EMPLOYERS NEED TO BE READY TO ASSESS CONTINUING EXEMPTION OF ITS WHITE COLLAR WORKERS WHEN THE NEW FLSA SALARY THRESHOLD GOES INTO EFFECT ON DECEMBER 1, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

First, public school district and BOCES employers should keep in mind that under the FLSA (and NYS minimum wage law), bona fide teachers are exempt from minimum wage and overtime provisions–regardless of salary levels.

Otherwise, in order to qualify for one of the available white collar exemptions under the FLSA, a white collar employee generally 1) must primarily perform administrative, executive and/or professional duties (the “duties test”); 2) be paid a fixed, predetermined salary not subject to diminishment based on quality of work (the “salary level test”); and 3) be paid more than the established salary threshold (effective as of December 1, 2016, this rate will be increased to $47,476 annually for a full-year employee, and the threshold will be adjusted thereafter every three years beginning as of January 1, 2010 to equal the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for FT salaried workers in the lowest wage census region).

Employers need to consider in advance of December 1st whether or not they wish to increase salaries to the new threshold to maintain a current employee’s exempt status, attempt to reduce workloads/redistribute work hours to avoid overtime liability, or pay overtime that is earned at the statutory time and a half rate. This requires scrutinizing each currently exempt position where the salary will fall below the increased threshold. This exercise will offer the perfect opportunity to review each of these positions actual job duties to ensure that they also meet the “duties test” set forth in law for each of the exemptions.

Please do not hesitate to contact us should you have any continuing questions or concerns regarding this significant change.

 

 

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