Thursday, July 30, 2015

Time to Blow up the Performance Review?

What will you do instead?

A fairly recent HR "flavor of the day" idea coming from thought leaders (many of whom have probably never actually practiced HR, I’m sure) is the call to dump the annual performance review. It’s no secret that many managers/supervisors and HR folk really hate dislike the whole process. The annual struggle to get management to complete the reviews with some semblance of objectivity, provide meaningful feedback in them, and actually present them to employees in a timely manner is a task many of us dread. As a result, some companies are dumping the annual review.

In a recent Washington Post article, Accenture’s CEO Pierre Nanterme explained why he’s revamping their process. He states "…we’re going to get rid of it. Not 100 percent, but we’re going to get rid of probably 90 percent of what we did in the past. It’s not what we need. We are not sure that spending all that time on performance management has been yielding a great outcome." Accenture has over 300,000 employees, so any endeavor like this is going to be a major effort.

Nanterme goes on to say "Performance is an ongoing activity. It’s every day, after any client interaction or business interaction or corporate interaction. It’s much more fluid. People want to know on an ongoing basis, am I doing right? Am I moving in the right direction? Do you think I’m progressing? Nobody’s going to wait for an annual cycle to get that feedback. Now it’s all about instant performance management."

Microsoft, Gap and Adobe are among several other companies that have reformed their evaluation processes in recent years. In 2012, Adobe replaced its evaluations. Under the old system, managers focused on the most recent developments instead of looking at the entire year; they fixated on the past instead of considering what employees should do going forward; and in many cases, they came across as antagonistic. So instead, Adobe implemented a more informal "check-in" process that takes place throughout the year, with employees receiving feedback on what they’re working on at any given moment.

The theme here is that these leaders are not giving up on performance management. They’re simply changing the tools they use to achieve it. This is the true take-away message of these efforts. Performance management is as important as it’s ever been. How we go about it, however, may need to evolve.

The problems with annual performance reviews are well known. Recency effect (inaccuracy or flaw in a performance appraisal caused by the evaluator's reliance on the most recent occurrences of the employee's behavior) is a prime example. Whether the effect is positive or negative, it does not result in a complete picture of the employee’s overall performance. The propensity of many managers and supervisors to avoid conflict and confrontation also results in scores that are more positive, and therefore less accurate and truthful, than constructive. Furthermore, the lack of any substance in the conversation with the employee when presenting the review renders it almost useless. It becomes a chore that must be completed rather than an opportunity to assist the employee in developing his/her performance and potential.

So, go ahead and dump the annual review. But what will you do instead? You still need a way to have constructive conversations, a way to record what it is you’ve talked about – few of us have perfect memory! We need a way to follow up on behavior (both good and bad) as it happens. We need a way to communicate and monitor and measure performance goals.

The goal is to manage performance. This should be done on an on-going basis. Create the expectation and culture that your supervisors and managers will have regular, frequent conversations with employees. Teach them how to have honest, constructive conversations. Focus on hiring the best, so you build a team which strives for the best possible performance – don’t just get butts in the seats. You do have to prepare for this ahead of time, though. Expect supervisors and managers to define performance goals with measurable outcomes; define the priority of each job responsibility and goal; define performance standards for key components of the job. Keeping these criteria in mind when having those regular, frequent conversations with employees will be key to the success of any performance management process.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Taking Too Long to Hire?

You’ll lose good candidates

It’s now taking longer than ever for employers to wind their way through their own hiring processes. Recent reports from both Glassdoor and dhi hiring indicators are showing the average time to hire is now at more than 4 weeks. While a common cliché of "hire slow, fire fast" can be valid, taking too long has its downside, as well.

It look an average of 28 working days to hire in May; an increase of 3.3 days over last year. Some industries showed an even higher average - health services jobs average 42.3 days and financial services jobs average 41.2 days.

Taking a look at a survey done by MRI Network shows some very interesting data (in several areas) about obstacles to hiring, but specifically related to time to hire, and what may cause a candidate to either drop out of contention or decline an offer.

Some factors that impact time to hire are outside of the employers’ control – but the number and type of job interview screening methods and the application process chosen by companies are within their control.

What contributes to too-slow hiring? Let’s look at several factors:

Annoying Application Processes: A cumbersome hiring process only serves to discourage a talented candidate from applying to your job. And while an extended hiring process causes the top candidates to withdraw, it also diminishes the quality of your overall talent pool.

