May 2016 Newsletter
Integrated Outsourced HR Services Tailored to your Needs
Dear ,

Happy Spring! Welcome to HR Knowledge's May 2016 Newsletter! Our goal is to keep you up to date with important HR and regulatory compliance information, news and events. We want this newsletter to be a valuable resource for you so we encourage all of our readers to provide comments, suggestions, and feedback. 

HR Knowledge, Inc.

Department of Labor Issues Final Rule on Overtime Exemptions for White Collar Workers

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published regulations that will significantly raise the salary threshold that helps determine whether workers are eligible for overtime pay. Beginning December 1, 2016 - the effective date of the changes - the "white collar" exemption salary level will increase from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47,476 per year) under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The DOL will update the salary and compensation levels every three years to match the 40th percentile of earnings in the lowest-wage Census region, currently the South.

The DOL had not adjusted the salary level since 2004, and the Obama administration determined that the current salary level is outdated and no longer effective in separating those who should and shouldn't be entitled to overtime. The regulations will automatically extend overtime pay protection to over four million workers within the first year of implementation.

Come Join Our HR Boot Camp 

and Networking Event on June 3!

*Updated for New DOL Final Rule on Overtime Exemptions for White Collar Workers
HR Management Basics Training ("HR Boot Camp") is a comprehensive overview of the fundamentals of effective human resource management and principles for those new to HR and non-HR professionals (business owners, managers and front-line supervisors) who have HR-related responsibilities. 

Our trainers focus on potential liability areas in the workplace relative to:
  • The HR Cycle and HR 101
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Selection and Hiring
  • Performance Management
  • HR Every Day
Earn Your Recertification Credit Hours  
Our HR Boot Camp has been approved for 2.5 HR (General) recertification credit hours towards PHR, SPHR, and GPHR recertification through the HR Certification Institute. 

San Francisco Approves Fully Paid Parental Leave

San Francisco is the first city in the country to approve six (6) weeks of fully paid leave to parents to care for a new child, including adopted and foster children. Passed on April 5, 2016, the Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (PPL) applies only to private employers, and takes effect based on an employer's size as follows:

  • January 1, 2017, for 50 or more employees
  • July 1, 2017, for 35 or more employees
  • January 1, 2018, for 20 or more employees

HR Knowledge Named to Boston Business Journal's List of Fastest-Growing Massachusetts Companies!

HR Knowledge has been named a "2016 Fast 50" by the Boston Business Journal, designating it one of the region's fastest-growing private companies. 

The Fast 50, formally known as Pacesetters, is an annual list of the fastest-growing privately held companies in Massachusetts. To be considered, companies were required to have generated a minimum of $1 million in revenue in 2015 and at least $500,000 in revenue for 2012. Companies that saw revenue drop between 2014 and 2015 were excluded. This list includes 76 business that have demonstrated strong revenue growth from 2012 to 2015. "These companies represent the bets examples of the Boston economy's strength and vibrancy," said Boston Business Journal Publisher and Market President Carolyn M. Jones. "This kind of top-line growth is driving the state's economy and generating the kind of excitement that attracts global brands and their talent here." 

Vermont Becomes Fifth State to Pass Paid Sick Leave Legislation 

A new Vermont law will require most employers to provide paid sick time to employees. On March 9, 2016, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed legislation (H.B. 187) making Vermont the fifth state to enact a statewide paid sick leave law, joining California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Oregon. For most Vermont employees, the law takes effect January 1, 2017. 

HR Knowledge Recognized as a 2016 Boston SmartCEO Future 50!

HR Knowledge has been named a 2016 Future 50 winner by SmartCEO. The company will be recognized in SmartCEO magazine and celebrated at a black-tie-optional awards ceremony on June 15, 2016, at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel. 

