Happy 29th GPS Anniversary MJ Sorrell!

Happy 29th GPS Anniversary MJ Sorrell!

An anniversary is a good occasion to look back on what you have accomplished.  MJ, for 29 years you have been and are…terrifically tireless, exceptionally excellent, abundantly appreciated and…magnificent beyond words! 

 We wish you much more success in the years ahead.  Happy Anniversary!  Enjoy your day!

#gpsassociatesrock #gpsfun #gallmantalent

Are You Playing Offense or Defense?

Are You Playing Offense or Defense?

Are you Playing Offense or Defense?

I recently read this question somewhere, and it stuck with me. The more I thought about it, the more convinced I was that it is a valid question for us to ask as individuals and as leaders.

Are you playing offense or defense?

Like in sports, where you can have a strength in offense or defense and be successful, but can’t be successful with a complete lack of either one; this question isn’t an “either/or black or white” question as much as it is a “relative balance” question.

It is a question that can be asked strategically (what will our focus be for the year?) or tactically (how will handle this situation?). In either case, it is a question worth considering, because if you don’t consider it and challenge yourself with it, you will in the short- or long-term operate from your habits – which might not give you the results you most desire.

Are you playing offense or defense?

What do I mean when I suggest this question to you?

Your own definitions for the two words matter, and so my urging you to ask yourself might really be all that is needed (and would make for a short article). But if you want to hear the definitions and descriptions I have been using as I have considered the question, here is a sampling.

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Offense means . . . Defense means . . .
• Being proactive • Being reactive
• Improving processes • Solving problems
• Playing to win • Playing it safe
• Maximizing return • Minimizing risk
• Trying something new • Maintaining what you have
• Creating new Customers • Focusing on the competition

As you can see, what appears to be a black and white question is far from it. As just one example: there is a time to improve processes, and a time to solve problems – and there is value in knowing which will be your overall focus too.

The question has helped clarify my thinking for our team in the coming year and I hope it will do the same for you. It has also come in handy in regards to some specific situations and decisions since I have been considering the question.

So, I ask you to consider this question for yourself from three perspectives.

Which is my subconscious habit, to play offense or defense?

Which will serve me best, most often in reaching my goals for year, playing offense or defense?

Which will serve me best for the situation or decision I face right now, playing offense or defense?

Whatever your answers, make sure you don’t ignore what you didn’t choose. If you choose to focus on offense, there will be a time when defense is needed and vice versa. Asking the question will however make you more intentional and likely more successful in whatever context you use it.

Ten Employee Training Tips

Ten Employee Training Tips

By AllBusiness.com

Well-trained employees are the key to your small business success. Studies have shown that the most successful, productive employees are those who have received extensive training. They’re the cream of the crop, and often have the strongest stake in the company’s future.

In an ideal world, you would be able to hire people who already possess the exact skills your business needs. But in today’s competitive labor market, demand for skilled workers far exceeds supply.

That’s where training comes in. Not only does instruction arm your employees with needed professional or technical skills, but it also shows that you are invested in them and interested in bringing them with you into the company’s future. This helps keep workers motivated and involved.

To successfully launch an employee-training program in your own company, follow these 10 helpful tips:

  1. Stress training as investment. The reason training is often considered optional at many companies is because it is thought of as an expense rather than an investment. While it’s true that training can be costly up front, it’s a long-term investment in the growth and development of your human resources.
  2. Determine your needs. As you probably don’t have unlimited time or funds to execute an employee training program, you should decide early on what the focus of your training program should be. Determine what skills are most pertinent to address current or future company needs or ones that will provide the biggest payback. Ask yourself, “How will this training eventually prove beneficial to the company?” Repeat this process as your business needs change.
  3. Promote a culture of learning. In today’s fast-paced economy, if a business isn’t learning, it’s going to fall behind. A business learns as its people learn. Communicate your expectations that all employees should take the necessary steps to hone their skills and stay on top of their professions or fields of work. Make sure you support those efforts by providing the resources needed to accomplish this goal.
  4. Get management on board. Once you have developed a prioritized list of training topics that address key needs within your company, you need to convince management to rally behind the initiative.
  5. Start out small. Before rolling out your training program to the masses, rehearse with a small group of users and gather their feedback. This sort of informal benchmarking exposes weaknesses in your training plans and helps you fine-tune the training process.
  6. Choose quality instructors and materials. Who you select to conduct the training will make a major difference in the success of your efforts, whether it’s a professional educator or simply a knowledgeable staff member. Having the right training materials is also important — after the training is over, these materials become valuable resources for trainees.
  7. Find the right space. Select a training location that’s conducive to learning. Choose an environment that’s quiet and roomy enough to spread out materials. Make sure the space is equipped with a computer and projector, so you can present a visually stimulating training session.
  8. Clarify connections. Some employees may feel that the training they’re receiving isn’t relevant to their job. It’s important to help them understand the connection early on, so they don’t view the training sessions as a waste of valuable time. Employees should see the training as an important addition to their professional portfolios. Award people with completion certificates at the end of the program.
  9. Make it ongoing. Don’t limit training solely to new employees. Organized, ongoing training programs will maintain all employees’ skill levels, and continually motivate them to grow and improve professionally.
  10. Measure results. Without measurable results, it’s almost impossible to view training as anything but an expense. Decide how you’re going to obtain an acceptable rate of return on your investment. Determine what kind of growth or other measure is a reasonable result of the training you provide. You’ll have an easier time budgeting funds for future training if you can demonstrate concrete results.

