Illinois Minimum Wage Increase

,

Illinois Minimum Wage Increases Starting in January

 

As most everyone is aware, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a law to progressively increase the minimum wage in our state. Illinois is among one of the first states in the nation to pass an increase this large. The first increase will take effect in just a few short months on January 1, 2020.

In January, the minimum wage will increase to $9.25 per hour. That is a dollar more than the current state minimum wage of $8.25. Shortly thereafter, on July 1st, the minimum will increase another $0.75 to $10.00 hour.

A few other changes that take effect under this law is that minors (18 years of age and under) may be paid a lower wage per hour as long as they don’t work more than 650 hours per year. Damages to employers for violating the new Illinois Minimum Wage Act have increased drastically.

The state has implemented a tax credit to try to offset some of the burden on small employers. Businesses with 50 employees or less will be able to claim a tax credit for 25 percent of the cost in 2020. As the minimum wage continues to go up however, the credit will decrease and eventually be phased out completely.

What does all of this mean for you as an employer? There are several things that need to be considered when the minimum wage is increased.

Wage Compression – the definition of wage compression is the regularity that wages for low-skilled workers and wages for high-skilled workers tend toward one another. Not only does the minimum wage have to go up, but most likely the wage that you are paying your skilled workers as well.

Effects on small businesses – oftentimes wage increases force small business owners to raise prices on their goods and services or reduce the cost of doing business. This can lead to operating your business with leaner staff or cheaper products.

Passing on the cost to consumers – for obvious reasons, this could mean passing on these additional costs to your consumer. There are obviously pros and cons to this. Consumers will likely be making more money and can afford to pay a little more for goods and services. On the other hand, some businesses aren’t able to pass on increases to their consumers to remain competitive or due to the national standard for some of these goods and services.

As stated earlier, there are several things that need to be considered when the Illinois minimum wage increase takes effect. If you are curious about the minimum wage increases for the state of Illinois over the next several years, check out this link: https://www2.illinois.gov/idol/Laws-Rules/FLS/Pages/minimum-wage-rates-by-year.aspx.

This article (“Article”) is a service made available Priority Staffing Group, Ltd, its partners, affiliates or subsidiaries (“Provider”). This Article provides general information related to the law and is designed to help users safely cope with their own legal needs. This Article does not provide legal advice and Provider is not a law firm. None of our content writers are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or will be formed between you and Provider or any of our representatives.

Nourish HUB Partnership

Priority Staffing Moves into Nourish Food Bank

,

Nourish Food Bank

Priority Staffing Group is excited to announce our newest partnership with Nourish Food Bank in Murfreesboro. In addition to our current location on Veterans Parkway, our staff will now occupy a second space located within Nourish’s HUB distribution center to better serve our community members needing employment services.

 

We will be on-site at 1809 Memorial Blvd Murfreesboro, TN 37129 on Tuesdays and Thursdays to take applications and conduct interviews for current and future job openings. We will also be available to assist with resume building and interview coaching upon request. 

 

The distribution center, The Nourish HUB, just opened its doors in September of 2018. The new facility exists to offer critically needed resources, preparation, storage and distribution of food supplies to nonprofits including food banks/pantries, mobile meals programs, shelters, senior and youth food wellness initiatives, and others as appropriate to the hunger relief movement.

 

Visit the Nourish Food Bank website for more information about the incredible work they do in our community.

Want to support them even more? Purchase tickets to benefit the Nourish Food Bank at their upcoming event, Aloha Hanai, a Lei’d Back Luau. The community event is Saturday, June 22nd 6:30 – 9:30 pm.

 

Check out some of our other non-profit partners, like Endure Athletics and Amelia’s Closet.

Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act

,

On June 4, 2019, the Illinois legislature passed the Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act. In a nutshell, the use of cannabis in Illinois will now become recreational effective January 1, 2020.

Under this act, the General Assembly finds and declares that cannabis should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol. To the extent that persons, age 21 and older, will have to show proof of age before purchasing cannabis.

