The Nowsta Blog

Management tips and labor market insights to help you run your business

The ABC Test for Independent Contractors: Everything You Need to Know

By Ginny Bartolone June 25, 2019

The long-awaited AB-5 bill has arrived after a 2018 state court ruling changed the way California differentiates between employees and independent contractors (ICs). The court set the three-part ABC test as California’s method of determining a worker’s status, shifting it away from the more ambiguous, employer-friendly federal standards. The AB-5 bill then further codifies the rights and benefits owed by the employer after a former IC has been reclassified as a full employee. AB-5 recently passed the state assembly and heads to the state senate in just a few months. 

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Understanding Shift Differential Pay

By Henry Updegrave June 10, 2019

Scheduling employees for unpopular shifts can be a challenge. That’s why many businesses offer shift differential pay, meaning they pay employees more when they work the shifts others don’t want to. It’s a simple way to incentivize, reward, and retain employees for performing a difficult but necessary service for your company.

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3 Hiring Mistakes to Avoid

By Anthony Lambatos June 3, 2019

Hiring new employees is one of the most difficult challenges for any business.  Just when you think everything is firing on all cylinders, someone gives their notice and you’re forced to divert your attention from the work that you love to replace a team member.  There is no question that this is a time consuming process, however making the wrong hire can be costly and have long term negative effects on your business. I’ve certainly made my fair share of mistakes over the years and seen many caterers stumble through the process.  Here are three common mistakes to avoid when you’re looking for your next hire.

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Tip Pooling: Your Comprehensive Guide

By Henry Updegrave May 28, 2019

Millions of servers, bartenders, baristas, and others depend on tips to supplement their income. While direct client-to-server tipping is the most standard practice, many businesses opt to spread the love with a tip pooling policy.

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Want Happier Employees? Show Your Appreciation!

By Anthony Lambatos April 30, 2019

In his New York Times bestseller Life’s Little Instruction Book, H. Jackson Brown has a great quote for managers: “Don’t forget a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.”  

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How to Write Effective Job Ads for Hourly Staff

By Henry Updegrave April 15, 2019

Hourly employees are often the face of your business. Baristas, servers, and other folks in customer-facing roles have to connect with people and exude your company values, so it’s imperative you find the right people for the job -- and since turnover is high for these positions, you need to be able to do it consistently.

In October 2018, job openings in the US reached over 7 million — outnumbering job seekers by nearly a million. Candidates have more power than ever when choosing which employers they’re going to work for. That’s one reason why more companies have started to treat recruits like customers, optimizing the application experience for candidates and making efforts to promote their company as an attractive place to work.

Job ads are the backbone of any such recruitment marketing strategy. They’re your opportunity to make a strong first impression on potential employees, set the tone for the interview process, and ultimately get more applicants through the door. With that in mind, here are our three tips for writing more effective job ads.

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Federal Overtime Laws: The Latest Updates from the Department of Labor

By Henry Updegrave April 1, 2019

Long-awaited updates to federal overtime laws are finally here. On March 7, the Department of Labor (DOL) proposed new changes to the overtime threshold exemptions under the Federal Labor Standards Act. This proposal — which is now taking public comment — calls for a higher overtime exemption threshold than exists now, but a lower one than the DOL called for under the Obama Administration.

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Servant Leadership: A Primer with Examples

By Henry Updegrave March 19, 2019

If you run a business or manage a significant number of staff, you know that your attention is being pulled in a million directions at once. Did we underschedule today? Should we be hiring more? Are we going over budget? There’s always something new to deal with.

But with so many problems to solve every day to keep the business running smoothly, it’s easy to forget about the frontline employees who make it all possible. If they’re not consistently learning, growing, and getting better at their jobs, then it’s nearly impossible for the customer experience to improve over time. Even worse, if your staff are disengaged and turning over at a high rate, you’re almost certain to provide a worse experience over time, since you constantly have new people starting from scratch with no understanding of what makes your business successful.

That’s the problem servant leadership looks to solve. Servant leadership is a management philosophy that reimagines the role of the boss as one who serves their team rather than leads them. Proponents argue that by focusing more on what they can do to make their team successful rather than vice versa, leaders can build a more cohesive, autonomous, motivated workforce, which will ultimately get better outcomes for the business.

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25 Small Business Tax Deductions You Need to Know About

By Henry Updegrave February 18, 2019

Running a small business is no easy endeavor — especially during tax season. In addition to dealing with complicated forms and financial calculations, many small businesses end up paying too much in taxes because they take all of the deductions available to them.

We want to help you keep your tax bill as low as possible in 2019. Below, we’re going to give you the rundown on 25 of the most common small business tax deductions you could be eligible for as a sole proprietor, LLC, or partnership business. Please note that this post is for educational purposes. You should speak to a professional tax advisor to confirm which deductions you’re eligible to claim and learn how.  

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New York’s Spread of Hours Law Explained

By Henry Updegrave February 11, 2019

Building a work schedule for your team requires a full understanding of your state’s labor laws, which aren’t always intuitive. New York’s Spread of Hours law is a prime example. While most labor laws focus only on the hours an employee is clocked in for, the Spread of Hours law takes the whole day into account. The law applies only to businesses in the service industry, and says that if the beginning and end of an employee’s workday are more than ten hours apart — including breaks or off-duty hours — you’re required to pay that employee one extra hour’s worth of pay at minimum wage, on top of their total wages for the day.

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