Skip to content

Workplace Compliance News & Resources

Get the latest safety and workplace compliance news and resources from the federal, state, and local government levels. Below you’ll find late-breaking news, an interactive state map, the latest federal news, and minimum wage changes.

We try to keep it easy to understand and give you some general considerations on what to do, but we always recommend that businesses seek legal counsel for further advice and guidance on your particular situation.

Wherever available, KPA products are updated with the latest government notices and posters for employers.

Breaking News

Nothing to see here. Check back later or keep scrolling for the latest federal regulatory news updates!

Who: All employers

When: Effective July 1, 2024

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published a final rule that increases the salary thresholds that employers must pay salaried executive, administrative, and professional employees in order to exempt those employees from federal overtime pay requirements. Effective July 1, 2024, the salary threshold is increasing from $35,568 to $43,888. Effective January 1, 2025, the threshold will increase again to $58,656. Note that certain positions, such as doctors, lawyers, teachers, and outside salespeople are not subject to the minimum salary basis test. The threshold will increase every three years, starting July 1, 2027. The purpose is to protect more lower-paid workers who work long hours without proper compensation.

To be considered exempt, an employee must be an executive, administrative, or professional worker as defined in the regulation, plus meet three criteria: 1) be paid on a salary basis, 2) be paid a salary that is at least as much as the annual threshold amount, and 3) perform executive, administrative, or professional duties as defined in the regulation. These criteria are commonly referred to as the Salary Basis Test and the Job Duties Test. If the employee doesn’t meet those criteria, the employer must pay time and a half for all hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

Employers should check for state-specific overtime laws. California, for example, has rules regarding daily overtime, weekly overtime, and 7th consecutive day overtime.

The rule also increases the annual salary threshold for highly compensated employees from $107,432 to $132,964 on July 1, 2024. Effective January 1, 2025, the threshold will increase again to $151,164 per year. This threshold will also increase every three years.

There are exemptions from the new law for “learned professionals,” including certified teachers, physicians, and attorneys. To qualify as a learned professional, these tests must be met:

  • The employee must be compensated on a salary or fee basis at a rate of $684 per week or greater;
  • The employee’s primary duty must be performing work that requires advanced knowledge;
  • The advanced knowledge is in a field of science or learning; and
  • The advanced knowledge is customarily acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction.

Employers need to pay attention to state and local laws, which could have higher salary thresholds for these exemptions.

Note that misclassification lawsuits and penalties can reach back as far as three years.

Complainants have brought a lawsuit against the DOL to challenge the new rule.

How:

  • Conduct thorough analyses of exempt positions using the Salary Basis and Job Duties Tests.
  • Consult a qualified employment law attorney if your internal audit uncovers any possible position current or past misclassifications.
  • Assess your pay rates and decide whether to raise affected employees’ salary to meet the new threshold or convert them to non-exempt status.
  • Provide advance notice of wage and benefit changes to the employees, and how it will affect their responsibilities regarding timekeeping, meal and rest breaks, and other requirements.
  • Train managers and newly non-exempt employees on the changes that will take effect.
  • Monitor for challenges to the law.

Additional Resources:

Federal Register: Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales, and Computer Employees

29 CFR part 541

Fact Sheet #17G: Salary Basis Requirement and the Part 541 Exemptions Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Fact Sheet #17D: Exemption for Professional Employees Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

Final Rule: Restoring and Extending Overtime Protections

Restoring and Extending Overtime Protections Video

Who: All employers

When: Effective immediately

On April 29, 2024, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance on the potential risks associated with the use of automated systems and AI tools in the workplace. The guidance complies with President Biden’s October 2023 Executive Order addressing artificial intelligence.

Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2024-1 (FAB), titled Artificial Intelligence and Automated Systems in the Workplace under the Fair Labor Standards Act and Other Federal Labor Standards, covers hours worked and wages paid. It also addresses the implications for other laws, such as the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Providing Urgent Maternal Protections for Nursing Mothers Act (PUMP Act), and the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA).

The FAB addresses some potentially problematic uses of AI under the FLSA, such as monitoring employee productivity and tracking employee locations. Other potential problems are incorrectly categorizing time as non-compensable based on productivity and automatically populating employee non-compensable break time. This could lead to claims of intentionally altering employee timesheets and willful non-payment of wages and overtime pay, which can lead to payroll audits and the assessment of back wages and penalties. Employers must pay for time spent working “regardless of the level of productivity or performance of the employee,” meaning tracking systems cannot define or calculate “work time.”