AllBusiness.com provides resources to help small and growing businesses start, manage, finance, and expand their business. The site contains forms & agreements, business guides, business directories, thousands of articles, expert advice, and business blogs. Material copyrighted by AllBusiness.com.

How To Create Your Own Opportunities At Work

How To Create Your Own Opportunities At Work

When your job isn’t giving you room to grow, make some.

How To Create Your Own Opportunities At Work
[Photo: distelpics via Pixabay]

You’re a hard worker, just like you said at your job interview. In all your time at your company, you’ve done consistently good work. You’re reliable. But for some reason, you just aren’t shining as much as you’d like. Maybe there’s a sexy new project at work that you were hoping to be assigned, but it went to someone else. Perhaps you’re holding out for a promotion but haven’t seen it yet.

You’re starting to wonder if your hard work doesn’t cut it. You’re doing some great things, but your boss doesn’t seem to notice. You aren’t getting bigger or better projects, which means you aren’t really growing in your position. Is there something else you should be doing?

Executing Isn’t Enough

The solution here isn’t necessarily to approach your boss and ask point-blank what gives. Before you charge into your boss’s office demanding a change, stop for a minute and ask yourself: How proactive am I in my career? Do I take on more than is required of me? Do I go out of my way to take on projects that benefit teams other than my own? Do I regularly help my teammates? And do I do these things without permission, or only when I’m asked to? In other words, am I fearless?

If the answers here are mostly “no,” it’s time to be more proactive. Don’t wait for your boss to create opportunities for you—create them yourself.No matter what stage of your career you’re at, simply “doing” the work is never enough. In order to take charge of your own career, you often have to take the initiative.

The most successful people are proactive. They provide value beyond what’s asked of them, and in the process, they showcase their talents and show everybody else how much they can contribute. Over time, teams learn to come to them with bigger and better projects. It’s a virtuous circle that benefits both the company and their careers.

Depending on your personality, this might not feel so natural. It may also come more easily to people at senior levels who typically don’t have to wait for a supervisor to approve every decision they make. People earlier in their careers might hesitate to be so proactive, fearing that if they do, they’ll be scolded for overstepping.

In reality, this fear is typically unfounded. What it really boils down to is your confidence and how much you know about the company and industry you’re in, not the current stage of your career. Here are a few tips for being more proactive at every level.

Take An Inventory Of Your Strengths And Weaknesses

Just as you would while preparing for a job interview, sit down and log your strengths and weaknesses. Has your team actually seen the full breadth of your skills? Do they know what you’re capable of? Are you actively utilizing your strongest skills, or are they being underleveraged?

Sometimes assets are hidden inside what appear to be disadvantages. Maybe you’ve been harping on the fact that you’re the youngest on your team—does that also make you the most social-media-savvy? Consider your strengths and weaknesses from all angles. You need to understand them better before stepping up to show your team more of what you’ve got.

Pick The Right Project

Being proactive isn’t about picking any extra project and adding it to your to-do list. It’s about identifying strategic opportunities for the good of the company—not just for yourself.

