DOL Issues Long-Awaited Proposed Overtime Rule

On March 7, 2019, the United States Department of Labor (USDOL) issued the long-awaited Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) which proposes changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime provisions.  These proposed changes, which are detail in the 219-page document, follow nearly three years of legal actions challenging the USDOL’s 2016 proposed FLSA overtime changes. A quick history on these proposed changes.  On May 23, 2016, the USDOL issued the 2016 FLSA proposed overtime rule changes that would have more than doubled the minimum salary thresholds for the so called “white collar” overtime exemptions.  Under the 2016 proposed rule, the minimum salary threshold would have increased from $455 per week ($23,660 per year) to $913 per week ($47, 476 per year) and the Highly Compensated Employee (HCE) salary level from $100,000 to $134,000 annually.  Just before the changes were about to become effective, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas invalidated the proposed rule stating that the USDOL lacked the authority to propose these changes.  Shortly thereafter, the proposed changes were put on hold. This latest proposed rule formally rescinds the 2016 proposed rule and would provide for updates to the standard salary level...

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EMS Employer Year-End Wrap-Up and Preview

2017 was a bit of a wild ride in the employment realm.  The Trump Administration worked to change the trajectory set during the eight years of the Obama Administration.  This past year, we saw the undoing or attempts to undo many of the Obama Administration initiatives, including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) updates, changes to the Persuader Rule, interpretations of Title VII as it relates to transgender protections.  Not to mention the repeated attempts to chip away at the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In addition, there were several new requirements for employers that went into effect in 2017 and a few upcoming in 2018.  Here is a quick review to ensure that your service is up-to-date and compliant. The Fair Labor Standards Act Changes These changes, which would have more than doubled the minimum salary levels for those “White Collar” exemptions, were set to go into effect back in 2016.  A Federal Court in Texas enjoined and put on hold these changes until the question of whether the Department of Labor (DOL) had the authority to unilaterally change the Regulations.  In July, 2016, the DOL published an Request For Information (RFI) with responses due in late September, requesting input...

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Employee Wage Deduction Restrictions

I often get questions from ambulance services regarding the things that employers can deduct from an employee’s wage. Many year ago, it was commonplace for employers to deduct the cost of uniforms or vehicle accident repairs if they were found “at fault” for the accident from employee wages. The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is the Federal law that restricts or governs the deductions an employer may take from an employee’s paycheck. The HR Daily Advisor published a great article about the restrictions surrounding deductions from an employee’s paycheck. As always, contact the AAA with any questions regarding this or any other Human Resource or employment law compliance question....

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FLSA Salary Threshold Rule Delayed Again

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last few months about the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) rule changes that were due to be implemented on December 1, 2016.  We informed members that an injunction had been issued by a federal judge delaying the implementation of the changes that would more than double the salary thresholds for those who are eligible to earn overtime under the “white collar” exemptions.  The USDOL has requested further 60 day delay to allow them to file their brief in the injunction hearing.  Learn more about this delay and our prior AAA Advisories on FLSA and we will continue to keep members posted about any future movement with regard to this issue.

HR Wrap-Up: A Look Back at 2016

As we wind up 2016 I thought it would be a good idea to review the year’s human resource and legal developments to ensure that our members are compliant and prepared for what faces them in 2017.  We knew that this was going to be an interesting year as we experienced the most unusual Presidential Election in our history.  It overshadowed everything else that occurred in 2016.  As the Obama administration comes to its final days, employers and ambulance providers saw some of the most sweeping regulatory changes. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) The biggest change facing employers in 2016 was the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime changes.  The Department of Labor (DOL) issued updated regulations which were to become effective December 1, 2016, raising the minimum salary thresholds for the so called “white collar” exemptions.  Under the new regulations, the minimum salary would increase from $455 to $970 per week.  For those employees earning under the new amount, employers would need to decide if they are going to raise the salary level or pay the employee overtime for hours worked over 40 in one week.  The changes have not gone into effect yet as a 5th Circuit Judge...

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Federal Judge Hold Implementation of New Overtime Regulations

Just a few days before the new Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Regulations were set to become effective, a 5th Circuit Federal Judge issued a ruling placing an injunction on the implementation of those Regulations which were estimated to effect nearly 4.2 million American workers.  The new Regulations nearly doubled the minimum salary level for those who would be exempt from the overtime provisions of the FLSA and provide for adjustments every three years.  21 States filed an emergency motion for an injunction in October stating the Department of Labor had exceeded its authority with these new provisions. For now, employers can hold any adjustments that they were going make relative these new Regulations on December 1 while the question of their legality is resolved.  To get more details on the specifics and to catch up on the Member Advisories relative to these new Regulations, log into the AAA website....

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Required Employment Posting Changes

Over the last few months we notified AAA members of several changes to employment laws that ambulance providers need to be aware of.  In early May we published advisories to members regarding upcoming changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the Reporting Requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA).  In July, we notified members that the United States Department of Labor (DOL) would be increasing the civil penalties for violations of the laws that they enforce in an effort to update the penalty amounts to provide for adjustment due to inflation and to maintain the penalty’s deterring effect. These changes require that employers update the required Federal employment postings in their workplaces.  The new postings are available on the Department of Labor’s website free of charge.  Alternatively, many employers purchase the all-in-one combination Federal and State posters from third party vendors.  Whether obtained from the DOL or from a vendor, the postings need to be updated to reflect these new changes. Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) The changes to the FLSA that were detailed during a AAA Webinar in June will become effective this coming December 2016.  While there was no change to the Federal Minimum...

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FLSA – New Overtime Rule Takes Effect December 2016

Last October, the American Ambulance Association published an article notifying its members about the proposed changes to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Employers have been waiting anxiously for the Final Regulation to be published. On May 17, 2016, the White House published a Fact Sheet regarding changes to the Regulations that will become effective December 1, 2016. As a result, overtime protections are being extended to 4.2 million workers who are currently exempt. The new rule, which will be published May 18, 2016 will bring the first updates to the FLSA since 2004. There will be significant changes, including increasing the threshold salaries levels for both the standard and highly compensated employees (HCE) and includes regular automatic adjustments to those levels every three years thereafter. The impetus of the changes to the law were prompted by President Obama in March 2014 when he directed the Secretary of Labor to Update and Modernize Overtime Regulations for the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The FLSA provides basic rights and wage protections for American workers, including Federal minimum wage and overtime requirements. Specifically the memorandum stated that the “regulations regarding exemptions from the Act’s overtime requirement, particularly for executive, administrative, and professional...

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