Maryland will be adopting a version of the Federal WARN Act – that requires certain employers to provide advanced notice of lay-offs – beginning on October 1, 2020. The Economic Stabilization Act, will require employers who have operated in Maryland for at least 1 year with 50 or more employees to provide 60-days written notice if a reduction in operations – for any reason – could potentially lead to lay-offs.
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The New Federal Overtime Rule Explained
The federal Department of Labor raised the minimum salary required to keep workers exempt from overtime to $35,568 per year ($684/week) from $23,660 per year effective January 1, 2020. Keep in mind that, in addition to meeting the salary threshold, employees’ work must meet the “duties tests” required for overtime exemption. Paying employees at the minimum salary threshold, alone, is not sufficient to make an employee exempt from overtime.
Still concerned? You can do a couple of quick checks to maintain your company’s compliance:
- Look at the employees who you consider to be exempt and see who falls below the new $35,568 threshold ($684/week).
- If those employees regularly work enough overtime to elevate their pay above the threshold, consider increasing those salaries to $36,000 or more to clear the threshold.
- Make sure that, in addition to meeting the salary threshold, any employees who you treat as “exempt” also meet the “duties tests” required to claim the exemption.
- The rules differ for highly compensated employees and those paid by commission – Fact sheets from the Department of Labor are available here for more information.
Want some specialists to take a look at your exempt and non-exempt employees? Need to update your employment agreements and handbook to reflect the changes? Reach out to Council Baradel Employment Lawyers Susan Stobbart Shapiro (ranked by Super Lawyers as one of the top 100 attorneys in the state), and Tova Z. Brody (who headed an HR department for a business with 120 employees prior to becoming an attorney) to answer your questions and ease you into the new year.
Effective January 1, 2020, the State of Maryland increased its minimum wage to $11.00/hour for most businesses. Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties are following a slightly different schedule. Links to those schedules, as well as the schedule for statewide increases to the minimum wage, are available below. The increase is part of an initiative that began in 2017 to increase the living wage for employees and reduce the use of public funds to help subsidize rising costs of living.
Included with the wage increase are new rules regarding tipped employees. From the Maryland Department of Labor:
Tipped Employees (earning more than $30 per month in tips) must earn the State Minimum Wage Rate per hour. Employers must pay at least $3.63 per hour. This amount plus tips must equal at least the State Minimum Wage Rate. https://www.dllr.state.md.us/labor/wages/wagehrfacts.shtml
Unless your employees qualify for an exemption from minimum wage and/or overtime, these new rules apply to them. The start of the New Year is an ideal time to check your books and make sure you have a smooth 2020.
Have questions or concerns about your employee wages? Need to ensure you are classifying the right employees as exempt? Reach out to Council Baradel Employment Lawyers Susan Stobbart Shapiro (ranked by Super Lawyers as one of the top 100 attorneys in the state), and Tova Z. Brody (who headed an HR department for a business with 120 employees prior to becoming an attorney) to answer your questions and ease you into the new year.
Maryland employers should be aware that the minimum wage in Maryland will increase to $10.10 per hour effective July 1, 2018. Montgomery County employers will have a different, higher rate: $12.25 per hour if the employer has 51 or more employees and $12.00 per hour if the employer has 50 or fewer employees. Prince George’s County’s minimum wage will remain at $11.50 per hour.
Employers who use the tip credit, such as restaurants, should revise their tip credit notices to reflect the change and have each affected employee sign the notice.
Additional detail, and updated poster forms, can be obtained through the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation’s overtime web page. Council Baradel employment law attorneys Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown are available to answer any questions you may have.
Currently working its way through the Maryland General Assembly is an emergency bill that is aimed at delaying the implementation of the new sick and safe leave law (the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act) until July 1, 2018. On Friday the bill passed through a Senate committee, but now it must still go before the full Senate, then to the House of Delegates, and finally, to the Governor’s desk. The current implementation date is February 11, 2018.
It is our position that employers need to prepare as if the sick and safe leave law will go into effect on February 11. Though the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation has been charged with developing guidance documents, including a model policy, it is unlikely that these documents will be finalized prior to February 11. Employers need to review their leave policies now to see what steps need to be taken in order to come into compliance with this new law.
Council Baradel’s Employment Law attorneys, Susan Stobbart Shapiro and Steven A. Brown, are available to review your current leave policies for compliance and address any questions you may have regarding this new law.
Ms. Shapiro and Mr. Brown will also be presenting to the Anne Arundel County Chamber of Commerce and answering questions on the MHWFA on February 14, 2018. For more information on the presentation and attendance, click here.