Wyatt Employment Law Report


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New Legislation: Banning the Salary Question

By Amanda Warford Edge

At a job interview, a candidate is often asked: “What’s your current or most recent salary?” Usually, this question is feared.  After all, a low figure could limit the candidate’s starting pay, but a high number could make the candidate seem expensive.  Now, in a growing number of states and cities, the question is off limits, as employers face legislation that bars them from asking job candidates about their salary history or benefits.

Proponents of the new legislation argue that banning the salary question is necessary to ensure pay equity for women.  The argument is that by basing future salaries on previous wages, employers have been perpetuating the earnings divide.  In other words, because employers have historically relied heavily on salary history, the gender pay gap has Continue reading


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Kentucky’s “Gender Pay Gap”

By Amanda Warford Edge

According to a new study and report from PayScale.com, working women in Kentucky earn 22.2% less than men, with the median pay for a male worker being $48,900, compared with $38,100 for a female worker. This “gender pay gap” — as it is often termed — is slightly smaller than the pay gap nationwide.

The report states that across the 50 states and the District of Columbia, women earned 23.7% less than men in 2016, with a median pay of $58,000 for male workers and $44,300 for female workers. These figures are representative of the raw gender pay gap — which looks at a median salary for all men and women, regardless of job type or worker seniority.

The same study and report also took into account factors such as years of work experience, education, company size, job title, and job level to determine a “controlled” gender pay gap. In so doing, it found that Continue reading


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House Passes Bill to Delay Overtime Rule

By Michelle High

On Wednesday, September 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 246-177 to delay the implementation of the Department of Labor’s new rule which raises the salary level for exemption from overtime pay from an existing threshold of $455 per week to $913 per week. The new rule is currently scheduled to go into effect on December 1, 2016.  Numerous business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Labor opposing the significant increase.  In addition, a lawsuit challenging the new rule has been filed against the U.S. Department of Labor by twenty-one (21) states.

House Resolution 6094, introduced by Republican representative Tim Walberg, seeks to delay implementation of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Overtime Rule for an additional six (6) months.  According to statements made by Walberg, he and others agree that the country’s overtime rules need to be updated.  However, he believes that lawmakers need to Continue reading


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Sixty-Day Comment Period Open Regarding the DOL’s Proposed Rule Increasing Salary Requirement for Exempt Employees

By Sharon L. Gold

Today begins the sixty-day period when employers can submit comments about the DOL’s proposed rule increasing the salary requirements for exempt employees. The DOL proposes that the minimum salary requirements be raised from $455 coin stackper week or $23,660 a year to $970 a week or $50,440 a year. In order to qualify for the highly compensated exemption, an employee would have to make $122,148 annually, which is up from $100,000. In addition to comments on the salary increase, the DOL asks for comments on whether nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive pay should be included in the calculation of the minimum increased salary.

The proposed rule did not make any changes to the duties test that is utilized to determine if an employee is exempt (for instance, some thought the proposed rule would require that a certain amount of time be spent in management). However, the DOL did ask for Continue reading


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Proposed Revisions Pertaining to Federal Overtime Regulations

By Chelsea K. Painter

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in an attempt to “modernize and streamline” the regulations on exemptions from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (“FLSA”) minimum wage and overtime pay requirements, the U.S. Department of Labor issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM)” dollar billwhich focuses primarily on increasing federal overtime pay regulatory coverage to nearly 5 million people by raising the minimum salary threshold required to qualify for the FLSA’s “white collar” exemption. Specifically, the Department proposes to:

  1. Set the standard salary level at the 40th percentile of weekly earnings for full-time salaried workers ($970 a week; or $50,440 a year) in 2016;
  2. Increase the total annual compensation requirement needed to exempt highly compensated employees (HCEs) to the annualized value of the 90th percentile of weekly earnings of full-time salaried workers ($122,148 annually); and
  3. Establish a mechanism for automatically updating the salary and compensation levels going forward so as to ensure a useful and effective test for exemption.

 

The Department’s regulations have generally required each of the following three tests to be met for the white collar exemptions to apply: 1) the employee must be paid a predetermined, fixed salary that is not subject to Continue reading