February 1, 2023
Is it really a Jury of your Peers?

Is it really a Jury of your Peers?

Many people consider jury duty an inconvenience and do everything possible to get excused, sometimes with their supervisor claiming that the employee’s absence would cause undue hardship for the company.
January 3, 2023
Time to update labor law posters laws

Time to Update Labor Law Posters

People employed in the United States have certain workplace rights guaranteed by federal, state, and local laws. Every business that uses one or more persons is legally required to post the applicable laws.
December 6, 2022

Understanding IRS Code Section 125

Payroll taxes are one of those necessary evils that we hate at the time but appreciate later when we reap the benefits they provide – Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance, and other social insurance programs. In order to save money on payroll taxes for both the company and its employees, many business owners set up pre-tax deductions for insurance premiums without understanding the documentation that is required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the restrictions that apply.
December 6, 2022

Planning for Success in 2023

As this year draws to a close it’s time for business owners and managers to start thinking about how to position their company for success in 2023. Here are five human resources tips to help you prepare for the year ahead.
November 15, 2022

Tis the Office Party Season 2022

‘Tis the season for the office party … for many companies this will be the first company-sponsored social gathering since the COVID shutdown in 2020. How do you make sure that your party is merry and bright and not an opportunity for embarrassing behavior or other mishaps that will create serious problems in the workplace?
October 6, 2022

Staying Informed About Cyber Attacks

Are small businesses at risk for cyber attacks? While media coverage focuses on large companies that have been hacked or paid large ransoms to regain access to their data, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses; 60% of small businesses that are victims of a cyber attack go out of business within six months according to Maddie Shepherd, a contributing writer for Fundera.
September 13, 2022

Overtime Payment Exemption Requirements

Salaried doesn’t mean exempt from overtime! And job titles alone don’t determine whether or not you must pay overtime when an employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) provides a three-prong test to determine which employees are exempt from the requirements for overtime payment.
August 8, 2022

Ten Business Fables You Should Read

Some of my favorite work-related books are business fables, also known as management fiction – quick, easy motivational reads that share lessons to be applied in the business world with the aim to improve organizational culture.
June 28, 2022

Staying Informed About Minimum Wage

Once again, the Louisiana Legislature failed to pass legislation to increase the state minimum wage, the lowest amount that employers may legally pay workers. The federal minimum wage, which has not increased since July 2009, remains at $7.25 an hour.
June 10, 2022

Safe and Secure

How safe is your workplace? Depending upon the type of business, you probably have safety rules and procedures, require safety equipment, etc., but do you have policies on workplace violence and security?
May 16, 2022

Creative Recruiting

Finding employees in the current job market is challenging right now for all employers. Businesses used to be able to just post a “help wanted” sign in the window or run an advertisement in the local newspaper, but now it takes some creative recruiting techniques to find your next great hire.
April 7, 2022

Help Wanted!

Where did all the good employees go?  While it probably doesn’t make you feel any better, you are not alone if you are having difficulty finding and retaining employees.
March 7, 2022

Workplace Discrimination and Military Service

Although currently there is no plan for American soldiers to be sent to Ukraine, the U.S. has deployed thousands of troops throughout Europe, both before and during Russia’s invasion of that country.
February 4, 2022

Workplace Romances

Workplace romances create challenges for business owners and supervisors, especially in the aftermath of #MeToo publicity.  Some employers try to avoid the drama that occurs while employees are romantically involved and the repercussions when the romance ends by prohibiting such relationships.
December 29, 2021
New Year's Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions for the Workplace

At the beginning of each new year, many people resolve to continue good practices, change bad habits, accomplish personal goals or otherwise make changes to improve their lives. Unfortunately, most people give up on their good intentions by January 19 each year and slip back into the same old behaviors.
December 7, 2021
10 HR Tips for 2022

10 HR Tips for 2022

The beginning of a new year is a good time to review your business practices and plan for the future. Are your Human Resource policies and practices current? Here are 10 HR tips to follow in 2022.
November 24, 2021

What Is the “Great Resignation” and How Does It Affect Businesses?

