Around the Water Cooler, Employees Buzz about Minimum Wage
BY Angus Loten
A weekly look at the latest products and services designed to help you run a better business.
You might not realize it, but it's time to change a few of the posters at your workplace. Not the faded Monsters of Rock World Tour calendar, but the soon-to-be-outdated labor law notices.
On July 24, the first phase of the recently enacted federal minimum wage increase goes into effect. Employers nationwide are required to post current employee rights notices in common areas at all workplace locations, including state and federal minimum wage levels. Failure to do so can result in thousands of dollars in fines. Raising that risk are a score of state-level statutory changes that became laws in 40 states over the past few months alone.
That's where All-in-One Labor Law poster services from the Federal Wage and Labor Law Institute come in. The Houston-based firm has helped businesses in all 50 states stay ahead of rapidly changing compliance requirements for nearly two decades.
"Keeping up with the literally dozens of labor laws affecting business today is daunting," Mark Haag, the company's vice president, said in a statement. In addition to supplying the notices, the institute issues e-mail reminders every time a labor law change goes into force.
For the coming changes in the federal minimum wage, bilingual all-in-one compliance posters are available framed, laminated, or plain paper starting at $15.95. They include required information on the new minimum wage levels, as well as the Equal Employment Opportunity Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, and the Polygraph Protection Act, among others.
Smaller businesses don't always have the budget -- or enough room -- for an office printer, photocopy machine, fax, and scanner. Recently, Xerox unveiled a black-and-white printer that combines all four tools, plus e-mail, into one.
The Xerox Phaser 3200MFP offers 1200 dpi resolution with 64 MB of memory, a 300 MHz processor, print and copy speeds of up to 24 pages per minute, 4 MB of fax memory, and a monthly duty cycle of 10,000 prints. The unit, which starts at $399, comes equipped with scan-to-PC desktop software capable of scanning color documents at up to 4800 dpi. It is also Microsoft Vista compatible.
With the heart of the Atlantic hurricane season approaching, SCORE is offering free online small-business disaster preparation and relief tools.
The new resources include comprehensive information on how to prepare for and recover from a range of disasters and includes mentoring services, as well as links to additional federal, state, and other resources. As many as 50 online counselors are also on hand to offer preparedness and recovery expertise.