50,000 Massachusetts Home Care Workers Win $15.00/hr Minimum Wage

Massachusetts has become the first state to enact a $15 per hour minimum starting wage. The announcement came Thursday, June 25th from the administration of recently elected Gov. Charlie Baker (R). Baker formerly was the CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, a not-for-profit health services company.

Cities such as Seattle and Chicago have been on the leading edge of enacting $15 minimum wages for various kinds of workers involved in the fight for $15, but the state-wide Massachusetts agreement marks a watershed moment for home care workers.

All personal care attendants statewide will receive the $15 minimum wage as of July 1, 2018. An immediate $0.30 raise goes into effect July 1, 2015. There are more than 50,000 home care workers in Massachusetts, including those working for private agencies.

For more information on how using the latest workforce management solutions can help manage rising payroll costs AND improve retention, contact MITC today!

90,000 Workers In Maryland Win Sick Leave

On Tuesday, June 23, Montgomery County, MD passed legislation that requires all employers to accrue one hour paid sick leave or paid time off (PTO) for every 30 hours worked for all employees, including part-time and temporary employees. County officials estimate that 90,000 workers in Montgomery County are affected.

Organizations with more than five employees in Montgomery County will need to:

  • Track hours worked for all employees
  • Accrue one hour for every 30 hours worked
  • Paid employees sick pay if they have accrued hours
  • Track the remaining balance to ensure employees do not receive more than entitled

MITC Workforce Management allows employees to request PTO anywhere, anytime, using an internet enable device, check their accrued PTO balances and processes approved PTO through to payroll automatically. Unlimited history of hours worked and PTO requested, approved or denied and taken is retained.

With Too Few Lifeguards, It’s Everybody Out of the Pool

The Wall Street Journal on Saturday, June 20th, reports that more than a dozen cities, including Raleigh, NC, Cincinnati, OH, and Austin, TX are dealing with a drought of qualified staff to guard swimmers. This has resulted in delayed openings or restricted hours of operation in some areas. Unusual steps are being taken to attract employees including:

  • Contacting swim team alumni and parents
  • Advertising for retirees
  • Offering free swim passes
  • $100 gift cards for guards who sign up early and stay
  • Hiring more 15- and 16-year-olds

Pool management companies are also finding that they can engage young employees with mobile technology. Pay is not the only reason people take a job. A recent survey found that pay was only one of several factors workers ranked as important. Other factors related to scheduling and communication. Here are some tips for using technology to attract new hires and reduce turnover.

Operating like a 21st century company can make a difference to 15- to 21-year-olds! Engage your lifeguards on their mobile devices.

Scheduling

  1. Track employee preferences and restrictions to maximize satisfaction with their shifts. Avoid calling employees to fill an open position they can’t take.
  2. Send text/email reminders to lifeguards of their next shift with instructions of what they are meant to do. Reduces absenteeism and helps motivate employees.
  3. Use Task Scheduling to assign lifeguards specific duties. Create a checklist for guards to People like to know what they are meant to do.

Self-Service

  1. Let lifeguards see their schedule for as many weeks ahead as you can, enabling them to know who they are working with at the pool, if there are open positions, check their timesheets, request time off easily, and more. Save them, and you, time.
  2. Now that you have them looking at your website, use the homepage to make organization wide announcements and engage your lifeguards.

Telephone Timekeeping

  1. Use Telephone Timekeeping to automatically thank lifeguards for working on a holiday, or wish them happy birthday or happy anniversary.
  2. Make use of voice messages to tell lifeguards what they are meant to do at different pools.

Automated HR Emails/Texts

  1. Remind lifeguards about license expirations, upcoming training, reviews, and more.
  2. Send happy birthday and anniversary greetings.
  3. Use HR emails to keep different lifeguards updated about changes that effect them at their pool, send out open position notices, and offer finder’s fees for referring their friends.