When it comes to how we handle this in the workplace as employers however, we still have some rights, unlike other states. The General Assembly declares at the beginning of the “Cannabis Act” that “employee workplace safety shall not be diminished and employer workplace policies shall be interpreted to protect employee safety.”

A snapshot of Sections 10-50 gives us a few guidelines on what we can expect as employers in how to move forward with our enforcement of this new law.

  • Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an employer from adopting reasonable zero tolerance or drug-free workplace policies, or employment policies concerning drug testing, smoking, consumption, storage, or use of cannabis in the workplace or while on-call provided that the policy is applied in a nondiscriminatory manner.
  • Nothing in this Act shall require an employer to permit an employee to be under the influence of or use cannabis in the employer’s workplace or while performing the employee’s job duties or while on call.
  • Nothing in this Act shall limit or prevent an employer from disciplining an employee or terminating the employment of an employee for violating an employer’s employment policies or workplace drug policy.
  • An employer may consider an employee to be impaired or under the influence of cannabis if the employer has a good faith belief that an employee manifests specific, articulable symptoms while working that decrease or lessen the employee’s performance of the duties or tasks of the employee’s job position, including symptoms of the employee’s speech, physical dexterity, agility, coordination, demeanor, irrational or unusual behavior, or negligence or carelessness in operating equipment or machinery; disregard for the safety of the employee or others, or involvement in any accident that results in serious damage to equipment or property; disruption of a production or manufacturing process; or carelessness that results in any injury to the employee or others. If an employer elects to discipline an employee on the basis that the employee is under the influence or impaired by cannabis, the employer must afford the employee a reasonable opportunity to contest the basis of the determination.
  • Nothing in this Act shall be construed to create or imply a cause of action for any person against an employer for:
    • actions, including but not limited to subjecting an employee or applicant to reasonable drug and alcohol testing under the employer’s workplace drug policy, including an employee’s refusal to be tested or to cooperate in testing procedures or disciplining or termination of employment, based on the employer’s good faith belief that an employee used or possessed cannabis in the employer’s workplace or while performing the employee’s job duties or while on call in violation of the employer’s employment policies;
    • actions, including discipline or termination of employment, based on the employer’s good faith belief that an employee was impaired as a result of the use of cannabis, or under the influence of cannabis, while at the employer’s workplace or while performing the employee’s job duties or while on call in violation of the employer’s workplace drug policy; or
    • injury, loss, or liability to a third party if the employer neither knew nor had reason to know that the employee was impaired.
  • Nothing in this Act shall be construed to enhance or diminish protections afforded by any other law, including but not limited to the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act or the Opioid Alternative Pilot Program.
  • Nothing in this Act shall be construed to interfere with any federal, state, or local restrictions on employment including, but not limited to, the United States Department of Transportation regulation 49 CFR 40.151(e) or impact an employer’s ability to comply with federal or state law or cause 25 it to lose a federal or State contract or funding.

 

So what should we do to prepare for the upcoming change in 2020?

  1. Consider whether or not you will continue to provide a drug-free workplace. If so, will you address with your staff prior to rolling this out?
  2. Evaluate your policies and procedures when it comes to the legalization of marijuana. The policy should clearly state that you are cannabis, drug, and alcohol-free workplace, what the consequences will be of violating this policy as well as how they can contest a cannabis-related disciplinary decision.
  3. While this act does not state specifically that reasonable accommodation must be made, medical marijuana laws might require you to engage in the interactive process.
  4. Train your staff on the signs of impairment and the procedures to follow for reasonable suspicion drug testing and post-accident drug testing.
  5. It’s always wise to consult your attorney to review these policies prior to putting them in place.