The Future 50 Awards program, the largest and most anticipated SmartCEO awards program on the year, recognizes 50 of the region's fastest-growing, mid-sized companies. Winner in large "Blue Chip" and small "Emerging Growth" categories will also be announced. These companies, according to SmartCEO, "represent the future of the region's economy and embody the entrepreneurial spirit critical for leadership and success." 

On the Hunt for Talent? Struggling to Fill Your Current Roles?

Are you struggling to fill your job openings? You are not alone. There is more competition than we have seen in over ten years in the current job market. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of job openings in December 2015 was 5.6 million - the highest since January 2001. In February, the market surged with 242,000 new jobs. This is great news for job seekers, but what does it mean for employers who have roles they need to fill?

It means it will be much harder and take a lot longer to find top talent. Positions that took just a few weeks to fill in the past are now taking between three and six months, which means that employers need to do a better job of attracting candidates. The days of posting a job to Monster and watching hundreds of resumes roll in are gone. Employers now need to be sure they have a proper process in place to not only quickly respond to applicants but also to source candidates that are not actively pursuing a new opportunity.

Mandatory Posting Update: Virginia Job Safety and Health Protection

Virginia has a new posting requirement for the Virginia Occupational Safety and Health (VOSH) standards for reporting work-related injuries and illnesses. Employers are now required to report the following, within 8 hours:
  • All work-related fatalities
  • All work-related inpatient hospitalizations
  • All amputations and the loss of an eye

Do you send your FMLA notices via certified mail?

If you answered no, then you will want to start.  For years it has been acceptable practice to send employee notices through snail mail, this has been recognized as the "mailbox rule", this rule makes the assumption that regular postal mail will reach the addressee.  However, a new ruling in an FMLA case is calling this practice into question after an employee was fired after not returning from leave after her 12 weeks of FMLA were exhausted and the employee stated that she never received the FMLA notices, read more here. HR Knowledge has long taken the stance that it is in employer's best interest to send FMLA notices and important time-sensitive benefit related notices by certified mail or other method with a tracking ability.

Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, expired on March 31, 2016; what should we do?

How do we determine "primary duty"?


Perk of the Month!
Liberty Mutual has partnered with HR Knowledge to offer employees exclusive savings on quality auto and home insurance. You could enjoy valuable and unique benefits, including Better Car Replacement, Accident Forgiveness, Home Protector Plus, and our Multi-Policy Discount. Sign up for Payroll Deduction and your Liberty Mutual Insurance monthly premium will be automatically deducted from your paycheck. For more information and rates, please contact Tom Duval at


If you or someone you know is seeking employment then you're in the right place! HR Knowledge not only is seeking qualified and talented people to join our staff but also for our clients. Please view our current job openings!


HR Advice When You Need It

Are you a full-service client with an HR question?
Please contact your Client Account Manager who is readily available to assist you.

Not a client of HR Knowledge but have an HR question?
Our HR team provides expert, practical human resource guidance to business of all sizes. To learn more, please send us an email.
Client Spotlight

Congratulations to our clients that were named to the Boston Business Journal's Fast 50! We are thrilled to serve thriving and growing organizations and hope to continue to serve you and your team for many years to come!

HR Knowledge, Inc. 
15 Berkshire Road | Suite B
Mansfield, MA 02048
P 508.339.1300 | F 508.339.1349
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About HR Knowledge, Inc. 

Founded in 2001, HR Knowledge, Inc. is a privately funded company that provides Integrated Outsourced HR Services tailored to your needs. Our full array of human resource offerings includes managed payroll, employee benefits administration, and HR consulting and support services, such as training, compliance, and Hiring Process Management™, our specialized recruitment service that covers everything from finding and screening candidates to onboarding new employees. Our major markets are fast-growing small- and medium-sized businesses, many of which are venture-capital-backed; foreign companies expanding into the states; and certain key education markets including charter schools and nonprofit enterprises. Partnering with HR Knowledge can reduce your administrative costs, minimize your legal risk, help you find and develop talent, and free you up to focus on your core business.