You hit it … the maximum of a pay range! Now what? When I get this question, I have a few questions that I need answered:

The answers to these questions are essential when figuring out what to do once you reach the maximum of a pay range. Realistically there should be a cap on pay, and ideally there should be added opportunities provided for those employees who want them. However, you may have that content employee who is happy as a clam doing the same thing day in and day out. They are consistently performing acceptably. Do they deserve some form of cost-of-living adjustment? The simple answer is yes. Yet the real question is, do they deserve anything more than that?

Not having a consistent practice in place makes situations like this difficult. Further questions need to be considered: Have they consistently gone above and beyond what has been asked of them and are they consistently adding to the bottom line either directly or indirectly? Those questions may be harder to answer.

Having a policy in place for employees who are happy right where they are at is necessary, and providing opportunities to cultivate employee skills and abilities for those who want them is a good way of avoiding the range maximum. As their position evolves and they gain more skills and responsibility they will most likely move into higher pay ranges. It eliminates questions and you know what to do when faced with this issue as it comes up.

Here are a few simple options to consider:

  1. Paying a lump sum bonus; it may not always be guaranteed and it eliminates the fixed cost of a standard pay increase
  2. Providing new opportunities for your employees to further develop their skills and abilities
  3. Implementing a pay for performance or variable compensation program
  4. Widening the spread of your current ranges
  5. Finding alternative ways to reward employees that may not be tied to an annual increase

Typically it is your long-time tenured employees who will reach the maximum of the range. Finding creative ways to reward them for their service, and showing them you appreciate their dedication to the job, is essential in retaining your best people. Having the formal policy in place will make your job a whole lot easier!




Oregon has become somewhat of an innovator when it comes to passing laws for the working citizen. Our tiered minimum wage law was the first of its kind, and other states are taking notice.

One of Oregon’s newest changes is the new limits on overtime in manufacturing establishments. Essentially, unless the business is exempt, or qualifies for a limited-duration hardship waiver, employees in manufacturing environments are only allowed to work up to 55 hours a week, with a maximum of 60 if they sign a voluntary waiver, which can be rescinded at any time.

These new rules have led to frustrations for employers, as it causes issues with scheduling and production if they don’t have employees who can work when needed. It has also caused frustrations for employees, many of whom are used to working 70 or more hours a week, as it means a drastic cut in pay.

With the shortage of usual working hours, more employees are starting to look for second jobs to cover the difference in wages they are accustomed to bringing home.

The point of these rules seems obvious from an outsider’s view: employee safety, of course. We want to limit the time these employees spend at work because their safety is paramount. When working in a manufacturing environment, there are a lot of inherent dangers and those dangers should be taken seriously. If we can prevent even one accident by limiting working hours, shouldn’t we?

It’s a good question, and one that I keep asking myself. More and more, I am not so sure that it is doing the job that was intended. If employees are seeking secondary positions to supplement their lost income, the whole reasoning behind employee safety is moot. Those same employees would still be working the same hours overall, and depending on the schedule for their second job, they may be working more hours than before.

What can a business do to protect themselves in these situations?

  1. Set clear expectations that this job is the employee’s primary job.
  2. Include a policy in your handbook that addresses secondary employment, and that it should not cause a conflict of interest. Encourage employees to inform their manager or HR if they have, or plan to take, a secondary job. This will give the company an opportunity to remind the employee of the expectations of their position with the company.
  3. Focus on employee performance and productivity, rather than the fact that they have a second job. Make it clear that if their secondary job is beginning to affect their work, there will be consequences, up to and including termination of employment.

The truth is, you generally can’t prevent someone from working a second job. However, you can do your best to make sure employees are focused on their position within your company and that they understand their work performance must be consistent with expectations.



Between Two Filing Cabinets

If you’re a subscriber to our blog, we know you love great content about HR, leadership and what it takes to be a great place to work.

