Reminder: New Federal Overtime Rule Effective December 1

Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Exemption Salary Thresholds Raised for Many Employees

Effective December 1, a new rule updates the regulations governing which executive, administrative, professional, and highly compensated employees are entitled to the minimum wage and overtime pay protections of the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

Current Rules
The current federal rules provide an exemption from both the minimum wage and overtime pay requirements of the FLSA for bona fide executive, administrative, and professional employees who meet certain tests regarding their job duties and who are paid on a salary basis at not less than $455 per week ($23,660 per year). “Highly compensated employees” (HCEs) who are paid total annual compensation of $100,000 or more and meet certain other conditions are also deemed exempt.

New Rule
The new rule updates the salary and compensation levels needed for executive, administrative, professional, and highly compensated employees 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;
  • Increases the HCE total annual compensation level to $134,004 annually;
  • 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 as employers pay those amounts on a quarterly or more frequent basis; and
  • Establishes a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels every 3 years, beginning on January 1, 2020.

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

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360.COM

New Hampshire Law Prohibits Retaliation Based on Flexible Work Schedule Requests

Law Effective September 1, 2016

Under a new law in New Hampshire, an employer may not retaliate against an employee solely because he or she requests a flexible work schedule.

The law does not require an employer to accommodate a flexible work schedule, nor does it create a cause of action for failure to provide a flexible work schedule at an employee’s request.

Note: Employers may have related obligations under other federal, state, and/or local laws, such as the reasonable accommodation requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities Act or the leave requirements of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act.

The new law is effective September 1, 2016. Click here to read the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY HR360

Rhode Island: Mandated Short Term Disability Rates Increase

Weekly Maximum and Minimum Benefit Rates Increase

Rhode Island has announced that its weekly maximum and minimum short term disability rates have increased.

Background
Rhode Island’s temporary disability insurance program provides income support to individuals who are out of work because of a non-work related illness or injury. To be eligible, an individual must meet certain earnings requirements and be medically certified by a qualified health care provider as unable to work.

An individual’s weekly benefit rate will be equal to 4.62% of the wages paid in the highest quarter of his or her base period.

Updated Rates
For claims with a “Benefit Year Begin Date” of July 3, 2016 or later,$89.00 is the minimum benefit rate and $817.00 is the maximum benefit rate. This does not include dependency allowance. The weekly benefit rate remains the same throughout the entire benefit year.

Click here for more information on Rhode Island’s temporary disability program.

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

DOL Revises Federal Minimum Wage and Employee Polygraph Workplace Posters

2016 Federal Banner for Blog
Revised Posters Must Be Posted as of August 1, 2016

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has recently updated its Fair Labor Standards Act and Employee Polygraph Protection Act posters. The new versions are now included in our State & Federal Combination Posters, as well as various versions of our Federal All-In-One Posters.

Background
The federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) establishes minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and youth employment standards. Covered nonexempt workers are entitled to at least the federal minimum wage, and overtime pay at a rate not less than one and one-half times the regular rate of pay is required after 40 hours of work in a workweek.

Note: Employers may also have certain obligations under state and/or local laws, including minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. When both the FLSA and a state law apply, the employee is entitled to the most favorable provisions of each law.

The federal Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) prohibits most private employers from using lie detector tests, either for pre-employment screening or during the course of employment. Employers generally may not require or request any employee or job applicant to take a lie detector test, or discharge, discipline, or discriminate against an employee or job applicant for refusing to take a test.

Revised Posters
Every employer of employees subject to the FLSA’s minimum wage provisions must post (and keep posted) a notice explaining the law in a conspicuous place in all of their establishments so as to permit employees to readily read it.

Additionally, every employer subject to the EPPA must post (and keep posted) on its premises a notice explaining the law. The notice must be posted in a prominent and conspicuous place in every establishment of the employer where it can readily be observed by employees and applicants for employment.

As of August 1, 2016, employers must post these revised versions. All In One Poster Company has revised all posters containing these notices as of July 29, 2016.

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.

Penalties Increase for Employers Violating Certain Federal Labor Laws

pay_or_play_penalty_and_ppacaEmployers that do not comply with certain requirements under a number of federal labor laws will face increased fines beginning with civil penalties assessed after August 1, 2016 (whose associated violations occurred after November 2, 2015).

Key Penalty Increases
Penalty increases announced by the U.S. Department of Labor that may be of particular interest include:

  • Repeated or willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) minimum wage or overtime pay requirements will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,894 per violation (formerly $1,100);
  • Willful violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) posting requirement will be subject to a penalty not to exceed $163 for each separate offense (formerly $110) (note: covered employers must post this general notice even if no employees are eligible for FMLA leave);
  • Failure to provide employees with a Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) notice will be subject to a penalty of up to $110 per day per violation (formerly $100);
  • Failure to provide a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) will be subject to a penalty of up to $1,087 per failure (formerly $1,000);
  • Failure or refusal to file a Form 5500 will be subject to a penalty of up to $2,063 per day (formerly $1,100); and
  • Violations of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s posting requirement will be subject to a maximum penalty of $12,471 for each violation (formerly $7,000).