Which opportunities are those? Ask yourself these questions to pinpoint where you can help your company or team—and your career in the process:

  • What do you know about the business, company, or industry that only you can see?
  • What are some possibilities your company or team haven’t explored yet, and why not?
  • What gaps do you see?
  • What business objectives are you most passionate about at your company, and which of those are you uniquely qualified to help with?

Note that the answers to these questions may mean working with your current team, or not! Embrace the opportunity to meet teams other than your own if that’s where you can best contribute. Going out on a limb to forge those relationships is another sign that you’re interested in growing beyond what you already do.

Once You Seize It, Sell It

Now it’s time to sell your boss on the value of you taking on this project. Boil it down to a one-liner summarizing what you hope to achieve, and why it’s important to the company or team. Practice explaining that in the mirror if it helps.

While it can be scary to work on a project with no obvious stakeholders, if it’s a truly valuable undertaking, it’ll prove itself. Other people will see its value as it develops, and you yourself will become more certain of it.

Keep in mind, however, that it’s essential that you believe in the value of the undertaking. If you’re not sure it’s worth pursuing, get a second opinion from someone you trust (a close colleague, a mentor), or table it until you find another opportunity that makes your heart beat faster with conviction.

Keep Up Your Existing Responsibilities

The only way you can get away with working on something only you see the value in (at first) is if you’re keeping on top of all your current duties. As you start to stretch into self-initiated projects, it can be tempting to focus on those alone, but that’s a mistake.

Being proactive only to drop the basics isn’t a sign of leadership potential—it’s a sign of poor time management, a reason why you might not be progressing in your career as quickly as you thought yourself capable. That can be tough to recognize, but it’s useful intel.

Don’t Wait For Permission To Do More

This is crucial, whether you’re an intern for the season or a seasoned manager. If you find yourself waiting for someone else to signal or approve the next step, check yourself: It’s up to you to keep the ball rolling. Rather than waiting for a new assignment or task, ask yourself what else could be done, and do it.

Of course, be sure to use your best judgment here. There’s a category of things that you may in fact need approval for; sending a mass email to the whole company or expensing some unapproved dinners might create some challenges. But for a more run-of-the-mill project, it may not be necessary. Default toward asking for forgiveness, not permission.

Manage Up

You’re ultimately the best (and only) person to represent your own interests to your boss. Tell her what you want out of your career, and ask her to keep an eye out for opportunities for you. A good manager will keep you top of mind for upcoming projects that match your interest and skill set—or they’ll tell you why they think you’re not ready for those opportunities just yet. (If it’s the latter, don’t despair; this kind of feedback can be helpful, as now you have something tangible to work toward.)

But asking for your manager’s support isn’t the same as sitting on your hands and waiting for it. After all, it’s easy to wait for approval. It’s a lot harder to take initiative. But when you’re proactive, it often pays off—for you as well as your employer.

If Your Boss Could Do Your Job, You’re More Likely to Be Happy at Work

Managing people

If Your Boss Could Do Your Job, You’re More Likely to Be Happy at Work

December 29, 2016

“People don’t quit bad jobs, they quit bad bosses,” according to an old saw. Our research suggests there’s truth behind this saying: bosses matter far more for employee job satisfaction than any other factor we measured. But what makes someone a great boss?

Studies of leaders often focus on their style or charisma, but we wanted to look at how workers are affected by their boss’s technical competence. That is, is the boss is a real expert in the core business of the organization? How much expertise does he or she have? Boss competence is, admittedly, a multifaceted concept. Hence we measured it in three different ways:

  • Whether the supervisor could, if necessary, do the employee’s job.
  • Whether the supervisor worked his or her way up inside the company.
  • The supervisor’s level of technical competence as assessed by a worker.

Using these three measures of supervisor competence, we found that employees are far happier when they are led by people with deep expertise in the core activity of the business. This suggests that received wisdom about what makes a good boss may need some rethinking. It’s not uncommon to hear people assert that it’s a bad idea to promote an engineer to lead other engineers, or an editor to lead other editors. A good manager doesn’t need technical expertise, this argument goes, but rather, a mix of qualities like charisma, organizational skills, and emotional intelligence. Those qualities do matter, but what our research suggests is that the oft-overlooked quality of having technical expertise also matters enormously.

Research into the topic of expert leadership is recent but burgeoning. Modern evidence demonstrates, for example, that hospitals may do better if led by doctors rather than by general managers, that U.S. basketball teams do better when led by a former All Star basketball player, that Formula One racing teams do better if led by successful former racing drivers, and that universities do better when led by top researchers rather than talented administrators.

