News|Sep 14, 2020

Diana Durham, President of Arcwood HR, details the latest updates related to the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), including – eligibility based on child’s remote learning, health benefits, paid and unpaid leave, and more.

Diana and special guest, David Veurink of HCM, then shed light on employer and employee options for social security deferral through the end of 2020.

For more information on these topics, any direct questions, and to be included on future Town Hall calls, contact

General News

General News|Aug 17, 2020

Attorney Dennis Hall provides insight into how workplaces and employers can adjust to the new normal, what areas may be hot spots, and precautions that should be taken based on the latest data on COVID-19.

For more information, direct questions, or to be invited to upcoming Arcwood town halls, email


Blog|Jul 27, 2020

As Arizona continues to be a hotbed for COVID-19 cases and legislation, Diana Durham and Dennis Hall explain the latest shutdowns across industries and schools, news related to unemployment benefits, and how all of this impacts reopening plans.

To be included in the next Town Hall conference call, email


News|Jul 13, 2020

How do employers need to prepare for when an employee contracts COVID-19? What process do you need to follow? What are you legally required to do, and what should you do?

Diana Durham, President of Arcwood HR, LLC, gives required and recommended steps for employers to follow in Arizona.

This video is for informational purposes only and should not be considered specific advice for your particular circumstance. For more direct questions and to sign up to be included on weekly Town Hall Meetings, email


News|Jun 23, 2020

How are your employees doing? How do they feel? How do you make them feel?

Diana Durham, President of Arcwood HR, gives business leaders some shocking data about employee engagement, and tips on improving it through the COVID-19 pandemic. Arcwood Benefits Consulting President, Peter Rowe, then adds his conclusion with key takeaways for businesses this week.

(Video 3/3 from the 6.22.2020 town hall meeting)

Have a specific question you need answered? Interested in joining our weekly town hall meetings? Contact us at


Blog|Jun 09, 2020

All businesses want to reopen, but what new liabilities come with reopening in the middle of a pandemic? Diana Durham, President of Arcwood HR, LLC, presents 10 critical considerations businesses need to think through before welcoming back employees and customers.

Have specific questions? Want to be included in our next Town Hall meeting? Contact us at

General News

General News|Jan 06, 2020

The new year will ring in minimum wage increases in 21 states, with 4 more states and the District of Columbia implementing increases later in 2020. The highest minimum wage in 2020 will be $15.00 in Washington, D.C., effective July 1, 2020.

Paycor research found that 42% of surveyed organizations have negative feelings about their compliance management practices, in part because of limited resources and frequent changes to laws relating to minimum wage, paid sick leaves and pay equity laws.

The federal minimum wage for nonexempt employees remains at $7.25 per hour but if a state or local law requires a higher amount, employees must be paid at the higher rate. Arizona’s minimum wage rate is $12.00 for 2020.

It’s important for employers to stay on top of changes to minimum wage laws, as well as other wage and hour topics. Noncompliance can be costly – Employers paid a record $322 million in fiscal year 2019 to resolve wage and hour claims brought by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD).

WHD provides various online compliance resources for employers. It also launched a voluntary Payroll Audit Independent Determination (PAID) program, allowing employers to proactively investigate and correct overtime and minimum wage violations. Experts disagree on whether it’s a good idea for employers to participate, but the program is picking up steam. So far, more than six dozen employers have paid out more than $4 million in back wages to almost 7,500 employees via the PAID program.

Employers’ best defense to wage and hour claims remains a good offense. Overtime mistakes, improper misclassification and auto-deduct policies are frequent trouble spots. Employers can stay off WHD’s radar by keeping up with applicable federal, state and local laws, and by training front-line supervisors on compliant timekeeping policies and procedures.

Let Arcwood HR help you manage your wage and hour compliance. Contact us today to see how we can assist you in managing your employees and the ever changing employment laws.

General News

General News|Oct 08, 2019

The U.S. Department of Labor unveiled its long-awaited final rule on the overtime “white collar” exemptions on September 24, 2019.  The regulations, at 20 CFR Part 541, were last updated in 2004, when the DOL increased the minimum salary level for exemption from $150 to $455 per week and made changes to the job duties employees must perform for exemption from the FLSA’s overtime requirements.

The DOL has been working overtime to update the regulations since 2015, when it proposed to increase the minimum salary level for exemption to $913 per week ($47,476 annualized).  A Texas federal district court enjoined that rule in November 2016, but the Trump administration appealed the injunction to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  While the appeal is still pending, now that the final rule has been issued, it is expected that the agency will soon move to dismiss the appeal as moot.