 

 

This article (“Article”) is a service made available Priority Staffing Group, Ltd, its partners, affiliates or subsidiaries (“Provider”). This Article provides general information related to the law and is designed to help users safely cope with their own legal needs. This Article does not provide legal advice and the Provider is not a law firm. None of our content writers are lawyers and they also do not provide legal advice. Although we go to great lengths to make sure our information is accurate and useful, we recommend you consult a lawyer if you want legal advice. No attorney-client or confidential relationship exists or will be formed between you and Provider or any of our representatives.

 

Could You Be A Passive Candidate?

, ,

Could You Be Looking For a Job And Not Know It?

Are you a passive candidate? Take our quiz below to find out!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PassiveCandidate

 

A Passive Candidate is someone who is not actively searching for a job, but who would not be opposed to changing jobs if the right opportunity was to “Come Along”.

Priority Staffing Group gives you the ability to have a personalized confidential career advancement network at your fingertips without submitting multiple resumes or applications.

Top Five Reasons to add Priority Staffing Group to your “Favorites!”

  • Submitting one resume connects you to 100+ companies!
  • Priority has insight on jobs before they hit the Job Boards!
  • Don’t have a resume! No Problem, Priority has you covered with a resume builder on our website. Simply enter your information and generate a resume!
  • You tell us what your ideal career move looks like, we contact you with offers!
  • It’s Totally Free!

So, why wouldn’t you reach out to Priority Staffing Group?

Tell us what you are interested in so we assist with advancing your career!

Let us do the work for you because you never know when your dream job could just “come along!”

 

Take our quiz:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/PassiveCandidate

SIU Externship Program 2019

,

Southern Illinois University hosts an Externship program during Spring Break. Each year, over 150 SIU students complete externships throughout the U.S.

 

Selected students are matched with SIU alumni and friends during the week to have a job shadowing experience in their chosen field. The program engages students in on the job experience, helps them develop professional contacts and real-world knowledge, and provides answers to their career questions.

Celesta ShadowPriority Staffing Group’s Finance Department hosted two students this year for the program. Allison Miller and Wendi Gao shadowed Celesta Bowers, Finance Manager.

 

Allison MillerAllison Miller, an Economics major from Robinson, Illinois, is expected to graduate in December 2019.

 

She applied for this program to get some real-world experience and help narrow down what she wants to do with her degree.

 

Allison says “after college, I plan on entering the workforce. This program will give me skills and contacts I can use going forward in my career.”

 

 

Wendi Gao-1Wendi Gao, from Shandong, China, is an accounting major who will graduate in May this year.

 

“I want to gain more hands-on experience,” Wendy said. She wants to work in an accounting firm as an auditor after she graduates and hopes this experience will help improve her communication and cooperation skills, ultimately getting her closer to achieving her goals.

 

“I will learn how to deal with accounts and journals in the workplace, which can help me to get a deeper understanding of accounting,” Wendy said.

 

We are happy to host this year’s Externs and wish them the best for their futures!

Recruiter Spotlight: Ally Farlow

, ,

Ally Farlow, Account Manager, joined our Murfreesboro, Tennessee team in January 2017.

 

Ally

In your words, what do you do?

“I connect our applicants to our clients, making matches that work well for both parties.”

What’s the best part of your job?

“When I make a placement for someone and they end up staying long term because the client and candidate both love it!”

 

What’s the hardest part of your job?

“It’s hard interviewing people who don’t really want a job. Putting energy into the people who don’t want to put in the effort of their own takes my time away from the candidates who are really here to find a career. I’m here to coach and help whoever wants it – you just have to ask.”

 

What actions do you take to set yourself apart from recruiters at other companies?

Ally (1)

“I ask a lot of questions to the employee about what they want. It matters what they want to do to find a job they love and want to stay at. Our applicants and clients are both happier when we place people who want to be there. Also, I think I do more follow up with employees to update them on the jobs they’ve interviewed for and to let them know if I have a job yet that they’d be good for.”

 

Why do you think candidates connect with you so well?