If you utilize an ATS, make sure it doesn’t require the candidate to jump through hoops, or give her whole life history, just to apply. Do a test run as an applicant and see if your system frustrates or facilitates the process. Once applicants are actually in the system get them out and human-reviewed in a timely manner. Your ATS is supposed to be a tool to help you identify appropriate candidates, but only you can make the final choices. When you have an open position, if you’re taking several days to weeks to get qualified candidates out of your system, you’ve already added significant time to the process and may already have lost good candidates.

If you’re not using an ATS, the same principle applies. Review application material promptly and identify possible candidates. As importantly, don’t allow applications to sit on hiring manager’s desks for long – get them moving.

Know before you go: Figure out what you want in a candidate before you start interviewing, and know the job you want to fill. Trust me, your best candidates will quickly figure it out if you really have no idea what you want in a candidate and are just fishing; that’s not a real motivator to continue in the process. If you don’t know, or haven’t decided what the job really entails, it will take you much longer to find and decide on the right candidate – if you even can decide on one. In the meantime, anyone you have interviewed is probably already moving on.

Another item here is having all approvals to fill the position, and the salary range that will be offered, in place before you begin interviewing. Do not wait until you find the candidate you want before you get the necessary approval from whoever gives that approval. More wasted time while the candidate waits and possibly takes another offer.

Decide who will interview before you interview. Knowing this will also help you to limit the number of interviews a candidate is subjected to before a decision can be made. Ensure that all parties are available when needed (no one’s on vacation or business travel).

Avoid decision paralysis: One reason companies are taking so long to hire today is they don’t want to make a mistake; they don’t want to take a big chance and have it not work out. The problem is that by being so conservative, they are pushing away people who could be great and then settling for people who might not stick around that long. This goes straight to the number of interviews a candidate has to navigate to get your offer. Is it really necessary to have 4 or 5 interviews, a panel interview, and a group presentation? I often think that the real reason some companies do this is because no one is willing to make a decision, so it’s hiring by committee. This rarely works out well. It’s also really annoying to most applicants, especially if it becomes obvious that no new information is being given or received in these multiple encounters. Make the decision based on good interviewing practices, not the sheer number of people involved in interviewing.

Forget the "perfect fit" fallacy. You’re not going to find perfection, it doesn’t exist. Refer to my above comments about knowing what you want before you start. That’s important, but don’t create a long list of must-haves that you’ll never find in one person.

Close the deal. Finally found the one? Make the offer. Are you open to negotiation? If yes, don’t draw out that process, either. It shouldn’t take long on your end to decide if the figure a candidate wants is within your range – and I’m talking hours here – not days. Again, make sure the person able to make this decision is available and get it done.

If you require background checks, drug screens and the like, get them scheduled quickly. Yes, it may take a day or more for the candidate to fit these into his/her schedule, but that’s expected and outside of your control. You have control to get the background screening done (if your vendor is taking too long – change vendors). Keep the candidate in the loop during this process; maintain contact so he knows what’s happening along the way.

The bottom line is that unless you’re a government entity or are hiring in a highly technical field (and I doubt that really makes a huge difference) if it takes four to six weeks or more from the first interview to the offer, you’re undoubtedly losing your best candidates. If you commit to the process and allocate resources properly, you can get this done in a more reasonable time frame and retain the pool of quality candidates.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

FMLA/ADA: Interference, retaliation, discrimination

Both the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have many moving parts, and just as many opportunities for unaware employers to make mistakes in administering policies and procedures dealing with these laws. Making mistakes that have the effect of interfering with employees’ rights, discriminating against them for exercising those rights, or retaliating against them for exercising those rights can be very expensive and very damaging for an employer.

While doing my normal weekly review of articles related to employment law, I came across a couple of recent cases (which then led to other, less recent, cases) that highlight some of these mistakes.

First up, Must an Employer Provide Intermittent FMLA Leave So An Employee Can Attend to an Autistic Child? This case points out that we must be careful in making a judgement as to whether an employee’s, or his/her family member’s illness is a serious health condition under the FMLA. Frankly, I’m a little perplexed that anyone would think autism is not a serious health condition, but that might be another story altogether. Now granted, in this case, the employee was asking for more time than was medically necessary as stated by her child’s physician, but the real point here is that, yes, leave for the reasons cited would be covered under the FMLA.

