Summer HR To-Do List & Important Updates
June 21, 2022, marked the summer solstice, also known as the first official day of summer! During the solstice, the sun is at its highest point, over the Tropic of Cancer, causing the longest hours of daylight in the year. With the longer days of summer, why not get up to date on important HR changes coming this summer? Not only do we have a standard mileage rate increase to help compensate for increasing gas prices, but there will also be important minimum wage increases. Summer brings unique workplace topics including Heat Illness Plan, flexible work options, and vacation time. To make the most of this summer, we have a list of 7 fun-filled team-building activities for virtual and in-person teams.
Standard Mileage Rate Increase
In recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS will be increasing the standard mileage rate with a special adjustment for the final months of 2022. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year, rarely in the middle of the year with the last one in 2011.
For travel from January 1 through June 30, 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel is 58.5 cents per mile.
For the final 6 months of 2022, from July 1st to December 31, 2022, the standard mileage rate for business travel will be 62.5 cents per mile.
Minimum Wage Increases Effective 7/1/22
Five California localities will be increasing their minimum wage rates effective July 1, 2022. Please note, employers are required to post the updated minimum wage poster and should connect with their payroll processor to ensure that the increases are implemented.
|Minimum Wage Rate|
on July 1, 2022
|Link to Minimum|
|Los Angeles County||$15.00||$15.98||Los Angeles|
|City of Los Angeles||$15.00||$16.04||City of LA|
|San Francisco||$16.32||$16.99||San Francisco|
Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington DC also have additional wage increases effective on July 1, 2022.
Heat Illness Plan
This past April, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced a new national emphasis program to prevent heat-related injury, illness, or death in the workplace, and indicated the reduction of such illnesses and injuries is a top priority for the Department of Labor. Employers need to ensure that their employees are protected from heat-related illness in the workplace which can occur indoors or outdoors, depending on the type of work and work activity. Those not acclimated to heat are especially at risk of heat-related injury. It is especially important to note California employers with any outdoor places of employment must comply with the Heat Illness Prevention Standard which requires training to all employees and supervisors about heat illness prevention; providing enough fresh water so that each employee can drink at least four 8 ounce glasses of water per hour; provide access to shade and encourage employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes; and develop and implement written procedures for complying with the Cal/OSHA Heat Illness Prevention Standard.
Flexible Work Options
Summer is a great time to get creative for your employees and one idea is to consider flexible work options. More employers are allowing employees to work hybrid schedules or work remotely full-time, but if your employees are still going to the office, allowing a little flexibility this summer can improve their productivity and satisfaction at work.
A creative option this summer is to allow employees to take every other Friday afternoon off. Your employees would work four hours every other Friday and then be able to get their weekends started a little early. These few extra hours of time off allow employees to rest a little more, beat the Friday afternoon commute traffic, and come back the next week more energized.
Are your employees utilizing their vacation time this summer? As an employer, you are probably seeing your employees’ vacation balances continue to grow over the last couple of years. The past two years have been difficult for employees to take a vacation, especially with the risk of their trips or time off being canceled due to sickness. This year people are looking to have fun this summer and travel again!
This summer is a perfect time to remind your employees of your vacation policy and encourage them to take time off from work. One great way to make sure employees know you value taking time to rest is for you to take a vacation yourself. The 4th of July is on a Monday this year so it’s a good time to take the Friday before off and make it a four-day weekend! Or you could schedule every other Monday off during the summer to have several three-day weekends and enjoy time resting or adventuring with those close to you.
7 Splendid Summer Team-Building Activities for Summer
There’s something about summer that just seems to bring out the best in everyone. Warm weather, more daylight, fun weekend activities, BBQing, vacations, beaches, and pools are among the best that summer has to offer! If team schedules allow, it’s also a perfect time to get your employees together for a team-building activity. According to Indeed, not only does team-building improve productivity but it has also been shown to enhance communication, increase morale, build trust, and help develop confidence among employees. Check out our list of 7 activities that are able to be adapted for in-person or virtual workplaces.
Host a Family Friendly Event
Nothing says summer like a big social gathering such as a BBQ at a local park or a campfire at the beach. Including your employees’ families is not only fun for everyone, but it’s also a great way to introduce one another and showcase the incredible team you’ve built. Extending the invite to family members at your next workplace gathering will also help win over the hearts of your team’s families which in return can serve as a networking opportunity and help spread the word about your fantastic company. Top parks in San Diego include Balboa Park, Kate Sessions Memorial Park, Civita Park, and Waterfront Park.
Beach Cleanup Community Event
Summer opens the door to a whole new wave of volunteer opportunities. Getting the team together to give back not only serves as a team-building experience, but it’s also great for the soul and amazing for the community! Visit the Surfrider Foundations website and check out their events calendar for beach cleanups local to San Diego. If this summer doesn’t work out for a beach cleanup get-together, International Coastal Cleanup Day is September 17, 2022, and will be a great day to get out there and clean up our local coastline!
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off Contest
School kids aren’t the only ones who dream of their perfect day of playing hooky! To complete this competition, have each team member write their perfect dream day of hooky and put all the entries in a basket. Whichever employee is chosen at random gets to experience their perfect dream day off paid (or whichever part of their dream day they CAN actually experience in real life). Ask the employee to take pictures along the way for fun to share with the team.
Workplace Ice Cream Social
Not many things in this world can beat the taste of ice-cold ice cream on a hot summer’s day. Some of the top local spots, include Salt & Straw, Handel’s, JoJo’s Creamery, and Hammond’s or if you’re in-office, hire an ice cream truck to come visit.
A cook-off is an excellent way to get the team together for a fun culinary experience. Dividing teams out into smaller groups may be helpful for larger teams. Create a list where employees can write down what they will be bringing so no two items are duplicated. Add a fun cultural twist by asking employees to bring an item that represents their nationality or a recipe that has been in their family for generations. Other options include picking a certain food item that has to be included in each dish or having a competition where each team or employee brings the same dish such as a pasta dish or wings!
Activities for Adventurous Adrenaline Seekers
If your team is more of the adventurous type, we have the perfect solution for you! An adrenaline-filled experience that is sure to get your team screaming and laughing, The Patriot Jet Boat Thrill Ride in San Diego. This boat requires at least 19 participants and is perfect for smaller to medium-sized teams. Seeing San Diego through high-speed spins, tricks, and turns is unmatched. In fact, our team took on the adventure back in 2017 and had an absolute blast.
Take Me Out to the Ballgame
Ballgames are a great opportunity to get the whole team out for a local experience fit for many! Whether you’re into sports, enjoy good food, or even just like being out and about in the action, sporting events are an unforgettable experience for teams of all sizes. The SDHRC team got together for a Padres game in 2018 and made some amazing memories.
*We hope you enjoy these fun ideas and creativity, but please note that SDHRC has no affiliation or connections with the activities or local businesses mentioned throughout this blog.
How SDHRC Can Help!
If you aren’t thrilled at the thought of spending your first few days of summer getting into compliance, we’re here to help! Our consultants continually stay up to date on all HR laws and are available to support your organization as we enter the summer months. Contact us at any time at email@example.com or 888-220-9286 with any questions.
Authors: Suzy Robinson, Kelly Dingess, and Baylee Davies