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MARCH 2018


In This Issue:

Pay Strategy ... Do You Have One?

By Carey Klosterman, PHR, Director, Research and Compensation Services
Cascade Employers Association

There has never been a more important time to evaluate how you communicate your pay programs to employees. Ensuring that your employees clearly understand your overall pay strategy and philosophy is critical, especially in light of new pay equity laws. Ask yourself “do my employees understand how and when their pay is determined”? If your answer is no, then it is time to take action and implement the three C’s . . . Clearly identify, Concisely write, and Consistently communicate your pay strategy.

Develop a compensation strategy and philosophy that will engage your employees and help them to understand the process. Here are some critical communication elements that you need to be aware of when designing an effective pay strategy.

  1. Make employees aware of the value they receive from their compensation plan by effectively communicating your company compensation plan/strategy. I will add that when you talk about the value . . . include total compensation which includes benefits, retirement and even paid-time-off. Preface it with how your program may differ from your competitors. It will have more meaning that way and will likely hit home.
  2. Clearly and concisely identify how and when pay decisions will be made. Verbally, in writing, social media, intranet, etc. Find out what works.
  3. Develop a sound policy that is consistently administered and understood by employees. When employees understand that their employer is making an effort to deliver pay that is equitable and fair, they are more likely to stick around.
  4. Express appreciation for the value employees bring to the organization by regularly delivering a clear and consistent message about their pay and how their performance can drive higher rewards.
  5. Decide ahead of time how transparent you want (or need) to be. Be specific about how pay decisions are made . . . in good times and in bad.

Once you have had the opportunity to evaluate how your compensation plan is communicated, revisit the three C’s to ensure you have successfully developed a sound policy:

Is our compensation strategy clearly identified?

Is our strategy concise and easy to understand?

Have we consistently communicated what we want to measure and how our employees can be rewarded?

When employees understand what they are working for and how their role fits into the success of the organization, they will be more engaged, more productive and more optimistic during the most challenging of times.

During a time when equity concerns are at their peak, having solid practices in place will protect you against claims and provide a talking point when employees have questions.


Electrical Geodesics, Inc. is Now Part of Royal Philips –
Featured Member

By Gayle Klampe, President
Cascade Employers Association

Electrical Geodesics ImageElectrical Geodesics, Inc. (EGI) is one of the most scientifically advanced businesses in Cascade membership. This 25-year old company has been recognized globally as a leading neurodiagnostic medical technology company and has recently been acquired by the Royal Philips company, based in The Netherlands.

Many may know the Philips brand, but did you know Philips and its 70,000 global employees are now exclusively focused on health technology? The acquisition of EGI is a part of Philips health strategy. Philips recognized the cutting edge EEG and computational neurology research and clinical products that EGI had developed and is investing further in the company, which will stay in Eugene, Oregon, to enhance development and accelerate adoption.

More Facts

  1. Founded in 1992 by its CEO, Don Tucker, EGI is a medical device company that designs, develops and commercialises a range of non-invasive neurodiagnostic products used to monitor and interpret brain activity. A key component of these products is EGI’s proprietary dense array electroencephalography (dEEG) platform technology.
  2. The company's technology, both forward looking and practical to install, uses head nets with up to 256 sensors, providing much higher resolution brain activity data compared to conventional methods. In 2016, EGI applied its dEEG technology to developing the most advanced non-invasive neuromodulation device on the market —one with great promise for a better understanding and possible treatment of brain disorders, especially disorders not well controlled by drugs or other therapies.
  3. EGI’s products are widely used in human neuroscience research laboratories around the world, in a broad range of disciplines, including epilepsy, autism, stroke, traumatic brain injury, and sleep disorders. This research is also being applied to solving problems in areas as diverse as user interface testing, driver fatigue monitoring, and brain-computer interface development.
  4. There are now over 900 sites in over 720 academic institutions, hospitals, and clinics using EGI's Geodesic EEG Systems, in over 30 countries. There are over 2457 research papers published in leading scientific and medical journals using EGI technology.
  5. From its Eugene headquarters, EGI employs approximately 85 people, within its departments of science, engineering, manufacturing, sales, and administration.

Cascade is proud to feature EGI, the leader in neuroscience technology with a mission to create the most advanced equipment for neuroscience research laboratories and neurology clinics.


Hot Compliance Question

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

Question: Our organization typically has around 100 employees. I have an employee who has asked for parental leave to bond with the birth of her new child. The baby is due on June 2, 2018. The employee was hired on August 4, 2017 and has worked 40 hours per week since her hire date. How do I track the employee’s OFLA/FMLA leave?