[Jeff Nowak is one of my main sources when I have a question about FMLA. His blog is to the point, timely, and easy for even a lay-person (non-attorney) to understand. I highly recommend it.]

Next, and this could conceivably be related, is Hey, remind me, what is associational discrimination again? You can’t discriminate (refuse to hire, terminate, deny promotion, etc.) because you’re concerned that the employee who associates with someone who has a disability will [insert: take off too much time, have high health care claims, etc].

[See my above comment about Jeff Nowak and apply it to Eric Meyer in terms of general employment law topics.]

So, how can an employer run afoul of these laws? Let’s take a look at a few examples:

Failing to notify the employee of his/her rights and responsibilities under the FMLA, or failing to properly designate leave as FMLA (or as not qualifying as FMLA if that applies). Or failing to do these things in a timely manner, per the regulations. 

Remember, the employee does not have to specifically ask for FMLA, by name or otherwise. All that is required to trigger your responsibility as a covered employer is for the employee to share enough information with you to indicate a situation is potentially qualifying as FMLA. It is then your responsibility and obligation to begin the process (issuing the Rights and Responsibilities Notice, requesting the appropriate medical certification, issuing the Designation Notice). Failure to do this can be (and has been) considered interference by the courts.

Requiring more from the employee using FMLA than from those using other types of leave. Once designated as FMLA (and that often assumes a sufficient medical certification, though not always necessary) requiring an employee to provide frequent doctor’s notes, for instance, may be considered interference. A sufficient medical certification will have included some indication of how long the serious health condition will last or how often the employee will need to be absent, and asking for more documentation outside of that would be considered onerous. Also, while it is perfectly acceptable to require employees using intermittent FMLA to abide by your normal notice/call-in policies, forcing them to do more than you require from other employees using other types of leave may be considered interference, as well as retaliation or discrimination, if you’re disciplining them for not doing so.

Requiring an employee to perform work while on an FMLA approved absence? Your employee is at home taking care of a covered family member or recovering from her own serious health condition? Don’t ask her to write that whitepaper, or review that spreadsheet or complete that project. "Working" from home cannot be counted against that employee’s FMLA entitlement. You can’t have it both ways.

From the horse’s (DOL) mouth: (in part)

Recognizing when an employee gives notice of the need for FMLA leave Employees have the responsibility of providing notice of the need for FMLA leave to the employer. 29 C.F.R. § 825.301(b). However, it is the employer’s responsibility to designate leave as FMLA-qualifying once it has acquired knowledge that leave is being taken for an FMLA-qualifying reason. 29 C.F.R. § 825.301(a). Recognizing when an employee gives sufficient notice of the need for FMLA leave can be difficult. Unfortunately, even if an employer unintentionally fails to designate FMLA-qualifying absences as protected absences, it runs the risk of violating the FMLA’s interference clause. This is because a termination or any other negative employment action based only in part on an absence covered by the FMLA may violate the FMLA. 29 C.F.R. § 825.220(c).

FMLA regulations expressly provide that an employee giving notice of the need for FMLA leave does not need to expressly assert rights under the Act or even mention the FMLA to meet his or her obligation to provide notice of the need for FMLA-qualifying leave. 29 C.F.R. § 825.301(b). Thus, a leave of absence form cannot be required as a condition precedent to taking FMLA leave. Additionally, a leave of absence request form is not likely to be completed by employees who take unforeseeable leave. Consequently, supervisors should be cautioned against relying too heavily on completed leave of absence request forms when determining whether an employee has provided notice of his or her need for FMLA leave.


Issuing discipline for absences that qualify under the FMLA or that may be considered a reasonable accommodation under the ADA. This includes scoring performance evaluations lower due to FMLA covered absences, denying opportunities for promotions, raises, and other benefits because of these absences, or firing the employee because of their need for or use of FMLA. It also includes snide remarks from co-workers or supervisors about the employee’s absence from work. 

Again, from the DOL:

Examples of prohibited conduct include:
Refusing to authorize FMLA leave for an eligible employee,
Discouraging an employee from using FMLA leave,
Manipulating an employee’s work hours to avoid responsibilities under the FMLA,
Using an employee’s request for or use of FMLA leave as a negative factor in employment actions, such as hiring, promotions, or disciplinary actions, or,
Counting FMLA leave under "no fault" attendance policies.

