That Cute Job Listing Might Be a Threat to Your Business

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Originally published in Entrepreneur

By John Shunk

These days, you’re as likely to see a job listing for a “product ninja” or a “sales rock star” as you are for a cut-and-dried position like human resources manager or marketing associate. Part of this is a reflection of the more casual, flexible nature of work today. Soft skills are extremely valuable in the information economy, as is the ability for workers to step up and take on a variety of different responsibilities at work.

Plus, attention is valuable, even the attention of job seekers, and there’s no quicker way to get attention than to make it seem as if the job you’re advertising isn’t like other jobs. But this trend is playing right into the hands of a significant risk to employers that many are overlooking.

It all relates to recent rule changes issued by the U.S. Department of Labor that raised the threshold for overtime pay. Starting in January 2020, all employees who make less than $35,568 per year will be eligible for mandatory overtime pay of 1.5 times their regular pay rate when they work more than 40 hours per week. That’s an increase from the current threshold of $23,600, originally set in 2004, though well below the threshold of $47,476 that was suggested during the Obama administration, before being fought down by several states and business groups.

Think that impact will be minimal?

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John Shunk is a partner in Messner Reeve’s Labor & Employment practice group.