Friday, June 22, 2018
Business

A Tampa employment law attorney explains changes coming to overtime regulations

Change is coming for an estimated 330,000 Florida workers who earn between $23,660 and $47,476 a year.

New Department of Labor regulations announced last month double the pay threshold for overtime protection, effective Dec. 1. That means salaried workers, as in those who worked 40 hours or more a week and are not paid overtime, have to be paid at least $47,476 a year. The current floor is $23,660.

That sounds pretty straightforward, but the situation is a lot more complex than that, says attorney Christine Howard in the Tampa office of Fisher & Phillips, an employment law firm.

Some employees may have their hours cut. Others will have to start tracking their hours for the first time.

However, dishing out raises doesn't necessarily mean an employee is exempt from overtime. Some workers making more than, say $50,000 a year may still qualify for overtime.

Previous coverage: New Labor Department overtime rule expected to jolt Florida workplace

Howard is urging employers to comb through these new regulations and communicate with their employees over the next six months. She broke down some of these changes in a recent interview with the Tampa Bay Times.

What can employees expect with the new rules?

Many employees who were once salary exempt and did not have to record their time are now going to find they are on-the-clock employees and fill out time sheets.

Employers will look at the salary these employees currently earn. They're going to have to come up with an hourly rate that fits in line with the salary they had and includes any overtime cost. For some people who are close to $40,000, many employers will increase their pay. This will help certain employees, and it will hurt other employees

Beyond the pay rate, can you explain the circumstances that qualify an employee for a salaried position?

First, there's the executive exemption (to being paid overtime) for employees in management positions. It's if they have direct supervision over two or more full-time employees and if their pay is lower than the minimum level ($47,476). If their primary duty is management they may be impacted. If their manager can't increase their salaries to this threshold they may be demoted.

Then, there is an administrative exemption. This is for employees performing office or non-manual work who have discretion and independent judgment on matters of significance. If you're a buyer and you're able to negotiate a pricing contract on your judgement, you may fall under this category.

A high-level executive assistant is another example. Not an assistant or secretary, but someone who is actually making important decision on who their manager or officer has visits with. Their function is critical to making key decisions on who gets a face-to-face meeting, for example.

What is your advice for business owners, executives and human resource managers as they adjust to this change?

Employers should take an opportunity to look at their job classifications and the exemption tests. These regulations don't take effect until December but it's a process.

Communication will be key to avoid lawsuits so they can appreciate why these changes are being made and so they can understand why they're being converted to hourly. I can't emphasize enough that companies need to look at this now in order to comply with the change by Dec. 1. Mis-classification is a very common lawsuit in Florida.

Contact Alli Knothe at [email protected] Follow @KnotheA.

Comments
Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

Tampa Bay workforce development initiative looks to Houston for lessons

The biggest hospitals in Houston had a problem.To earn a prized institutional certification, they needed more nurses with bachelor of science degrees in nursing.But local colleges were more focused on turning out nurses with two-year degrees who, to ...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

Health care IT company CareSync shuts down, laying off 292

TAMPA — The days ahead were supposed to be bright.For weeks, the future of health care tech company CareSync had been thrown into question as founder and CEO and founder Travis Bond unexpectedly departed, kicking off multiple rounds of layoffs. But t...
Updated: 3 hours ago
Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Coal and gas hold onto their share of electricity production, despite massive push for renewables

Here’s an intriguing set of facts: Coal produces the same percentage of the world’s electricity as 20 years ago. Oil and gas remain about level, too.Same for nonfossil fuel sources. In other words, the massive push towards renewables over the past co...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

Brink: Why have Florida’s working-age men left the labor market in droves

A cancer lurks within Florida’s otherwise rosy job numbers, one that’s been called a quiet catastrophe and an intractable time bomb.Too many men between the ages of 25 and 54 have stopped working.Economists call those the prime-age years. Incomes gen...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 10 hours ago
For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

For sale: A Tampa Bay area elementary school where you can eat tacos and buy wine

ST. PETERSBURG — For sale: a 104-year-old elementary school with restaurant and wine shop. It even has a title company where you can close the deal.Less than a year after completing a major renovation of the historic North Ward school, developer Jona...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Published: 06/21/18
Updated: 06/22/18
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Published: 06/21/18
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18