In our project, we studied 35,000 randomly selected employees and workplaces. The samples are from both the U.S. and Britain. We use traditional ways of measuring the job satisfaction of employees, like the survey question we asked in the U.S.: “How do you feel about the job you have now?” 1 = “dislike very much”, 2 = “dislike somewhat”, 3 = “like fairly well”, 4 = “like very much”.  People’s answer on average was 3.2.  In Britain, we asked: “Please answer on a 7-point scale from “I am completely satisfied with my job,….I am completely dissatisfied with my job.” We found the answer in Britain was, on average, approximately 5.3. Overall, these ratings seem to us to be good, but perhaps not great, news. Workers are fairly happy.

When we look closely at the data, a striking pattern emerges. The benefit of having a highly competent boss is easily the largest positive influence on a typical worker’s level of job satisfaction. Even we were surprised by the size of the measured effect. For instance, among American workers, having a technically competent boss is considerably more important for employee job satisfaction than their salary (even when pay is really high).

Although we found that many factors can matter for happiness at work – type of occupation, level of education, tenure, and industry are also significant, for instance – they don’t even come close to mattering as much as the boss’s technical competence. Moreover, we saw that when employees stayed in the same job but got a new boss, if the new boss was technically competent, the employees’ job satisfaction subsequently rose.

The bottom line is that employees are happiest when the boss knows what she or he is talking about, and that drives performance: there is growing evidence, from randomized trials done under laboratory conditions, that when you make workers happier they become more productive. One study found that quite small boosts in happiness went on to produce a reliable 12% extra in labor productivity. Moreover, employees who are happy at work are less prone to quit, and it is well known that a high level of quits is expensive for a company. Lastly, it has recently been demonstrated that firms with happy employees go on to have better stock-price growth in the future.

The boss casts a very long shadow. Your job satisfaction is profoundly molded by your boss’s competence; and your own team’s job satisfaction levels depend on your competence.

New Form I-9: Key Changes HR Needs to Know

New Form I-9: Key Changes HR Needs to Know

  By Roy MaurerJan 17, 2017

Employers have until Jan. 22, 2017, to get up to speed on using the newest version of the Form I-9, marked 11/14/2016. The version that has been in effect since 2013 (marked 03/08/13) will become obsolete on that date. The new form can be accessed on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. The expiration date on the new form is 08/31/2019.

Failure to use the new form beginning Jan. 22 will expose organizations to penalties, which were recently nearly doubled.

“With a new administration coming in we have a lot of indications that ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] audits will increase, new investigation officers will be hired and enforcement in this area will get a lot of focus,” said Cynthia Lange, managing partner of immigration law firm Fragomen’s Northern California practice in San Francisco.

“Employers will find that the Form I-9 in many ways is very similar to the previous version, but some individual fields and the form instructions have been revised,” said Katie Nokes Minervino, an immigration attorney in the Portland, Maine, office of law firm Pierce Atwood. “The core requirements of the form have not changed,” she added. The acceptable documents list and retention requirements have remained the same.

Employers are not required to use the new I-9 on existing employees—one of the most common queries after a new version of the form is released, said Dave Basham, a senior analyst in the verification division at USCIS.

[SHRM members-only toolkit: Complying with I-9 and E-Verify Requirements]

There are now three ways for users to complete the Form I-9:

  • Print it and fill it out manually, pen to paper.
  • Fill it out electronically, then print and sign it. Take note that using the online “smart” version of the form does not qualify as a compliant electronic I-9. If the online fillable version is used, it must be printed and signed pen to paper.
  • Use an electronic I-9 vendor.

Employers using electronic I-9 systems should not experience any direct impact with this form change, Lange said. Electronic systems should simply update the form.

If relying on a vendor, employers should compare the electronic product and the fields and requirements of the new I-9 version to ensure the vendor is collecting all the necessary information, added Pierce Atwood immigration attorney Tony Derosby, also in the Portland office.

Using the ‘Smart Form’

The newest version of the I-9 has been dubbed a “smart I-9” because of the fillable, interactive PDF option that enables users to fill in the fields of the form online before printing and signing a hard copy. “When a user opens the smart I-9 in Adobe Reader, the fillable PDF form limits options for further responses based on information previously provided, flags errors and fields where information is missing, provides a link to the form instructions, and includes additional instructions for specific fields that are available by hovering over a question-mark icon that appears above a field within the PDF,” Minervino said.

