It’s Time to Talk Overtime

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In late September 24, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced a final rule adjusting the earnings thresholds necessary to exempt executive, administrative and professional employees from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements. The final rule also allows employers to count a portion of certain bonuses or commissions towards meeting the salary level. It takes effect January 1, 2020.

In summary, the DOL:

  • raises the “standard salary level” from the currently enforced level of $455 per week to $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker);
  • raises the total annual compensation requirement for “highly compensated employees” from the currently enforced level of $100,000 per year to $107,432 per year;
  • allows employers to use nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments (including commissions) paid at least annually to satisfy up to 10% of the standard salary level, in recognition of evolving pay practices; and
  • revises the special salary levels for workers in U.S. territories and the motion picture industry.

The horticulture industry often struggles with overtime issues, notably including the agricultural exemption. With the January 1, 2020 effective date for the “white collar exemptions” rule, and ongoing challenges with overtime compliance, AmericanHort is hosting an overtime webinar on Tuesday, December 10, at 11:30 AM, EDT. The discussion will be led by AmericanHort labor and employment law expert Chris Schulte, with CJ-Lake LLC.

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