Preparing for Payroll in 2020

As 2019 winds down there are a number of things that you need to be aware of going in to 2020 to ensure compliance with federal and state wage and hour rules and other payroll related laws. Continue reading

Minimum Wage to Increase for Michigan Employees

The state of Michigan has recently passed a law that will gradually increase the minimum wage for non-exempt employees to $12.00 per hour by January 1, 2022.  The state minimum wage applies to all Michigan employers with two or more employees who are 16 years of age or older.

In the past, Michigan has allowed employers to pay tipped employees 38% of the minimum wage, but that percentage will gradually increase to 80% of the minimum wage by January 1, 2022.  Continue reading

Should We Be Paying Our Interns?

The Department of Labor (DOL) has recently released a statement adopting a “primary beneficiary” test to be used when determining whether an intern for a for-profit employer should be classified as an employee under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  Continue reading

2017 Minimum Wage Changes

Many states will be increasing their minimum wage in 2017.  Check the list below to make sure you are in compliance in all states which you have employees.  Most of these changes are effective January 1, 2017 unless otherwise indicated.

  • Alaska: $9.80
  • Arizona: $10.00
  • Arkansas: $8.50
  • California: $10.50 (employers with 25 or less employees will remain at $10)
  • Colorado: $9.30
  • Connecticut: $10.10
  • District of Columbia: $12.50 (effective July 1, 2017) ($3.33 for tipped employees)
  • Florida: $8.10 ($5.08 for tipped employees)
  • Hawaii: $9.25
  • Maine: $9.00 (effective January 7, 2017)
  • Maryland: $9.25 (effective July 1, 2017)
  • Massachusetts: $11.00 ($3.75 for tipped employees)
  • Michigan: $8.90 ($3.38 for tipped employees)
  • Missouri: $7.70 ($3.85 for tipped employees)
  • Montana: $8.15
  • New Jersey: $8.44
  • New York: $9.70 (effective December 31, 2016) ($11.00 for employers in NYC with 11 or more employees; $10.50 for employees in NYC with 10 or fewer employees; $10.00 for Long Island and Westchester, $10.75 for fast food employees outside of NYC; $12.00 for fast food employees in NYC)
  • Ohio: $8.15
  • Oregon: $10.25 (effective July 1, 2017)
  • Rhode Island: $3.89 for tipped employees (non-tipped employees have no change, remains at $9.60)
  • South Dakota: $8.65 ($4.325 for tipped employees)
  • Vermont: $10.00
  • Washington: $11.00

Note: There may be local wage requirements that are higher than the state minimum wage which would apply to your business.

New Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

Update September 24, 2019 – The DOL has announced a new minimum salary threshold effective January 1, 2020. The new minimum threshold is $684 per week. An updated post regarding this new threshold is available here: New DOL Ruling Increases the Salary Threshold for Exempt Employees

UPDATE: November 22, 2016 – A federal judge has delayed the new overtime rule. At this time it is not known how long the rule will be delayed or if the new rule will be enforced at all in the future.  The minimum salary threshold for exempt employees will remain at $455 per week until further notice.


The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued the much anticipated final rules regarding overtime for salary employees.

Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the minimum pay for exempt employees is currently $455 per week (or $23,660 per year). Under the new rule, effective December 1, 2016, the minimum pay will increase to $913 per week (or $47,476 per year). The salary threshold will automatically be updated every three years, beginning on January 1, 2020, based on average wage growth.

An added provision of the new rule is the ability for employers to include nondiscretionary bonuses and incentive payments, including commissions, up to 10 percent of gross wages, to meet the minimum salary requirements. For example, if an employee is paid $44,000 base salary and receives a bonus of $4,000 per year (less than 10% of their gross annual salary), they could still be considered exempt under the new rule because their total compensation ($48,000) is higher than the new salary threshold.

Continue reading

New York Plan to Increase Minimum Wage

Earlier this month New York legislature and Governor Cuomo agreed to increase the minimum wage for the eighth time in New York since 2013. For most employers in New York City, the minimum wage will increase to $15 per hour by the end of 2018.

The minimum wage increases are based on a three-tier wage system: one for New York City, a second for Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester counties, and a third for the rest of the state of New York.

Employees who receive tips will be required to be paid at least $7.50 per hour or 2/3 of the then current minimum wage, whichever is higher.

The new minimum wage schedules are as follows:


 Employers with 11 or more employees

Effective Date New Minimum Wage Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
December 31, 2016 $11.00 $7.50
December 31, 2017 $13.00 $8.70
December 31, 2018 $15.00 $10.00

 Employers with 10 or less employees

Effective Date New Minimum Wage Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
December 31, 2016 $10.50 $7.50
December 31, 2017 $12.00 $8.00
December 31, 2018 $13.50 $9.00
December 31, 2019 $15.00 $10.00



Effective Date New Minimum Wage Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
December 31, 2016 $10.00 $7.50
December 31, 2017 $11.00 $7.50
December 31, 2018 $12.00 $8.00
December 31, 2019 $13.00 $8.70
December 31, 2020 $14.00 $9.35
December 31, 2021 $15.00 $10.00


Remainder of New York State

Effective Date New Minimum Wage Minimum Wage for Tipped Employees
December 31, 2016 $9.70 $7.50
December 31, 2017 $10.40 $7.50
December 31, 2018 $11.10 $7.50
December 31, 2019 $11.80 $7.90
December 31, 2020 $12.50 $8.35


New York employers should start reviewing current employee wages now and prepare to increase wages accordingly based on the new schedules.


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California Minimum Wage to Increase to $15

California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed Senate Bill 3 which will gradually increase California’s minimum wage from $10 to $15 by January 1, 2022.

For employers with 26 or more employees, the California minimum wage will increase based on the following schedule: Continue reading

Home Care Workers: Delayed Enforcement of Wage, Overtime Rules

clock-611619_1280The Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division recently announced that it will delay enforcement of certain rules pertaining to home care workers.  These “direct care workers” provide home care services and include certified nursing assistants, home health aides, personal care aides, caregivers and companions.

For six months, the Department of Labor (DOL) will not bring enforcement actions against employers for violations of obligations resulting from amended regulations announced released last year.

Continue reading

Interns: Paid or Unpaid?

soap-bubble-63982_1280Interns at “for-profit” privately owned companies generally should be considered as employees and must be paid for all hours worked.

In order for the internship to be unpaid, all six of the following criteria must be met based on the Fair Labor Standards Act:

Continue reading