DOL Issues Guidance for Private Employers on Final Overtime Rule

Guidance Provides Options for Compliance

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance on its final overtime rule to help private sector employers evaluate current practices and transition to the rule’s requirements.

Background
The DOL’s final rule, effective December 1, 2016, updates the regulations governing which executive, administrative, and professional employees (“white collar” workers) are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule focuses primarily on updating the salary and compensation levelsneeded for such workers to be exempt. In particular, the final rule:

  • Raises the salary threshold from $455 a week to $913 per week (or$47,476 annually) for a full-year worker;
  • Sets the highly-compensated employee (HCE) total annual compensation level equal to $134,004 annually;
  • Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every 3 years, beginning on January 1, 2020; and
  • Amends the regulations to allow employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses, incentives, and commissions to satisfy up to 10% of the new standard salary level, so long asemployers pay those amounts on a quarterly or more frequent basis.

Note: When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

New Guidance
Among other things, the DOL’s guidance details some of the options employers may exercise in determining how to comply with the final rule. Employers have certain options for responding to the changes to the salary level, and the DOL does not dictate or recommend any method. Such options include:

  • Providing pay raises that increase workers’ salaries to the new threshold;
  • Spreading employment by reducing or eliminating work hours of individual employees working over 40 hours per week for which no overtime is being paid; or
  • Paying overtime.

Note: The rule does not require employers to convert a salaried worker making less than the new salary threshold to hourly status; employers can pay non-exempt employees on a salary basis and pay overtime for hours worked beyond 40 in a week.

Click here to read the guidance. Additional information on the final rule, including fact sheets and Q&As, is available on the DOL’s final rule webpage.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

DIR Reminds Public Works Contractors to Renew Registration before January 1 to Avoid Hefty Penalty

Oakland—The Department of Industrial Relations (DIR) announced today that a mandatory renewal deadline is approaching for contractors who bid or work on public works projects in California. Contractors whose public works contractor registration expired June 30, 2015, and have ongoing public works projects or plan to bid on new ones, must pay the $300 renewal fee before January 1, 2016 or face an additional $2,000 late penalty after that date.

“Contractor registration ensures that only those contractors who play by the rules can bid and work on public works projects,” stated Julie A. Su, State Labor Commissioner.

As a result of Senate Bill 854, all contractors have been required since April 1, 2015, to register with DIR to be awarded a public works contract, even if the project did not go out to bid.

If you believe that your public works registration with DIR is still active, you can check the active contractor registration search tool to locate and confirm your registration. If your registration does not appear, it may have expired or you were not registered. DIR’s Frequently Asked Questions page has more information.

If you were registered last year and have not bid nor worked on any public works projects on or after July 1, 2015, you can renew for this fiscal year without incurring a penalty.

The required annual registration fee of $300 is used to fund such activities as DIR’s compliance monitoring and enforcement, prevailing wage and public works coverage determinations, and enforcement appeal hearings.

DIR registration requires that all contractors affirm under penalty of perjury that they have workers’ compensation insurance coverage, have no outstanding wage judgments, and are licensed with the Contractors State License Board.

DIR maintains a listing of registered contractors and subcontractors on its website to assist awarding bodies who must confirm this registration before considering a bid or awarding a contract, and for contractors who must confirm that their bid team members are registered. For more information, visit the DIR Public Works page.

DIR protects and improves the health, safety and economic well-being of over 18 million wage earners, and helps their employers comply with state labor laws.

DIR’s Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE), also known as the Labor Commissioner’s Office, enforces prevailing wage rates and apprenticeship standards in public works projects, inspects workplaces for wage and hour violations, adjudicates wage claims, investigates retaliation complaints, issues licenses and registrations for businesses and educates the public on labor laws.

