impactnews: US Department of Labor Proposes New Overtime Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a proposed rule that would increase the minimum salary an employee must earn to be exempt from minimum wage and overtime under a white-collar exemption.

The proposed rule requires salaried exempt executive, professional, administrative, and IT/computer employees to be paid at least $679 per week (or $35,308 annually) on a salary basis. Above this salary level, eligibility for overtime varies based on job duties. This new proposal is an increase from the current minimum of $455 per week (or $23,660).

The DOL last Friday announced the start of the proposal’s public comment period, which will remain open for 60 days and close on May 21, 2019. The DOL encourages interested parties to provide comments.

In addition, DOL is not proposing changes to the duties tests for the white collar exemptions noted above. The DOL notes that employers should be aware that paying someone a minimum salary does not necessarily mean they are properly classified as exempt.

Each of the exemption types mentioned above has a corresponding duties test. If the duties test is not met by the employee, then they are non-exempt and entitled to minimum wage and overtime.

impactAction: To prepare for the potential final approval of this rule later this year, impactHR recommends employers:

  • Begin the process of conducting an audit of the job duties of your employees classified as exempt
  • Prepare to add new policies and practices for the overtime pay rule into your employee handbook (or consider distributing them separately as handbook amendments)
  • In advance of final approval of the rule, prepare to distribute your updated handbooks and consider having employees sign-off to acknowledge their acceptance and understanding of these new policies
  • With your handbook up-to-date with overtime language, then reemphasize the overtime policies with newly reclassified employees

If you have any questions about this proposed overtime rule or how to prepare for compliance, please contact an impactHR team member at or 443-741-3900. Learn more.

impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell One of MD’s “Top 100 Women for 2019”

impactHR’s Kelly Mitchell has been named one of “Maryland’s Top 100 Women for 2019” by The Daily Record.

Kelly Mitchell, Principal, impactHR

The Daily Record began Maryland’s Top 100 Women awards in 1996 to recognize outstanding achievements by women demonstrated through professional accomplishments, community leadership and mentoring.

A panel of business professionals and previous Maryland’s Top 100 Women honorees from throughout the state reviewed the final applications and selected this year’s honorees.

The Maryland’s Top 100 Women awards celebration will be held April 15 starting with a reception at 5:00pm at Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall in Baltimore.

“I’m very grateful to be selected to The Daily Record’s 2019 listing of Maryland’s Top 100 Women,” said Mitchell. “I’m also sincerely appreciative of all those who have supported me through the years, including my family and so many of my company’s clients, partners, friends and my team. It’s truly an honor to be included among this distinguished group of women leaders who do so much for our state and our communities.”

Mitchell’s’ leadership in business and in her community has earned her numerous honors and awards, including being named a “2018 Mid-Atlantic Women’s Leadership Award” winner by CEO Report and a 2017 “Top 100 MBE Winner” by the Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council. Learn more.

Total Rewards: A New Compensation Plan for a New Era

When it comes to setting your company’s pay and benefits, the traditional term describing this structure tends to be “total compensation.” But now it’s all about the concept of “total rewards,” said Dora Daniel, HR Executive and Principal with LiveWorkLearn Enterprises, who spoke at impactHR’s impactBreakfast executive roundtable held earlier this month.

“The idea of total rewards has become multi-dimensional,” said Dora. “When we talk about total rewards, we’re taking a look at the entire lifecycle of the whole employee experience and all the things that matter to help employees stay engaged.”

The total rewards model, according to Dora, typically combines compensation, benefits, well-being plus career and development.

Out of this construct, a total rewards program engenders a focus on work-life effectiveness, recognition, performance management and talent development into one package to help companies attract, retain, motivate and engage their employees.

One factor driving more focus and attention to total rewards is the changing nature of the workforce, which features more diversity than ever across the generations. “What we’re learning from millennials and Generation X is that professional development really matters,” said Dora. “These employees want to be developed, they want opportunities to grow, they want opportunities to participate in decision-making in the organization.”

In crafting a Total Rewards program, Dora emphasized three key points for organizations to consider. First, personalize your programs to suit the needs of each generational segment of your employee base. One size program no longer fits all.

Second, consider the term “development as a service.” That is, when employers offer training and development programs for employees, you’re developing more productive employees and building better professionals. Dora says studies show the more you invest in your employees, the more committed they are to staying in your organization.

Third, employers should factor in the importance of the term “employee as a consumer.”

Under this idea, employees are asking: “What does the organization do for me? What makes me want to give my best to this organization?”

The other side of the coin for employees is: “What do I bring to the table?” It’s an era in which employees more than ever are evaluating their employers well beyond just pay and benefits.

impactAction: If you have questions about your organization’s current compensation plan or any HR needs you may have, please contact an impactHR team member at or 443-741-3900.

Survey: IT, Professional Services Firms Report High Government Contract Win Rates

IT and professional services companies win nearly 50% of their government contract bids, according to a recent survey by Richard Wagner and Co., a consulting firm based in Leesburg, VA.

The survey also found defense and national security-focused government contractors, in contrast, post win rates below 25%. Overall, the survey, based on responses by more than 30,000 government contractors, showed a majority of federal contractors win roughly 30% of their contract bids.

In addition, more than half of respondents reported that “non-price factors, such as technical solution, key personnel, and past performance, drive the award decision.” Learn more.

Howard County (MD), Northern VA Among Healthiest Communities in US

Howard County, MD and several Northern Virginia communities comprise many of the spots in US News & World Report’s new ranking of the Top 25 healthiest communities in the country.

The rankings are based on a number of measurements within a set of categories that include: population health, equity, education, economy, housing, food/nutrition, environment, public safety and air/water.

For our overall region, here are the rankings as they placed within the top 25: Falls Church, VA (ranked #3); Loudon County, VA (#4); Howard County, MD (#10); Fairfax County, VA (#13); Fairfax City, VA (#18); and Arlington VA (#25). Learn more.