by Monica Blackwood, Columnist, Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal
The last half of 2017 saw companies scrambling to understand and prepare for Washington’s paid sick leave law, and employers continued to educate themselves on the new regulations into the summer of 2018. While that flurry of activity was happening, there was another bill which Gov. Jay Inslee signed: Washington State Paid Family and Medical Leave Law.
We are now the fifth state in the nation to pass such a law, after California, New Jersey, Rhode Island and New York. And, the law’s “go live” date is fast approaching – employers need to comply by January 1, 2019.
A quick summary about this law: For the year 2019, funding will be built up into the plan. Starting January 1, 2020 eligible employees are allowed 12 weeks of family or medical leave. This includes mothers and fathers welcoming a child into their home either by birth or adoption; or to take care of themselves or a family member (defined as a child, spouse, domestic partner, parent, parent-in-law, sibling, grandparent or grandchild) who has a serious health condition, or for a family member injured due to military service. In some situations, that paid leave can be extended to up to 18 weeks.
Read the rest of the story here…
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Monica Blackwood is president and CEO of Westsound Workforce, with offices in Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach
Lately, I have noticed that the seeming inability to have reasoned debate within the political climate has spilled over into the workplace. There seems to be a “my way or the highway” mentality seeping into professional environments which is not productive. People are taking sides and staking claim to their view with no room for understanding or compromise. I’m reminded that whenever one side is “right,” it automatically makes the other side “wrong” and no one likes to be wrong.
I think the first step toward better understanding of one another’s points-of-view is to stop rushing to judgment. Just stepping back a beat and pretending there might be another approach or that – gasp – you might be wrong, are worthwhile steps. Being wrong is not the end of the world, it just means you have more to learn and isn’t that true of all of us? If we listened without judgment we might actually hear what the other side is saying.
If you are ready to practice, start with questions. “What” questions are usually the best and most effective for not conveying judgment. For example:
- What makes you say that?
- Tell me a little about how you came to that decision, belief, position, idea, etc.?
- What other ways have you looked at?
- Would you be open to a different point-of-view?
Read more on Mary Marshall’s website…
by Mary Marshall, CEO Coach
As a leader, the distinction of “control vs. influence” is an important one to consider. Which is better? The answer is probably “it depends,” however, when working with employees or your team, influence can be so much more effective that it’s not even a contest.
As an entrepreneur, sometimes control is the only thing we think we have to keep all the balls in the air. Unfortunately, when you have “control” or perceived control of everything you become the bottleneck, and everyone relies on you to do or approve things. Additionally, you will get labeled as a micromanager and there are not many who like working for a micromanager. This becomes the Achilles’ heel for a lot of entrepreneurs.
Another common challenge based in control is growing and running so fast that the response to someone on your team asking you to slow down and explain is annoyance. A typical leadership pitfall is to think, “well, it’s just easier to do it myself.” This ends up being a self-fulfilling prophecy, (and not in a good way), as you will end up doing EVERYTHING yourself. Continue reading
One of the joys of running a small business is how close you and your employees can become. For many entrepreneurs, their staff is more like family. That’s why it can be so painful to think that one of your employees is an embezzler. However, employee fraud is more common than you may think.
In fact, the majority (55 percent) of embezzlement takes place at companies with fewer than 100 employees, according to a study by insurance company Hiscox.
But that’s not all. In addition to being disproportionately affected by embezzlement, small companies also face disproportionately large costs when they are robbed. Consider this: One incident of embezzlement costs small businesses a median of $289,000. Could your business take a hit that big?
Read more here…
What’s the difference?
It is important to note that paid family and medical leave and paid sick leave have two different sets of requirements. Both requirements include strictly-enforced measures that prevent employers from retaliating against employees in any way for the exercise of either or both rights.
Paid Family & Medical Leave
In 2019, employers in Washington will begin paying premiums for paid family and medical leave. Starting Jan. 1, 2020, employees will be able to apply for Paid Family and Medical Leave benefits. Benefits will be available for most employees who work at least 820 hours in the qualifying period.
Paid Family and Medical Leave will be a state-run insurance program that is funded by both employers and employees. Eligible employees are assured up to 12 weeks of leave as needed, with partial wage replacement. In certain exceptional cases 16-18 weeks may be taken.
The amount of this benefit varies depending on the employee’s weekly wage, median statewide incomes, and other factors. Continue reading
Changes to the state minimum wage
The minimum wage in 2017 is $11 per hour.
- The minimum wage applies to all jobs, including agriculture.
- Employers must pay employees age 16 and older at least $11 per hour in 2017. WAC 296-126-020(app.leg.wa.gov).
- Employers are allowed to pay 85 percent of the minimum wage to employees under age 16. WAC 296-126-020 (app.leg.wa.gov). For 2017, this rate is $9.35 per hour.
- Seattle, Tacoma, and the City of SeaTac currently have higher minimum wage rates. The local rate applies if it is higher than the state minimum wage rate.
- The initiative does not change overtime pay requirements.
The initiative sets future minimum wage rates Continue reading
As your small business grows, you will reach a point when you can’t do everything by yourself. To get the help you need, you can choose to outsource various tasks to independent contractors or hire employees and delegate the work.
To decide which will make the most sense for you and your company, it’s important to understand some of the key differences between working with independent contractors and having employees on staff.
Years ago, I owned a “virtual” marketing services firm. I worked with a group of talented creative people — designers, illustrators, photographers, and others. I asked them to work on projects for my clients, and they often asked me to work on projects for their clients. We all had licensed businesses and we enjoyed working with each other. Continue reading