See all the above! Especially the piece on associational discrimination. You cannot judge an employee based on his/her association with someone who has a disability. The example in the cited article highlights a case where an employee was treated differently (read: discriminatory) based on the assumption that her disabled child would negatively affect her ability to do the job. Again, an employer cannot discriminate based on this association; whether in hiring, firing, promotion, training, etc. 

Need more?

When Has an Employee Provided Sufficient Notice of the Need for FMLA Leave? Good point on the importance of supervisors correctly noting reasons for leave, and asking the right questions.

Remember No Intent Necessary! Great article on why your lack of intent to interfere or retaliate is not relevant; it’s the effect your actions have that count.

How about cold, hard facts (or cold, hard cash)? There are so many examples of the risks of getting the FMLA or ADA wrong. Just Google it (go ahead, I’ll wait……..) Ok, I’ll save you a little time, cause I’m nice like that:

Cheyenne Jury Awards $1,481,000+ On FMLA Retaliation Claim
Leave of absence: $400,000 award in FMLA retaliation case
Back from the USSR: FMLA Retaliation, 4th Circuit Decision in Dotson v Pfizer

All of this reminds us that we need to properly train our supervisors, and other members of management, to recognize possible FMLA claims and refer employees to HR. We have to hold them accountable for this responsibility. It also requires that your HR department have enough knowledge about the FMLA and ADA to do a proper assessment and manage the process appropriately.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Recipe for Better Leadership

It’s a simple, if not secret, sauce……

On any given day, you’ll see a number of articles – on business sites, career sites and associated publications – telling you how to be a good manager or a better leader. There will be the "flavor of the day" recipes (holocracy –WTH is that, anyway?), or more classic types (democratic, affiliative, visionary, authoritative, etc.). What’s best for you or your organization? The answer to that will depend on many factors. But there are constants regardless of what model you may follow, or at least, there should be constants!

I believe there are traits and characteristics that are part and parcel of any good management or leadership strategy. Skipping these, or executing them poorly, can derail any other vision you have for your company or whatever part of that company you’re leading. Here are some of them:

1. Be the role model.
This is often expressed as "walk the talk", but goes a bit beyond that. As a leader, your actions and behavior set the standard for what is expected and allowable. You have to actually display the behavior you want your team to display. A great way to destroy your credibility as a leader is to go with the "do as I say, not as I do" approach. You want honesty, integrity and hard work out of your employees? Make sure your actions are reflective of those qualities.

2. Be humble, be honest, be genuine.
We all make mistakes. If you make one as a leader, admit it, own it, correct it, and move on. Apologize if your mistake affects others or the work of your department. The world will not end if you admit you don’t have a solution to a problem. Your team will appreciate the ability to brainstorm a solution with you. Admitting your mistakes will also allow your employees to feel safer in admitting theirs and will decrease, or maybe even eliminate the "blame game" when something does go wrong. It’s so much more productive.

A further word about honesty: Don’t lie.  If you don’t know the answer, say so and go find the answer. Don’t use information (false or otherwise) or the access to information as a control tool. At best this is passive/aggressive behavior, at worst it’s a serious personality flaw that will be seen by your employees. Your management structure shouldn’t restrict your employees from speaking to higher levels of management, thereby keeping them in your own little bubble of influence and in the dark about what’s going in within the organization as a whole.

3. Communicate – Effectively and Appropriately.
If your staff don’t want to talk to you because they don’t know how you’ll respond, or are afraid of how you’ll respond, you’ve already lost the game. Let them know they can openly discuss workplace issues with you. Be approachable. Give them your full attention (and if you can’t, reschedule for a time when you can), keep an open mind. Don’t engage in gossip – don’t initiate it, don’t pass it along, don’t contribute to it. Essentially, you need to build trust. Communicateyour expectations about their behavior and work product clearly and often. Don’t leave them to guess what you want and actively clear up any misunderstandings when they become apparent. Be consistent! Unpredictability breeds nothing good. If you’re all sunshine and honey one moment and evil incarnate the next – fix that now.

5. Know and develop your EQ (emotional quotient).
The core of any business is the people making the product, providing the service. Good leaders will be aware of the sensitivities of others. They learn to acknowledge different opinions and consider background information to better understand the people they work with.