Though some aspects of life have managed to recover from the impact of Covid-19, the business sector will remain forever changed. While faced with a life-threatening pandemic, millions of Americans took the time to reevaluate their lives, specifically their jobs. In August 2021, 4.3 million Americans quit their jobs, according to the U.S Department of Labor. This cultural shift, coined the “Great Resignation,” will leave a lasting effect on the workplace. 
November 17, 2021

Civility in the Workplace

Remember when the airlines used to invite people to “fly the friendly skies?” Today, airline employees, who are just doing their jobs, are being verbally and physically assaulted by passengers. This same aggressive, sometimes violent, behavior has also invaded our workplaces. What happened to being “professional,” not to mention “nice,” to the people you work with? Incivility is rampant in the workplace today, leading to rudeness, name-calling, verbal abuse, increased tension and discord, even physical violence. This unprofessional behavior results in higher employee turnover, more absenteeism, lower productivity and profitability.
October 14, 2021
Pregnant Women at Work

Guidelines to Accommodating Pregnancy in the Workplace

“She’s having a baby” is exciting news but also presents some unique workplace challenges. Although small businesses may not be required to comply with laws that provide protection for pregnancy and childbirth, they may find it necessary to adopt some of these guidelines in order to hire and retain female employees.
September 14, 2021

The New Normal in the Time of COVID

Eighteen months ago, when the first COVID shutdown was implemented, we thought that it would be for a short period and then everything would return to normal. Now we are coming to grips with the idea that life and work as we knew it pre-pandemic may never be the same. Going forward employers will need to adapt to the “new normal” in order to successfully operate their business.
September 7, 2021

Five Benefits of Outsourced CFO Services

If you own a small business, you understand that managing your finances is the key to success. However, hiring an in-house accounting team can often be time-consuming and expensive. Outsourcing these services is one great alternative that can eliminate many of these concerns. There are a number of benefits that outsourcing accounting and CFO services can bring to your business!
August 3, 2021

Why HR?

Human Resources plays a vital role in how a company operates by balancing company interests with employee interests. At Next Level Solutions, we assist business owners in balancing these interests, while also maximizing their employee productivity through legally compliant HR policies and practices.
July 12, 2021

LA Employment Law Update

Governor John Bel Edwards signed into law several employment-related bills that were passed by the 2021 Legislative Session. These laws are effective August 1, 2021, so business owners should review and update their policies and practices to be in compliance.
July 8, 2021

Preparing Tomorrow’s Workforce Today

In the past “soft skills” were dismissed as fluff—nice but not necessary for getting the job done. But in today’s business world, managers are finding that soft skills like good communication, conflict management, time management and a penchant for problem-solving are critical factors that impact productivity. Unfortunately, traditional classroom education doesn’t teach these skills, considering them to be personal characteristics that students should have been taught at home. This has led to what is called a “soft skills gap” in today’s workplace that has far-reaching consequences for both the employer and the employee. 
June 11, 2021

Hiring Great Employees

Hiring employees is a lot like dating – you have to invest the time in finding the right person or you spend valuable time trying to “fix” the relationship before you eventually “break up” when it doesn’t work out. Without a good interview process, you may have to (metaphorically) kiss a lot of frogs before you find a Prince (or Princess) Charming!
May 26, 2021

Harassment Complaints

The recent headlines about sexual assault complaints at LSU in Baton Rouge, sexual harassment complaints at LSU Medical School at Shreveport, sexual harassment complaints in the Louisiana Attorney General’s office, and accusations of sexual harassment by the Broussard Police Chief, should serve as a reminder to business owners that they need to review and update workplace policies to ensure that they are protecting their employees, their company and themselves from behavior that can damage the company’s reputation and productivity.
May 10, 2021

Understanding State Unemployment Benefits

State unemployment benefits were intended to help people who lost their job due to no fault of their own. During the COVID pandemic, the federal government has provided enhanced unemployment benefits to people whose jobs were affected by coronavirus. These enhanced benefits added $300 to existing state benefits through September 6, 2021 and are also available to self-employed workers who typically are not eligible for state unemployment benefits.
April 29, 2021

Risky Business – Time For An HR Checkup

Failure to comply with employment laws and to keep up with changes in the HR arena can result in serious and costly mistakes for employers.  Understanding what you can, can’t and shouldn’t do regarding employee issues can be a time-consuming and frustrating task for small business owners. An HR compliance review by a trained professional can uncover existing problems, provide solutions and help avoid lawsuits.
March 16, 2021

The Check is in the Mail!

Congress passed and President Biden recently signed the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, also called the COVID-19 Stimulus Package, into law. In addition to stimulus checks of up to $1,400 that are being sent to eligible Americans, there are several major changes that business owners need to know about.
March 8, 2021

How Much Does It Cost to Hire an Employee?

