Monthly Archives: June 2024

Deadlines Quickly Approaching for Major Employment Law Changes

Employers should be preparing for several significant payroll and policy deadlines this summer that are required by new federal employment rules and regulations:

  1. Salaried employees must make a minimum salary of $43,888 annually beginning Monday, July 1, 2024. On January 1, 2025, that annual salary minimum threshold increases to $58,656. Only 10% of that annual salary can be paid in nondiscretionary bonuses or commissions.
  2. Noncompete clauses in almost all employment and severance contracts are scheduled to be banned on the deadline of September 4, 2024.
  3. Pregnant workers and women giving or returning from childbirth have to be reasonably accommodated, including being given individualized maternity leaves, under the broad final regulations as of a deadline last week (June 18, 2024).

Salary Minimum Increases

Employers cannot legally just pay employees on salary because it is convenient for the employer or the employee. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act, which applies to virtually all businesses, employees must receive hourly pay and overtime pay unless (1) the duties performed by that employee fit into one of the narrow white-collar exemptions; and (2) that employee also makes at least the amount required by the FLSA salary minimum threshold.

Since 2019, that salary minimum threshold has been $35,568 annually. But the regulations have been amended so that salaried employees must make at least $43,888 beginning next week. While court cases have been filed to try to stop this change from taking effect, no court has entered an injunction yet. That means that companies are out of time to resist this change. Therefore, as an employer, you need to double-check that your salaried employees are earning enough ($844 per week) to meet this salary minimum as of next Monday.

While you are at it, double-check whether your salaried employees are also actually performing the duties that allow you to pay them as an executive, a professional, an administrator, a computer specialist or outside salesperson (outside salespeople don’t have to meet the salary minimum but do have a duties test). If the employee doesn’t meet the duties test for their position to be exempt, you cannot pay that person on salary even if the employee is paid the salary minimum threshold amount.

Noncompete Contracts Ban

In April 2024, the Federal Trade Commission finalized a rule banning almost all employers (banks, credit unions, nonprofits and airlines excepted) from entering into, enforcing or attempting to enforce noncompetition clauses with employees. The rule goes into effect on September 4, 2024.

The FTC says that noncompete agreements suppress wages and block workers from pursuing better jobs. Employers like noncompetes because they prevent competitors from poaching talent and protects trade secrets and client relationships. But the FTC is siding with the free market and employees who want the opportunity to take their talents anywhere they please.

In addition to banning employers from entering into new noncompete agreements with employees, from enforcing noncompete agreements signed in the past, and from threatening to enforce existing noncompetes against departing employees, the new rule also requires employers to send out notices (FTC provided a model notice) by the deadline to current and former employees telling them that their noncompetition agreements are no longer in effect and won’t be enforced.

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