Arizona Employers to be Required to Provide Paid Sick Time to All Employees

Under the Fair Wages and Health Families Act, all Arizona employers will be required to provide their employees with paid sick leave beginning on July 1, 2017.

All employees (including full time, part time and temporary) should begin accruing a minimum of one hour of earned paid sick time for each 30 hours worked.

Employers with 15 or more employees can impose an accrual limit of 40 hours (or more) each year. This means that employees would stop accruing paid sick time after they had accrued a total of 40 hours per year.

Continue reading

Employees Working Unauthorized Overtime

If an employee is working overtime without permission from a manager, what options do you have as the employer?

Under federal law (The Fair Labor Standards Act or FLSA), if a non-exempt employee works more than 40 hours in a workweek they must be compensated at a rate of one and one half times their regular hourly rate for all hours over 40 in the week. If an employee is working, they must be paid for all time worked, even if the hours were not authorized by management. For example, if an employee is scheduled for 40 hours and works 46 hours, but the 6 hours of overtime weren’t approved by the employee’s manager, the employee must still be paid for all 46 hours worked.  Continue reading

Do We Have to Pay Employees On Call?

question-mark-460867_1280Yes, your company is required to pay employees if you require them to remain on your premises while they wait for an assignment (for example, firefighters waiting for an emergency call).  If this is the case, they are considered to be working and must be paid, even if they are doing other things, such as playing cards.

No, you don’t have to pay employees if you allow them to go home and they are free to leave messages saying where they can be reached.  In most cases, like these, the employees are not considered to be working.

Yes, you must pay employees if you allow them to leave but restrict their activities, (such as requiring them to remain close to the workplace or not drink alcohol while on call).

2017 Minimum Wage Changes

Many states will be increasing their minimum wage in 2017.  Check the list below to make sure you are in compliance in all states which you have employees.  Most of these changes are effective January 1, 2017 unless otherwise indicated.

  • Alaska: $9.80
  • Arizona: $10.00
  • Arkansas: $8.50
  • California: $10.50 (employers with 25 or less employees will remain at $10)
  • Colorado: $9.30
  • Connecticut: $10.10
  • District of Columbia: $12.50 (effective July 1, 2017) ($3.33 for tipped employees)
  • Florida: $8.10 ($5.08 for tipped employees)
  • Hawaii: $9.25
  • Maine: $9.00 (effective January 7, 2017)
  • Maryland: $9.25 (effective July 1, 2017)
  • Massachusetts: $11.00 ($3.75 for tipped employees)
  • Michigan: $8.90 ($3.38 for tipped employees)
  • Missouri: $7.70 ($3.85 for tipped employees)
  • Montana: $8.15
  • New Jersey: $8.44
  • New York: $9.70 (effective December 31, 2016) ($11.00 for employers in NYC with 11 or more employees; $10.50 for employees in NYC with 10 or fewer employees; $10.00 for Long Island and Westchester, $10.75 for fast food employees outside of NYC; $12.00 for fast food employees in NYC)
  • Ohio: $8.15
  • Oregon: $10.25 (effective July 1, 2017)
  • Rhode Island: $3.89 for tipped employees (non-tipped employees have no change, remains at $9.60)
  • South Dakota: $8.65 ($4.325 for tipped employees)
  • Vermont: $10.00
  • Washington: $11.00

Note: There may be local wage requirements that are higher than the state minimum wage which would apply to your business.

New Overtime Rule Halted by Federal Judge

In a surprising move, the new overtime rule, scheduled to raise the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees on December 1, 2016, has been blocked by Texas Judge Amos L. Mazzant III just ten days before the scheduled effective date.

After the new rule was announced, usdol_seal_circa_2015_svg21 states filed a lawsuit against the Department of Labor. The case was consolidated with another lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups which also objected to the new regulation.

Even after the lawsuits were filed and consolidated, it was not expected that a decision would be made prior the December 1st effective date.  Many are surprised by the decision made by Judge Mazzant who was appointed by President Obama.

The decision to block the rule, a preliminary injunction, doesn’t completely eliminate the rule, but rather delays the implementation until the court has a chance to further review whether the Department of Labor exceeded its authority by raising the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees too high.  There is a chance, especially after president-elect Donald Trump takes office, that the rule could be overhauled or eliminated completely, but employers should prepare for the chance that the rule is implemented in the future.

At this time, and until further notice, the minimum salary for exempt employees will remain at $455 per week instead of changing to the scheduled $913 per week on December 1st.

3 Common Myths Concerning Exempt and Salary Employees

With the new minimum salary threshold for exempt employees taking place later this year (Read more about that here), employers should concentrate on mausdol_seal_circa_2015_svgking sure they are in compliance with the new rules and also confirm that their exempt employees are correctly classified.  In addition, employers should make sure they fully understand how exempt employees should be paid.

To help employers with understanding payment of exempt employees, we’re debunking three common myths associated with exempt and salary employees.

Continue reading

Can Employees Be Paid Salary to Avoid Paid Overtime? Understanding the FLSA Exemptions

usdol_seal_circa_2015_svgCan Employees Be Paid Salary to Avoid Paying Overtime?

This is a common question employers have – and not understanding the rules regarding exempt and non-exempt status, established by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), can land employers in hot water if employees are misclassified.

With the impending changes to the minimum salary threshold for exempt employees (Read more about that here!), this is a great opportunity for employers to review all current exempt and salary employees to make sure they are properly classified.

Continue reading