May 9, 2024

Navigating Changes in Overtime Regulations: What Funeral Professionals Need to Know

In the ever-evolving landscape of labor laws, on April 23, the Department of Labor (DOL) finalized a new overtime standard. This has the potential to significantly impact how funeral homes and funeral service businesses manage their workforce and finances. Key details of the new overtime standard are as follows: Increased Salary Thresholds  Effective July 1, 2024, employees earning up to $43,888 per year and working more than 40 hours per week will be eligible for overtime pay at a rate of time-and-a-half. This threshold will rise to $58,656 per year starting January 1, 2025. Exemption Criteria Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, workers are exempt from hourly overtime requirements if they work in executive, administrative, and professional capacities, commonly referred to as the “white-collar” exemptions. To qualify for the exemptions, employees must meet a duties test and, in most cases, […]
April 28, 2024

Ask the Owners: Through the Eyes of a Child

How Seeing My Dad in His Casket Helped Me Mourn His Death Written by Diann Anderson, formerly of Anderson Funeral & Cremation Services We are continuing in our series of articles “Strategic Evolution Blueprint for Funeral Home Owners”.  In previous articles I wrote about the importance of embracing change and having a “Strategic Evolution” blueprint for your funeral business.  I have also covered topics like rethinking consumer needs in the funeral profession, the difference between three very different funeral home business models, and why I encourage you to think outside the funeral home box so to speak and start thinking “What’s my Mission?” as it pertains to the operation of your business.  This month, I want to encourage you to reframe your thinking about ceremonies and specifically the importance of having the decedent’s physical body present for the ceremony.  My […]
April 28, 2024

Ask the Analyst: Q1 is Over, Now What?

Q1 is Over, Now What? Written by Jared Tanke If you are like me, you are probably thinking how in the world are we already four months into the year? While relatively early still, it is always a good idea to take a minute to review what has gone well, what has not gone well, and figure out how to adjust with the remainder of the year. Just like SCI, Park Lawn, and Carriage do every quarter for their investors, every business owner no matter the size should have a quarterly report.  Let’s dive into some of the key things to look at: Number of services – When looking at number of services in the quarter, we should not just fixate on the total, but really break it down into the number of traditional burials, traditional cremations, direct cremations, trade […]
April 28, 2024

HR Reality Check: Case Study #27

Scenario: Kirkpatrick Funeral & Cremation Services consists of multiple locations in the southern United States. Duncan Kirkpatrick started the business with a single location 20 years ago. Duncan is very proud of how he has been able to grow the business over the years and the positive feedback he has received from the communities the business serves. This is a direct reflection of his highly trained and qualified staff. It has been challenging for Duncan to find and retain qualified staff, but he has diligently overcome this obstacle by providing great benefits and a wonderful work environment. Duncan worked with a professional to create an employee handbook and procedure manuals as well as a variety of other applicable HR processes for his entire operation. Employees are introduced to these processes from the day they are hired. Currently, his staff is […]
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 […]
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