If you are like most small business owners, you spend up to 40 percent of your working hours on tasks that don’t generate income or that could be done by someone else. Is it time to hire your first, or another, employee so that you can focus your time and energy on growing your business? Can you afford to hire someone? How much does an employee really cost?
February 9, 2021

Getting the Job Done Right

Performance management is really about holding employees accountable for doing the job that they are being paid to do. Performance management also requires the person supervising an employee’s work to communicate expectations and give timely feedback on job performance.
January 19, 2021

New Year, New Workplace Issues

The more things change, the more they stay the same … in 2021 business owners should continue to monitor COVID legislation and guidelines in order to provide a safe and fair workplace for employees. Just a few of the things that should be on the 2021 radar:
December 30, 2020

Looking Ahead to 2021

It would be too easy to dwell on the many bad things that happened during 2020 and the lasting impact the pandemic will have on all of us. Instead, let's focus on the positivity that will carry us into the future.
October 15, 2020

Why Your Business Needs HR

Hiring the right people, managing them to get results and staying legally compliant can be a full-time job, in addition to all the other responsibilities that go along with running a successful and profitable business. As a small business owner, you may not need a full-time Human Resources professional, but you do need help with employee issue:
October 12, 2020

Our Approach to Human Resources

One of the most important yet often overlooked areas in a business’ operation is human resource management. Companies either dismiss the idea they need an HR person or assign someone else in another position to handle the HR duties part-time. Unfortunately, both of these approaches can cause serious issues with employee relationships and performance, and can sometimes result in legal conflict. 
September 2, 2020

Human Resources and Your Business

As the world returns to normal, or at least the “new normal” during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good time to review your business practices and […]
August 25, 2020

Now Hiring: Bookkeeper

The Bookkeeper will support the accounting department by maintaining financial reports, records, and general ledgers; ad hoc reporting; and performing general bookkeeping. This position is remote (work from home) and part-time, 15 to 20 hours per week. QuickBooks experience is required. The ideal candidate will exhibit excellent communication skills, and have an ability to take initiative, and prioritize daily tasks.
July 28, 2020

How Will the New Medical Marijuana Law Impact Your Business?

Medical marijuana has been available in Louisiana since 2015 for patients with certain medical conditions including cancer, seizure disorders, epilepsy, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder and Parkinson’s disease. Effective August 1, doctors will be able to recommend medical marijuana for any condition that a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”
July 20, 2020

Enhanced Unemployment Benefits End Soon

The $600 weekly Pandemic Unemployment Assistance for people who lost their jobs due to COVID-19 will end on Saturday, July 25.  It is unclear whether Congress will pass legislation to provide additional benefits for workers who are unable to return to work due to business closures or down-sizing.
July 14, 2020

No Mask, No Service

For years businesses have displayed signs that state “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service.” Since 2007 it has been illegal to smoke in most buildings that are open to the public. Although not everyone likes these rules, we have learned to accept them. Now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we must learn to comply with the latest restriction: “No Mask, No Service.”
June 25, 2020

Freedom of Speech in the Workplace

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, right? What about when personal opinions cause conflict in the workplace? The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees “freedom of speech” but how does that apply to the workplace?
June 19, 2020

Connecting Your Systems to Work For You

Regardless of a company’s size, there are systems and software that can increase efficiency across the structure and ultimately save time and money. For our typical clients in the small to medium-sized range, we emphasize automating manual labor and improving outdated processes.  
June 15, 2020

Refusal to Return to Work

Many employers are finding it difficult to get employees to return to work due to the enhanced unemployment benefits that are available through July 31 or because of ongoing concern about COVID-19 risks.
June 5, 2020

Christmas in June

Forgiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan just got a lot easier for small business owners (less than 500 employees) who received funds from the […]
May 27, 2020

Document! Document! Document!

“Document! Document! Document!” is the mantra of Human Resources professionals in the best of times and even more important now in the time of dealing with COVID-19 legislation.  Written documents are an employer’s best protection to prove that certain actions have been taken and how situations were handled.
May 11, 2020

Getting Back to Work

How do business owners encourage employees to return to work once the “stay-at-home” order is rescinded? In many cases, staying at home and collecting unemployment benefits may seem like a better deal to employees than returning to work and collecting regular wages. Although enhanced unemployment benefits ($600 per week) provided by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act will end on July 31, some employees may be hesitant to return to work before then.
April 24, 2020

Rebooting Your Workplace

Hopefully, “stay-at-home” orders will be lifted soon and businesses will begin to return to normal.  We hear a lot of talk about “the new normal,” but the reality is that it will be different for each business.  Here are some guidelines to help you prepare for bringing employees back to the workplace:
April 13, 2020

Unscrambling COVID-19 Legislation

The federal government has passed several relief packages to help people and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Understanding how these new laws interact is important so that you get the right combination of benefits to weather the economic impact of the “stay-at-home” mandate. At this point, we are still waiting for guidance from the federal government on much of this legislation.
April 8, 2020

Are You Selecting the Right Technology?

