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In This Issue:

2018 Nonprofit Pay & Benefits Survey – Key Findings

By Courtney LeCompte, MPS, PHR, Research and Compensation Consultant
Cascade Employers Association
[email protected]

Cascade Employers Association is pleased to present key findings from the 2018 Nonprofit Pay and Benefits Survey report. Data for this survey was collected between March and May of 2018, with 176 nonprofit organizations participating throughout Oregon and SW Washington.

1. Participation Counts Increase, Leading to 44 New Jobs Reported

From 2017 to 2018, participation counts increased significantly, which increased the total number of jobs reported. In 2017 (the survey's inaugural year), we received 118 participants and reported 117 jobs with sufficient data (at least five companies responding). In 2018, participation counts increased to 176 participants, which provided sufficient data to report 161 jobs – that’s 44 new jobs reported in 2018!

Nonprofit Survey Illustration 1

2. Geographic Location and Total Employment Count Shift Participant Distribution

Nonprofits located throughout the Mid-Willamette Valley dominated 57% of the survey’s participant pool in 2017, followed by 37% from the Portland Metro area, and 6% from Surrounding Areas. In 2018, the participant distribution shifted to include 47% from the Mid-Willamette Valley, 41% from the Portland Metro area, and 12% from Surrounding Areas.

Similarly, in 2017, small nonprofits with 1-24 employees made up more than half of the survey participant distribution (52%). For 2018, this number was reduced to 34%, which provided for a more evenly distributed participant demographic of total employment count.

The increase in participants in 2018 drastically affected both location and detailed breakout information, adding a more wide-spread Oregon/SW Washington representation of participants.

3. Top Positions - Reported and Earnings

The top three reported positions in 2018 were the Executive Director, Finance Director, and Executive Assistant positions.

The top three positions with the highest average base wages were Physician, Board Certified; Medical/Health Services Director; and Nurse Practitioner.

Nonprofit Survey Illustration 2

4. New Hire Waiting Period Increases for Majority of Benefits Offered

From 2017 to 2018, the new hire benefit waiting period for paid time off/vacation, medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance, retirement, long term disability, and short term disability increased. The two benefits that showed a decrease in their waiting period for new hires were tuition reimbursement and long term care insurance.

5. Employer Contributions Increase Toward Employee Benefits

Throughout the five surveyed medical health plan types offered to employees (Traditional, HMO, PPO, POS, and HDHP), the majority of employer contribution amounts increased from 2017 to 2018. Employer contribution amounts for retirement, vision insurance premiums, dental insurance premiums, and employee HSA’s (for qualified high deductible health plans) also increased from 2017 to 2018.

Nonprofit Survey Illustration 3

Cascade's Nonprofit Pay and Benefits survey is comprised of over 250 job descriptions and 100 benefit related questions. This survey provides in-depth market pay and benefit data stemming from nonprofit organizations throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington.

Learn more.

2018 Nonprofit Pay and Benefits Survey Partners & Sponsors:

Nonprofit Association of Oregon   Jones and Roth CPAs


Five Things You May Not Know About Partnerships in Community Living –
Featured Member

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

Continually evolving as an agency that is a person-centered provider of services to individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities, this nonprofit is relentless in bringing dreams to life. Did you know....

  1. PCL logoDuring the 80’s while attending Western Oregon State College and taking on part-time jobs that included facilities for those with developmental disabilities, two classmates, Zellee Allen and Joanne Fuhrman, began brainstorming how to create an agency that would give people with disabilities opportunities to voice their needs and wants. At the time, there seemed to be a general attitude toward those being cared for as "objects" and merely an employment opportunity for those around them. Allen and Fuhrman wanted to be a part of changing that perception.
  2. In 1986, the two proposed a state contract to care for residents of an area group home that was slated to close. Partnerships in Community Living (PCL) was born. At first it was rocky as they set out to establish a philosophy of the way they wanted to help people live – creating real, personalized homes, not mini-institutional “group” homes.
  3. PCL’s underlying goal was allowing people to express what they wanted or how they wanted to live. Most had challenges such as basic driving to a grocery store, while others didn’t like their living situations. So first, PCL arranged a transportation service for people, and was one of the earliest agencies in the state to do a "paid neighbor" service in which employees would live near those they supported and provided weekly support. Twenty-four-hour service followed, as did businesses in Monmouth, Independence and Dallas, where people could receive training and a job placement program.
  4. Today, PCL offers a large variety of services for people with developmental disabilities through the development of a person-centered individual support plan (ISP) and LifeCourse Trajectory. An ISP details the support needs, activities and resources that are important to each person’s unique preferences. The LifeCourse Trajectory process further identifies a person’s goals and dreams and plots it along a timeline that helps the person and their support team achieve those goals in real time.
  5. The organization currently serves seven counties (Polk, Marion, Linn-Benton, Yamhill, Lane, Josephine and Jackson) with over 350 clients and 750 employees.

Cascade is proud to feature PCL, an organization with the mission to expand the horizons and enhance the quality of life for the people they support.


Hot Compliance Question

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

Question: I really want to see how candidates will perform the job and fit in with our staff. Can I have them do a working interview where they come in for a few hours and work on a project with some of our team?

Answer:  It depends. The Department of Labor, BOLI, and the 9th Circuit have adopted the economic realities test to determine when someone is an employee, which would apply to the working interview situation. Courts and agencies will look at factors like whether the employer receives any benefit from the work or whether the benefit is mainly for the applicant, whether the work displaces regular employees, whether the applicants are guaranteed a job at the end of the interview, and whether there is an understanding or agreement that the work will be paid or unpaid.