The FAB cautions that employers who use AI to process and evaluate FMLA leave requests and certifications could be at risk of violating the law. For example, AI may incorrectly and automatically penalize employees for missing FMLA certification deadlines without accounting for extenuating, allowable circumstances. Relying on an automated process to take the place of the interactive process of providing a leave of absence as a reasonable accommodation could expose the employer of neglecting their duty of due diligence.

The FAB notes that under EPPA, the use of AI to measure eye movement, voice, and other body movements that could indicate if an employee is lying could violate the law. Under the PUMP Act, it could be a violation if employee-tracking AI software inadvertently penalizes employees for making use of taking time to express milk, such as by artificially limiting the length, frequency, or time of the breaks.

The FAB cautions employers not to use AI to surveil employees because such an action may violate anti-retaliation prohibitions in federal labor and employment statutes. For example, software that analyzes employee survey responses and data might constitute unlawful retaliation with regard to the right to unionize or assemble to effect wages and working conditions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

To address all of these concerns, the employer should oversee all AI-influenced functions and evaluate vendor software packages to ensure compliance with various laws.

An employer may not rely on the fact that they don’t know how an AI system operates as a defense to a complaint. Employers must understand how the tools work, including the factors considered when screening resumes or evaluating employee performance. Employers are responsible for implementing appropriate procedural safeguards to ensure that employment decisions are based on clear and lawful criteria.

How:

  • Review your use of AI tools to ensure all AI-influenced employment decisions comply with the law.
  • Ensure that when purchasing AI software from vendors that the software and system processes do not violate employee rights under Civil Rights Act, ADA, NLRA and other protective laws.
  • Ensure human oversight of AI in the workplace.

Additional Resources:

Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2024-1

Artificial Intelligence and Equal Employment Opportunity for Federal Contractors

Select Issues: Assessing Adverse Impact in Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence Used in Employment Selection Procedures Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

The Americans with Disabilities Act and the Use of Software, Algorithms, and Artificial Intelligence to Assess Job Applicants and Employees

Who: All employers

When: Effective immediately

On April 12, 2024, the United States Supreme Court issued a decision in the Bissonnette v. LePage Bakeries Park St., LLC case. The Supreme Court held that a transportation worker does not need to work in the transportation industry to be exempt from coverage under Section 1 of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). The court said that an employee can qualify for the exemption if they play a direct and necessary role in the free flow of goods across state borders.

The case involved Neal Bissonnette and Tyler Wojnarowski, who worked as distributors for Flower Foods, Inc., a company that produced and marketed baked goods. They sued Flowers for allegedly violating state and federal wage laws, and Flowers moved to compel arbitration under the FAA pursuant to the arbitration clauses in their distribution agreements. The plaintiffs argued that they were exempt from the arbitration clause because they were transportation workers.

The court concluded that a class of workers is defined based on what a worker does for an employer, not what the employer does generally. The plaintiffs were classified as transportation workers and therefore exempt from the arbitration clause. The companies that need to pay closest attention to this ruling are those that regularly deliver, ship, or distribute physical goods across state lines.

California employers in particular need to be mindful that their positions are properly classified under the appropriate Wage Order. Other states may also have their own version of wage orders as well. Proper classification will allow the employer to understand which positions may be exempt from their arbitration agreement and to prepare in advance with their legal counsel.

How:

  • Review your arbitration agreements and determine who might be considered a transportation worker, or seek legal counsel if you’re unsure.

Additional Resources:

Bissonnette v. LePage Bakeries Park St., L

Section 1 of the FAA

2024 Minimum Wage Updates

KPA tracks state and local minimum wage changes for our Vera HR customers, providing them with updated labor posters and more.

Check out the latest minimum wage changes for 2024, typically updated in December and June to ensure you know about the majority of increases before taking effect on January 1 and July 1.

LEARN MORE   

Resources for Success

OSHA Reporting Resource Hub

If regulatory paperwork makes your head spin, have no fear—the workforce safety and compliance professionals at KPA are here to help.

We’ve created this resource hub chock full of OSHA recordkeeping and reporting best practices to help keep your head on straight.

Check is out

Back To Top