“The form substitutes for training and helps guide people to not make the same mistake over and over again,” Lange said. But she reminded employers that the smart form is not a safe harbor against ICE enforcement, is not integrated with E-Verify nor other HR systems, and cannot store information nor enable reporting.

“This is still really a ‘paper’ I-9,” she said.

There’s also no requirement that employers use the smart form at all. Or, the smart form can be partially filled out online before being printed, finished and signed.

Derosby explained that an employee could, for example, fill in Section 1 online, print it out and sign page 1 before handing it to his or her employer. The employer could then fill in Section 2 and sign the document, making sure to keep the two pages together for retention. Or, a new hire could fill in Section 1 by hand, and the employer could complete Section 2 online, print and sign.

He said that while the smart I-9 option is “probably not worth going out of your way to have an employee use,” especially if it will complicate getting it back on time, there’s enough benefit to it that employers shouldn’t write it off completely.

“The new fillable I-9 is a good fit if your onboarding process involves the new hire sitting down at a company computer to complete the I-9 on the first date of hire and you can ensure that the employee has access to the current version of Adobe Reader, the internet and a printer,” Derosby said.

Read the New Instructions Carefully

Users will notice three tabs on top of the online I-9—Instructions, Start Over and Print—after clicking on the link for the form on the USCIS site.

“If someone makes mistakes while entering information onto the form and wants to start over, they can hit the Start Over tab,” Basham said. If the HR professional decides to print out the form to be completed, he or she will need to click on the Instructions tab and print those out as well to give to the worker filling it out.

The instructions were more than doubled from six pages to 15 to provide more guidance for users. “The instructions are dense but actually provide a lot of good information to train your HR team,” said Montserrat Miller, a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Arnall Golden Gregory.

Changes to Section 1

Patrick Shen, a partner in Fragomen’s Washington, D.C., office, said only the employee can fill out the information in Section 1.

One key change is that users must enter N/A in any fields that they previously would have left blank. For example, if there is nothing to enter in the fields asking for a middle initial, or apartment number or Social Security number, those fields can no longer be left blank.

The main benefit of using the smart version of the form is that once the employee and employer are finished entering information and click out of the form, all entries are reviewed for the correct format, including entries in blocks that require an N/A. If errors are found, the form will signal what needs to be fixed.

Another modification lessens the administrative burden on foreign workers. If the new hire attests to being a foreign national authorized to work in the U.S., he or she can provide either an alien registration number, Form I-94 admission number or foreign passport number. Previously, foreign nationals authorized to work were required to provide both an I-94 number and foreign passport information.

The new form allows for up to five preparers and/or translators to each sign and date the form in his or her own field. The prior form had one field for potentially multiple preparers and translators to fit their signatures in.

“The employee [now] needs to affirmatively check a box indicating that he or she did not use a preparer or translator if that’s in fact the case,” Minervino said. “This is an important double check for all employers to ensure that this box is completed by the new hire.”

Changes to Section 2

Employers are responsible for completing Section 2 of the Form I-9. Lange said the employer representative verifying employment eligibility must be in the physical presence of the person being verified and must also see the original documents being presented.

Although the smart I-9 was an attempt to leverage technology to assist employees and employers in the I-9 process, USCIS stated that using FaceTime or Skype with a new hire to review documents is not permissible under the regulations, Derosby said.

“Employers are still confused about this,” Lange added. “Using a webcam or some remote technology is still not acceptable.”

Basham said that if an employee is using the online version of the form, Section 2 will self-populate the worker’s full name on page 2. A new field asks for the new hire’s citizenship or immigration status. Employers must enter the corresponding numeral (1, 2, 3, 4) from the employee attestation on page 1.

There are no changes to the document list columns, but dropdown menus common to electronic I-9s are now available on the online form.

“Use the dropdown to select which document(s) was presented,” Basham said. “We don’t require HR professionals to be document experts. But HR must accept documents presented by an employee if they reasonably appear to be genuine and relate to the individual.”

Shen said that the smart form is “pretty smart, but it’s not perfect. Using it is not a safe harbor.” He added that it’s important for HR to continue to be familiar with immigration-related anti-discrimination laws to stay compliant. If an employer asks too many questions of foreign workers about documents or doesn’t accept a valid document, then it could be exposed to liability. “Note that not all acceptable documents are included in the dropdown menus,” he said. Even though the scenario is not common, an employer may receive an acceptable document that is not listed and can be open to a discrimination charge if it is rejected.

