All Posts By

Laurie Howell

Department of Labor Penalty Increases

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In November of 2015, Congress passed the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act Improvements Act, requiring federal agencies to increase their civil penalties to account for inflation. Many agencies had not done so in more than a decade. This initial increase in rates is capped at 150 percent. Going forward,…

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Internships – Unpaid or Paid?

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Unpaid internships are permissible if they meet very specific criteria, but employers should proceed with extreme caution. The Department of Labor has a six-part test for determining whether interns may be unpaid. As a best practice, we recommend that you use unpaid interns only if all six of these criteria…

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Austin Passes “Ban the Box” Ordinance

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Yesterday, Austin’s city council passed what is considered a very controversial ordinance requiring private employers to remove “the box” on their employment applications requesting applicants to disclose whether they have a criminal history or not when applying for jobs with their company.   Over 100 cities across the country and a…

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Humble Leaders are the Most Effective

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We, at Austin HR, are always looking for humble HR professionals.  This trait isn’t always easily found.  While it’s important to be able to lead a team and provide strategic guidance, the willingness and humility to roll one’s sleeves up is truly where the rubber meets the road in our consulting…

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