The final rule increases the minimum salary level for exemption to $684 per week ($35,568 annualized).  The DOL will allow employers to pay up to 10% of that minimum level ($3,556.80) in commissions, bonuses, and other non-discretionary incentives. If incentive payments fall short by even $1, however, employers will owe overtime pay to shorted employees for the entire prior year.  Under the final rule, employers will have only a single pay period for a final make-up payment to ensure exempt employees receive the full $35,568 for the year.

The final rule also increases from $100,000 to $107,432 the total annual compensation required for employees to qualify under the shorter highly compensated test.  This level is significantly below the proposed level of $147,414, likely in response to public comments.  Highly compensated employees must receive the guaranteed minimum salary of $684 each week, but the remaining compensation may be in commissions, bonuses, or any other type of compensation.

The DOL has abandoned its plans to update automatically the minimum salary and highly compensated levels in the future. Although the final rule does not include any new provisions regarding future increases, the DOL stated that its goal is to update the levels more regularly; any increases to the levels will come only after the DOL publishes notice of the proposed increases and provides the public with an opportunity to comment, as required under the Administrative Procedures Act.

The final rule will take effect on January 1, 2020.

We’re here to help – call us today if you have any questions or need assistance in becoming compliant before January 1.


Blog|Jul 19, 2019

 When it comes to introducing new practices into the flow of day-to-day talent acquisition, HR can’t always afford to sit back and wait on strategic changes, said Tony Lee, vice president of editorial at the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Instead, HR should experiment before asking for permission, Lee said, given the dire straits many companies find themselves in due to the current talent market. Otherwise, new ideas may never take off. “Do it and then ask for forgiveness,” he told attendees at SHRM’s annual conference Tuesday.

Lee recommended a few ways that HR can think about recruiting with a disruptive mindset ⁠— and in turn, bolster better talent management habits. 

#1: A simple personal touch can reduce ‘ghosting’

Before even getting into the complexity of recruiting new talent, employers may want to think about those who they’ve already hired. Recent fears of ghosting by both applicants far along in the process as well as first-day hires mean HR needs to think about ways to reach out to them more personally, Lee said.

There are several options. Employers can set up new hires with a “buddy,” a long-time employee who can take them to lunch on their first day and help them get up to speed. They can place a small gift on a new hire’s desk — Lee suggested a bouquet of fruit kabobs. Perhaps the IT department can program a welcome message on the hire’s laptop so that it’s the first thing they see.

The latter point might be a good test of the organization’s onboarding process in and of itself, Lee said. “How many of you can actually have a laptop functional on the person’s desk that day?”

#2: Adapt to what younger candidates say they want

Millennials and members of Generation Z may be looped together in talent discussion, but they have fundamentally different expectations of their work due to life experiences, Lee said.

Millennials, for example, have a reputation for job hopping, but may also appreciate an employer that directly engages them on what would make them stay, Lee said. “Don’t be afraid to ask that question.”

Though research seems divided as to whether most Gen Zers prioritize salary above all else in a job, Lee said the Great Recession’s impact has led many members of this generation to be financially conscious, and that HR should have this aspect in mind. Lee also cited research showing 43% of Gen Z prefers face-to-face communication, and he said employers should look for ways to provide face time for Gen Zers.

#3: Make the application process shorter — five minutes is enough

Poor application completion rates result in the loss of quality talent, Lee said, and sluggish processes may be to blame for some early exits.

To test the effectiveness of the candidate experience, he told audience members to apply for jobs at their own companies, looking to bring the average time-to-complete down to five minutes.

One such model is the “red light test,” Lee said. Under this analogy, if a candidate were to stop at a red light and begin the application process, they should be able to complete it before the light turns green.

#4: Expand the use of remote work

Most employers now say remote work benefits both the company and employees, Lee said, meaning HR should give more thought to expanding remote work opportunities.

As a proof of concept, Lee appealed to the typical remote-work experiences of attendees. People tend to work harder from home, Lee said, for fear of seeming lazy or otherwise disconnected from their teams. With this in mind, recruiters might consider qualified, out-of-town candidates more readily.

#5: Create and engage with an alumni network

So-called “boomerang” employees provide a quick and easy source of talent that is already familiar with how the organization works, according to Lee. “These can be some of your best new hires,” he said.

HR can help such an initiative forward by creating a company alumni network that keeps former employees in the loop. Be wary of re-hiring those who may have been fired for disciplinary reasons, though, Lee said.

#6: Provide a little incentive toward referrals

Referrals are still the primary source of new hires at many organizations, Lee said, but the payments employers offer to workers in order to encourage referrals are often low, if they exist at all.

What HR offers for referrals may vary depending on company size and type of position, but even a gift card could be effective for encouraging referrals to hourly positions. And while the organization should avoid homogeneity, Lee said diverse companies should be able to encourage diverse referrals.

By: Ryan Golden / HRDive