees.”

Joe Koechner
Pharmacist/Owner
KexRx Pharmacy & Home Care


“When McElroy’s first started in business, there were not the extensive Human Resources compliance requirements that there are today.  HR Partners has assisted us by formalizing our policies and updating our employment records to make sure we meet these requirements.  This has enabled McElroy’s, Inc. to focus on what we do best and continue to provide ‘Service You Trust’ to our clients.”

Dan Beal
President
McElroy's, Inc.


“Consultation services provided by HR Partners proved a valuable resource for personnel matters and in updating our personnel handbook. As we continued to grow in staff size, we found an on-going retainer with HR Partners a great fit to support management, policy and training needs. The HR Partners team is professional, knowledgeable and creative in their approach and we can have confidence in managing employment matters with their involvement and understanding of our organization.”

Sandy Warren
Executive VP & CFO
Capper Foundation


“HR Partners has built an exceptional company with some of the most proactive professionals I’ve seen in a long time.  We hired HR Partners with a human resources 911 issue and were in much better shape within two weeks!  Kristina Dietrick, President of HR Partners,  is also great as a speaker and motivator for your staff.”

Michelle Meier
Administrator
Kansas Medical Clinic


 

“We have worked with HR Partners on multiple occasions.  Since we’re too small to have an HR advisor on staff, we have relied on HR Partners’ expertise in reviewing our employee manual and other HR-related documents.  HR Partners has also been available for advice when needed.  They are thorough, straightforward and focused on positive outcomes.  I am always confident in HR Partners’ counsel.”

Martha Bartlett Piland
President and CEO
MB Piland


 

“Schendel worked with HR Partners in several different capacities over a five state area. HR Partners answered our questions about employment law, helped train our management staff to be better leaders, and ensured our employee policies and procedures were legally sound and in the best interests of both Schendel and our co-workers. I've always found the HR Partners staff to be very knowledgeable, friendly and easy to work with. The relationship we formed with HR Partners helped protect both our company and our co-workers, and I feel it was very beneficial to Schendel."

Brent Boles
Co-Owner
Schendel Lawn and Landscape


“I want to thank you and your team again at HR Partners for your amazing work in securing a high quality Customer Service Representative (CSR) for our Topeka MRH Insurance Group office. Without a doubt, if it were not for your company’s ability to understand the different paths to communicate our need, we would not have been successful in securing in our opinion, the very best CSR in Topeka. HR Partners was instrumental in providing the strategy to secure such an individual for our company and my workings with each and every member of your team was professional and impressive. I shall ever be grateful for your assistance in helping our company grow in Topeka and northeast Kansas by securing the right MRH Team Member for our operation.”

Ross T. Hendrickson
President
MRH Insurance Group, Inc.Group, Inc.


“Kristina and her team are a dynamic and reliable group to work with.  Whether there is a crisis or you’re looking for strategic planning, they will handle it in a responsive, knowledgeable manner.  When I need a speedy answer which I can depend on to also be the right answer, HR Partners delivers.  This is a talented, smart group and I highly recommend their services.”

Kelly Liby
Anesthesia Associates of Topeka, PA


“HR Partners has been instrumental in ensuring our company is in compliance with ever-changing government requirements.  Equally as important, they’ve helped us effectively deal with some of those out-of-the ordinary human resource issues that pop up from time to time.  They have been accessible and very pleasant to work with.”

Jon Newcomer
President
Kansas Grain Inspection Service, Inc.


 

“We began working with HR Partners to help us fill an important position in our organization.  They offered some new and effective methods for helping us advertise the open position and were instrumental in assisting us with following up on potential candidates.

Since that initial engagement, we’ve utilized the expertise of HR Partners for a wide range of human resources services, from staffing assistance to general HR management advice.  Their entire staff has been exceptional.  They are professional, knowledgeable, responsive, and enjoyable to work with.   We are very happy with their service and intend to continue to rely on them as a trusted business partner.”

Seth Born
Comptroller/HR
Beachner Grain, Inc.


 

“Kristina and her group of advisors have been very valuable to our company over the last several years. They have assisted us both in critical employee issues as well as reviewing and updating our employee handbook. As their company name proclaims, they are true business partners!”

Mark Wheeler
President
Berlin-Wheeler, Inc.


 

“The Topeka Country Club has used HR Partners for five years.  During that time, when a situation arose needing immediate attention, they were always there.  The whole team at HR Partners is professional, knowledgeable and extremely helpful with their approach.”

Clay Meininger
President & COO
Topeka Country Club


 

“HR Partners has provided invaluable training, mentoring and coaching for my staff and coworkers that is in concert with our own Human Resources Department and internal policies, procedures and development plans.  It has proven to be a successful partnership for us that provides an extra set of resources in our staffing and organizing efforts, succession planning, and individual employee growth and development endeavors.  The staff at HR Partners are professional, courteous, and make working on challenging issues not only effective, but fun!”

Sylvia Davis
WPC General Manager
City of Topeka


 

“HR Partners is an excellent tool to have in your belt.  Time is taken to be sure that everyone understands every topic, the anticipated outcome, and the steps taken to achieve the desired results.  The solutions provided are prompt, professional, and thorough.  Our management team appreciates the expertise provided by HR Partners in an industry with few diamonds and much rough. HR Partners is truly a diamond in the rough.”

Tyler Levier
Operations Manager
Prairie Band, LLC