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FEBRUARY 2018

 

In This Issue:

Tackle Employee Financial Stress with Education

Guest Article by Matisse Capital
www.matissecap.com

Recent findings reveal that 77% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck,1 41% give themselves a C, D or F grade in personal finance,2 and 28% don’t pay their bills on time.2

The situation has a serious impact today, and perhaps a worse one tomorrow, considering estimates that about 1/3 of working Americans have no retirement savings. The cost to employers may be $15,000 per employee per year.3

But there is good news: employers are in the best position to make an impact. Combining financial education as a regular part of 401(k) plan communication can lead to changes in behavior. In turn, these changes may lead to better financial stability for employees during, and after, their working years. According to Gayle Klampe, president of Cascade Employers Association, more than ever before, employers are asking for retirement plan savings education for their employees. And as Gayle states,

“This is why Cascade has partnered with Matisse Capital as an investment advisor to our members. We did the leg work and found that Matisse is recognized by an impressive list of employer clients for their dedication to employee education. So providing even more education and retirement savings options for all of our members, regardless of their current 401(k) plan status, is a win-win for everyone.”

If you plan to offer employees a program of financial education, be sure the one you choose is engaging and interactive. The information should be easily accessible and relevant to your specific employee group.

To better tackle your employees’ financial stress and put an education program in place, consider reaching out to Matisse Capital. Together Dan Sholion ([email protected]) and Adam Carpenter ([email protected]) will work with you to help your employees tackle financial stress.


Read more at: tinyurl.com/FFGroup-financial-stress

1 77 Percent of All Americans Live Paycheck to Paycheck at Least Part of the Time, Michael Snyder, August 17, 2012. thetruthwins.com/archives/77-percent-of-all-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck-at-least-part-of-the-time

2 The 2011 Consumer Financial Literacy Survey,” prepared for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling and prepared by Harris Interactive Inc., Public Relations Research, March 2011.

3Employee Financial Stress Is Costing Your Company a Bundle — And How You Can Stop It Now! isles.org/sites/default/files/Employee%20Financial%20Stress%20is%20Costing%20Your%20Company%20a%20Bundle.pdf

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Five Things You May Not Know About Columbia River Pilots –
Featured Member

By Gayle Klampe, President
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Columbia River Pilots LogoHave you ever driven along the Columbia River and wondered how such large shipping vessels could safely navigate so far up river from its mouth at Astoria? After all, many of these ships come from international ports, and chances are their captains have never experienced the Columbia until now. Did you know...

  1. Columbia River Pilots is an association of 40+ professional mariners licensed by the State of Oregon to pilot over 320 nautical miles of the Columbia River, from Astoria to the Ports of Longview, Kalama, Vancouver, Portland, The Dalles, and Pasco. This route is considered by many to be one of the most lengthy and challenging pilotage grounds in the world! They also provide service on 13 miles of the Willamette River, from its mouth to the seawall in downtown Portland.
  2. With 44 State-licensed pilots and a combined 639 years of piloting experience, Columbia River Pilots carry out their duties understanding that: 1) with over $24B in annual cargo value, the river is vital to Oregon’s economy; 2) safe navigation on the river demands continuously evolving expertise; and 3) to maintain the highest level of safety, efficiency and environmental protection on the river, the pilots must foster a close relationship with their partners.
  3. Their headquarters is located in the Rivergate District of North Portland. River pilots are dispatched from this modern facility, where all vessel activities are tracked and coordinated as they arrive, anchor, shift between berths or depart. Their pilot station is located on the Astoria waterfront at the foot of 14th Street. This historic facility provides moorage for the pilot boat, the Connor Foss, and sleeping quarters for pilots awaiting inbound ship assignments.
  4. The earliest records of any licensing board in Oregon are the laws applying to bar and river pilots. Piloting first became a major concern in Oregon in 1846 when an unqualified seaman offered his pilotage services on the treacherous Columbia River Bar. Fast forward to today, and the Board of Maritime Pilots acts as the professional licensing and regulatory agency whose primary consideration is public safety. Appointed by the Governor, this board is comprised of nine members: three public, three pilots and three maritime industry individuals.
  5. The vessels piloted by Columbia River Pilots include: Articulated tugs and barges, car carriers, container ships, cruise ships, cargo ships, log carriers, and other large ships.

Cascade is proud to feature this member, charged with safely and efficiently piloting vessels in all weather conditions, at all hours of the day and night, 365 days a year, Protecting the Great River of the West Since 1846.

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Hot Compliance Question

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Question: If I provide my employees PTO to be in compliance with the Oregon Sick Leave law, do I need to track whether they use the time for vacation/personal or sick time?