Knowing these factors, any sort of skills test or working interview should be structured in a way that ensures the employer receives no benefit from the work and no employees have their work displaced by the applicant by using simulated situations, rather than actual situations. Making it clear upfront that no job is promised and that the interview will not be paid would also be helpful. Finally, while the length of the interview is often not determinative about whether the time is paid from a legal sense, the longer a working interview, the more likely an applicant is to feel as though they should be paid. Even defending a claim you would likely win is a pain, so keeping the working interviews to as short a length as possible is also a wise strategy.

For example, a car dealership may have a car on the lot that is dedicated to being detailed by final candidates. The car isn’t used for any other purpose, so the detailing does not benefit the dealer. Making it clear that the job is not guaranteed and the candidate will not be paid for this test would give the dealership a good argument that the detailing work performed does not need to be paid and has not created an employment relationship with any of the candidates.


HR Stats You Should Know

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

At the end of 2017, we predicted there would be a decrease in EEOC resolutions and awards (think front pay, back pay, compensatory and punitive damages). Now we know that in fact, there was a 19% decrease in these awards compared to 2016.

From a risk management standpoint this probably seems like a good statistic. However, contrast this with the fact that the number of enforcement suits increased 76%. Things don’t look so good now. Even if resolutions are down, the number of suits is increasing which is bad news. Right now, employers are more at risk of getting sued and enduring time and efforts that go into defending claims and other unwanted attention that may bring, such as negative social media campaigns.

Consider taking steps to help manage your risk such as conducting a compliance audit, an employee engagement survey, and investing in developing your employees and leaders.


Retirement Planning in Your 20s and 30s

By Dan Sholian
Cascade’s 401(k) Partner at Matisse Capital
[email protected]

Is it too early to start planning for retirement in your 20s? The answer is no. As life expectancy continues to increase, planning early can ensure a comfortable retirement. While planning for retirement at this age may be the last thing on your mind, the earlier you start the better chance you have of achieving your retirement goal. An early start also allows more time for your investment to grow through compound interest. In addition to starting early, here are some steps you should consider when planning for retirement in your 20s and early 30s.

Maximize your employer match: Young investors should consider maximizing their employer 401(k) match, since failure to take advantage of this benefit means missing out on free money. Many employers match 25, or even 50, cents per dollar invested by an employee, up to a predetermined maximum contribution percentage. If your employer provides this, make sure to put enough money in your 401(k) plan to maximize your employer match.

Consider a Roth investment: Much like a company-sponsored retirement plan, traditional IRAs are a common investment vehicle. Traditional IRA contributions are not taxed, but withdrawals are taxed. A Roth IRA or Roth 401(k) gives you the option of taxing your contribution up front at the time of investment while the account grows in value tax-free thereafter. This means that withdrawals during retirement are not subject to income tax, provided you are at least 59 1/2 and the account is held for five years or more. This is a great way for younger investors to take advantage of lower tax rates, especially if they expect to be in a higher tax bracket closer to retirement.

Manage your risk: One mistake young investors make is selecting a less-than-optimal stock/bond allocation based on their age. Typically, investors in their 20s or 30s are best advised to select a stock-heavy portfolio with a minimal allocation to bonds.

For investors who feel less comfortable with selecting their own investments, target-date funds can serve as a convenient alternative. Target-date funds start out with heavier allocations to stocks and become more income-oriented as the participant ages. If you are in your 20s or 30s, it might make sense to choose an aggressive portfolio allocation and limit your investment in bonds.

Avoid market-timing: A look back in time suggests that some of the biggest gains in the stock market have followed periods of poor market returns. Investors can make the mistake of timing the market by pulling out of their investments during market losses and buying back when the market has rebounded. Investors who attempt to time the market run the risk of missing periods of exceptional returns. With time on your side, it is best to adopt a long-term approach to investing.

Keep in mind that you should first estimate how much money you may need in retirement as well as determine your current annual expenses such as living, healthcare, and miscellaneous spending before considering the options outlined above. It is always a good practice to track your spending in addition to identifying your savings and investment objectives.

This is for informational purposes only and should not be considered tax or financial planning advice.

401(k) and IRA plans are long-term retirement savings vehicles. Funds grow tax-deferred. Withdrawal of pretax contributions and/or earnings will be subject to ordinary income tax and, if taken prior to age 59 1/2, may be subject to a 10% federal tax penalty. Direct contributions to a Roth IRA are not tax-deductible but may be withdrawn free of tax at any time. Earnings may be withdrawn tax and penalty free after a five-year holding period if the age of 59 1/2 (or other qualifying condition) is met. Otherwise, a 10% federal tax penalty may apply. Please consult with a financial or tax professional for advice specific to your situation.


DOL Axes Persuader Rule

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

Back in 2016, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed a rule that would have changed the amount of information an employer and a labor consultant (which often is an attorney) would be required to report regarding efforts to dissuade union organization. Under the current interpretation, the employer and consultant are required to report only when the consultant directly communicates with employees about any union organizing. The proposed rule would have required the employer and consultant to report any activities undertaken with an object, directly or indirectly, to persuade employees how to exercise their rights with respect to union organization and collective bargaining.

The rule was met with swift opposition, with 17 state attorney generals filing a lawsuit challenging the rule. In late 2016, a federal district court in Texas blocked the rule because, among other reasons, it required employers and their consultants to divulge information that would otherwise be protected by attorney-client privilege.

In June 2017, DOL proposed to rescind the rule, and on July 18, 2018, that rescission became final. This is good news for employers facing union organizing campaigns, as it maintains the privilege and non-disclosure of many conversations and efforts that fall short of direct communication to employees. For compliance obligation questions, please give us a call.


©2018 Cascade Employers Association
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