Starting in January, Employers Are Open to New Unpaid Overtime Wage Claims Due to New Laws
Starting January 1, there are new federal rules when it comes to overtime pay that employers need to be aware of. Specifically, there is a new income threshold that employees must reach in order to qualify as being exempt from overtime pay, as well as changes in what employers can consider to be bonuses or commissions that count as part of this threshold. When workers make less than the threshold, they must be paid overtime, or 1.5 times their regular rate for any hours worked more than 40 in one week. And if employers do not comply – even if they are unaware of the changes – they could be held liable under any claims brought pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, and this includes potential insurance claims.
As a result, it is important that employers work with employment law attorneys to ensure that everything is in compliance with the new rules, including all policies and practices, and employees should as well ensure that their employers are in compliance. The law in this area is already arguably complex; when there are changes to an already complex law, litigation tends to ensue.
Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, employees whose jobs/work satisfy the following requirements they typically exempt from overtime:
- Paid a salary;
- Make more than $23,660 per year; and
- Perform administrative, executive, or professional duties (for example, being a manager, managing other people, being able to hire and fire people, etc.).
Some of the most common examples are administrators in schools, teachers, sales employees, etc. The law also exempts farm workers and certain types of seasonal workers as well from the overtime requirement.
New Law as of January 1
The new rules still keep the same exemptions for those doing particular types of work, however, the salary threshold moves from $23,660 to $35,568 per year. As a result, there will now be a number of employees entitled to overtime that previously were not, adjusting not only pay schedules but also tracking for hours worked when it comes to all employees. In addition, the threshold for what is known as the “highly-compensated employee” is increasing from $100,000 to $107,432.
Employers should also be aware of any changes in state employment laws. In Florida, for example, the state’s minimum wage will increase from $8.46 to $8.56 per hour in general, and to $5.54 for employees who receive tips. Also note that a proposal to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour did make It onto the November 2020 ballot, and would increase hourly wages incrementally each year.
Contact Our Florida Labor & Employment Law Attorneys
If you have any questions about employment law in Florida, contact our experienced Jacksonville labor & employment attorneys at Douglas & Carter, Attorneys at Law to find out how we can help.