Are You Ready for December 1st?
It’s no secret, by now, that December 1 will usher in the application of the “Final Rule” – the increase of the minimum salary payable to “exempt” employees from $455 per week to $913 per week.
In addition to changing the manner in which employees are managed, compensated and asked to track their time, the impending effectiveness of the Final Rule raises a myriad of other questions related to classification: are the employees who have historically been treated as exempt, really exempt? Even if their salaries are raised to the requisite $47,476, do their duties meet the requirements of an executive, administrative, professional or other exemption? How does this affect commissioned employees? Does this affect independent contractors in any way?
Certain employees who have never been considered remotely eligible for overtime, now find their status thrown into question – in particular, in our experience, teachers, engineers and administrative employees – and the answers are a lot muddier than employers think.
Employees are more aware of their wage and hour rights under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as modified by the Final Rule, than ever before – thanks to the publicity efforts of the Department of Labor and the media. Be sure to conduct a legal audit of your employees’ positions and compensation completed in advance of December 1, and correct any compliance issues by that date. If there is a silver lining to the Final Rule, it is that the change in the law gives great cover for correcting a multitude of ills.