2020:  A Look Ahead

 

The past few years have been the most politically-charged for employment law that I have ever witnessed.  In truth, I have settled in to write this article several times over the past few months, but just as I was ready to publish, something changed.  With so much happening, I thought it pertinent to bullet-point the most imperative information so that you can keep updated.  Please remember that I am an HR professional and NOT a writer...I will keep the information as succinct as possible (which some of you know is very difficult for me once I get on a tangent), but the information IS relevant, even if boring to read. 

 

 

WHAT IT IS:  New FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act) rule change

 

EFFECTIVE DATE (if any): January 1, 2020

 

WHAT IT MEANS - THE BASICS:

 

Salaried-exempt employees must make a minimum of $35,568.00 per year (or $684 per week) to remain exempt from overtime (with confusing and serious differences for those with computer-related classifications). The original minimum salary requirement was $23,660.00 per year (or $455.00 per week). Furthermore, highly compensated individuals who make more than $107,032.00 annually are permitted to be exempt from overtime (this is an increase from $100,000.00).

 

IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW:

 

  • Not all employees can be exempt from receiving overtime pay and this threshold is the least complicated requirement.  Indeed, it is so complicated that the DOL (Department of Labor) was sued by ITS OWN EMPLOYEES to the tune of $7 million dollars for misclassifying employees as exempt from overtime.

 

  • To determine whether or not your employees can in fact be exempt from overtime, you must consider the duties of the indivduals in question. If your salaried-exempt employees do not meet the "duties tests," then an unnecessary exposure still exists.

 

If you are unsure about what a “duties test” is, you are not alone.  So much focus has been placed on the minimum salary threshold, that no one has been talking about the other very real (and less easy-to-understand) requirements of the duties tests.

 

Employees cannot (under existing or new regulations) be permitted to be exempt from overtime just because they work in an office, have a fancy title, handle the books or make some decisions regarding changes to estimates or pricing.  The reality is that job titles have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not a person can be exempt from overtime and having authority to change pricing is not necessarily considered significant enough when determining a salaried-exempt classification.

 

WHAT NOW?

 

While the duties-tests have been around for years, the duties definitions can be confusing.  This is especially the case for employers who attempt to review job descriptions without the aid of an outside resource.  Employers are more prone to forcing the duties tests to meet the exemption definitions rather than taking an objective view of whether the duties actually performed by individuals qualify for the exempt-status.  This costly and potentially catastrophic situation occurs because employers have a hard time separating the potential overtime costs from the need to reclassify the employee. 

 

I promise, whatever you spend for a consultant is much less than you would spend for the inevitable wage and hour lawsuits; unfortunately, I have seen the devastating reality of misclassification. 

 

The road to compliance is rarely easy and it is sometimes difficult to know where to start.  Ask Linda HR Consulting Services can help you navigate the minutia of this (and many more) compliance issue.  Call me today to schedule your no-obligation consult at 210.846.4900.

 

 

WHAT IT IS:  Form I9 Changes

 

EFFECTIVE DATE (if any): Anybody's Guess

 

WHAT IT MEANS - THE BASICS:

 

The current Form I9 expired on August 31, 2019 (check the upper, right-hand corner of the form you are using).

 

IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW:
As of right now, the USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) does not plan on making changes to the form itself; only the instructions.

 

WHAT NOW?

 

You may continue to use the current Form I9 until the new form is released. Make sure you sign up for new information on this website!

 

 

The road to compliance is rarely easy and it is sometimes difficult to know where to start.  Ask Linda HR Consulting Services can help you navigate the minutia of this (and many more) compliance issue.  Call me today to schedule your no-obligation consult at 210.846.4900.

 

WHAT IT IS:  Federal Legalization of Marijuana (Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2019)

 

EFFECTIVE DATE (if any): Anybody's Guess

 

WHAT IT MEANS - THE BASICS:

 

The current Form I9 expired on August 31, 2019 (check the upper, right-hand corner of the form you are using).

 

IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW:

 

WHAT NOW?

 

WHAT IT IS:  Form I9 Changes

 

EFFECTIVE DATE (if any): Anybody's Guess

 

WHAT IT MEANS - THE BASICS:

 

The current Form I9 expired on August 31, 2019 (check the upper, right-hand corner of the form you are using).

 

IMPORTANT FOR YOU TO KNOW:

 

WHAT NOW?

 

 
 

​© 2015 by Linda Drassen, dba Ask Linda HR Consulting Services