Thursday, June 23, 2011

IRS issues updated mileage rates

The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
  • 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
More info:  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Supreme Court of the US says no class action for Wal-Mart

The Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that female employees who charged that Wal-Mart discriminated against them because of their gender will not be able to file a class action suit.

As many as 1.6 million women could have been part of what may have been the country's largest sex discrimination case.  Billions of dollars were at stake.  The high court has ruled that the plaintiffs must pursue their appeals individually.

This reverses the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling made last year.

The SCOTUS ruling was unanimous that there can  be no class-action claim, however, it was divided that future suit by workers can be blocked.

Writing for the majority, Justice Scalia said that for a case to qualify as class action, there needs to be commonalities linking "literally millions of employment decisions at once."  In this Wal-Mart case, that connection, Scalia wrote "is entirely absent."

Wal-Mart's written policies bar gender bias.

The dissenting opinion was written by Justice Ginsburg who said that the cases of all of the company's female employees were linked.  "Wal-Mart's delegation of discretion over pay and promotions is a policy uniform throughout all stores," she said.

Union targeted Target: Workers say No

Friday's vote at the Valley Stream, NY Target resulted in a vote against union affiliation 137-85.  This has been closely watched by retailers.  Target employs thousands of people in their 1,755 stores; none have union-represented employees. As expected Unfair Labor Practices have been filed on both sides about the other according to the National Labor Relations Board.  United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1500 wanted to represent the workers at the store, just east of Manhattan.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Three times a charm?

ODESSA, FL, June 13, 2011 — Entrepreneur and HR expert Kelley Rexroad, SPHR,  has been nominated once again for Tampa Bay Business Woman of the Year, an annual award sponsored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal.  
“In 2007 I was a finalist for Business Services category and last year, a finalist for Entrepreneur category-who knows what will happen this year.  It may sound trite but I am honored to be nominated.  The nomination application itself is a good exercise for reflection as to what you have accomplished in your professional life but also in service to your community,” said Rexroad.  
Kelley Rexroad is founder of krexconsulting where her experience in communications and HR helps businesses succeed.    She has been featured as a speaker and a writer in numerous media including CBS, ABC, St Pete Times, The Tampa Tribune and NY Times. She's been called an expert by Fox News' Neal Cavuto.   Her original inspirational quotations have been selected out of thousands to highlight calendars. Her tailored HR strategies and coaching programs' effectiveness are why her clients continue to work with her year after year.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Isn't this special? An app from the Dept of Labor-for your employees.

The Department of Labor has issued a press relase about its new app for smartphones. Workers have always been able to keep their own hours--just now it will be tied into the Department of Labor!

Here's the notice right from the DOL and the handy link:
"May 9, 2011
The U.S. Department of Labor today announced the launch of its first application for smartphones, a timesheet to help employees independently track the hours they work and determine the wages they are owed. Available in English and Spanish, users conveniently can track regular work hours, break time and any overtime hours for one or more employers. This new technology is significant because, instead of relying on their employers’ records, workers now can keep their own records. This information could prove invaluable during a Wage and Hour Division investigation when an employer has failed to maintain accurate employment records.
The free app is currently compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Labor Department will explore updates that could enable similar versions for other smartphone platforms, such as Android and BlackBerry, and other pay features not currently provided for, such as tips, commissions, bonuses, deductions, holiday pay, pay for weekends, shift differentials and pay for regular days of rest.
For workers without a smartphone, the Wage and Hour Division has a printable work hours calendar in English and Spanish to track rate of pay, work start and stop times, and arrival and departure times. The calendar also includes easy-to-understand information about workers’ rights and how to file a wage violation complaint."