If you want even more great content, subscribe to our YouTube channel and catch our regular episodes of “Between Two Filing Cabinets” where we bring you tips, trends, troubles and stories from HR. We’ve got so many great stories to share with you that make us laugh, shake our heads, ask “Did that really happen?”, and feel inspired.

In one episode we give you some great tips on recruiting in today’s hyperactive environment. In another, we give the “Best Worst Response” award to an employer that had an epic response to employee reviews of the employer on Glassdoor. When you’re done with each episode you’ll have some great tips and ideas.

Hope you join us soon!



Sheryl Kelsh Photograph

I’m pleased to introduce Sheryl Kelsh as Cascade’s new Membership Development Manager. Sheryl is the person behind the Cascade membership curtain, helping members fully engage in the programs and services that will generate the most value for their membership investment and identifying the greatest needs of prospective members who haven’t yet discovered why nearly 450 employers rely on our expertise.

With nearly 20 years’ experience working with organizations of all sizes and industries, Sheryl is skilled at linking employers to the resources that advance workplace success. She’s truly an exceptional find for Cascade and its members. Sheryl comes to us as the former Executive Director of Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce in Newberg, where she focused a majority of her 12-year tenure on creating and maintaining a successful membership program. Prior to the Chamber, she managed two professional staffing agencies. As a former Cascade member herself, Sheryl understands human resource management and the myriad challenges (and opportunities) associated with it.

While you’ll be hearing from her in various ways over the coming months, I encourage you to reach out to Sheryl for a phone conversation or invite her to your workplace for an orientation of the value of membership. And since it’s an organization-wide membership, feel free to include others on your team so they, too, can reap the benefits. We want to make sure you get every penny’s worth of your membership investment.

What Comes With Membership?

  • AnswerSource Helpline – Call or email us for quick and reliable answers to your general employment-related questions or to request a sample policy or form. Up to 15 minutes of free consultation per issue.
  • HR Assessment – A review of your current HR programs/practices to help you get and stay in compliance. We come to you to conduct the assessment, discuss challenges, and help you set goals for areas identified.
  • Total Cash Pay Assessment (NEW) – Select one job within your organization and our compensation team will review pay and bonus data from multiple market survey sources, recommend pay and bonus levels, and include a comparison of your specific position versus your competitive market.
  • Quick Pulse Employee Survey – With just three questions, this quick online survey helps you discover what matters most to your employees and what they feel is in most need of improvement.
  • Leadership Engagement Essentials – Receive one annual registration to this two day program (offered three times a year) for insightful strategies that promote consistent leadership practices, better productivity, increased morale, greater profitability and overall improved organizational performance.
  • Preferred Training Rates – Keep your supervisors, managers and executives on track with professional development training at substantial savings. And any of our training programs can be brought to you on-site to specifically meet the needs of your company.
  • SalaryTrends® Subscription – Enter your organization’s pay data and get free access to fresh, local pay information to help you recruit and retain the right people. We’re always happy to add job titles to our surveys if you don’t find the jobs you’re looking for.
  • Online Member-Only Area – Take advantage of this information-rich area of our Web site, including an online tool called HR AnswersNow. It brings you hundreds of sample forms, checklists, policies; a rich FAQ section on HR and benefits topics; government forms; employment laws for all 50 states; and much more.
  • Critical Compliance News and Workplace Information – Stay compliant and keep informed through updates in monthly newsletters and late breaking e-alerts.
  • Special Rates on all Professional Services – Rely on Cascade for in-depth consultation on specific employee situations, such as discipline/discharge and the more complicated family leave issues; for projects like employee handbook development and compensation plan design.
  • Access to Partnered Programs at Special Rates – We’ve established alliances with outstanding providers, allowing you access to unsurpassed services such as 401(k) retirement plan, employee assistance program, drug & alcohol testing, background screening, and safety & health services.

As you can see, there’s a lot to talk about. Please contact Sheryl any time.

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