“I’ve worked in a lot of customer service jobs so I know how our candidates feel in those types of positions and can honestly say “I’ve been there. I know how it is. Then, I’m able to give the advice to make sure they succeed in their placement.”

 

Which of the PSG core values do you relate to most? Why?

“Respect – I believe there’s a job for everyone, so everyone should be treated the same no matter their background and experience level.”

 

Any advice for our applicants?

“Be respectful in your interview. I give respect to everyone and expect our applicants to give that same respect back. Put your phone down and focus on what you’ve come for. Ask questions and be interactive in your interview so we can find a placement you’ll love.”

 

Do you want to schedule an interview with Ally? 

Call our Murfreesboro office at (615) 295-2127 and ask for an appointment!

The Priority Staffing Group Mission and Values

,

Priority Staffing Group was founded on a set of core values that created our mission for doing business.

This year, we’ve rolled out these values to let our clients and applicants know the standards that we’ve already held ourselves to the past 8 years of business.

 

Our Mission

We are a progressive staffing service dedicated to customer needs through a family-oriented, respectful, and accountable approach in making Your Success Our Priority.

 

Our Core Values

Core Values

Our company strives to always be:

Respectful – to all coworkers, clients, employees, and applicants

Accountable – for our actions internally and externally

Dedicated – to being the best we can be at all times

Progressive – in our mindset to lead the way for the future

Customer-Minded – in going the extra mile; customizing solutions

Family – by taking care of each other; putting others first

 

Does Priority Staffing Group align with your own values? We love to do business with like-minded companies. Call any of our offices to set up a meeting.

Marion, IL: 618-969-8800 | Vandalia, IL: 618-283-9533 | Murfreesboro, TN: 615-295-2127

Priority Staffing’s 8 Year Anniversary

, ,

Priority Staffing Group is excited to be celebrating October as the 8th anniversary of our first day in business!

DSCF4210In August 2010, Priority Staffing Group formed its corporation, but we officially opened doors in Marion, Illinois on October 25th that year.

 

Carlos Tanner, Gail Barger Lannom, and Heather Goines-Evans started the business as equal partners.

Partners 2 2016

With Heather’s expertise being operations, Gail’s being business development and Carlos’ being financial and tax, a great partnership formed! Each partner has their own proficiency and has continued to operate effectively because of that.

Since then, we have expanded to include Central Illinois (opened 2014) and Middle Tennessee (opened 2016). Our three offices have grown and helped each community grow their businesses and find jobs for our applicants.

 

We could not have made it this far without the support of our communities, so THANK YOU for helping us celebrate our 8th Anniversary!

EEOC Guidance and Training

,

Are you a business owner, HR Manager or anyone who has to deal with harassment and discrimination claims at your workplace?

More and more, employees are becoming educated and what their rights are in the workplace and what should and should not happen at their jobs. This has caused an increase in EEOC complaints at some companies.

 

So, do you know what to do if a complaint should arise? And more importantly, do you and your managers know how to prevent them from happening?

 

Proper training on harassment and discrimination for all employees, but especially managers, can help prevent these issues from ever happening in the first place, eliminating the need to see EEOC complaints at all.

 

Keep reading for the two best ways to incorporate EEOC Guidelines at your company.

 

1) Training

First thing is first, train your employees!

The best way to do that is to include it in your onboarding process for new employees. By making it a mandatory part of the training, no employees get overlooked, and it is the least disruptive way to incorporate it into the day.

Many employers do training once a year with the company as a whole. These can be done in 30 minutes and are easily made into video training.

 

 

2) Defense

In case you do end up with a discrimination or harassment complaint that makes its way to the EEOC, your best defense for the company is having that training program in place. The easiest way to get a fine of thousands (or even millions) of dollars is to show that you haven’t trained your employees NOT to harass others.

Even though it seems like it shouldn’t be the employer’s burden, it often is. By training your employees on how to treat people from the very beginning, it makes it much easier for you to defend your company if a complaint is made.