Answer:  At the time your employee begins parental leave, she will be eligible for OFLA only (6 months employment, averaging 25 hours per week). Assuming her baby is born on the due date, her OFLA leave will begin June 2, 2018 and last twelve weeks until August 22, 2018.

However, on August 4, 2018, the employee will also become eligible for FMLA (12 months employment and 1250 hours worked). The employee now has twelve weeks of FMLA leave. From August 4, 2018 until August 22, 2018 (3 weeks), the FMLA leave will run concurrently with OFLA. Beginning August 25, 2018, the employee will have exhausted OFLA but will have another 9 weeks of FMLA leave that lasts until October 24, 2018.


Paid Family Leave Tax Credit Part of Federal Tax Reform Law

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

On December 22, 2017, President Trump signed into law a sweeping tax reform bill. While many of the bigger changes have been widely publicized, such as the increase to the standard deduction, there is a small provision that was included that provides a tax credit to employers who provide paid family leave to their employees.

Employers can claim a tax credit equal to between 12.5 and 25 percent of the amount an employer paid for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. To qualify, the employee must have worked for the employer for at least 1 year, earn less than $72,000 per year, and the employer must pay at least 50 percent of the employee’s wages. Employers who pay 50% of the employee’s wages receive a tax credit of 12.5 percent of what the employer pays, with the credit increasing to 25% on a sliding scale if the employer opts to pay more than 50% of wages.

Unfortunately for employers, the program sunsets at the end of 2019, giving employers the opportunity to claim the credit for only two years. While this credit is a nice benefit to employers who already offer paid family leave or who have been considering implementing a program, the sunset provision makes it unlikely that employers who were not considering a paid family leave program will now do so.

For questions about how the myriad of family and other leave laws affects your organization, give us a call.


HR Stats You Should Know – ICE Raids

By Jenna Reed, JD, General Counsel and Director, Compliance Services
Cascade Employers Association

Did you know that President Trump’s proposed budget includes funds to hire more than 2,000 additional ICE officers? Combined with the recent uptick in ICE raids and a proposal for increased penalties to employers, now is a good time to make sure you are prepared should your organization be subject to a raid or audit.

Proactive steps you can take include:

  • Conducting an audit of your I-9 records. Make sure you keep good documentation of any errors that you remedy during the process. Review this guide to make sure you’re taking appropriate action.
  • Make sure anyone who is responsible for reviewing and completing I-9s is properly trained and is using the most current I-9 form. This guide has great information on this part of the process.
  • Train supervisors on how to respond if they become aware that an employee is not authorized to work after they’ve been hired. We recommend they contact HR immediately.
  • Make sure you have your employment and immigration attorney’s contact information easily accessible. This is extremely important in the event of a raid. While it is still important if you receive a notice of an audit, immediate contact during a raid will be critical.

We hope you’re never subject to a raid or an audit, but by being proactive now means you’ll be prepared should that day ever come.


OFCCP Mails 1,000 Corporate Scheduling Announcement Letters

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

On February 1, 2018, OFCCP sent out 1,000 corporate scheduling announcement letters (CSAL) to federal contractors and subcontractors. These letters notify covered contractors that they have been selected for a compliance evaluation. They are mailed directly to the establishment that will be evaluated, rather than the corporate headquarters of an organization.

The purpose of the letters is to provide contractors with at least a 45-day advance notice that a compliance evaluation scheduling letter will arrive so that contractors can prepare, conduct a self-audit if needed, and plan time and resources that may be needed to participate in the evaluation.

If you’ve received a CSAL and would like help preparing, or if you have any questions about your federal contracting obligations or affirmative action plans, give us a call.


Don’t Forget the New EEO-1 Deadline

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association

Just a quick reminder that the new EEO-1 deadline for the 2017 report is March 31, 2018.

As a reminder, covered federal contractors with 50 or more employees and all employers with 100 or more employees must file an EEO-1. The EEO-1 is a high-level summary of your workforce broken down by job groups, race, and sex. The data must be taken from a pay period that falls in October, November, or December of 2017.

For questions about your EEO-1 or affirmative action plans, give us a call.


Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Indexes listed were issued February 14, 2018 for January data. 1982-84 = 100, unless otherwise noted.

In January 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics introduced a new geographic area sample for the Consumer Price Index (CPI). This sample is being revised to reflect data from the most recent Decennial Census. As part of the revision, indexes for some areas were added, some were discontinued and indexes for other areas were renamed. Portland is among the areas discontinued. For additional information on the geographic revision, contact this information office or go to:








Note: The Consumer Price Index (CPI) program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of certain retail goods and services. CPI-W consists of urban households whose primary source of income is derived from the employment of wage earners and clerical workers. CPI-U includes wage earners and clerical workers, salaried workers, the self-employed, retirees, and the unemployed.

US Department of Labor Historical CPI Data


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