Salary Thresholds

New York State Rings in the New Year by Adopting Increased Salary Basis Thresholds

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Just before their December 31, 2016 planned effective date, the regulations proposed by the New York State Department of Labor in October 2016 were formally adopted on December 28, 2016. Pursuant to the regulations, New York City employees need to be paid a minimum of $42,900 annually to be considered exempt from overtime under the administrative and executive exemptions.  Lower salary thresholds have been established for small New York City employers (10 or fewer employees) and for employers outside of New York City.  An employee who earns less than the salary thresholds on and after December 31, 2016 will become non-exempt and overtime eligible unless their salaries are increased above the new salary threshold.  New York State employers should also be mindful that the salary thresholds will increase annually through 2020.  A complete schedule of the new salary thresholds by employer location and size can be found here.

For employers who might have suspended or reversed decisions to reclassify employees or increase their salaries when the federal overtime regulations were enjoined last month, the New York State Department of Labor did not leave much time to consider the options and address compensation practices.  Although just formally adopted, the regulations are effective on December 31, 2016 as had been contemplated in the proposed regulations. (See New Minimum Wage FAQs).

To Free or Not to Free: The DOL’s New Overtime Regulations May Give Employees the Ability to “Unplug”—But at What Cost?

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Today, mobile technology allows many exempt employees to work remotely and perform work outside traditional working hours.  Some commentators assert that the smartphone has stretched the traditional 9-to-5 workday into a 24/7 on-call period, where employees are expected to respond to work-related communications long after they leave the office and late into the night.  The expectation that employees will be available to respond on evenings and weekends, however, has sparked pushback, causing some employees to call for more work-life separation and the ability to “unplug.”  In France, this push to unplug recently resulted in a new law that gives employees a “right to disconnect.”  Under that law, many French employers soon will be required to implement rules governing work-life balance and reasonable use of digital tools.

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