Overtime Rule Freeze – Now What
Judge Amos Mazzant of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas placed a nationwide hold on the federal overtime rule leaving the existing Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempt salary threshold intact-for now. The ruling is temporary, and the final outcome could depend on a number of factors, including Mazzant’s final ruling in the case, a potential Department of Labor appeal and the stance that President-elect Donald Trump’s administration will take on wage and hour issues.
Our advice is sit tight while the uncertainty persists. If you have already determined that an employee should be re-classified as “non-exempt” (hourly), there is a very good chance that you need to keep them there. We have found that, in most cases, employees who are categorized as “exempt” from overtime (salaried), would not pass the duties test to qualify as Professional, Executive, Creative or Administrative. Please feel free to contact us to help you determine whether an employee would qualify as exempt.
Keep in mind the injunction isn’t final, and it isn’t clear when the district court will make a final determination or what will happen if the DOL appeals the ruling.
Judge Halts Florida’s 14.5% Workers’ Compensation Hike
A Florida circuit judge has blocked a 14.5 percent workers’ compensation rate increase due to go into effect Dec. 1 after finding that the insurers’ rating organization and state officials did not comply with the state’s Sunshine Laws and open meeting requirements in setting the new rate.
The Sunshine Law challenge was brought by James Fee, a Miami attorney who represents injured workers. Fee claimed, and the judge agreed, that NCCI was in violation of the Sunshine Laws in holding “multiple, non-public, secret meetings” internally and with the OIR over the rates.
NCCI claims it has complied with applicable open meeting and other Sunshine Laws on transparency and says it will appeal the ruling.
We do anticipate that these increases will go through eventually. EMT, however, was not raising rates at the time, in any case.
Holiday Bonuses Are on the Upswing This Year
‘Tis the season for … a large chunk of extra cash? That may be the case if you’ve been a “nice” employee this year. In fact, a growing number of companies intend to give their employees holiday bonuses in December, according to a recent survey from Accounting Principals.
If your company is in the position to give a holiday bonus, you must remember to be fair. Operate under the principle of “fair and equitable distribution.” What that means is that the bonus amounts you dole out should be consistent, uniform and delivered free of bias. It is important to make sure that no employee feels shortchanged if they compare their bonus against what a co-worker received.
If your company is unable to give a cash bonus this year, the next best thing that most employees enjoy is the gift of time – paid time off that is. Allowing your employees to enjoy some extra time off with friends and family around the holidays is something that any person enjoys. Moreover, having some extra downtime is something that will do wonders when it comes to improving morale, recharging batteries and ensuring your staff comes back after the holiday rested and ready to make the next year a stellar one. Additionally, paid time off, while it is an expense to any employer, is usually a minimal expense. Consider the fact that depending on when the holidays fall in a calendar week, you might be facing a quiet office anyway.