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Let me frame this blog by saying that I have been blessed to meet and interact with people from all walks of life—from John Quinn, a talented and personable tufting machine operator with whom I worked with in 1988 during my early days in the Shaw sales training program, to Warren Buffet, who I was privileged to interview several times in order to glean his wisdom and share it with the members of the Shaw Flooring Network. As a frequent traveler who has logged over two million miles on one airline, I am sure I have forgotten more of these encounters than I remember.

Fear is debilitating, yet most of us struggle with it at various points in our life. Even CEOs, managers, and leaders are not exempt. I once heard that “98% of the things we worry about never happen." Of course I have also heard that 74.6% of all statistics are made up on the spot to justify our position, so I am not sure how accurate that statistic is. I can assure you that in my own life, I have found it to be very much on the mark. Though fear can be a motivator, more often than not it controls us, binds us, and holds us back.

It has been a busy few weeks, requiring your warehouse employees to work overtime. Given the demand, the warehouse employees were also paid a production bonus based on the amount of flooring processed. To calculate the wages owed for those extra hours of work, your payroll office took each employee’s hourly rate and multiplied it by 1 and a half and paid the overtime rate for the extra hours worked. Seems simple enough. But did you include the performance bonuses? If not, you underpaid these employees.

It’s that time of year again – the time of year when we make resolutions to change our lives, relationships, and leadership for the better. Unfortunately, this time is often followed by the annual failure known as the “breaking of the resolution”. This yearly “rite of passage” likely causes you to ask a couple of very important questions:

Are New Years’ Resolutions really important?

If so, how can I break the trend and create change that lasts?

Minimum wage will increase in 19 states and 21 cities and counties on January 1, with many reaching $15 an hour. Twenty-one additional jurisdictions will raise pay later in the year. Obviously, an increase in the minimum wage will impact the pay for most employees paid the minimum wage. Just because a retailer pays more than minimum wage, however, does not mean it can ignore these increases.

Recently I have become reacquainted with a story of amazing leadership. It is the story of Sir. Ernest Shackleton – a polar explorer from the early 1900s - a story of amazing challenges met by extraordinary leadership. It reminds me that during the good times, leadership is nice to have, but during times of crisis, strong leadership is essential for survival of the organization and its employees. Here is the kicker. As in the life of Shackleton, there is usually little to no warning that we are shifting from smooth sailing to stormy seas.

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (the New Tax Law) made many changes in tax code. The New Tax Law substantially lowered tax rates on all businesses, whether they pay taxes as a C or S corporation. In exchange for the lower rates, the New Tax Law also eliminated or reduced some popular and widely used business deductions. The New Law also raised many questions and created some confusion as to what is and is not a deductible business expense.

I love this time of year. I am a fan of the leaves turning, the heat fading, and the grass slowing its growth. But the thing I love most about the Fall is college football. I do have a team I pull for, but if I tell you who it is, half of you will tune me out - the other half already have tuned me out when they heard me talking about sports. But not so fast. My goal with this blog is to bring sports haters and lovers together. In order to do that I invite you to join me at the stadium as we evaluate what is happening.

One of the first actions by the Department of Labor (DOL) under President Trump’s administration was to withdraw the prior administration’s interpretation that “most workers are employees” and not independent contractors. For more information, see Independent Contractors—Another BUT Welcome Change, at The Law, The Floor, and You (June 12, 2017)  

Three states and at least fifteen localities have increased their minimum wage effective July 1. 2018. Listed below are the minimum wage levels for these states and localities. This list is compiled from available information with some conflicting information. In addition, there may be other localities that have raised its minimum wage that was not included in this list. It is therefore key that you check with your state Department of Labor for rates and wages specific to your location.

STATES