This morning Punxsutawney Phil told us that we are facing six more weeks of winter. Great. We thought it served as a good opportunity to remind employers of the importance of establishing inclement weather policies that are compliant with wage and hour laws for both exempt and non-exempt employees. Here is a quick, yet helpful, Q&A for your reading pleasure:
Written by Brendan Lowd
Just before Thanksgiving, a Texas federal court judge issued an injunction blocking the closely-watched new federal overtime rule from taking effect as scheduled on December 1, 2016. As expected, the DOL is not going quietly into the night and the parties have engaged in a flurry of court filings as the fight, at least in part, concerning whether the new rule is lawful shifts to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
Since a Texas federal judge blocked the U.S. Department of Labor’s overtime rule from taking effect in November, human resource managers, payroll professionals and employment attorneys (including over here at Employment Matters) have been abuzz about the fact that, at least for now, employers do not need to make sweeping changes to their compensation practices to comply with the rule. What has been less discussed, however, is the impact on New York employers of the New York State Department of Labor’s amendments to New York’s Wage Orders, which become effective on Saturday, December 31, 2016, and which will, among other things, significantly increase the State’s minimum wage rate as well as its the minimum salary thresholds for individuals classified as exempt executives and administrative employees.
The NYSDOL had proposed these changes several months ago and the comment period ended back on December 3rd. But the final rule was issued just yesterday, unchanged from its proposed form. With the clock ticking, New York employers must and should pay immediate attention to these changes and should act quickly to fulfill their ongoing notice and posting obligations while adjusting compensation levels accordingly. We summarize the Wage Order amendments below.
Employers across the country woke up this morning to news that a Texas District Court judge has blocked the DOL’s overtime rule from taking effect on December 1, 2016. This represents a stunning turn of events for employers. They will now be able to continue to treat as exempt from overtime “white collar” workers who are paid a salary of at least the current minimum level of $23,660 per year without raising their salary to the proposed new minimum of at least $47,476, as the new rule had required. But, anticipating the new rule taking effect on December 1, many employers had already re-classified employees as non-exempt or raised their salaries to maintain the exemption or communicated the anticipated changes to their workforce. And even those employers who have waited until the last minute to ready themselves for compliance have been left scratching their heads as to next steps, now that the rule will not, at least for now, take effect. This post explores the court’s decision and employer’s potential responses to it.
As all HR professionals and employment lawyers know (even those currently living under rocks), the Department of Labor’s final overtime rule is scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016 – less than two weeks from now. The DOL published the rule back on May 18, 2016 providing employers with nearly 200 days to come into compliance. Many have planned accordingly and are ready to go; others are finally focusing on this issue as the deadline nears. At the same time, questions continue to arise over the rule’s fate. In this post, we discuss the current state of play along with some compliance tips for employers.
The Department of Labor’s new overtime rules take effect December 1, 2016, and employers across the country are carefully reviewing and modifying their compensation and payroll practices in anticipation. As part of this preparation, employers must consider whether and how any changes to their compensation structures will affect their employee benefit plans. This post examines some of the employee benefits issues that employers should be considering as the December 1 deadline approaches.
The trend toward local regulation of employment laws continues in California with three new local wage and hour enactments.
On June 7, 2016, San Diego voters passed a ballot initiative containing two provisions for hourly workers. First, San Diego’s new minimum wage will be $10.50 per hour once the ballot results are confirmed, which is expected to be in mid-July. Second, San Diego will have its own paid sick leave policy of five days (40 hours) – which is in excess of the state law that allows employers to limit use of accrued paid sick leave to three days (24 hours).
Like the state law, San Diego’s paid sick leave will accrue at one hour for every 30 hours worked and cannot be used until after 90 days of employment. Also like the state law, San Diego’s sick leave initiative allows accrued leave to be front loaded or accrued, and it must be carried over year to year.
Please join us on June 21st at 2:00 pm ET as we cover the new white-collar overtime rule. This one-hour webinar will offer employers more than just a summary of the rule. It will also offer unique insights on the rule’s impact, help employers navigate the complex issues that may arise when revisiting their classification decisions, and suggest best practices for making and implementing these decisions, including communicating them to the workforce prior to the December 1st effective date.
If you have any question you would like us to address, please email them to me at email@example.com in advance of the webinar. You can find our previous coverage on the blog on this issue here (and check back regularly for additional updates).
We hope you can join us! Register here.
Mintz Levin is an approved CLE provider. This webinar is accredited in the following states: California (1.0 general credit) and New York (1.0 general credit). Mintz Levin is also recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM. This webinar is valid for 1.0 PDC for the SHRM-CPSM or SHRM-SCPSM.
One of the few “wins” for employers under the DOL’s new overtime rule was that employers are now allowed to apply “nondiscretionary incentive payments” to meet up to 10 percent of the new salary threshold. This change could prove very important for employers who pay employees on a commission basis or who use other incentive-based compensation.
But what qualifies as a nondiscretionary incentive payment? What options do employers have in changing their compensation plans to ensure compliance with the new rule? And what could be the unintended consequences of those changes? This post looks at this new rule and attempts to answer some of those questions.
As we reported earlier, the DOL has now released its final overtime rule. Two of the biggest takeaways are that the new rule (1) greatly increases the minimum salary threshold of the so-called “white collar” exemptions (at least $913 per week, equaling $47,476 annually); and (2) made no changes to the exemptions’ separate job duties’ tests. The impact of the new rule is expected to be far-reaching – affecting more than 4.2 million workers, with a predicted $12 billion boost to wages over the next 10 years. Below we address the new rule’s impact on California employers, who must still comply with the state’s wage and hour laws when making compliance decisions. Continue Reading The DOL’s New Overtime Rule: Considerations for California Employers