Comstock's magazine 0818 - August 2018 - Page 26

• EVIL HR LADY

DILEMMA OF THE MONTH

Managing Seasonal Labor

by Suzanne Lucas
ILLUSTRATION : JOHN CHASE

My business is quite seasonal . We have

work year round , but in the off-season we don ’ t need the same number of employees . It ’ s just not profitable to keep everyone on the payroll 12 months out of the year . Can I drop hours ? Can I lay people off and rehire ? Are there things that make one option better than the other ?

A

SEASONAL BUSINESSES ARE COMMON , SO YOU ’ RE NOT ALONE IN YOUR CON- CERNS . Employees are the biggest expense in most businesses , and when you ’ re not getting enough work , it makes little sense to keep paying people .
Laying people off isn ’ t without costs , though . Let ’ s explore the numerous factors you ’ ll want to consider when crafting a hiring / employment strategy .
ACTUAL SALARY COSTS If your employees are exempt , you have to pay them the same amount no matter how many hours they work in a single week . So , if you have 10 hours of work during the offseason , they still get the same paycheck they would for an 80-hour week during the busy season .
Now , this may seem ridiculous , but it ’ s part of the tradeoff for not paying overtime costs during the busy season . When you ’ re calculating salary , you should take all those things into consideration and come up with an annual salary that makes sense and reflects the work they actually do .
For non-exempt ( hourly ) employees , you only have to pay them for the actual hours worked . ( If you ’ ve scheduled an employee for an 8-hour shift and send him home after two , you still have to pay four hours under California law . But if you only scheduled him for four , you ’ re good to pay for two .)
UNEMPLOYMENT COSTS If , during the slow season , your non-exempt employees ’ hours — and thus their
26 comstocksmag . com | August 2018
n EVIL HR LADY DILEMMA OF THE MONTH Managing Seasonal Labor by Suzanne Lucas ILLUSTRATION: JOHN CHASE M y business is quite seasonal. We have work year round, but in the off-season we don’t need the same number of employees. It’s just not profitable to keep everyone on the payroll 12 months out of the year. Can I drop hours? Can I lay people off and rehire? Are there things that make one option better than the other? A SEASONAL BUSINESSES ARE COMMON, SO YOU’RE NOT ALONE IN YOUR CON- CERNS. Employees are the biggest expense in most businesses, and when you’re not getting enough work, it makes little sense to keep paying people. Laying people off isn’t without costs, though. Let’s explore the numerous factors you’ll want to consider when crafting a hir- ing/employment strategy. ACTUAL SALARY COSTS If your employees are exempt, you have to pay them the same amount no matter how many hours they work in a single week. So, if you have 10 hours of work during the off- season, they still get t H[YH^XX^H[܈[ Z\YZ\[B\HX\ۋ\XY˘H]Y\ N\X^HY[HYX[\]]8&\œ\وHY[ٙ܈^Z[ݙ\[YB\[H\HX\ۋ[[x&\B[[][[\K[H[ZH[H[[ۜY\][ۈ[YB\][[X[[\H]XZ\[B[YXHܚ^HXX[H˂܈ۋY^[\ \JH[\YY\[HۛH]H^H[H܈HXX[\ܚY Y[x&]HY[Y[[KBYYH܈[ Z\Y[[[BYHY\[H[]H^H\\[\[YܛXH]ˈ]Y[HۛBY[Y[H܈\[x&\H^B܈ˊBSSTSQS’Y\[HX\ۋ[\ۋY^ B[\[\YY\&H\8%[\Z\