 

New York Enacts Several Civil Rights Measures Affecting the Workplace

Changes Take Effect January 19, 2016

New York has enacted a series of changes to its workplace nondiscrimination laws. The changes take effect on January 19, 2016. A summary of the key changes is presented below:

  • Expanded Coverage for Sexual Harassment Actions. A new lawprovides that the state nondiscrimination law’s prohibitions againstsexual harassment apply to all employers—regardless of size. (Prior to January 19, 2016, the provisions regarding sexual harassment are applicable to employers with 4 or more employees.)
  • Pay Equity and Sharing of Wage Information. An amended lawprovides that (among other things) an employer cannot prohibit an employee from inquiring about, discussing, or disclosing his or her wages or the wages of another employee. However, an employer may—in a written policy provided to all employees—establish reasonable workplace and workday limitations on the time, place, and manner for such inquiries, discussions, or disclosures.
  • Discrimination Based on Family Status Prohibited. An amended law (applicable to employers with 4 or more employees) prohibits discrimination in employment based on familial status.
  • Clarification Regarding Pregnancy-Related Conditions. A new measure clarifies that employers with 4 or more employees are generally prohibited from refusing to provide reasonable accommodations to the known disabilities—or pregnancy-related conditions—of an employee/applicant in connection with a job or occupation sought or held. Additionally, pregnancy-related conditions must be treated as temporary disabilities under the law.

The governor’s office has issued a press release regarding the new legislation. Additional information regarding New York workplace nondiscrimination law is available from the New York State Division of Human Rights.

To review other state laws specific to New York, visit the State Lawssection, click on New York, and choose your topic of interest from the left-hand navigation menu.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY http://www.HR360.com

Government Implements Wage and Hour, Worker Safety and Health Guidelines for Nail Salons

As the Occupational Safety and Health Administration continues to perform nail salon sweeps in various states, especially in empire states where the New York Times recently published articles about the hazards facing nail salon workers, the federal agency has released a poster this year that discusses in detail both Wage and Hour Protection as well as Health and Safety Protection.

The Wage and Hour Division helps all workers in the United States, regardless of immigration status. As a nail salon worker, one has the right to be paid full and fair wages for all hours you work.

The Division of Occupational Safety and Health on the other hand recognizes that products used in nail salons can contain harmful chemicals. Over time, repeated use or exposure to high concentrations of these chemicals could damage your body or cause serious health effects. This new poster emphasizes that nail salon workers have the right to working conditions that do not put them at risk of serious harm.

Some salons incorrectly call workers “independent contractors” when they are actuallyNail Salon English.gif employees. It is important for you to know the difference between the two because employees are legally entitled to greater health and safety protections, wages and benefits. A salon owner may call you an independent contractor, or give you an IRS form 1099 instead of a W-2, but this does not automatically make you an independent contractor. This poster helps both employers and employees determine which classifications workers fall under.

For the convenience of our customers, the All in One Poster Company has developed a
24” x 36” laminated version of this labor law poster that contains 4 languages: English, Spanish, Chinese, and Vietnamese. We call it the Nail Salon Workers Rights. These are also available only in a particular language in an 11” x 17” laminated poster.

Minnesota Leads the Midwest in Minimum Wage

This Saturday, Minnesota’s minimum wage will rise to $9.00 per hour, making it one of the highest in the country, and the leader of the Midwest states. The bump is a result of the phase two implementation of the wage law Governor Mark Dayton signed in April of last year. The law mandated that wages rise to $8.00 in 2014, $9.00 in August of 2015, and $9.50 in August of 2016. Following the completion of stage three in 2016, wages moving forward will be adjusted as necessary to account for inflation.

These changes will only apply to employees working for qualifying large employers – businesses with an annual gross revenue of $500,000 or higher. Those working for smaller employers still fall under the protection of the federal minimum wage, currently at $7.25 per hour.

How does Minnesota compare to its neighbors in the Midwest?

While the hotly debated first two stages of the law have finally been settled, stage three of the implementation remains controversial between political parties. The 2016 presidential race is expected to focus on ways to support the middle class and will undoubtedly touch on the minimum wage floor.