Selecting a new piece of technology for a business of any size is a long, tedious process. With an endless array of options and features, the task can seem intimidating to owners and leaders - but it does not have to be. By taking a deep breath and really analyzing your company’s needs, you can filter the options and select programs that will have an impact.
April 6, 2020

FFCRA Updates – April 6, 2020

The Department of Labor issued temporary regulations for the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on April 1, the date that the law went into effect.  Here is a brief overview of what employers need to know:
April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Employer Options – April 2, 2020

Employers are having to make difficult decisions about whether or not to keep employees on payroll during the “stay-at-home” order and the resulting economic slowdown. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) provide some options, but choosing the right combination of benefits depends upon the business.
April 1, 2020

Paycheck Protection Details Released By Treasury Department – April 1, 2020

On March 31st, 2020, the Treasury Department released the first official application and information sheet related to the Payroll Protection Program. It answers many of the questions business owners have been asking over the past few days and gives us a glimpse into the actual process businesses will follow.
March 29, 2020

Life in the Time of COVID-19 – March 29, 2020

Now that Congress has passed and President Trump has signed into law the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), here are some tips to help you navigate how this impacts your business and your employees:
March 23, 2020

COVID-19: Do’s & Dont’s For Employers – March 23, 2020

Governor Edwards has issued a statewide stay-at-home order for Louisiana effective 5 p.m. on March 23.  Under this order “people should not go to work unless providing essential services …”
March 19, 2020

FFCRA Summary – March 19, 2020

President Trump signed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) on March 18. This legislation will go into effect during the first week of April.  Benefits provided by this legislation will end on December 31, 2020.
March 13, 2020

Managing Different Generations

Today’s diverse workforce is made up of five generations: Traditionalists – born before 1945 Baby Boomers – born between 1946 and 1964
March 13, 2020

A Message Different Than The Others – March 13, 2020

Here we sit watching our news feeds, incoming emails, and the news channels as events and gatherings are canceled left and right. The NBA, SEC, PGA, churches, colleges, businesses, you name it – they are all deciding not to gather people around their activities due to a virus that I won’t name. I don’t need to. Everyone else is talking about it excessively.
February 13, 2020

Handling Office Romance

Workplace romances create challenges for business owners and supervisors, especially in the aftermath of #MeToo publicity.  Some employers try to avoid the drama that occurs while employees are romantically involved and the repercussions when the romance ends by prohibiting such relationships but the reality, according to a 2017 Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey, is that 57% of individuals responding said they engaged in a romantic relationship at work.
January 28, 2020

EmployBR – Their Future is Your Business

Is your business experiencing growing pains? Do you wish you could find someone to share the workload but don’t have the time to hire or train a new employee? Although the unemployment rate in the greater Baton Rouge area is higher than the national average (6 percent in Baton Rouge compared to 3.6 percent nation-wide); business owners still find it difficult to hire employees who have the necessary job skills and work ethic (meaning they show up for work consistently, dress and behave appropriately, etc.).
November 18, 2019

How to Host an Appropriate Office Holiday Party

  ‘Tis the season for the office party … how do you make sure that yours is merry and bright and not an opportunity for embarrassing […]
November 5, 2019

WARNING: Flu Season Ahead

It starts with a sneeze, then a cough and before you know it your business is shut down or seriously impacted because of the spread of […]
October 25, 2019

LSU Alumni Association Highlights Our Managing Partner, Chris King

When there’s flooding in Louisiana and Texas, sometimes as far away as North Carolina, Chris King’s business calls are interrupted by calls for help. King is […]
October 3, 2019

New Salary Threshold for Overtime Exemption

After many months of discussion, the Department of Labor has issued a new salary threshold for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime exemption for executive, […]
August 15, 2019

The ABCs of Applicant Background Checks

As part of the hiring process, employers should be conducting background checks to verify information provided by the applicant.  According to a 2017 survey conducted by […]
August 5, 2019

“The Times They are A Changin’…”

Medical marijuana is expected to become available at select dispensaries in Louisiana this week for patients who have a prescription for therapeutic cannabis.  Medical marijuana, which […]
July 25, 2019

Coming Soon to a Workplace Near You

“Change is the only constant in life” … and in employment law.  Employers are not only required to stay up to date and in compliance with […]
July 15, 2019

Can Men and Women Really Work Together?

