With New Overtime Rules on The Horizon, It’s Time for Businesses to Prepare
As legally-mandated changes to the Federal Labor Standards Act—which go into effect on December 1st—are expected to affect the paychecks of over four million workers, businesses owners—especially smaller businesses—are now rushing to figure out how they can ensure that they are in compliance. In fact, it is shocking to see how many executives were either unaware of the new rules—or procrastinating on ensuring that they are in compliance—assuming that Congress or the courts would somehow delay or place the regulations on hold.
The regulations are expected to make a significant difference for salaried workers receiving overtime; specifically, raising pay from approximately $455 to $913 per week, or $23,660 to $47,476 annually. However, it is important to note that there are also blanket exemptions for certain types of industries—such as officer workers and computer programmers—who won’t necessarily be eligible for the overtime pay under the new rule. It is generally expected that the new increases will affect those who work in restaurants, retail, and other specific industries.
What Will Changes Look Like?
For those who are covered, employers are now looking into what changes they plan to make in order to comply with the law. While some may provide raises to certain employees in order to keep them in the “exempt” category, it is also possible that other employers may switch some salaried staffers to working on an hourly basis and/or switch around tasks and job descriptions in order to avoid anyone working overtime. Regardless, however, there are certain industries—particularly those involving customer service—that won’t be able to avoid paying overtime.
Employers will also need to ensure that they maintain staff morale by ensuring that salaried staff who are changed to working on an hourly basis do not feel demoted. Some businesses have even floated the idea of forming a profit-sharing option with employees as a way to provide motivation and reward in the face of changing duties and hours. In this regard, communication with all staffers as to what the changes are and why they being implemented, is key.
For larger franchises/chains, many are also doing a combination of providing some employees with raises, while others are being switched to hourly pay. It is expected that they will still, however, run up a certain amount of overtime if/when there are illnesses, weather issues affecting some from getting to/from work, and vacations.
Employers will also need to take into account any ballot measures this fall that seek to raise their state’s minimum wage.
Will The Changes Affect Consumers?
Many consumers are understandably concerned that overtime costs may pass onto them. This may actually be difficult for businesses to do, as most-all have competition and thus couldn’t simply pass the buck onto consumers.
Call an Experienced Florida Overtime Attorney Today
If you believe you should be covered by the new regulations that go into effect on December 1, and your overtime rights are being violated, you should speak with an experienced Florida overtime attorney as soon as possible.
Robert S. Norell, P.A., Florida Employment Lawyer, has been representing the rights of employees in Plantation, Florida and surrounding areas for years. Contact us online or by phone at 305-405-9243 to get in touch today.