About Doherty | The Employment Experts Headquartered in Minneapolis for over 35 years, Doherty offers customized workforce solutions to companies doing business in Minnesota and across the nation. Doherty is the largest Minnesota-based staffing firm, Minnesota’s 2nd largest woman-owned business, a Star Tribune Top Workplace since 2014, and the only staffing firm to receive the Minnesota Business Ethics Award. Visit www.dohertyemployment.com for more information.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY DOHERTY on Thu, 07/30/2015

To ensure continued compliance of our valued customers, All in One Poster Company is will be including this mandatory update, along with the latest Minnesota OSHA (MNOSHA) mandatory update that occurred this month, with the upcoming release of our 2016 Minnesota and Federal Combination Poster available for pre-order beginning November 1, 2016. The MNOSHA was updated this October to include information regarding employer requirements to report any work-related in-hospital, amputations or loss of an eye to MNOSHA within 24 hours.

Univ. of California system raises minimum wage to $13 an hour

University of California CollageThe first phase of a law that will eventually boost the minimum wage of all University of California employees to $15 an hour went into effect on Thursday.

The UC system is the first in the country to voluntarily create a plan for a $15 minimum wage, according to a university statement emailed on Thursday.Now, all university employees working 20 or more hours per week will earn at least $13 an hour. That wage is expected to increase to $14 an hour on Oct. 1 of 2016 and reach its target of $15 an hour on Oct. 1 the following year.

According to the UC website, the system employs 190,000 workers, though only a small fraction of workers will benefit from the program as the program only impacts those workers receiving an hourly wage.

According to NPR, the full policy is set to affect 3,200 employees in the University of California system. However, the total number affected could actually be higher, as any third party contracted by UC for services will earn the required wage, also according to the system’s website.

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 15:  University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – JULY 15: University of California employees represented by the Union Coalition demonstrate in front of UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center to call on University of California executives take a pay cut instead of reducing services to patients, cutting employee hours and increasing student tuition on July 15, 2009 in the Westwood area of Los Angeles, California. As California continues to make history drastic cuts to state funds to get a handle on the state budget crises, union officials say that UC administrators have declined to give them budget information that shows reduced hours and services are needed. Pending reductions in work hours and services may affect as many as 150,000 public employees at all 10 University of California campuses. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

“This is the right thing to do — for our workers and their families, for our mission and values, and to enhance UC’s leadership role by becoming the first public university in the United States to voluntarily establish a minimum wage of 15 dollars,” UC President Janet Napolitano said when the plan was first announced.

The UC system’s website states the school will fund the cost of the extra wages through “non-core funds, including sales and revenue,” which will not include tuition or state resources. Employees can report wage or working conditions via a hotline, an online complaint system or periodic and annual audits.

The move comes in the midst of a national debate about the value of a minimum wage increase.

Michael Schramm is a student at the University of Michigan and USA TODAY College breaking news correspondent.

