Curtis Rostad

May 29, 2024

Dust to Dust

Across the ages, we’ve come up with some very creative ways to dispose of our dead. Yet to be answered for the future is what part funeral service will play in the circle of life. “In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.” – Genesis 3:19 NKJV According to the Book of Genesis, God’s curse upon mankind for eating the forbidden fruit was a life of labor and that all would die and return to the earth. The Christian burial rite expresses it as, “Earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” The opening song of The Lion King, composed by Elton John with lyrics by Tim Rice, calls it the Circle of Life […]
April 28, 2024

Independent Contractor vs. Employee

Did the DOL Make It Any Easier to Decide? Most employers are at least aware of the issue of independent contractor versus employee. But making the determination has never been clear. In 2021, the U.S. Department of Labor announced a final rule clarifying the standard for independent contractor versus employee under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That may sound encouraging, but it is doubtful that the actual rule and background information consisting of more than 1,200 pages makes the designation any easier. The rule only clarified the factors to consider that are still open to interpretation. Why does this designation matter? There is a financial incentive to declare a worker an independent contractor. But declaring that designation does not make it so under the law. If a worker is deemed to be an independent contractor, the employer is not […]
February 29, 2024

When It’s Time to Say ”YOU’RE FIRED”

If you ask business owners to make a list of things they dread, having to fire an employee probably ranks right up there with an IRS audit. Both can keep you up at night and make you wish you didn’t own the place. But as much as they might dread it, eventually, most business owners are faced with having to terminate an employee. This article is intended to help when you are faced with that decision. First, I believe that no employee should be fired by sur­prise. They may be shocked when you actually do it, but they should already know that their performance (or lack thereof) has not been acceptable and that their job was at risk before they are terminated. I recommend that you conduct periodic job reviews and/ or have a progressive discipline policy. By reviewing performance […]
April 18, 2023


If you grew up on a farm you probably learned that PTO stands for “power takeoff’ and that it is the connection point on a tractor for other implements and attachments. But today we will be talking about PTO as “Personal Time Off’ or “Paid Time Off’ as a system to replace the traditional vacation, sick leave, and personal leave policies that you may be presently using. Simply put, PTO combines vacation time, sick leave, and personal time into one “bank” of time-off available to your employees as the need or desire arises. Employees have more flexibility for a work-life balance while no longer having to be untruthful or deceitful when obtaining time-off. You don’t have to have a very large operation with very many employees before you will recognize that you have at least one “warrior” and one “wimp” […]
October 24, 2022

Hiring or Firing: Knowing the Basics of At-Will Employment

One of the most basic and widely held employment practices in the country is called “at-will” employment. At-will employment simply means that the relationship between employer and employee can be terminated at any time, by either party, for any reason. An employer can fire an employee without giving a reason and, likewise, the employee can quit for any reason or no reason at all. In addition, the employer is free to change any terms of employment, including pay, benefits, and working hours. While many believe this to be arbitrary and unfair, no employees would want to be in a position where they must work at a firm they do not like or cannot accept another job offer because they are obligated to continue to work where they are for some period of weeks or months. The opposite of an “at-will” […]
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