6. Encourage innovation, creativity and initiative.
Problems often don't have just one solution – yours. Solutions other than yours are not wrong, just different than yours. There are usually several ways to reach a goal. Let your team know you are open to their ideas. After all, they are the ones living the job day to day. You hired them for a reason – most probably because they had the skills and experience for the job. Respect that and allow them to apply those skills and experience. The concept of "employee engagement" is all the rage right now. The opportunity to present and try out ideas can generate far more positive engagement than an employee of the month gift. Reward creativity and recognize that these actions help your staff develop their full potential.

7. Have passion.
As a leader or manager you need to show a commitment to the goals of the organization – to the product or service it provides. Show your staff that you strongly believe in these goals. If you want employees who are dedicated to their jobs and your company, show them that you’re dedicated. Lack of any enthusiasm on your part, or displaying active negativity, will very quickly sink your ability and that of your team to be effective.

8. Know your employees.
Learn about them, get to know what motivates and excites them - workwise. Offer projects and autonomy that fit with that motivation for a more effective reward. Knowing something about them personally will also help you to know how to reward them. Does your company have some sort of award or recognition program? If so, what does it entail? A generic gift card for a job well done is ok, but if I like to ski or am a fan of a local sports team, a gift card specific to those activities shows you’ve paid attention to me.

9. Be yourself - always.
We all have our own style of dealing with people. Figure out your strengths and weaknesses. Seek advice (from your own supervisor, or a professional coach, etc.) on how to bolster your weaker skills and better employ your stronger points. Don’t try to copy someone else’s style if it doesn’t really fit with your personality. Be genuine.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Two from SCOTUS, One from DOL!

It’s a 3-fer week!

It’s been a busy week with implications for businesses with decisions handed down from the Supreme Court, and proposed rulemaking from the Department of Labor. What does it mean for your business? Well, depending on whom you are and what you’ve already been doing, maybe not much, or it could be huge. Don’t ya just love these types of answers? Well, let’s break it down….

So, first up. The Supreme Court heard and decided on the most recent (and some assume, the last) challenge to the Affordable Care Act. This case revolved around whether the Act provided for the premium subsidies to be offered by both the state run exchanges, as well as the federal exchange. I wrote about this previously here. As we now know, the SCOTUS ruled that the intent of the Act was to allow subsidies to be granted through either state or the federal exchanges. I don’t really think this decision is much of a surprise, but does it mean anything to your business? It means that implementation of all the ACA's provisions will continue as scheduled. Businesses should continue preparations to comply with the requirements of the law. For most, other than offering health coverage to more of your employees, it means the significant challenge of complying with the reporting requirements. If you haven’t already decided how you will handle this reporting, you need to get cracking! Notices to employees are due early next year, as well as the reporting to the IRS. If you’re using a payroll service, most of them are offering the service – for a cost (and it’s not insignificant). Using an outside vendor or not, you should be collecting and crunching the required data now (actually, you probably should have started this last year!) Time’s a-wasting, and penalties are a-waiting.

Next, the SCOTUS ruled on the constitutionality of bans on same-sex marriage. We also now know that the Supremes have ruled that same-sex marriage is a constitutional right. What does this mean for your business? Again, it depends – on what you’ve been doing up to now. Prior to this decision, many states had already legalized same-sex marriage, but several had not. Some national companies had faced some issues around uneven benefit policies and procedures between states that recognized same sex marriage and those that didn’t. That goes away – although all businesses will want to check insurance plan documents, internal policies and procedures, etc. that may contain definitions of "spouse" as someone of the opposite sex.

Some businesses that had offered domestic partner coverage under health and other insurance plans may want to consider whether to continue that coverage. Many of these businesses began offering this benefit specifically in recognition of same-sex couples who were not allowed to marry. Now that has changed and there may no longer be a need for domestic partner coverage, with its significant tax and payroll difficulties. Several years ago after the state of Maryland legalized same-sex marriage, the state ended the domestic partner insurance coverage for state employees for just this reason. So, it is possible that some people will actually lose health insurance coverage under a partner’s plan because of this decision. 