San Jose Minimum Wage Not Going Up In 2016 Due To Consumer Price Index Drop

SAN JOSE (KPIX 5) – Thousands of people who in San Jose who earn minimum wage thought they would be getting a raise on January 1st. But a lower Consumer Price Index means their wages will stay at $10.30 an hour next year.
//geo.moatads.com/n.js?ud=4&up=0&qa=1920&qb=1080&qc=953&qd=77&qf=958&qe=962&qh=974&qg=1047&qi=1920&qj=1040&qk=0&ql=7%5BLy)rXXRG%3A%3AJMhSA%5DB&qm=420&qn=6OZw%3DoHB%2CEF%3FKC1I%3Cq.bWoCSV2W0Su*TDXlCfX2iR2%25(GyHN%3DI(%2C%3Ba15lK1t!9ZpAH..4iwM%25z4mc4djG%3D_11%5Dz(m3%7CuK9~P%5DDohjO%7BcEKHD%40%404KrD(KA.E%24C%23I%3BC%2FVKw(%24Y4%5D%2B)%60K%3A%3A%2FAwJ_%5B%259%5BHhUKF%5EhcIR%23%250R_AkgM%3DKB.WeMBC.F%5BNVfBB2%2B%7BLT6UB*SC%7Dq.U%3DKc%2C%5BH%3C!%2F%40Ek8R44lEZ%2F%7B!MVoId9IUjDux1bWumA8p5pb%25F3%2FNdLlDP2%2Fh%7C%3FW390UYcRW!_vvWUuR%2320*8bj(GNK%3AaooxD.(%3DN4kl%2FNEXo*XsVv%5E%258Ks.%3E%24b_oui3%25yBOy7jmPTg%26BT%23p!V%25m9%3Fi%3C%3FdKHapzrIw(%60*MVu%2Fs1S*qks!o%7B25jAbj19SUF%60(a~M%3Ai%60K%25_9.rV0%2F%60E%60%60vp%24%26x%5EF.bjF%3D%3C1.(ekO2m%2F%26u~q%60RP%3CG.ce%5Dv2%2B4YejI%3Def%25.YeG&qo=0&qp=00001&qq=000001000011&qr=0&qt=0&na=c%3CdEAkT%23s1Zt%3DN%7BQe%3FSF2i2!7IA.kk%7CQz%22%3DN%7BQe%3FSF2i2!7IY&callback=MoatSuperV10.gna5838

Emma Sanchez is among those earning minimum wage in San Jose. When asked how she tries to make ends meet, Sanchez said, “Stretch it out. It’s really hard.”

The mother of four said she is sometimes unable to pay her bills. “It’s , extra hours extra shifts,” Sanchez said. “You know, pulling ends here and there to do what you got to do just to make ends meet.”

San Jose voters passed an ordinance two years ago that allows for a jump in minimum wage if the Price Index goes up. But in the last 12 months, the CPI went down, because gas prices took a drop in August.

Although Sanchez lives in one of the most expensive cities in the country, the CPI is a U.S. city average.

“It’s not fair,” Sanchez said. “It’s getting harder and harder and minimum wage is not going to cut it anymore.”

Mayor Sam Liccardo said, “The mechanical of the existing ordinance is not helping.”

Liccardo said he wants to see an increase in minimum wage throughout Santa Clara County.

“There’s no question that the minimum wage at its current level is not enough to enable anyone to survive in this valley,” the mayor told KPIX 5.

For thousands like Sanchez, every penny counts when you’re making minimum wage. She said any increase in pay would help.

“It would help. It would extremely help not only me as a single mother but a lot of people it would help,” Sanchez said.

This is the first time since the ordinance was passed that the minimum wage has not gone up.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY CBS SAN FRANCISCO

UPDATE 2-McDonald’s U.S. to add all-day breakfast on Oct. 6

http://b.scorecardresearch.com/beacon.js

(Reuters) – McDonald’s Corp’s U.S. franchisees have voted to begin offering all-day breakfast on Oct. 6, a widely expected move that the company and investors hope will help reverse slumping sales and traffic at the world’s biggest fast-food chain.

Many U.S. consumers like to eat breakfast foods at all hours of the day. McDonald’s is the top choice for those so-called “Breakfastarians,” according to a recent survey from YouGov BrandIndex, a brand perception research service.

McDonald’s all-day breakfast menu will include hotcakes, yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, hash browns, sausage burritos and either McMuffin sandwiches or biscuit sandwiches, according to the company, which did not say how much the new program is expected to boost results.

Richard Adams, a former McDonald’s franchisee turned consultant, said McDonald’s has told franchisees that all-day breakfast will lure 200 customers a week per restaurant.

McDonald’s is expected to back its breakfast expansion with a significant advertising campaign, and Adams predicted that the company will get an initial sales boost from expanded breakfast service.