Originally Published by HR 360, Inc.

Minnesota Minimum Wage Rates Increase on August 1, 2016

New State and Federal Combination Poster Available for Purchase at minnesota-federal-combo-labor-law-poster-english
www.AllinOnePosters.com

The minimum wage rates in Minnesota will go up on August 1, 2016, according to the following schedule:

  • Large employersmust pay at least $9.50 an hour (annual gross volume of sales made or business done of $500,000 or more);
  • Small employersmust pay at least $7.75 an hour (annual gross volume of sales made or business done of less than $500,000);
  • Thetraining wage rate is $7.75 an hour (90-day training rate paid to employees who are younger than 20 years of age); andminwage
  • Theyouth wage rate is $7.75 an hour (may be paid to employees younger than 18 years of age).

Note: In cases where an employee is subject to both the state and federal m
inimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher of the two minimum
wages.

A new state and federal combination poster reflecting the updated rates is available for purchase. Additional information regarding Minnesota’s minimum wage rates is available by clicking here.

Employers Must Protect Workers from Excessive Heat

Originally Published by HR360

OSHA’s Heat Illness Website Outlines Employers’ Legal Duties

Under federal law, employers are responsible for providing workplaces free of known safety hazards, which includes protecting workers from extreme heat. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) heat illness website provides employers with (among other things) information on how to meet their obligations under the law.

OSHA’s tips and strategies include the following:

  • Provide heat stress training.Topics you may wish to address include worker risk, prevention, symptoms (including the importance of workers monitoring themselves and coworkers), treatment, and personal protective equipment.
  • Schedule hot jobs for the cooler part of the day.The best way to prevent heat illness is to make the work environment cooler. Monitor weather reports daily and reschedule jobs with high heat exposure to cooler times of the day. When possible, routine maintenance and repair projects should be scheduled for the cooler seasons of the year.
  • Provide rest periods with water breaks.Provide workers with plenty of cool water in convenient, visible locations in shade or air conditioning that are close to the work area. Avoid alcohol and drinks with large amounts of caffeine or sugar.
  • Monitor workers who are at risk of heat stress.Workers are at an increased risk of heat stress from personal protective equipment, when the outside temperature exceeds 70°F, or while working at high energy levels. Workers should be monitored by establishing a routine to periodically check them for signs and symptoms of overexposure.
  • Acclimatize workers by exposing them for progressively longer periods to hot work environments.Allow workers to get used to hot environments by gradually increasing exposure over at least a 5-day work period. OSHA suggests beginning with 50% of the normal workload and time spent in the hot environment, and then gradually building up to 100% by the fifth day.

Note: Displaying OSHA Safety Posters shows a commitment to safety. Therefore All In One Poster Company has created a Federal Heat Stress Poster for the convenience of its clients. California has its own Outdoor and Indoor heat illness prevention standards as well, for which All In One Posters Company has created separate posters.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has a page dedicated to providing information on heat stress (including symptoms and first aid), along with fact sheets and other resources for protecting employees.

Oregon: New Requirements for Itemized Wage Statements

 

Provisions Regarding Employee Access to Personnel Records Also Amended

Under a new law in Oregon, effective January 1, 2017, an employer must provide an employee (on regular paydays, and at other times that payment of wages, salary, or commission is made) with an itemized statement that contains certain information.

Contents of Itemized Wage Statement
The statement required under the law must be a written statement, sufficiently itemized to show (among other things): the date of the payment; the dates of work covered by the payment; the name of the employee; the name and business registry number or business identification number; the address and telephone number of the employer; the rate or rates of pay; whether the employee is paid by the hour, shift, day or week or on a salary, piece or commission basis; gross wages; net wages; the amount and purpose of each deduction made during the respective period of service that the payment covers; and allowances (if any) claimed as part of the minimum wage.

Unless the employee is paid on a salary basis and is exempt from overtime compensation as established by local, state, or federal law, such statement must also include the regular hourly rate or rates of pay; the overtime rate or rates of pay; the number of regular hours worked and pay for those hours; and the number of overtime hours worked and pay for those hours.

Note: The employer may provide the itemized wage statement to the employee in electronic form if certain requirements are met.

Access to Personnel Records

  • Generally, within 45 days after receipt of an employee’s request, an employer must provide reasonable opportunity for the employee to inspect (at the place of employment or place of work assignment) his or her personnel records that are used or have been used to determine the employee’s qualification for employment, promotion, additional compensation, employment termination or other disciplinary action, and time and pay records of the employee for the period required by federal law.
  • Within 45 days after receipt of the employee’s request, the employer must furnish a certified copy of the records.

Additional details are available in the text of the law.

ORIGINALLY POSTED BY WWW.HR360.COM