One benefit that was provided more clarity is the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Covered businesses must now permit eligible employees to take FMLA leave to care for their same-sex spouse with a serious health condition or for qualifying military exigency leave if the spouse is being deployed, among other qualifying reasons. Earlier this year, the DOL issued a final rule allowing an otherwise eligible employee to take FMLA leave to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether the employee lives in a state that recognized their marital status.  Now that the Supreme Court has declared that same-sex marriage is a Constitutional right, states can no longer prohibit same-sex marriage, and therefore, there can be no distinction in this benefit depending on where one lives, or where one married.

Number three is the big one. The one with the most potential for having the most impact on business. The Department of Labor finally released the long-awaited notice of proposed rulemaking to update the Fair Labor Standards Act’s white collar overtime exemptions. 

Currently, any employee making less than $455.00 per week (or $23,660 a year) must be paid overtime for hours worked in excess of 40 in a workweek (or in some states, 8 in a day). It makes no difference what duties such an employee performs. If the position the employee holds pays more than this minimum, certain criteria must be met before that positon can be deemed "exempt" from the FLSA’s overtime provisions. The proposed rule will raise that minimum salary to about $50,440 per year, or $970 per week. Read that carefully: $50,440. If you have employees you are currently treating as exempt who are making less than this amount, under the new rules, they must be converted to non-exempt status and be paid overtime, track hours, lose flexibility in scheduling, etc., regardless of the "management" content of their duties. If an employee makes more than the new minimum, you may still be able to classify their position as exempt from overtime, if those criteria are also met.

The additional expenditures in overtime payments have been estimated to be over $700 million. So, businesses have a few options:

  • Suck it up and pay the additional overtime to the newly non-exempt employees. How well will your budget withstand this? Would it cause you to reduce future hiring?
  • Give raises to those currently exempt employees who are now below the threshold, bringing them above the amount that would trigger the non-exempt status and require overtime payments. Do the math; does it work?
  • Limit overtime opportunities. Will this eventually cause you to have to add to staff in order to get the work done? Which is more cost-effective for your business?
  • Shuffle. Reclassify the appropriate positions, but reduce pay to offset for the amount of expected overtime payments. I’m not thinking this would be a popular option, but I’m sure some will try it.

  • Make no mistake; the FLSA is a complicated animal. By all accounts, it’s actually not uncommon to be in violation of this law, with no intent to do so. It’s just so complicated for many businesses, most especially for smaller businesses without the expertise or knowledge to keep them in compliance. It was thought that the DOL would propose changes to the duties test. This is the portion of the law that describes the types of duties and tasks an employee must perform in order to be exempt from the overtime provision – the "while collar" exemptions. But no, the DOL declined to better define those criteria, which might have actually made it easier to understand and therefore easier to comply with. We might not have like those changes, but at least we would be able to understand and apply them to the jobs in our businesses with fewer "mistakes". Instead, the DOL asks for comments in response to specific questions:
    1. What, if any, changes should be made to the duties tests?
    2. Should employees be required to spend a minimum amount of time performing work that is their primary duty in order to qualify for exemption? If so, what should that minimum amount be?
    3. Should the Department look to the State of California's law (requiring that 50 percent of an employee's time be spent exclusively on work that is the employee's primary duty) as a model? Is some other threshold that is less than 50 percent of an employee's time worked a better indicator of the realities of the workplace today?
    4. Does the single standard duties test for each exemption category appropriately distinguish between exempt and nonexempt employees? Should the Department reconsider its decision to eliminate the long/short duties tests structure?
    5. Is the concurrent duties regulation for executive employees (allowing the performance of both exempt and nonexempt duties concurrently) working appropriately or does it need to be modified to avoid sweeping nonexempt employees into the exemption? Alternatively, should there be a limitation on the amount of nonexempt work? To what extent are exempt lower-level executive employees performing nonexempt work?

    Guess what? These questions aren’t new. The business community has been asking them for years, and asking the DOL for clarification and answers. Now, they’re asking us. What will they do with the answers?

    It is certainly possible that after reviewing the comments received in answer to these questions, the final rule will include more specific criteria in this area.

    What’s next? There is a 60-day public comment period on the proposed changes to the overtime regulations. Once that period has ended, the DOL will issue (eventually) a final rule that will implement the changes some 30 days after issuing the final rule. All of this could take quite some time, most likely well into 2016.  Public comments can be submitted to the DOL in writing (or online at by referencing the rule’s Identification Number (RIN) 1235-AA11.