Answer:  No. Last year, BOLI was advising employers that they would have to track the reasons for using time, and at minimum, protect the first 40 hours of PTO used for sick leave reasons. Employers needed to track whether PTO was used for sick leave reasons to comply with BOLI’s interpretation of the law. This summer, the Oregon legislature amended the sick leave law to make it clear that employers need to protect only the first 40 hours of PTO provided to an employee, regardless of the reasons the employee uses that time. Because the reason the employee is using the time is no longer related to whether the time is protected, employers are no longer required to track the reasons for PTO use under Oregon Sick Leave law.

There are, however, other reasons to track your employees’ reasons for using PTO. Knowing whether PTO is being used for sick leave purposes can help you identify potential family leave situations. Additionally, you are allowed to deduct PTO hours used for vacation/personal time from the hours on which you pay your workers’ compensation premium, while sick hours are not allowed to be deducted. If you cannot document the reason an employee uses their PTO, you may be challenged in an audit if you try to deduct the time. Keeping track of the reason on an employee PTO request form helps you prove when an employee takes time for vacation/personal, so you can confidently deduct that time from your premiums.

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HR Stats You Should Know

By Jenna Reed, JD, General Counsel and Director, Compliance Services
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

According to a poll conducted by the Washington Post, 75% of Americans say sexual harassment in the workplace is a problem. 64% believe it is a serious problem. This is an 11 and 17 percentage point increase, respectively, since the last survey was conducted.

With recent highly publicized sexual harassment allegations and the #MeToo movement, it is important that all employers take steps to prevent workplace harassment from occurring and respond appropriately when complaints are made.

Here are a few things employers can do to prevent harassment:

  • Update and republish the company’s policies on preventing and reporting harassment.
  • Provide company-wide training on harassment. Include additional training for those in leadership positions.
  • Make sure the reporting procedure is well-publicized and that it includes the ability to report to more than one person in a leadership position; don't limit reporting just to their own supervisor.
  • Emphasize that the company takes all complaints of harassment seriously and that retaliation against employees who experience, witness, report, or participate in a harassment investigation is prohibited.
  • To show you take these matters seriously, post this notice or a similar one in your workplace so that employees understand what they can do.

Whether it is scheduling your harassment training, conducting a harassment investigation or updating your policies, we’re here to support you.

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BOLI Issues Final Rules on Manufacturing Overtime and Maximum Hours Worked

By Ryan Orr, JD, HR and Compliance Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

On December 27, 2017, BOLI issued its final rules regarding the revisions to the manufacturing daily overtime and the new maximum working hours. The law and rules became effective January 1, 2018 – which gave us all lots of time to prepare for this over the holiday season. Thankfully, most of what is set out in the rule either repeats things stated in the statute or sets out expected requirements.

The biggest thing to note is the definition of machinery and manufacturing, which is essentially unchanged from the proposed rules, but significantly changed from the prior definition. Those terms are defined as follows:

  1. “Machinery” means material-handling equipment and power-driven machines powered by electricity, nuclear or fossil fuels, hydroelectric power, geothermal power or another power source other than by human hand, foot or breath.
  2. “Manufacturing” means the process of using machinery to transform materials, substances or components into new products.

Forgetting for a moment the problem with the definition of machinery because it uses the word machine, this is a very broad definition. Remember, this entire issue came up as the result of a lawsuit against an industrial bakery. An oven likely meets this definition, so would all bakeries be included? Would a restaurant? That probably isn’t what was intended, but the broad text of this rule makes it difficult to figure out exactly which businesses may be covered.

The rules set out who is excluded from the rule, with the most important exclusions being maintenance workers, supervisors/managers, administrative workers, workers not employed in a manufacturing establishment, workers not engaged in the direct processing of goods, or workers covered by a collective bargaining agreement that addresses daily overtime and/or maximum hours worked.

The rules provide more detail about how employers can get consent from employees to work up to 60 hours per week, as well as how manufacturers of perishable products can apply for an undue hardship exception. BOLI has created the templates for consent to work up to 60 hours, applying for an undue hardship notice, and obtaining consent to schedule employees in excess of 60 hours during an undue hardship period.

One of the more notable parts of the rule is that it provides a notice requirement for employees to revoke their consent (7 days prior to the next workweek). Please note you are not required to use BOLI’s forms, so long as you use a form that contains all the information required in the rule. Employers are required to keep consent forms for at least 1 year from the date the consent period expires.

If an employer fails to define a workweek or workday, those periods will be set from the time an employee begins work.

Finally, the rule provides some detail about when civil penalties may be assessed against an employer.

For additional assistance determining how these new rules affect your organization, give us a call.

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Consumer Price Index (CPI)

Consumer Price Indexes listed were issued January 12, 2018 for December 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: www.bls.gov/cpi/additional-resources/geographic-revision-2018.htm.

  CPI-W
United
States
2017

235.390
2018

240.526
Change

2.2%
  CPI-U
United
States
2017

241.432
2018

246.524
Change

2.1%

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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