The arena of human resources is not a static one. Rather, one of the main challenges for people in the profession is the fact that rules, regulations, and practices are changing all the time. In that vein, I have several things in the news of which you need to be aware.
Exempt salary level
Back in 2016 the salary level to be considered to be an exempt employee was supposed to change to $47,476 per year. That was going to be the minimum salary level for anyone to be considered an exempt employee. As we all know that got stopped in the court system and remains stopped today. The USDOL had originally thought they would publish a new salary level in September 2018. They just announced they would issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in January of 2019. There was speculation this would delay actual implementation of a new salary level until 2020. That is only a year and a half away, so you could be working on what you will have to do. I would suggest that you consider a salary level of $35,000 and make your plans accordingly.
Legislation introduced to get rid of “right-to-work”
Former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who was and is back heavily by unions, has introduced legislation aimed at making it easier for workers to unionize. Buried in this bill, however, is a proposal to amend the NLRA to eliminate the ability for a state to enact “right-to-work” legislation, which allows workers to choose to not belong to a union, even when a union represents other workers in the company. Twenty-eight states have this written into their constitutions, but Sanders wants that stripped from the NLRA. Sanders, who gets 70% of his support from unions, obviously is paying the piper with this proposed legislation. In my opinion, this bill has little chance of success, just on the state’s right issue alone.
Keep alert for these items and others. The USDOL is also looking at changing the definition of the “regular rate” of pay we all have to use. They are also looking at changing some child labor definitions that could free up some apprenticeship opportunities for 16 and 17-year-olds.