All-day sales of McDonald’s iconic McMuffin sandwiches at the chain’s more than 14,000 U.S. restaurants could increase sales by as much as 2.5 percent a year, according to an internal company presentation obtained by Bloomberg News.

“Will this be a long term fix for McDonald’s USA? We won’t know until well into 2016,” Adams said.

Some franchisees worry that extended breakfast service could complicate operations and slow service at a time when company executives have vowed to simplify and streamline the chain’s menu.

To that end, McDonald’s said that regional operators can decide whether to cut certain menu items based on local customer preferences.

Reporting by Lisa Baertlein in Los Angeles

Editing by Tom Brown, Steve Orlofsky and Bernard Orr

Baltimore staffing agency allegedly harassed, discriminated against and allowed assault and abuse of Hispanic employees

Suit also alleges discrimination against non-Hispanics, intentional underpayment of women

BALTIMORE — A Baltimore staffing agency for federal contractors allegedly hired Hispanic construction laborers, and then harassed and discriminated against them. It also allowed supervisors of other federal contractors to assault them physically, make racial slurs, and threaten them with deportation. The allegations were made in a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

The suit also alleges that WMS Solutions LLC discriminated against non-Hispanic applicants, intentionally paid female workers less per hour than males and assigned fewer work hours to African American, Caucasian and female laborers. This comes a couple of years after a wage theft related suit was filed against the company in 2012.

The department alleges that since at least Feb. 1, 2011, WMS favored hiring Hispanic laborers, and that company managers knowingly permitted abusive practices by supervisors at their work sites. In addition to physical and verbal abuse and harassment, supervisors intimidated laborers with videos of detained and deported Hispanic workers. Despite knowing of the illegal harassment, WMS managers took no action to stop it.

“WMS allowed workers it hired to be exploited and abused. It denied job opportunities to qualified workers based on race and ethnicity. It underpaid female workers and assigned fewer work hours based on race and gender,” said OFCCP Director Patricia A. Shiu. “We have taken action on behalf of these workers. OFCCP is prepared to use every tool at its disposal to ensure that no federal contractors and subcontractors engage in discrimination or harassment.”

OFCCP discovered the company’s discriminatory practices in its review to determine WMS’ compliance with Executive Order 11246. The order prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or national origin. OFCCP filed its complaint with the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges after it did not secure an agreement from WMS to pay back wages and interest to the affected workers; extend job offers to the rejected applicants; and provide a working environment for its employees free of harassment, intimidation and coercion.

WMS is a Baltimore-based company specializing in asbestos removal and demolition. The company provides laborers to federal contractors performing construction work on projects in the Washington, D.C., area. At the time that the alleged discrimination and harassment occurred, the company held federal construction subcontracts totaling more than $6 million for projects involving the General Services Administration, National Institutes of Health and U.S. Department of the Navy.

OFCCP enforces Executive Order 11246, the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act and Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. As amended, these three laws prohibit those doing business with the federal government, both contractors and subcontractors, from discriminating in employment on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability or status as a protected veteran. For general information, call OFCCP’s toll-free helpline at 800-397-6251 or visit its website at http://www.dol.gov/ofccp/.

Perez v. WMS Solutions LLC
Docket Number: 2015-OFC-00009

OFCCP News Release: [06/17/2015]
Contact Name: Leni Fortson
Phone Number: (215) 861-5102
Email:
uddyback-fortson.lenore@dol.gov
Release Number: 15-1176-PHI

Originally posted on: http://www.dol.gov/opa/media/press/ofccp/OFCCP20151176.htm

City of Chicago Phases In Minimum Wage Increase July 1, 2015

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, background, enters City Hall pressroom after the City Council approved a minimum wage hike. Task force members include Aldermen Patrick O'Connor, 40th, from left; Joe Moore, 49th; Will Burns, 4th; Walter Burnett Jr., 27th; Ameya Pawar, 47th; and Emma Mitts, 37th. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, background, enters City Hall pressroom after the City Council approved a minimum wage hike. Task force members include Aldermen Patrick O’Connor, 40th, from left; Joe Moore, 49th; Will Burns, 4th; Walter Burnett Jr., 27th; Ameya Pawar, 47th; and Emma Mitts, 37th. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

On December 2nd, 2014, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance that will raise the minimum wage for Chicago workers to $13 per hour by 2019. This measure, sponsored by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Alderman Will Burns, Alderman Pat O’Connor, and 31 other aldermen, will increase the earnings for approximately 410,000 Chicago workers, inject $860 million into the local economy, and lift 70,000 workers out of poverty.