Finally, USCIS has added a large box for additional information in section 2. This could be used to notate information that used to have to be scribbled in the margins of the form, such as a foreign national’s Temporary Protected Status or Optional Practical Training information. “You can use it to include an E-Verify case number, employee termination date, form retention dates, and any other comments for the employer’s business process,” Miller said. “But make sure whatever comments you write are limited to the Form I-9 or your participation in E-Verify. If your form is the subject of a government investigation, whatever you write on the form is fair game.”

No Changes to Section 3

Section 3 regarding reverification has not changed, but any reverifications done after Jan. 22 must be done using the revised form. Reverification must be done when a worker’s employment authorization or employment authorization documentation expires. “Employers must remember that workers can show any document that shows right to work and don’t have to use the same documents they presented when verified previously,” Shen said.

USCIS is holding a national teleconference on Jan. 31  to review the latest enhancements to the Form I-9 and answer questions from the HR community.

Was this article useful? SHRM offers thousands of tools, templates and other exclusive member benefits, including compliance updates, sample policies, HR expert advice, education discounts, a growing online member community and much more. Join/Renew Now and let SHRM help you work smarter.

Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

Do You Have Any Questions for Me?

“Do you have any questions for me?”  Don’t get stumped by this common interview question! Answer “no”, and you might as well start looking for another job. So why do interviewers ask if you have any questions? They want to find out three important things:

  1. Did you do your homework about the position and the company?
  2. Are you really interested in the job?
  3. How are your conversational skills and thought processes?

And, since you could possibly be working at this company, it’s in your best interest to ask as many questions as possible so that you know exactly what to expect. Here are some examples of what you might want to ask…

To find out more about the company:

  • Where do you see the company headed?
  • What will the company be like five years from now?
  • Can you describe the company culture?
  • How do you stay ahead of the competition?
  • Where do you see this industry headed?
  • What is turnover like?

Interviewer questions:

  • What do you like about working here?
  • How long have you been working here?
  • If you could change or improve anything, what would it be?

To find out more about your position:

  • Is this a new position? If so, why was this position created?
  • Describe a typical work week/day in this position.
  • How many people work in this department?
  • Can you show me an organizational structure chart or give me an idea about the chain of command?
  • How will my performance be measured? By whom?
  • Will I be given periodic reviews?
  • How would you describe the responsibilities of this position?
  • What is the management style like?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement?
  • What is the company’s policy on providing seminars, workshops, and training so employees can keep up their skills or acquire new ones?

Work-life balance and other expectations:

  • How much travel is expected?
  • What are the typical hours like?
  • Is overtime expected?
  • Is relocation a possibility?

Follow-up questions:

  • If I am offered a position, when would I be expected to start?
  • What are the next steps in the hiring process?
  • When should I expect that you’d be making your decision?
  • Is there anything else that you’d like to know?

And NEVER ask these questions:

  • Questions that can easily be answered by checking the employer’s website or any other literature that has been provided to you before the interview.
  • Salary and benefit information, unless the employer brings up the topic.


Doyle, Alison. “Your Guide to Job Searching: Interview Questions and Answers.” http://jobsearch.about.com/od/interviewquestionsanswers/a/interviewquest2.htm

Minimum Wage Increases In Store For Many In 2017

Minimum Wage Increases In Store For Many In 2017

12.19.16  Fisher Phillips Legal Alert

While the federal minimum wage has remained steady at $7.25 for the past seven years, many state and local jurisdictions have set their own minimum rates higher than the federal level. And, of course, when a local jurisdiction mandates a rate higher than the federal rate, you must pay your employees the higher rate.

Here is a listing of all the planned increases currently on tap for 2017. If your state or local jurisdiction is not listed, there is presently no increase in store for you in the new year. Obviously, though, these laws may change at any time, and you should consult with your local employment counsel before acting upon the information contained in this summary.

NOTE: These rates are for non-tipped employees. Check with your Fisher Phillips attorney, or with any attorney in the Fisher Phillips Hospitality Practice Group, for information about minimum wage rates for tipped employees.

The Alaska minimum wage will increase from $9.75 to $9.80 on January 1, 2017.

