Dressing for summer

When the weather warms up, we shed long pants and long-sleeved shirts for shorts and T-shirts. Many businesses have a dress code that begins with the Memorial Day holiday and ends with Labor Day. As we move into the hot days of summer, employer dress codes seem to get more and more stretched and tested.

The Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) gives these suggestions for appropriate and inappropriate attire in the work environment for summer:

  • T-shirts with no graphics, polo shirts, khakis, denim jeans, capri pants, company logo wear, knee-length dresses and skirts, dressy sandals and casual shoes, including athletic shoes, are guidelines for appropriate dress.
  • Inappropriate attire includes shorts, logo clothing other than the company’s logo, flip-flops, sleeveless tops, halter tops or tank tops, sweatpants, leggings, tight or revealing clothing, athletic wear and clothing that is ripped, frayed or messy.

Update on new Paid Family and Medical Leave

The new Massachusetts law on Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) will take effect Jan. 1, 2021, but there have been some recent deadline changes employers need to know. The Baker-Polito Administration and legislators have delayed the start of payroll contributions to give employers more time to prepare for the law.

Payroll deductions set to begin July 1 have been delayed three months to Oct. 1, 2019. As a result of the shorter timeframe for collecting payroll-based contributions to finance the program, the total rate has increased from 0.63 percent to 0.75 percent of employees’ annual salaries. Employers are responsible for remitting their contributions, if there are any, and employee contributions for Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 to the state by Jan. 31, 2020.

Employers with 25 or more covered employees are required to contribute 0.37 percent of each employee’s salary to the medical leave benefits. The family leave portion will be fully paid by employees.

The deadline for employers to notify their employees about the new law has been extended from June 30 to Sept. 30, 2019. Employers who provided their employees with written notices before the delay was announced June 14 must give their employees a rate update form, which details the revised dates and contribution rates.

Employers who offer paid leave similar to those under PFML now have until Dec. 20 to apply to the Department of Family and Medical Leave (DFML) for an exemption from making contributions.

Businesses with 1099-MISC contractors who make up more than 50 percent of the workforce must include the contractors in the program. Private employers with one or more employees in Massachusetts are required to comply with the law.

Provisions of the law also have been amended to stipulate the documentation employees must provide to be eligible for family or medical leave.

As of Jan. 1, 2021, employees may be entitled to up to 20 weeks of paid medical leave in a benefit year if they have a serious illness. Employees may be able to receive up to 12 weeks of paid family leave for the birth, adoption or foster care of a child, or for a covered situation in which a family member is on active duty or has impending active duty in the Armed Forces. The law also will enable qualified employees to take up to 26 weeks of paid family leave in a benefit year for a family member who has a serious health issue.

For more information about the Paid Family and Medical Leave law, visit the DFML website at https://bit.ly/2rcxAqH.

Tips for fighting age discrimination

MJ Feld, of Careers by Choice, Inc., has seven tips for job seekers over age 50 to avoid job discrimination. Feld says she believes age discrimination may be over-hyped. She says her older clients who use strategies to level the playing field are being hired.

Feld’s tips are:

  1. Avoid statements specifying the number of years of experience you have. Feld recommends limiting your experience to 20 years and not listing jobs from more than 20 years ago on your resume.
  2. With age comes wisdom. Feld suggests thinking about what makes you a better hire than someone younger. Whether it’s your contacts or your knowledge of your field, you should highlight these on your resume and in interviews.
  3. Everyone can look 10 years younger with little effort. Feld lists possible touch-ups such as whitening your teeth, wearing fashionable eyeglass frames, using hair color to cover the gray, or shaving your head if you’re a man who doesn’t have much hair.
  4. Pay attention to tech skills. Feld says you should make sure you have the computer skills you need for the job you want.
  5. Show you are “in it” for the long haul. She suggests taking an online course in something related to your field and including it on your resume.
  6. Have “spring in your step” and act perky and energetic in interviews. Feld says it’s best to practice this with someone.
  7. Build or revise your LinkedIn profile. Feld says you need to show a potential employer an active profile and a photo.

Feld’s website is www.careersbychoice.com.

Is there an HR topic you’d like to know more about?

I’m teaming up with Dennis A. McCurdy, CIC, CFP of McCurdy Group, and other subject matter experts for a series of six Brown Bag Lunch and Learn workshops on Human Resources topics. The workshops will be at noon on the third Wednesday of each month, with the exception of the first workshop, at Dennis’ office at 212 Main St., Sturbridge.

The first workshop will be held July 24 at noon and the topic will be Employee Assistance Programs. We will talk about benefit trends and questions employers/EAP providers need to be asking themselves…Let me know if there are specific topics you’d like to have covered. I hope you’ll join us!

If you have any questions, contact me at https://www.melodybeachconsulting.com/

AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS

Northeast Human Resources Association (NEHRA)
Webster Dudley Business Alliance (WDBA)
AARP (American Association of Retired Persons)
PARWCC The Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches Woman in Business (WIB)
BNI Referral Champions Worcester Chapter
Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM)
Chamber of Commerce Central South Mass (CCSM)
50+ Job Seekers
Human Resources Management Association (HRMA) of Central Massachusetts
Women's Information Network (WIN)
Massachusetts Councils on Aging (MCOA)
Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce

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