 

 

It’s understandable if you don’t have the money to hire someone to train your employees. That’s why the EEOC will come to your company to do training for FREE.

Read about their No-Cost Outreach Program to get started today. If you would prefer to do your own training in house, they provide education and resources for that as well. There is no reason not to start training at your company right away!

 

If you need help getting in contact with the right people, or want to know how we train our own employees, contact one of our offices today.

 

Marion, IL: (618) 969-8800

Murfreesboro, TN: (615) 295-2127

How to Attract New Talent

,

3 TIPS FOR HIRING AND EMPLOYEE RETENTION

 

If you’re a business owner, HR manager, or anyone who makes hiring decisions, you’ve probably noticed the labor market is a little tight. If you’re asking how to increase employment in the current tight labor market, you need to consider more than one answer; you need to rethink the whole hiring process.

 

There are currently more available job positions than there are candidates looking for work. Many companies continue to be short-staffed even though the unemployment rate keeps dropping. Currently, the national unemployment rate is 3.8%, and in areas like Nashville, Tennessee, where one of our offices resides, the unemployment rate has dropped as low as 2.5% recently. And those who are seeking work have more options than they have ever had before.

 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 6.2 million people are unemployed. So why aren’t we able to put them to work? It is evident that our companies need to make a few changes in their hiring process to combat this problem.

 

Keep reading for three tips to attract new talent to your business:

 

1. Shorten Requirements

One reason you’re not getting applicants for your open position is that the candidates don’t have the exact requirements the company is looking for and skip over to another company hiring for the same position.

Recent college graduates are a great talent pool to dive in to. It is impossible for a new graduate to have five years’ experience in their field already, but it won’t make them any less hardworking.

On the other hand, someone who did not finish college, but has worked five years already, might be the perfect fit for your company, college degree or not.

In this market, HR needs to rethink candidates’ requirements. Start thinking outside the company’s box and look for those candidates that they wouldn’t have considered before. Many will have either the skills or real-world experience you need to train them into the position.

So, ask yourself, do you need that job requirement if you’re able to mold them to fit your company? It could work out in your favor to hire someone new.

 

2. Offer Unique Benefits

With so many opportunities for the same position, it becomes even more important for companies to offer that little extra to put you at the top for job seekers. Like Google, who offers 18 weeks of paid maternity leave and 6 weeks paid paternity leave. SAS, a software company, provides scholarships for their employees’ children.

Out of the ordinary benefits that really attract recent college graduated include student loan repayment assistance and unlimited PTO. And while letting your employees take off as much as they want sounds scary, the companies who have implemented it see better productivity while their employees are working and most don’t take more time off than they usually would. It really decreases the stress of work because if they’re feeling burned out they’re able to take a day or two when needed and return to work refreshed and ready to work at peak performance again.

If you’re a small business that really can’t afford those monetary benefits, even offering a more flexible work environment, allowing workers to choose their schedule (around rush hour traffic or to coincide with their daycare hours) the number of candidates who apply, accept your offer, and stay at your company will increase.

 

3. Increase Wages

It is difficult, as an employer, to see your payroll money continue to rise. But, when you consider that the economy is good and inflation is happening, the money we’re paying our employees does not seem proportional. The federal minimum wage was last raised in 2009 when it rose from $6.55 to $7.25 per hour. And while it was possible to survive on a $20,000 salary ten years ago, in many areas that is not doable anymore.

This doesn’t mean you have to increase wages all at once or well beyond your means, but making a change to pay a more desirable wage is a great way to attract and retain talent, saving you money in the long run.

A higher initial salary makes a job seem more attractive and will certainly increase the number of qualified applicants you see.

 

Priority Staffing Group is a small business and advocates for other small businesses’ success. We offer consulting services to anyone who is interested in learning more about hiring and retaining talent.

Contact any of our offices for more information.

Marion, IL – (618) 969-8800

Vandalia, IL – (618) 283-9533

Murfreesboro, TN – (615) 295-2127