Arizona will see a minimum wage increase from $8.05 to $10.00 on January 1, 2017. Also, the city of Flagstaff will see an increase from $8.05 to $10.00 on January 1, 2017, and an additional increase to $12.00 on July 1, 2017.

The minimum wage for Arkansas will increase from $8.00 to $8.50 on January 1, 2017.

There will be plenty of activity in California. The statewide minimum wage will increase from $10.00 to $10.50 as of January 1, 2017 (although employers with 25 or fewer employees will receive a one-year reprieve and will not face the statewide increase in 2017), but 18 local jurisdictions in the state will also see minimum wage increases this coming year:

  • Berkeley will see an increase from $12.53 to $13.75 on October 1, 2017.
  • There will be an increase in the minimum wage in Cupertino from $10.00 to $12.00 on January 1, 2017.
  • Smaller employers in Emeryville (55 or fewer workers) will see an increase from $13.00 to $14.00 on July 1, 2017, while the increase for larger employers will be announced in 2017 and go into effect on July 1, 2017.
  • The minimum wage in Los Altos will increase from $10.00 to $12.00 on January 1, 2017.
  • Los Angeles will see an increase from $10.50 to $12.00 on July 1, 2017.
  • Those employers in Los Angeles County will also see an increase from $10.50 to $12.00 on July 1, 2017.
  • Mountain View employers will face a minimum increase from $11.00 to $13.00 on January 1, 2017.
  • In Oakland, the minimum wage will increase from $12.55 to $12.86 on January 1, 2017.
  • There will be a minimum wage increase in Palo Alto from $11.00 to $12.00 as of January 1, 2017.
  • In Pasadena, employers with 25 or fewer employees will face a minimum wage increase to $10.50 as of July 1, 2017, while larger employers will face an increase from $10.50 to $12.00 as of the same date.
  • Richmond will see an increase in the minimum wage from $11.52 to $12.30 on January 1, 2017.
  • In San Diego, the minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $11.50 as of January 1, 2017.
  • San Francisco’s minimum wage will increase from $13.00 to $14.00 as of July 1, 2017.
  • The San Jose minimum wage will increase from $10.30 to $10.50 as of January 1, 2017.
  • There will be a minimum wage increase for employers in San Mateo, with rates increasing from $10.00 to $12.00 on January 1, 2017.
  • Santa Clara will see a minimum wage increase from $11.00 to $11.10 as of January 1, 2017.
  • In Santa Monica, the minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $12.00 on July 1, 2017.
  • Employers in Sunnyvale will face a minimum wage increase from $11.00 to $13.00 on January 1, 2017.

The Colorado minimum wage will increase from $8.31 to $9.30 on January 1, 2017.

Connecticut will see an increase to the state minimum wage increase from $9.60 to $10.10 as of January 1, 2017.

In the District of Columbia, the minimum wage will increase from $11.50 to $12.50 as of July 1, 2017.

The Florida minimum wage will increase from $8.05 to $8.10 as of January 1, 2017.

The minimum wage in Hawaii will increase from $8.50 to $9.25 on January 1, 2017.

In Illinois, the statewide minimum wage will remain steady in 2017, but employers in Chicago will see an increase from $10.50 to $11.00 on July 1, 2017, and those in Cook County will face an increase from $8.25 to $10.00 on the same date.

While the minimum wage in Iowa is not scheduled to increase in 2017, three local jurisdictions will see increases:

  • Johnson County employers will face a minimum wage increase from $9.15 to $10.10 on January 1, 2017.
  • For employers in Polk County, the minimum wage will increase from $7.25 to $8.75 on April 1, 2017.
  • In Wapello County, the minimum wage will increase from $7.25 to $8.20 on January 1, 2017.

In Maine, the minimum wage will increase from $7.50 to $9.00 as of January 7, 2017. In Portland, the increase to the minimum wage will be from $10.10 to $10.68.

Maryland’s minimum wage will increase from $8.75 to $9.25 on July 1, 2017. Also:

  • Montgomery County employers will face a minimum wage increase from $10.75 to $11.50 on July 1, 2017.
  • For employers in Prince George’s County the minimum wage increase will be from $10.75 to $11.50 on October 1, 2017.

In Massachusetts, the minimum wage will increase from $10.00 to $11.00 on January 1, 2017.