In 2015, the City will begin phasing in its new minimum wage, as provided by the ordinance. This phase-in will help simplify the early years of implementation for businesses and employers. The City’s ordinance raises the hourly minimum wage to $10 in 2015, $10.50 in 2016, $11 in 2017, $12 in 2018, and $13 in 2019, indexed annually to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) after 2019.

The ordinance also increases the minimum wage for tipped employees in from the current state minimum of $4.95 to $5.45 in 2015 and $5.95 in 2016, indexed annually to the CPI after 2016.

The full text of Minimum Wage ordinance is available HERE.

Implementation Timeline*

Effective Date Non-Tipped Employees Tipped Employees
Current $8.25 $4.95
July 1, 2015 $10.00 $5.45
July 1, 2016 $10.50 $5.95
July 1, 2017 $11.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2018 $12.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2019 $13.00 Increases with CPI*
July 1, 2020 Increases with CPI* Increases with CPI*

*The ordinance provides that the minimum wage will not increase when the unemployment rate in Chicago for the preceding year, as calculated by the Illinois Department of Employment Security, was equal to or greater than 8.5 percent. The ordinance also provides that if the CPI increases by more than 2.5 percent in any year, the minimum wage increase shall be capped at 2.5 percent.

Aldermen Bob Fioretti, 2nd, John Arena, 45th and Nicholas Sposato, 36th stand in back along with members of Action Now and the Raise Chicago Coalition at a press conference at City Hall in Chicago Monday Dec. 1, 2014 to advocate for a $15 minimum wage in Chicago.  (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

Aldermen Bob Fioretti, 2nd, John Arena, 45th and Nicholas Sposato, 36th stand in back along with members of Action Now and the Raise Chicago Coalition at a press conference at City Hall in Chicago Monday Dec. 1, 2014 to advocate for a $15 minimum wage in Chicago. (Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune)

To Whom Does the Minimum Wage Ordinance Apply?

  • Employers: Employers that maintain a business facility within the City of Chicago and/or are required to obtain a business license to operate in the City are subject to the minimum wage ordinance.
  • Employees: Employees who work two hours in the City within the period of two weeks qualify for the minimum wage required by the ordinance. This includes domestic employees and home health care workers. A union may waive its members’ rights to collect the minimum wage as part of a collective bargaining agreement.

Time spent traveling in the City that is compensated time, including, but not limited to, deliveries, sales calls, and travel related to other business activity taking place within the City, counts toward hours worked; time spent traveling in the City that is uncompensated commuting time does not.

To Whom Does the Minimum Wage Ordinance NOT Apply?

  • Employees taking part in government-subsidized temporary youth employment programs.
  • Employees taking part in government-subsidized transitional employment programs.
  • Employees of any governmental entity other than the City.
  • Certain employees exempted under state law, including:
  1. Employees under 18 years of age. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage 50 cents below the state minimum hourly wage.
  2. Adult employees (i.e. those 18 years of age or older) in the first 90 days of employment. Employers are authorized to pay these employees a wage 50 cents below the state minimum hourly wage.
  3. Disabled employees, pending state approval. Trainees taking part in a program for no more than six months, pending state approval.
  4. Employees working at a business with four or fewer employees, not counting the employer’s parents, spouse, children or other members of the employer’s immediate family.

For more information, visit the City of Chicago website at http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/mayor/supp_info/minimum-wage.html