It’s been almost three years since the #MeToo social media movement brought heightened awareness to sexual harassment issues—where are we now? Many employers have made sincere […]
July 2, 2019

“In the summertime when the weather is hot …”

Are you seeing more of your employees than you are comfortable with?  Warmer weather means people are more likely to wear clothing that is appropriate for […]
June 4, 2019

Workplace Violence

It’s happened again – another incident of workplace violence that left employees dead (in this case 12 people in Virginia Beach, plus 4 injured) and no […]
May 28, 2019

No Match Letters

You’ve got mail … and it’s from the federal government – never a good feeling!  The Social Security Administration (SSA) has resumed sending employers “no match” […]
May 17, 2019

Harassment Prevention

Although the media frenzy over sexual harassment complaints seems to have calmed recently, business owners still need to review and update workplace policies to ensure that […]
April 22, 2019

Top 10 HR Mistakes

Many business owners try to “go it alone” and handle human resources issues without professional assistance.  Unfortunately, HR mistakes can result in government fines, lawsuits, poor […]
April 11, 2019

How Much is an Employee Worth?

Many employers routinely ask applicants for salary history on the employment application or during an interview.  Recent legislation could make it illegal to do so.  The […]
April 4, 2019

Innovative Hiring Alternatives

As your business grows, you may struggle with knowing whether or not to hire full-time employees to provide essential business services.  Next Level Solutions is a […]
March 5, 2019

New Overtime Rule Expected Soon

Just a few years ago (2016) the federal government announced an increase to $47,476 in the salary test for exemption from overtime payment, nearly double the […]
January 14, 2019

No Shutdown on Employment Eligibility Requirements

Despite the partial shutdown of the federal government, all employers are still required to complete a Form I-9 Employment Eligibility Verification for any new hire no […]
January 7, 2019

Plan for a New Year

The beginning of a new year is a good time to review your business practices and plan for the future.  Do you have someone “doing HR” […]
September 14, 2018

HR In The News

Now more than ever small businesses need to take action to manage their most valuable asset (and sometimes greatest liability) – their employees, also known as […]
August 21, 2018

Workplace Safety Includes Security

How safe is your workplace? Depending upon the type of business, you probably have safety rules and procedures, require safety equipment, etc., but do you have […]
August 14, 2018

Slips, Trips and Falls, Oh My!

It’s inevitable – someone is going to get hurt on the job.  It may be minor, requiring only first aid treatment, or it may be much […]
August 13, 2018

Code of Conduct

Are your employees driving you crazy because of their behavior in the workplace? Good news! The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) recently issued a Memorandum declaring that […]
August 12, 2018

Now is not the time to relax …

Six months into the year and no complaints from your employees about sexual or other types of workplace harassment?  Give yourself a pat on the back […]
May 9, 2018

HR 101 – Employment Law for Business Owners

Ignorance of the law is no excuse!  As a business owner you have a legal responsibility to comply with federal, state and local laws that affect […]
April 30, 2018

Breaking Up is Hard To Do

Making the decision to terminate an employee is never an easy process. This decision not only has tremendous impact on the individual who is losing his […]
April 9, 2018

“You’re Fired!”… “I Quit!”

Louisiana is an “employment-at-will” state which means that, in general, either the employer or employee may terminate the employment relationship at any time and for any reason unless […]
March 20, 2018

Employment Applications Provide Valuable Information

Many employers have developed the habit of accepting resumes, whether electronic or paper, from applicants rather than requiring them to complete an employment application form.  However, […]
February 20, 2018

WARNING: The ICEman Cometh!

Unauthorized immigrants continue to be a “hot” topic for Congress which means employers should expect an increase in enforcement of existing legislation, including more Form I-9 […]
February 6, 2018

Navigating the Hiring Process

Hiring the right people is critical to business success. According to research conducted by Career Builder, an online employment service, the average cost of hiring the […]
February 1, 2018

Preventing Workplace Harassment – It’s About Respect!

Next Level Solutions and Team Real World have partnered to provide sexual harassment training to meet the needs of your workplace. Although the focus of the […]
January 19, 2018

Why you need HR

Hiring the right people, managing them to get results and staying legally compliant can be a full-time job, in addition to all the other responsibilities that […]
January 10, 2018

Protecting Yourself and Your Workplace

The start of a new year is a good time to review and update your workplace policies to ensure that you are protecting your employees, your […]
December 12, 2017

Next Level Solutions – HR á la carte

Every day there are more allegations of sexual harassment in the news. Both men and women are voicing complaints about behavior that in the past was […]
December 1, 2017

HR á la carte

Sexual harassment complaints have become a virtual tsunami – knocking many men from powerful positions. What’s going on? Why are “victims” (both male and female) coming forward now […]