The minimum wage in Michigan will increase from $8.50 to $8.90 as of January 1, 2017.

In Missouri, the minimum wage will increase from $7.65 to $7.70 as of January 1, 2017. Further:

  • The Kansas City minimum wage, which was slated to increase to $9.82 on January 1 2017, is stalled due to pending court challenges. The Missouri Supreme Court is expected to soon rule on the issue.
  • The same holds true for the St. Louis minimum wage, which was scheduled to increase to $10.00 as of January 1, 2017.

Montana’s minimum wage will increase from $8.05 to $8.15 on January 1, 2017.

New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase from $8.38 to $8.44 on January 1, 2017.

While the minimum wage in New Mexico is not scheduled to increase in 2017, various local jurisdictions will see increases:

  • In Albuquerque, the minimum wage will increase from $8.75 to $8.80 on January 1, 2017. However, if the employer provides healthcare and/or childcare benefits to the employee during any pay period and pays an amount for these benefits equal to or in excess of an annualized cost of $2,500, the minimum wage will increase from $7.75 to $7.80.
  • In Bernalillo County, the minimum wage will increase from $8.65 to $8.70 as of January 1, 2017.
  • The minimum wage in Las Cruces will increase from $8.40 to $9.20 on January 1, 2017.

In New York, the minimum wage will increase from $9.00 to $9.70 on December 31, 2016. For fast-food employers outside of New York City, the minimum wage will increase from $9.75 to $10.75 on the same date.

  • The New York City minimum wage increase will see rates rise for businesses with 11 or more employees from $9.00 to $11.00 on December 31, 2016. For smaller employers, the minimum wage will increase from $9.00 to $10.50. For fast-food establishments in New York City, the minimum wage will increase from $10.50 to $12.00 on the same date.
  • In Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, the minimum wage will increase from $9.00 to $10.00 on December 31, 2016.

The minimum wage in Ohio will increase from $8.10 to $8.15 as of January 1, 2017.

Oregon’s minimum wage will increase from $9.75 to $10.25 as of July 1, 2017, unless otherwise described below:

  • For employers within the state’s Urban Growth Boundary, the minimum wage increase on July 1, 2017 will be from $9.75 to $11.25.
  • For employers in frontier counties, the minimum wage increase on July 1, 2017 will be from $9.50 to $10.00 per hour.
  • For more information on this system, please read this summary.

In South Dakota, the minimum wage will increase from $8.55 to $8.65 as of January 1, 2017.

The minimum wage in Vermont will increase from $9.60 to $10.00 on January 1, 2017.

Washington’s minimum wage will increase from $9.47 to $11.00 on January 1, 2017. Meanwhile:

  • Seattle employers with 500 or more employees will see an increase in their minimum wage from $13.00 to $15.00 on January 1, 2017; those with 500 or fewer employees will see an increase from $12.00 to $13.00.
  • The SeaTac minimum wage applicable for hospitality and transportation workers will increase from $15.24 to $15.35 as of January 1, 2017.
  • In Tacoma, the minimum wage will increase from $10.35 to $11.15.

The minimum wage for federal contractors covered by those regulations and Executive Order 13658 (primarily those with Davis-Bacon Act and Service Contract Act contracts) will increase from $10.15 to $10.20 effective January 1, 2017.

For more information, visit our website at www.fisherphillips.com, or contact your regular Fisher Phillips attorney.

This Legal Alert provides an overview of state and local minimum wage increases. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice for any particular fact situation.

GPS Holiday Recipes ~ Bacon Crisp

GPS Holiday Recipes ~ Bacon Crisp

This recipe is courtesy of Paula Deen and submitted by Karen Smith at GPS Corporate.  And it is easy to make!


Total Time:  2 hr 10 min  *  Prep:  10 minutes  Cook:  2 hours

Yield:  24 bacon crisps  *  Level:  Easy



1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan (I use the package kind – works fine)

1 sleeve buttery rectangular crackers (recommended: Waverly Wafers)

1 pound sliced bacon cut in 1/2



Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Place 1 teaspoon of the cheese on each cracker and wrap tightly with a strip of bacon. Place the wrapped crackers on a broiler rack on a baking sheet and put the baking sheets on the oven rack. Bake for 2 hours, or until the bacon is done. Do not turn. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Cook’s note: You can also bake at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes if you’re in a hurry! (this works better in my oven and I’m always in a hurry!)

Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen