Weather Emergencies and Wage and Hour Laws

hurricane-92968_1920When weather emergencies, like hurricanes or snow storms, occur and your business is affected, are you required to pay your employees? It’s not a simple yes or no answer — rather, the situation and the employees’ exempt or nonexempt status determine who should be paid and for what. Continue reading

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.

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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.

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New Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

UPDATE: November 22, 2016 – A federal judge has delayed the new overtime rule. At this time it is not known how long the rule will be delayed or if the new rule will be enforced at all in the future.  The minimum salary threshold for exempt employees will remain at $455 per week until further notice.

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The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued the much anticipated final rules regarding overtime for salary employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum pay for exempt employees is currently $455 per week (or $23,660 per year). Under the new rule, effective December 1, 2016, the minimum pay will increase to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year). The salary threshold will automatically be updated every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020, based on average wage growth.

An added provision of the new rule is the ability for employers to include nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, including commissions, up to 10 percent of gross wages, to meet the minimum salary requirements. For example, if an employee is paid $44,000 base salary and receives a bonus of $4,000 per year (less than 10% of their gross annual salary), they could still be considered exempt under the new rule because their total compensation ($48,000) is higher than the new salary threshold.

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New Proposed Overtime Rule Released by the Department of Labor

clock-334117_1280The Wage and Hour Division of the Department of Labor (DOL) has recently released proposed changes to the salary threshold for overtime exemption.  Under the current Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), in order for an employee to be considered “exempt” (meaning they are not required to be paid overtime for working more than 40 hours per week) the employee must be paid a salary of at least $455 per week.  The new proposed rule would increase this salary figure to approximately $970 per week, or $50,440 per year. The new figure was set at the 40th percentile of current exempt salary employees.  The proposed rule also states that the salary threshold would be adjusted annually based on the 40th percentile of wages paid each year.

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