5 Ways to Encourage Employees to Enjoy Their Paid Time Off Over the July 4th Holiday

David Rook

Many employees feel like they have to check-in with work even when they’re supposed to be enjoying paid time off. More often than not, this is a cultural issue within a company. Supervisors might be checking-in and sending emails in the evening or on weekends. This leads their direct reports to believe they need to respond immediately, and they may even start adopting these behaviors themselves. 

Yet, research has shown time and time again that workers need frequent breaks and unfortunately, Americans leave a lot of that paid time off on the table every year. It might seem like workers would be more productive if they aren’t using all their vacation time, but in reality, skipping our vacations actually makes us less productive. To keep employees operating in top shape, we need to encourage them to enjoy their downtime — and perhaps it’s fitting to begin with the July 4th holiday. Here are 5 ways to encourage employees to enjoy their independence...and their paid time off this weekend.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employee Retention

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Sample Policies for Arizona's New Paid Sick Leave Law

Jeff Griffin

In the November 2016 general election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 206, which instituted an incremental increase in the state’s minimum wage, as well as mandated paid sick leave for all employees — not just full-time, but part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers as well. All HR professionals and business owners should be apprised to the changes this law will bring and what it means for themselves and their employees.

To assist with complying with the new law, we're providing you with sample paid sick leave policies, not only for employers with over 15 employees, but also for employers with under 15 employees. Feel fee to use these new sample policies in posters, updated employee handbooks, and wherever else you post your HR policies. Of course as always, you should consult with your legal council and benefits advisor to ensure accuracy and applicability to your business,*

Here's a recap of the new law:

Proposition 206: Paid Sick Leave

According to the new law, the paid sick leave portion of this policy will go into effect on July 1, 2017 (the increase in minimum wage began on January 1). Prop 206 requires that employers with 15 or more employees provide at least 40 hours of paid sick leave per year to every employee. This amounts to one week of paid sick leave per year, per employee, assuming an eight-hour work day.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Paid Time Off (PTO), Legislation, Arizona

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The Birth of Labor Day (Pun Intended)

David Rook

The Birth of Labor Day (Pun Intended)

As experts in the field of employee benefits, it seems only fitting that we share with the curious the origins of Labor Day, most especially as we enter this holiday weekend. Labor Day is, after all, a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

We have President Grover Cleveland to thank for the getting the first Monday of September as a holiday every year. Several factions lobbied for the holiday to be on May 1st, to link up with International Worker’s Day, which is celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. But for President Cleveland, May 1st was too close to the date of Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre, which occurred on May 4th, 1886.

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Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Education

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Bend Time To Create Unique Employee Benefits

David Rook

In a perfect world, personal life and work-related responsibilities are in absolute harmony. There's no stress, no job dissatisfaction, and no reduced productivity. In a perfect world, when we list our priorities, we give equal weight to home and work, and our scale is in balance.

The savvy employer recognizes that more often than not, time is more important than money to employees. The ability to choose a work schedule, telecommute, or cut back on hours, without fear of monetary loss or employer repercussion, is a major perk. Having the opportunity to be flexible results in less stress for your employees, which results in higher productivity, less turnover, and an overall happier workplace.

Here are a few ways you can use the gift of time creatively to make your workers’ lives easier.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Cost Containment, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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The Origins of Labor Day

David Rook

The Origins of Labor Day

As experts in the field of employee benefits, it seems only fitting that we share with the curious the origins of Labor Day, most especially as we enter this holiday weekend. Labor Day is, after all, a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

We have President Grover Cleveland to thank for the getting the first Monday of September as a holiday every year. Several factions lobbied for the holiday to be on May 1st, to link up with International Worker’s Day, which is celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. But for President Cleveland, May 1st was too close to the date of Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre, which occurred on May 4th, 1886.

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Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Education

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Summer Blog Series (Part 4): Notable PTO Trends and Novel Approaches

David Rook

Summer Blog Series (Part 4):

Notable PTO Trends and Novel Approaches

In previous posts in our Summer Blog Series, we’ve discussed the benefits of PTO, the advantages of using PTO automation to handle the administrative function, and common PTO policies, procedures and FAQs. For this final installment, we’ll focus on notable PTO trends and novel approaches some companies are experimenting with today.

PTO Trends:

Bank Systems on the Rise

According to a 2014 study released by WorldatWork, a non-profit research association, 41 percent of organizations participating in the study used bank-style PTO systems, while 56 percent still used traditional systems of paid leave for their employees. (PTO banks offer a combined “bucket” of available paid days off which can be used for a variety of reasons.) This approach differs considerably from the better-known system of assigning a pre-set number of days each year in separate categories like vacation, sick leave, bereavement leave, and personal days.

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Topics: Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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Summer Blog Series (Part 3): PTO Policies, Procedures and Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

David Rook

Summer Blog Series (Part 3):

Paid Time Off - PTO Policies, Procedures and FAQs

The summer months typically bring about a unique set of attendance issues, from abnormally high absenteeism rates to dealing with three major holidays to the administrative burdens of an onslaught of time off requests.

Here are answers to some of the most common questions about paid holidays and other 
PTO to help your organization navigate these challenges and create a competitive and compliant PTO plan.

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Topics: Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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Summer Blog Series (Part 2): Eliminating Administrative Burdens Through PTO Automation

David Rook

Summer Blog Series (Part 2):

Paid Time Off - Eliminating Administrative Burdens Through PTO Automation

As we mentioned in our first post in this four part series on Paid Time Off, statistically speaking, PTO is the most highly utilized employee benefit. Makes sense, right? For this very same reason, management of PTO can also be a real burden for an already swamped HR department, most especially if PTO is still being managed in a manual, non-automated fashion.

The reason for this is simple: employees don’t do a good job of keeping track of the time they’ve taken. This seems to be true even when the accrued amount is posted on each paystub ;) The problem compounds when there are multiple "paid time off" accounts such as vacation days, sick days, bereavement days, etc.

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Topics: Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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Summer Blog Series (Part 1): Paid Time Off – The #1 Employee Benefit

David Rook

Summer Blog Series (Part 1):

Paid Time Off - Why PTO Is Such a Critical Benefit

Ask any seasoned HR individual about the most frequently asked question of them, especially around this time of year, and most will tell you that it’s some version of an inquiry regarding vacation, holidays, sick days and leave policies; in other words, paid time off (PTO).

So as the July 4th holiday approaches, this seems like an appropriate time for us to introduce a four part series on PTO, the most highly utilized of all employee benefits.

In this, the first post in the series, we’ll focus on why PTO is such a critical benefit to both employee and employer. The second part of our series will focus on the latest in PTO automation and why it no longer has to be such an administrative burden. The third part of our series will focus on frequently asked questions about PTO policies and procedures, and in the fourth and final part in our series, we’ll discuss some recent and notable trends in PTO and well as some new and novel approaches to the concept of time off.

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Topics: Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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